Getting To Aomori Spring

Getting To Aomori Spring

Where is Aomori Spring Resort?

Aomori Spring Ski Resort sits on the northern slopes of Mount Iwaki, 54km southwest of Aomori City in Aomori Prefecture, which is the most northern part of Honshu Japan. This is also the northern most part of Tohoku, the Honshu region that's relatively unknown amongst international skiers and snowboarders and is therefore fantastic for powder chasers.

Aomori Spring is 14km southeast of the coastal town of Ajigasawa. This is not a particularly happening town, especially in winter, so don't feel ripped off if you don't make it to Ajigasawa.

Flying Into Aomori

The main gateway airport into the region is Aomori Airport (AOJ), which receives domestic flights from Osaka, Haneda Tokyo, Nagoya, and Sapporo Chitose. Aomori Airport is also serviced by direct international flights from Seoul Incheon (South Korea), or it's easy enough to get to Aomori via Sapporo from Taipei and Hong Kong. You can look at flight options here.

From the airport, the Rockwood Hotel at Aomori Spring provides 2 inexpensive scheduled services per day to the resort, or they can assist with on-demand transfers.

Train From Tokyo

It's really easy to get the speedy bullet train to Shin-Aomori from Tokyo or other parts of Honshu. Japan Travel Navitime is pretty much the bible when it comes to planning train travel in Japan, where you can check timetables, routes and fares. The train from Tokyo to Shin-Aomori only takes 3 to 3:20 hours and it's an incredibly comfortable way to travel.

From Shin-Aomori train station, hotel guests can get one of the reasonably inexpensive shuttles to Aomori Spring (2-3 schedules per day) - trip time is 1.5 hours. The shuttle needs to be pre-booked at least 2 days prior.

Alternatively from Shin-Aomori you can catch 2 local trains to Ajigasawa on the Gonou line (about 1.5 hours travel time), and then hotel guests can get the 20 minute free shuttle to the resort. These shuttles are reasonably regular during the day, but you'd need to get a taxi if arriving late in the evening.

Train from Hokkaido

Or if coming to or from Hokkaido, there are now bullet trains (Shinkansen) between Shin-Hakodate Hokuto and Shin-Aomori. Trains between Shin-Hakodate (in southern Hokkaido) and Sapporo or Kutchan (for Niseko) are a little slower. You can check out routes and timetables on Japan Travel Navitime.

Driving to Aomori Spring

Having a car provides the most flexibility to visit Aomori Spring and other Tohoku ski resorts. The Aomori Spring Resort phone number for GPS navigation is 0173-72-1011.

A rental car can be picked up at Aomori Airport or Shin-Aomori train station, or lots of other places around Honshu.

And if you're coming from Hokkaido, there is a ferry that takes cars between Hakodate and Aomori.

Tours to Aomori Spring

Or a great way to get to Aomori Spring is part of a multi-day guided tour, where your guide takes care of all the driving. Here are options for guided tours.

Getting Around the Ski Resort

The base area of Aomori Spring is very small and pretty much only consists of the Rockwood Hotel and the nearby gondola building, so there's no need for intra-resort shuttles or the like.

Other Ski Resorts Nearby

The famed Hakkoda ski area is 66km east of Aomori Spring. If you don't have a car, the Aomori Spring backcountry guiding service can also provide guiding for private groups at Hakkoda, which includes transport between Aomori Spring and Hakkoda. Keep in mind that Hakkoda is frequently plagued by blizzards in the middle of winter (which shut the ropeway), so you'd need to keep your Hakkoda travel dates rather flexible.

Hirosaki Iwaki Hyakuzawa Ski Area is very close to Aomori Spring as the crow flies. It's just over the back of Iwaki-san (Mt Iwaki) on its south eastern flank, and 23km away by road. The ski area's elevation is OK relative to some other little Aomori ski resorts, but it's best visited when temperatures are very cold considering its sunny aspect.

Along a similar vein, the small Owani Onsen Ski Resort is best visited when the snow is primo considering the low elevation. It is 42km southeast of Aomori Spring.

Adventurous powder hounds on a road trip could combine time at Aomori Spring with the Iwate ski resorts. Appi Kogen is 133km to the southeast of Aomori Spring, and there are several other resorts just a little further south such as Shizukuishi and Amihari Onsen.