Two thirds of Japan is covered in mountains. In November, rain turns to snow which settles on alpine slopes from Hokkaido to Honshu's Alps, and in the winter months, Japan boasts some of the best skiing and snowboarding locations in the world.
Host to the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics, the mountains around Hakuba, Shiga Kogen and Nozawa Onsen are dotted with ski resorts, popular with skiers and snowboarders alike. Slopes range from the gentle to the exciting, with off-piste skiing and snowboarding for the truly experienced and adventurous.
Hokkaido, the most northerly and coldest of Japan's main islands, is renowned for its powder snow, and the volcanic peaks have enough variety to satisfy skiers or snowboarders of all levels and abilities.