3. Niseko, JapanLearn More
Hokkaido is the holy grail for powder skiers. The northern-most island in Japan gets cold winds that gust across the warmer Sea of Japan to create heavy mountain snowfall (aka the ocean effect). There are a handful of ski areas that stay open until mid to late May (all in close proximity), but Niseko United—consisting of Annupuri, Higashiyama, Hirafu, and Hanazono—are interconnected and require a single pass. They offer 2,191 acres of terrain, with 38 gondolas and lifts connecting 61 ski runs and 12 terrain parks. The real secret here is excellent backcountry and snowcat skiing. This year Niseko received a whopping 52 feet of snow. While the powder hounds tend to clear out by late March, April’s abundant bluebird days see awesome corn snow and, more often than not, excellent powder that falls during the night like pixie dust. Plus, you can expect discounted spring lift tickets and bargain accommodation packages. After skiing, enjoy a cold Sapporo, and relax in an onsen—hotsprings that are developed as traditional public baths.
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