Sapporo Kokusai3.5 out of 5 based on 4 reviews
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  • Would Revisit
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Wagner Custome Skis

Sapporo Kokusai
Sapporo Kokusai
Sapporo Kokusai Ski Resort
Sapporo Kokusai Ski Resort
Groomed Run Skiing Sapporo Kokusai
Groomed Run Skiing Sapporo Kokusai
Sapporo Ski Resort - Sapporo Kokusai
Sapporo Ski Resort - Sapporo Kokusai
Sapporo Kokusai Terrain Park
Sapporo Kokusai Terrain Park
Sapporo Skiing Kokusai
Sapporo Skiing Kokusai
Ski Japan Powder - Sapporo Kokusai
Ski Japan Powder - Sapporo Kokusai
Sapporo Kokusai
Sapporo Kokusai
One of Two Gondolas
One of Two Gondolas
Family Friendly Japan Ski Resort
Family Friendly Japan Ski Resort
Sapporo Kokusai: Hokkaido Ski Resort
Sapporo Kokusai: Hokkaido Ski Resort
Sapporo Kokusai
Sapporo Kokusai
Sapporo Ski Resort - Fast Lifts
Sapporo Ski Resort - Fast Lifts
Sapporo Kokusai Ski Resort Japan
Sapporo Kokusai Ski Resort Japan
Sapporo Skiing Kokusai
Sapporo Skiing Kokusai
Hokkaido Skiing, Sapporo Kokusai
Hokkaido Skiing, Sapporo Kokusai
Sapporo Kokusai
Sapporo Kokusai
Sapporo Kokusai Sidecountry
Sapporo Kokusai Sidecountry
Sapporo Kokusai Base Facilities
Sapporo Kokusai Base Facilities
Sapporo Kokusai
Sapporo Kokusai

Sapporo Kokusai

Sapporo Kokusai Ski Resort At the Sapporo Kokusai ski resort in Japan, it frequently pukes with snow. Some avid powder chasers claim that it snows more at Sapporo Kokusai than the famed Niseko where it dumps 16 metres per season on average. The volume of snowfall is not reliability cited for Sapporo Kokusai, but in the absence of an official statistic, it’s well known that it snows lots and lots!

If you’re staying in Sapporo, Sapporo Kokusai ski resort is worth visiting for a day trip. Or if you’re based in Niseko or Rusutsu and there’s been no new snow, there may be merit in commuting to Sapporo Kokusai for the day. Check out the conditions at Kokusai because despite its proximity to Niseko and Rusutsu, the weather patterns can vary substantially.

Sapporo Kokusai is the trendy spot for the local Sapporo and Otaru folk to play, so even though the ski resort is relatively unknown to international skiers and snowboarders, it’s definitely not off the beaten track. Due to its proximity to Sapporo, the ski resort sometimes gets ridiculously busy, particularly on the weekends. The terrain park and piste runs are often hectic, but thankfully in the off-piste and backcountry areas it is significantly quieter.

Sapporo Kokusai Ski and Snowboard Terrain It’s not surprising that Kokusai often feels busy because the ski area has 460 metres of vertical and only a handful of piste runs. Snow plough turners have a couple of trails that converge into one wide run. Intermediates might also experience déjà vu because there are only two red runs. Sapporo Kokusai has only one black run, and if it weren’t for the moguls down the side of the run, it would be more aptly rated as an intermediate course.

Whilst the piste area is small, the off-piste areas feel unexpectedly large. There are lots of powder stashes in amongst the trees and various gullies to explore, and there is also a band of R-rated cliffs that most punters will want to avoid. It is officially prohibited to ski or board off-piste, but it is not policed so you won’t find any patrollers chasing you with a whistle.

Beyond the resort boundaries are some amazing backcountry options. Much of the lift-accessed backcountry is easy to find, and minimal powder fossicking is required to hit some great fall line skiing and boarding. The terrain that is a fraction further afield may require some route-finding nouse, so you may want to do a guided tour with Black Diamond Tours (based in Niseko). They are experts at sniffing out the powder!

Sapporo Kokusai is serviced by five lifts, two of which are modern gondolas that run parallel to each other.

Where is Sapporo Kokusai Ski Resort? Sapporo Kokusai is located on the western fringe of the city of Sapporo in Hokkaido. From downtown Sapporo, the 46km drive takes about an hour. Sapporo Kokusai ski resort is about 19km (25-30 minutes) from Jozankei Onsen, a hot spring resort town. There are shuttle buses from Jozankei or downtown Sapporo to the ski area. There are also buses from New Chitose Airport to Jozankei and Kokusai.

Sapporo Kokusai is about 24km southeast of the cute little seaside town of Otaru.

Niseko is about a 1:50 hour drive to the southwest. In addition to guiding, WhiteroomTours day tours include transport to and from Niseko.

Sapporo Kokusai Accommodation Sapporo Kokusai doesn’t have a village at the base. The nearest accommodation is at Jozankei where there are big resort hotels as well as more Japanese style ryokans. Most of the hotels and inns have indoor and outdoor onsens. You can search for a Jozankei hotel here. 

If you have a car, another option is to stay in the town of Otaru (24km away). The Dormy Inn Premium is an Otaru hotel that is very nice, yet inexpensive, and it's located only one minute walk from the Otaru train station. The Grand Park Otaru is a beautiful 4-star hotel which is located right on the water with views along the coast and of the ski mountains. Below the hotel is a shopping centre, bars and restaurants. This Otaru hotel is surprisingly inexpensive considering the quality on offer. 

Alternatively stay in Sapporo and enjoy the buzz of this large Japanese city. There are an abundance of Sapporo hotels to choose from, but if you don’t have a car you may wish to stay at a hotel on (or near) the Hokkaido Resort Liner bus route (see the Sapporo accommodation page for information on hotels on the shuttle bus route).

