Hachimantai Region

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Hachimantai Region Map
Hachimantai Region Map
Appi is the largest ski resort in Hachimantai
Appi is the largest ski resort in Hachimantai
The powder snow at Appi can be deep & dry
The powder snow at Appi can be deep & dry
Appi is great for all levels of skiers & boarders
Appi is great for all levels of skiers & boarders
The pension village at Appi Kogen offers affordable lodging
The pension village at Appi Kogen offers affordable lodging
The hot springs (onsen) complex at Appi Resort
The hot springs (onsen) complex at Appi Resort
Panorama Resort is a beginner & family friendly resort
Panorama Resort is a beginner & family friendly resort
The slopes at Panorama are gentle and long
The slopes at Panorama are gentle and long
The base facilities at Shimokura are simple but adequate
The base facilities at Shimokura are simple but adequate
Shimakura has slow lifts but is a little powder gem
Shimakura has slow lifts but is a little powder gem
Matsukawa Onsen is one of several onsens in the Hachimantai region
Matsukawa Onsen is one of several onsens in the Hachimantai region

Hachimantai Region

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Hachimantai Japan

Far away from the overly popular areas of Niseko and Nagano is Hachimantai, an untapped region in northern Tohoku. It may be reasonably unknown to many international skiers and snowboarders, yet this is part of the appeal of this little mountainous patch of the Iwate Prefecture. In addition to backcountry touring and cat skiing, Hachimantai is home to three main ski resorts: AppiPanorama; and Shimokura.

The Hachimantai region receives abundant snowfalls of dry powder snow, and with few foreigners chasing the powder you can find freshies reasonably easily. The secret of Hachimantai has been slowly getting out there amongst powder hounds looking to get away from crowds, yet Hachimantai isn't just a destination for those seeking deep untouched powder. For piste skiers and snowboarders and/or adventurous families who are happy to rent a car to explore the area, it has great Japanese cultural offerings, lovely cuisine, and unique onsen experiences. It's delightfully different from the high profile ski resorts of Japan.

Where is Hachimantai Japan?

Hachimantai is officially considered a city, yet this may be a misnomer. It formed due to the aggregation of a few small towns and hot spring villages, so think of Hachimantai mostly as a municipality. There is a quasi “downtown” area in Nishine but Hachimantai doesn’t have a major main street or high rise buildings or flashing neon signs that you’d expect of a city. Instead, it’s a lovely rural area spread across 862 square kilometres that only has a population of 25,000.

Hachimantai is in the far northwest of Iwate Prefecture, about 40km northwest of the city of Morioka, in the northern part of the main island of Honshu. The municipality includes the area north of Mount Iwate and the zone to the east and northeast of Mount Hachimantai (both mountains are good for backcountry touring pursuits). Hachimantai City is bordered by Akita Prefecture to the west and Aomori Prefecture to the north.

Hachimantai Ski Resorts

The most economical way to ski the three main Hachimantai resorts is by purchasing a 3, 5 or 7 day common lift pass. Or if you have an Indy Pass, Panorama and Shimokura are on this pass (so you would need to purchase lift tickets separately for Appi).

Appi

Appi is the largest ski area in Hachimantai and offers fabulous skiing & snowboarding for all levels from beginners to advanced. Appi scores plentiful amounts of dry powder and due to a lack of foreign visitors chasing the powder, there are plenty of opportunities for fresh untracked runs in the trees within the resort and in the sidecountry. The resort has well developed lift infrastructure, facilities and ski-in/ski-out accommodation options as well as a nearby pension village where you will find more budget oriented lodging options. See more information about Appi Resort here>>

Panorama

Panorama is a family and beginner friendly ski area with gentle slopes. This is not a place for powder hunters, but if you are looking for a ski-in/ski-out family holiday staying in a very nice hotel with a lovely onsen then this could be a place of interest. There are also various kids' activities aside from skiing here. See more information about Panorama resort here>>

Shimokura

Shimokura is a powder haven that's not overly visited by foreigners. It is not a large ski area, yet it boasts various powder stashes for powder hounds. The resort facilities are simple yet adequate considering the size of the resort. There is no on-mountain lodging here, however it is just 10 minutes drive (or free bus trip) from the Hachimantai Mountain Hotel and several other ryokans, lodges and hotels. For people staying at Appi you will need to rent a vehicle or get a taxi to Shimokura. See more information about Shimokura resort here>>

Hachimantai also has the small low-elevation Tayama Ski Area which has 2 lifts and 2 courses.

NB The Akita Hachimantai Ski Resort is not located in Hachimantai City but rather in the Akita Prefecture on the northwest flank of Mt Hachimantai.

