Hidaka Kokusai Hokkaido

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Hidaka Kokusai Hokkaido

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Hidaka Kokusai

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Wagner Custome Skis

Hidaka Kokusai

Hidaka Kokusai Ski Resort aka Hidaka International isn’t particularly international. Located in south central Hokkaido, it’s a locals’ ski area run by the town of Hidaka that is off the gaijin beaten track of the usual suspects to chase the famed Hokkaido powder.

It lends itself well for a half day enroute between the New Chitose Airport and Furano, Sahoro, or Tomamu, or as a day trip from one of these destination resorts.

Pros and Cons of Hidaka Kokusai

Pros 
  • The ski resort is uncrowded.
  • Hidaka Kokusai is a classic unadulterated Japanese ski resort.
  • Lift passes are inexpensive, particularly if you get a 2 hour or 5 hour pass.
  • The aspect of most of the slopes is very favourable for quality snow.
Cons
  • Hidaka Kokusai Ski Resort doesn’t receive as much snowfall relative to other Hokkaido ski resorts further to the west and north.
  • The chair lifts are old and slow.

Hidaka Ski and Snowboard Terrain

As you drive through town on approach to the Hidaka Kokusai Ski Resort, it looks pretty dramatic with its steep slopes that loom above the town. When you arrive at the base and see the little mellow slope and snow play areas, it looks like a completely different ski area because it benches out part-way up the ski slope and the upper areas are not visible.

Hidaka Kokusai Ski Resort is skinny and has 500 metres of vertical from 254 to 754 metres. It has 10 courses which are 2 green (beginner), 4 red (intermediate) and 3 black (advanced), plus a winding cat track that has a gentle gradient but is only good for confident beginners and above. The top zone offers the most sustained pitch, whilst further down the Snowboard Practice Course on far skiers’ left hits a maximum gradient of 39 degrees, but the steepness doesn’t last for long.

Off-piste skiing (ie in-bounds) is possible and the snaking cat track opens up lots of off-piste without the fear of getting lost. Sidecountry trees are also on offer. Tree skiing seems to be tolerated, but the main impedance may be the snow quality and quantity.

Hidaka Snow

The Hidaka Ski Resort doesn’t usually score the same masses of snow as the Hokkaido ski resorts near the west coast or those to the north, especially early in the season. Some seasons the snow base only peaks at 1 metre. The slopes are mostly northwest facing and can get icy at times.

Whilst this inland area may get less snow, the upside is that the weather is more stable and there’s a higher likelihood of fine days.

The ski resort is usually open from late December through to mid March.

Where is Hidaka Kokusai?

The ski resort is in south-central Hokkaido in the Hidaka Sub-Prefecture, 92km east of the New Chitose Airport. Hidaka Kokusai is just south of the town of Hidaka near route 274, ie the northern part, not the area of Hidaka town (Monbetsu-ku) down on the coast of the Pacific Ocean. Hidaka Kokusai is 16km south of Shimukappu.

The telephone number for GPS navigation is 01457-6-3667 and there is parking right near the slopes. You can also get there via train to Shimukappu Station (JR Ishikatsu Line) and then a 25 minute Hidaka town bus.

Nearby ski resorts:
  • Tomamu is 44km northeast (45 minute drive)
  • Sahoro is 70km northeast (1 hour drive)
  • Yubari is 68km northwest (1 hour drive)
  • Furano is 64km to the north (1 hour drive)

Accommodation

At the base is the Hidaka Kogenso Onsen Hotel, which is a simple dated hotel with daggy western rooms and tatami rooms. The hotel has a small indoor onsen, which is also open to non-guests who want to have a soak after skiing.

Facilities

Hidaka Kokusai has commensurate facilities to the size of the ski area. Services include snowsports lessons in Japanese and equipment rentals. There are a few options for lunch including food trucks or lunch at the hotel is good.
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