Skiing may not spring to mind when you think of Hiroshima, but there are actually 10 ski resorts in the area and is Japan’s 12th largest ski resort prefecture (*1).
The abundance of mountains and hot springs makes for a perfect combination, and with top sightseeing spots such as Hiroshima City, Miyajima and Onomichi in the Prefecture, you can combine some winter sports with traditional sights in one trip.
*1: According to the investigation by Snow Sports & Resorts Conference, as of December 2020
* All prices listed below are subject to change every year. Please refer to the websites of each ski resort for the latest information.
Like most prefectures in Japan, Hiroshima, occupying the southern central part of the Chugoku region, has four distinct seasons as well as micro-seasons such as typhoon season and rainy season. Temperatures can reach as low as freezing in the coldest month of January, with the average of around 5 degrees in 2021 and 2022 (*2). Hiroshima’s snow season usually begins from December and continues through March, with January as the snowiest month. Mountainous areas listed as heavy snowfall areas including Hatsukaichi City and Kitahiroshima Town could see snow accumulation of up to 1m.
*2: According to Japan Meteorological Agency’s data on Hiroshima Prefecture statistics by months on 2021 and 2022
Hiroshima’s Ski Season
Hiroshima’s ski season is relatively short, lasting from roughly late-December to early-March, varies depending on the region. Most ski resorts in Hiroshima are dotted along the prefecture’s northern border, while some of them have artificial snow machines to boost the snowfall and add to the experience. Ski tour buses departing from JR Hiroshima Station are also available to some of the ski resorts during the season, with details available from the resorts in advance. If you’re looking for a snow-filled getaway, here are the best spots.
Recommended Ski Resorts in Hiroshima
Boasting 10 ski resorts mainly in the heavy snow areas of the prefecture, Hiroshima takes pride in having the most ski resorts among Chugoku, Shikoku and Kyushu regions. Thanks to the heavy snowfall in the northern region, Hiroshima holds a number of authentic ski resorts in Western Japan, offering a good variety of experience levels and terrains. There are family-friendly resorts with plenty of fun activities such as sledding and snowshoeing, as well as ski schools to learn the ropes.
Snow Resort Nekoyama
On the north slope of Mt. Nekoyama, meaning cat mountain, this resort is best known for its unique pyramid ski center. It features a total of five courses between elevations of 700m and 1,020m, with an advanced course reaching a maximum slope of 39 degree and 900m in length, and an upper-intermediate course with a slope of 27 degree while boasting a length of 1,200m. There are snow-making machines to ensure the freshest of ski experiences and a snow-play area for children. There is a ski school for beginners too.
- Day passes are 4,600 yen for adults, 2,700 yen for junior high and elementary school children, 800 yen for preschool children, 3,900 yen for those aged 50-60 and 2,800 yen for those aged 60 and over.
- The combined child and parent tickets cost 6,000 yen, while entry to the children’s snow play area is 800 yen (charged separately).
- Name: Snow Resort Nekoyama (スノーリゾート猫山)
- Address: 5190-50 Misaka, Saijo-cho, Shobara City, Hiroshima
- About 2 hours by car from both Hiroshima and Okayama.
- About 15 minutes by taxi from JR Bingo-Ochiai Station on the JR Geibi Line.
- Season: Late-December to mid-March (varies by year depending on the weather)
Osorakan Snow Park
The popular Osorakan Snow Park boasting views of the Japan Sea views is a ski resort situated on the eastern slopes of Mt. Osorakan, the highest peak of Hiroshima (1,346m, reachable by ski lift), thus guaranteeing superb powder snow. It has 4 slopes, each with multiple courses to choose from (for all level of skills, whether advanced, intermediate, or beginner level) . The resort’s featured Hiebatake slope is a continuous 1,000m long bumpy slope with a maximum inclination 38 degree with an average of 19 degree. There is a ski and snowboarding school as well as a beginner and family area. Snow sledding is a fun highlight for this area, with visitors racing down slopes in a sled - a unique way to enjoy the snow.
- Day passes are 5,000 yen for adults (5,500 yen on weekends), 2,000 yen for children from 4 years old up to high school student, and 4,000 yen (4,500 yen on weekends) for seniors who are over the age of 60.
- 5-hour half-day tickets are available at 4,500 yen for adults (5,000 yen on weekends), 1,500 yen for children and 3,500 yen (4,000 yen on weekends) for senior.
- Rental boards/ski sets are available with a day pass for 7,000 yen on weekdays and 8,500 yen on weekends and public holidays, with ski-wear added for a total cost of 9,500 yen (for weekdays) as a complete set.
*Information as of September, 2022
- Name: Osorakan Snow Park (恐羅漢スノーパーク)
- Address: 740-1 Yokogo, Akiota-cho, Yamagata District, Hiroshima
- Access: About an hour and 40 minutes by car from Hiroshima City
- Season: (For 2022-2023 season) late-December of 2022 to late-March of 2023 (expected)
- Operating hours: 08:00 – 17:00
- Lift ticket: available for purchase on-site from 07:00
*New automatic gate system with IC lift card.
Megahira Onsen Megahira Ski Resort
A popular resort with a good mix of courses and a great hot spring hotel nearby, Megahira Ski Resort occupies the slops of Mt. Megahira in Hiroshima Prefecture, whose tallest peak is about 1,082m. Skiers can choose from five main courses, including the resort’s features: the down-hill course with a maximum incline of 30 degree, and the 2,300m-long center course. It also has a family slope for beginners and those bringing along children alike, and even a specialized slope for sledding!
There is also a ski & snowboard school certificated by Ski Association of Japan offering ski and snowboard lessons for all ages and abilities.
- 9-hour day passes are 5,900 yen for adults, 4,300 yen for children up to elementary students.
Weekdays afternoon tickets (for using between 13:00-17:00) are available for 3,000 yen (all tickets already include the 500-yen entry price).
*Weekdays afternoon tickets are unavailable from December 29th to January 3rd.
- 1-day ski and snowboard rental sets (ski boards, boots and sticks, OR snowboard and boots) are available for 4,200 yen for adults.
- Clothing can be rented either separately for 4,200 yen or combined with a ski or board set (Ski boards, boots and sticks, OR snowboard and boots) for 7,300 yen in total. The facility also provides discounts for skiers renting ski gear or ski wear for 2 days in a row.
- Name: Megahira Onsen Megahira Ski Resort (女鹿平温泉 めがひらスキー場)
- Address: 4301 Yoshiwa, Hatsukaichi City, Hiroshima
- About 50 minutes by car via Expressway from Hiroshima City
- About 40 minutes by Hiroden bus from JR Miyauchikushido Station on the JR San’yo Main Line to Saiki Bunka Center bus stop.
From Saiki Bunka Center, change to Sakura Bus and ride for about 40 minutes.
- About 105 minutes by ski tour bus from JR Hiroshima Station (only during the season, run on fixed schedule)
- Season: December 16th to mid-March (varies by year depending on the weather)