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Hanawa Ski Resort Akita

Hanawa is one of those ski resorts that you drive past and it captures your attention because of its consistent pitch. What you can’t see from the road is the lack of snow.

Hanawa Ski Resort is popular for ski racing, and considering the oft icy slopes, it’s perfect for going at Mach 2, but not for powder skiing in the trees. It also has cross country trails and ski jumps at the base, and it’s often used as a venue for national ski competitions.

Pros and Cons of Hanawa

  • Hanawa is well suited to ski racing.
  • The two main lifts are high speed double chairs.
  • Hanawa Ski Resort doesn’t receive much snow relative to the big named Japan ski resorts that get lots of snow.
  • Hanawa has very limited on-piste terrain.
  • Whilst there is some tree skiing, the chances of there being enough snow to make them rideable are low.
Pro or Con Depending On Your Perspective
  • It isn’t open for the public when events are on.

Hanawa Ski and Snowboard Terrain

Like most of the ski resorts in Akita, Hanawa is small. It only has 3 courses that cover 490 metres of vertical from 260 to 750 metres of elevation. In addition to the two fast pair lifts, there’s a single chair lift that’s mostly superfluous.

The top lift services a couple of pitchy runs for intermediate to advanced skiers. The lower double chair lift services beginner terrain.

Hanawa Snow

Hanawa sits in a snow doughnut. It isn’t that far away from heavy hitters such as Appi Kogen that get lots of snow, yet despite Hanawa being in the same path of the prevailing weather, this particular valley isn’t blessed with snow in the same way. Typically in the middle of winter, the Hanawa snow base sits at only approximately 80cm.

We visited in an unusually poor snow season in 2024 and the base was only 15cm (and bare in parts on the lower slope). Meanwhile Appi had a snow base of 170cm.

The primary aspect of the slopes is northwest, so if they’ve hosed the courses for racing, they tend to remain icy for a while.

Not surprisingly, Hanawa typically has a short season.

Where is Hanawa?

Hanawa is located in the northeastern part of the Akita Prefecture, just off the Tohoku Expressway and near the border with the Iwate and Aomori prefectures. It is one of the Kazuno local ski areas and is 5km southeast of the Kazuno town.

Other ski areas nearby:


There is no accommodation at the base.


At the base is a large concrete structure that looks like it’s made to withstand a big avalanche, even though that’s unlikely to occur at Hanawa. In addition to a cafeteria and other amenities such as ski rentals, the large building includes a large gymnasium for camps and meeting rooms.
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