[Hokkaido] Hoshino Resorts Tomamu - An Alternative to Niseko for Skiing
Whenever people think of skiing in Hokkaido, they think of Niseko but I'm here to share an alternative that's not as crowded or expensive and that's Hoshino Resorts Tomamu in Yufutsu - a 2-hour drive from Sapporo! Getting to the resort is pretty easy from the Chitose Airport as you can take the JR train, bus or even drive there by yourself.
There are two hotels to choose from and I highly recommend staying at the RISONARE because you'd get your very own Jacuzzi and sauna in your room! I mean just check out the views of the mountain we had from the Jacuzzi - there's probably no better way to wind down after a day at the slopes. The room was large (~100 sq meters) with separated areas for the bedroom, living room and bathroom.
For dining options, there are over 20 restaurants at the resort to choose from including proper restaurants and food courts for those casual meal breaks in between skiing sessions. Breakfast was included as part of our hotel package and we got to enjoy beautiful views of the mountains and forests at some of the restaurants.
The ski area at Tomamu is decently big with 2 mountains to explore and served by 6 ski lifts including the Unkai Gondola which takes you all the way to the top to the Terrace of Frost Tree where you can see trees covered with ice on sub-zero days. It's definitely not as big as Whistler which is where I used to go snowboarding when I was living in Seattle but the dry powdery snow that Hokkaido is famous for was definitely worth the hype!
At night we went to explore the Ice Village where everything was made of ice including bars, restaurants, dessert shops, flower shops and even a slide! You can go ice skating or make your own ice glass or even get married at the Ice Chapel.
And if you ever get tired of skiing or snowboarding for any reason, you can spend a day at Mina-Mina Beach which contains one of the largest indoor wave pool in Japan! The Kirin-no Yu outdoor onsen is also located here and it was honestly one of the best onsen experience I've ever had as I saw swirls of snow flakes falling on me while I was soaking in the hot soothing water at night - I'll never forget that magical scene for a long long time.
Hoshino Resorts Tomamu
Nakatomamu, Yufutsu-gun, Shimukappu-mura 079-2204, HokkaidoTel: +81 167-58-1111
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