Akita Prefecture, Honshu
To well and truly get off the beaten track, hire a car and head out for a road trip of the Akita prefecture’s Tohoku region and Tazawako Ski Resort in the north west of the main island.
While the lifts are slow and the weather days can be gnarly, you’ll also have the powder lines all to yourself – and a pretty incredible view of the local lake that is famous for being the deepest in Japan. Like so many resorts in Japan, the pitch is not super steep but unlike many resorts in Japan they leave many pistes natural, meaning more untouched powder.
But best of all is from February to April the resort offers a cat to take backcountry enthusiasts to the snow goods.
Iwate Prefecture, Honshu
Terrain park lovers on the main island of Honshu, this one’s for you. Enjoy not just one but two terrain parks at Shizukuisi, which offers up 13 different runs over 700m vertical and serious views over Mt Iwate, the highest mountain in the north east prefecture. The resort is split between 20% advanced and 40% intermediate and 40% beginners so there’s terrain for everyone.
For the adrenaline junkies, you can even opt for a snowmobile night tour under the stars. Powder junkies, go for a cat skiing tour, or take a snowmobile to the summit at sunrise and then ski back down again. Ski into the Prince Hotel at the base for a hot spring onsen.