The ResortsShizukuishi Prince Ski Resort gives you the opportunity to explore something that is slightly different to many of its counterparts around Japan. Given its location in the Iwate prefecture and the fact that there is only one property in Shizukuishi, it is a much more boutique ski resort that most do not travel to unless they are staying at the Shizukuishi Prince Hotel. It operates 11 courses that really provide a challenging and fun environment for beginners looking to test themselves on the numerous intermediate runs. Shizukuishi’s ‘Easy Park’ is an excellent terrain park with plenty of boxes, rails and pipes for the freestyle specialists to really have some fun!
- Start Season: Late December
- Season End: Mid March
- Night Skiing: Yes, (Fri, Sat & Before public Holidays) until 8pm
- Max Elevation (m): 1,128
- Vertical Rise (m): 702
- Difficulty (beg/int/adv): 20% / 40% / 40%
- Longest Course (m): 4,500
- No. of Courses/Runs: 11
- No. of Lifts & Gondolas: 6
- Max Gradient: 33 degrees
Getting thereSituated roughly 500km from central Tokyo, Shizukuishi may seem out of the way, however thanks to Japan’s transport network the resort is accessible in a multitude of different ways. From Tokyo, catching a Shinkansen and a bus is the most efficient way of getting to Shizukuishi, and It’s hard to argue against this as it gets you door to door in under 3 hours. We recommend the use of the JR east pass to give you access to the Shinkansen to get you from Tokyo to Shizukuishi Station and then the use a free shuttle bus from Shizukuishi Station to Shizukuishi Prince resort.
It is also worth noting that there are limited flights that operate into Iwate Hanamaki airport, although going down this avenue starts to inflate costs and doesn’t particularly save you much time. You can self drive to Shizukuishi, giving you the opportunity to explore some of the amazing areas in between Tokyo and Iwate such as Sendai and Hanamaki. However this has the opposite problem to flying, it takes much longer but is slightly cheaper. Another con for driving is that it can be quite dangerous, we do not recommend this option to anyone but the most skilled and experienced winter drivers.
Narita/Haneda Airport to Tokyo - approx $36 per adult (train, 20mins-1hr)
Tokyo to Morioka/Shizukuishi - $255 (5 day flexi JR East pass)
Shizukuishi Station - Hotel courtesy bus service (bus, 20 min)
The SnowShizukuishi Ski Resort sits upon Mt. Iwate and it is geographically very close to Appi Kogen, however there are some significant differences between their seasonal snow dumping. The biggest difference is the fact that Shizukuishi sits further south than Appi Kogen which is both a blessing and a curse for Shizukuishi. The reason for this is that during the season an easterly wind blows over the sea of Japan, picking up a large quantity of moisture as it makes its way toward Japan. Once it makes landfall, particularly over the tall trees of Zao Onsen, Mt. Hachimantai and Mt. Ofuka, it sheds most of the moisture pick up over the journey. The blessing in this is that there is almost no moisture left in the low pressure system once it hits Mt. Iwate, leaving only extremely dry powder. Its curse is the fact that without moisture it is significantly harder for snow to fall that leads to an average annual snowfall of close to 6 metres, much lower than the national average.
The Resort LifeThe Shizukuishi ski resort is owned and operated by one of Japan’s largest hoteliers, Prince Hotel Group. The Shizukuishi Prince Resort is the only option for a ski holiday to Shizukuishi, this is largely due to the facilities available to guests who stay at the hotel. There are several restaurants, gear rental outlets, a retail shop and a few lounge bars, however one of the greatest benefits is that the Prince Hotel holds a prime location on Shizukuishi Ski Resort and is a true ski in/ski out location. The Shizukuishi Prince Hotel also has access to an excellent source of water for its onsen facility, tapped from the nearby Takakura hot spring which is certified as a hot spring heritage site. This thermal water is sourced from deep underground and boasts a fantastic mineral and sulphur content that soothes muscles and helps with skin ailments. A must do after a day on the slopes.
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Hotel - Shizukuishi
Early Bird Special
SHIZUKUISHI PRINCE HOTEL
5 nights from $443* per person
Early Bird Special
Includes daily breakfast + FREE 4 day lift pass