Things To Do

The most obvious things to do in Hachimantai during winter revolve around snowsports. In addition to resort skiing, Hachimantai has a snowcat skiing operation and there are several ski guides in the area who offer guided backcountry tours.

There are also snowshoe tours, 4x4 and snowmobile tours, ice waterfalls to visit, sake and beer breweries and more.

Hachimantai is also famous for its hot springs and a few of the onsens are unique and offer the traditional experience of mixed bathing (konyoku onsen) along with a female-only bath. See a list of Hachimantai activities here>>

Food

The Hachimantai region is a foodies delight with delicious Japanese cuisine incorporating fresh local ingredients, offering a rich culinary experience. Local vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, and wild mountain vegetables are often incorporated into various dishes, including hot pots, stir-fries, and side dishes.

The region is also known for its high-quality beef including its famous Wagyu beef which can be prepared in different ways, such as sukiyaki, shabu-shabu, or grilled. Wanko Soba (buckwheat noodles) is a popular dish in the region as is Jajamen consisting of wheat noodles topped with a rich and savoury sauce made from soybean paste, ground meat, and vegetables.

The region is also home to several sake breweries producing a wide variety of sake each with its own unique flavour. Sake connoisseurs will love visiting and tasting sake from the various breweries in the region.

See details of restaurants here>>
Tours in the Hachimantai area

Safari (Road Trip) Tours

Tohoku Indy Trip
HOSTED (UNGUIDED) SAFARI - TOHOKU
8/10 Days | 7/9 Nights | 5/6 Ski Areas
Ability: Intermediate to Expert
Venture away from the masses on this 8 or 10 day hosted (unguided) powder trip in northern Tohoku. The package includes all lift passes however if you have an Indy Pass the price is discounted. All accommodation, most meals & private ground transport are taken care of. Share
Price p/p Price per person in Japanese yen based on 8 night tour for 2025, early bird
USD 2,042
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 Early bird rates in effect until Aug 31
Northern Powder Odyssey
GUIDED SAFARI - NORTHERN TOHOKU
7 Nights | 6 Days Guided Skiing
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Get off-the-beaten track in Northern Tohoku where there are abundant lines of fresh powder and negligible foreigners! Visit Northern Tohoku ski areas you've probably never heard of before and immerse yourself in the Japanese culture.
Price p/p From price based on twin/double-share option for 2025 season.
Base/invoice currency is in AUD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 2,633
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Tohoku Powder Tour
OFF THE BEATEN TRACK ROAD TRIP
10 Nights | 8 Days Skiing/Riding
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Tohoku skiing & snowboarding is all about heading to ski resorts that most people have never heard of, where there are freshies galore in the off-piste areas. Head to Geto Kogen, ski areas near Morioka & the mighty Hakkoda & Aomori Spring.
Price p/p From price based on twin/double-share last mixed-group tour for 2025.
Base/invoice currency is in Japanese yen inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 3,776
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See all Safari (Road Trip) tours that visit Hachimantai Region here

Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area Tours

Central Iwate looking at Amihari & Iwate Kogen from Shizukuishi
TOHOKU GUIDED TOURS
PRIVATE GROUPS ONLY
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
These PRIVATE guided trips will maximise your Northern Tohoku powder experience. Minimum 3 nights/3 days guiding. Options of cat skiing, in-resort powder hunting, lift-access sidecountry & backcountry touring options. Resorts include Shizukuishi, Geto Kogen, Tazawako, Ani, Hachimantai, Amihari & Appi.
Price p/p Rate per person for private group of 5 for 3 night 3 day trip
Base/invoice currency is Japanese Yen
*Displayed price may vary slightly due to currency fluctuations
USD 1,290
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See all Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area tours that visit Hachimantai Region here

Backcountry Skiing Tours

Tohoku Backcountry Tour
LIFTS + TOURING BACKCOUNTRY
8 Nights | 7 Days Skiing/Riding
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Head to Northern Tohoku on this lift accessed backcountry tour where you'll use the lifts as well as touring gear to score the best powder. This region provides an authentic Japanese cultural experience & lots of historic onsen.
Price p/p From price based on twin/double-share mixed-group tour for 2025.
Base/invoice currency is in Japanese yen inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 3,808
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See all Backcountry Skiing tours that visit Hachimantai Region here

Cat Skiing Tours

Hachimantai Cat Ski Trips
CAT SKIING SKIING - UPGRADE
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Advanced
You can score yourself some Hachipow with a day or more of Hachimantai cat skiing added onto your private guided trip in the Iwate region. PRIVATE GROUPS ONLY
Price p/p
Enquire Enquire
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See all Cat Skiing tours that visit Hachimantai Region here