Akakura Onsen is one of the world’s oldest ski areas, opening in the 1930s as Japan’s first international ski resort.

The resort consists of three main zones—Yodel, Kumado and Ginrei. Altogether, the resort has 14 lifts, 30 different runs, with a longest run of 3km. Skiers and snowboarders can crossover into the neighboring Akakura Kanko Ski Resort for which there is a shared lift pass available.

Akakura Onsen Snow
Photo by Gregory Lane

Getting Around

Although the village is quite walkable, the lifts are quite spread out at the bottom. If you can’t get a drop off from your accommodation, you can also catch the pink Akakura Onsen shuttles for free if you have a lift pass.

Akakura Onsen Shuttle
Photo by Gregory Lane

Off the slopes

The Akakura Onsen village actually predates the ski area but it developed rapidly in the 1950s and 60s—which is why it’s looks rather old and shabby. While there aren’t any nightclubs on the main street, there are plenty of cafes, bars, and restaurants to keep you nourished. Akakura Crepe has been serving an astounding variety of crepes for more than 30 years.

Akakura Crepe
Akakura Crepe | Photo by Gregory Lane