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Kiroro Ski Resort
The Kiroro ski resort and the associated Akaigawa Village is located 43km west of Sapporo Hokkaido, and 28km from the seaside town of Otaru. From the Sapporo New Chitose Airport, the Kiroro bus trip takes 2 hours. Alternatively it’s a 70 minute express train ride to Otaru, followed by a 30-50 minute trip by taxi or bus to Kiroro.
Kiroro is only 60 minutes from Niseko, so if you’ve got some wheels or go on a guided tour, you can get away from the Niseko crowds and take a day trip to Kiroro.
Kiroro Resort in Hokkaido Japan is a destination resort with modern facilities and infrastructure. Kiroro Japan flies under the radar relative to some of the high profile Hokkaido ski resorts nearby, but the lack of crowds is an advantage for discerning powder hounds who make the most of the abundant snow and the tree skiing.
Kiroro is a medium sized resort spread over two mountain peaks. The resort has 21 runs, or courses as the Japanese like to call them, with an equal spread of green, blue and black piste. Even though a third of the slopes are rated as black, the on-piste terrain is not particularly challenging and is mostly suited to beginners and intermediates. The exceptions are the couple of mogul courses where you can watch the locals having a whale of a time ruining their knees! Kiroro Ski Resort also has a basic terrain park for those with a desire to use their travel insurance.
Skiers and snowboarders who love cruising will enjoy the Grand Line, whilst “L plate” powder hounds will adore the Powder Line which is famed amongst the locals. Meanwhile the real powder skiing and riding can be found in the trees, although it’s very hit and miss as to whether the patrollers turn a blind eye to going off-piste. And if you want to head into the sidecountry (ie outside the resort boundaries) you need to submit a backcountry plan to get permission which can be a little messy.
Kiroro Snow and Weather
Combined with an average of 13 metres of snowfall per season (or 21 metres if you believe the recent statistic cited by Kiroro Resort!!) and a base of 3-4 metres, Kiroro is a destination that will please most powder-holics.
Hokkaido is often chilly which keeps the snow in pristine condition, yet you may not need to wear your thermals at Kiroro (unless you go night skiing!). Thankfully the Kiroro lift infrastructure is incredibly well developed. Of the nine lifts, one is a toasty gondola, whilst five are detachable fast chairs with cosy hoods.