Sahoro Resort Japan
Sahoro Resort in Hokkaido Japan is a destination resort that provides two distinct experiences depending on your choice of hotel. Sahoro Japan features the Club Med Sahoro
that is very popular with western families due to the convenience of the amenities and services such as ski and snowboard lessons and kids club.
The other face of Sahoro is the Sahoro Resort Hotel
where the Japanese folks stay, as well as a few gaijin looking for a different experience.
The Sahoro ski resort is also a great option to visit for day trips from nearby Furano
, or as part of a multi-day tour.
Sahoro Ski and Snowboard Terrain
NB A new lift and new terrain is being added (in addition to below) for the 2016-17 season on the “backside” which will significantly add to the size of Sahoro.
The Sahoro Ski Resort is medium sized with only 17 courses, (ie marked runs), 81 hectares of piste terrain and 610 metres of vertical, so advanced riders may find the terrain a little repetitive for trips of more than 3-4 days. The upside of the smallish size of the resort is that you don’t need to worry about losing any family members – they won’t be far away!
The Sahoro ski resort is all below the treeline with various runs cut through the forest. Of the 17 trails, 9 are rated for beginners, 3 runs for intermediates, and 5 for advanced riders (black runs). One of the black runs has a maximum gradient of 39 degrees, but the steep pitch is just momentary. The other black runs would be more aptly rated as intermediate runs, but their degree of difficulty really depends on the size of the moguls.
Advanced skiers and snowboarders will prefer to get off-piste because the tree skiing provides a lot of fun.
The lift network is reasonably well developed with a gondola, 2 high speed quads, and 5 other lifts. The slopes of Sahoro are renowned for being uncrowded, although sometimes lift queues can develop at the gondola if there are lots of local school kids.
With an average of 8 metres of snowfall per season, Sahoro Japan doesn’t receive as much snow as some of the coastal Hokkaido ski resorts (e.g. Niseko
, Sapporo Kokusai
). Akin to the other central Hokkaido resorts the quality of the powder is generally delightfully dry, although it’s not as optimal as some other Hokkaido ski resorts
due to slopes that are largely east to southeast facing.
NB the new terrain for 2016-17 is mostly north facing
Where is Sahoro?
The Sahoro Resort is located in central Hokkaido, the north island of Japan, 167km east of Sapporo
and 130km from the New Chitose Airport (Sapporo International Airport).
Sahoro is only 32km southwest from Tomamu and 68km southeast of Furano ski resort.
See the travel to Sahoro
page for information on getting there.
There are two main Sahoro accommodation options.
Club Med Sahoro
sits a little way up the mountain and is delightfully ski-in ski-out via beginner trails. This Club Med Japan hotel (Karikachi Kogen) offers the ultimate in convenience and a completely hassle free ski holiday, especially for families. Like other Club Med properties, the holiday is mostly all-inclusive and includes accommodation in upscale rooms, lift tickets, three meals a day, snacks, most beverages, and ski and snowboard lessons (in English). Kids’ programs are also included (for children over 4) and child care for 2-4 year olds is available, so parents can relax knowing that the kids are taken care of. The complex also comes complete with a huge swimming pool that has day beds and umbrellas - it feels a little like one of their exotic tropical locations!
The other Sahoro accommodation option is the Sahoro Resort Hotel
at the base of the ski area, which is almost ski-in ski-out. You might want to stay at this Sahoro hotel if you don’t need group lessons (in English), need child care, or if one restaurant choice, fixed meal times, and activity schedules are not your thing. The Sahoro Resort Hotel also has the advantage of providing more of a cultural Japanese experience, whilst ClubMed offers more of a modern western atmosphere. The Sahoro Resort Hotel also has a lovely onsen with indoor and outdoor bathing areas.
In summary, Club Med is more family oriented whilst the Sahoro Resort Hotel is more adult oriented.
||Sahoro Resort Hotel
|Almost ski-in/ski-out hotel offering twin & single western-style rooms with private ensuite, cable & sat TV. Restaurants, hot springs Japanese bath house, wifi in public areas (LAN internet in rooms) & more..
Sahoro Resort offers various other activities during winter besides skiing and snowboarding. These include evening grooming tours, fishing, snow shoe tours (3 hours), snow rafting behind a snowmobile, snow field horseback trekking (30 or 50 minute rides), and tubing and sledding. It’s also possible to get a taste of snowmobiling with 5 minute rides.
Summary of Pros and Cons of Sahoro Japan
- The ski resort is exceptional for beginners and if you stay at Club Med, group ski and snowboard lessons in English for kids and adults are available (Sahoro is one of only a handful of Japanese ski resorts to offer this).
- If you stay at Club Med it’s very family friendly and you can have a stress free resort holiday with the kids. You don’t have to carry the kids’ skis, and you know the kids will be having fun! Everything is looked after. Ahhhh…..heaven!
- A Club Med experience is not for everyone, and it’s great that there’s another hotel there to suit others’ needs.
- Both hotels are very conveniently ski-in ski-out or close to it.
- The tree skiing is pretty good and generally there are very few people riding off-piste, so fresh tracks are reasonably easy to come by.
- Sahoro offers great views across the Tokachi Plains.
- Like many other Japanese ski resorts, this is a resort in the truest sense. There’s no village with restaurants and shops to explore, and you’ll spend every night at the hotel where there’s negligible nightlife. However if you want to explore some other restaurants and escape the resort, you can catch a taxi into the nearby town of Shintoku.
- Like most other Japan ski resorts, there’s not enough terrain to entertain advanced riders and powder hounds for more than a few days, but it’s good to visit as part of a multi-resort trip.
- The top lift is generally only open on weekends, so powder hounds who want to ride some of the best trees have to ski the full vertical of the resort and ride the gondola. This gets a bit repetitive and sometimes there are lift queues at the gondola due to an abundance of school kids.
Tours that may include Sahoro