Facilities Sapporo Kokusai has a menagerie of options when it comes to on-mountain eateries with Family Restaurant Rabbit, Cafeteria Squirrel, Casual Inn Woodpecker, and Mountain Top Café Cuckoo. There is also a small lobby café selling simple fare, or get a really cheap feed at the convenience store. Kokusai also has a coffee shop where the “barista” puts a lot of pride into making very bitter roasted coffee - it might taste OK if you add four sugars!

Ski or snowboard rental is available at Sapporo Kokusai, although it’s more expensive than what you’ll find in Sapporo ski shops. They hire out large sized boots (up to 32cm – US size 14 mens) and skis up to 177cm in length.

Ski school typically only caters to Japanese speaking guests, however you can generally reserve an English speaking instructor for a private lesson.

Other facilities include lockers, day care for children ages 2 to 6, and a shop that sells ski and snowboard accessories and Kokusai souvenirs.

Family Activities The base area has a snow play area where the kids can go sledding (or sledging as they like to call it in Japan!). There is no magic carpet so the kids have to get up the small hill under their own steam. Sapporo Kokusai also has a snow town area where the kids can go for mini-snowmobile rides (10 minute rides), banana boating (4 loops), or tubing (for one hour) at 1,500 yen per activity.

Why Ski or Snowboard at Sapporo Kokusai? For the best terrain beginners would be better placed at Sapporo Teine (Olympia), whilst intermediates should go to Tomamu or Kiroro. However lift tickets are significantly cheaper at Sapporo Kokusai, particularly for children.

Also head to Sapporo Kokusai if you want to hit the terrain park or you’re a powderhound in need of a powder fix. Fresh tracks in-bounds are generally still available a couple of days after a snowfall, and if you head into the backcountry there’s a good chance of riding fresh powder lines all day.

Tours That May Include Kokusai

Safari (Road Trip) Tours
Hokkaido Explorer Tour DETAILS
FULLY GUIDED & HOSTED TOUR
12 Nights - 10 Ski Areas - 10 Days Skiing/Riding
From price based on twin/double-share option.
Base/invoice currency is in AUD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 3,296
Early bird discount of $100AUD if booked and paid prior to Sept 30 2017; some tour dates
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Based in Niseko Hirafu then Furano then Otaru, chase the best conditions and snowfall at 7 of Hokkaido's best ski areas and lesser known ski areas including Niseko, Rusutsu, Moiwa, Furano, Asahidake, Kamui Links, Mt Racey and Tomamu.
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Hokkaido Unplugged DETAILS
GUIDED BACKCOUNTRY ADVENTURE
10 Days | 9 Nights | 7 Ski Areas
From price based on twin/double-share option.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 3,159
Ability: Advanced to Expert
So you have had a taste of Japan powder and you are now ready to get away from the crowds and find the best of Hokkaido. This tour visits some epic sidecountry and backcountry areas in Hokkaido.
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Southwest Solutions DETAILS
NISEKO & SAPPORO POWDER CHASER
7 Nights | 4 Guided Ski Days
From price based on twin/triple-share based on group of 5 (per person).
Base/invoice currency is in JPY inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 1,575
10% off advertised price. Must book via Powderhounds.com and pay deposit by June 15th.
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
This CUSTOMISABLE guided tour can be based in or around the NISEKO area and is designed to CHASE THE BEST POWDER each day at NISEKO, RUSUTSU, KIRORO & MOIWA. The tour finishes with a couple of days chasing powder around Sapporo (TEINE & KOKUSAI).
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See all Safari (Road Trip) tours that visit Sapporo Kokusai here
Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area Tours
Niseko Guided Day Tours DETAILS
GUIDED DAY TRIPS IN/FROM NISEKO
For PRIVATE GROUPS ONLY of up to 6 guests
From price based on a PER PERSON rate for Niseko guided day tour (private groups only of 6 guests) in low season.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
From 60,000 yen for a group. *Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 81
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
If you are in Niseko with a group, you can't go past a guided ski or snowboard day tour in Niseko or at one of the nearby ski areas (off-piste, sidecountry or backcountry). PRIVATE GROUPS ONLY of up to 6 guests (i.e. you cannot join a group).
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BDT Lift Assisted Backcountry Tours DETAILS
LIFT ASSISTED BACKOUNTRY TOURS
Niseko Area | PRIVATE GROUPS ONLY | Min 2 Days
From price based on 2 day tour per person - 5 people in private group (lift tickets not included). You cannot join a group on these tours.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY ex taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 264
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Join Black Diamond Tours on 2 days of guided powder hunting in Niseko or one of the nearby resort or backcountry areas with your own PRIVATE GROUP. Areas include Niseko backbowls, Rusutsu, Kiroro, Tiene & Kokusai.
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Backcountry Touring Day Trips DETAILS
GUIDED BACKCOUNTRY DAY TOURS
Niseko & Surrounding Areas | Private Groups Only
From price based on per person rate for a private group of 5 guests.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 121
10% off advertised price. Must book via Powderhounds.com and pay deposit before June 15th 2017.
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Ideal if you are staying in NISEKO and are looking for a guided BACKCOUNTRY day in or around Niseko. These day tours are specifically for those who are happy to earn their turns and are for private groups of 1 - 5 guests (but 6+ is also doable).
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See all Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area tours that visit Sapporo Kokusai here
Backcountry Skiing Tours
High Earnings DETAILS
BACKCOUNTRY POWDER CHASING
9 Nights | 8 Guided Days
From price based on twin/triple-share with breakfast.
Price per person for a group of 5. Base/invoice currency is in JPY inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 2,543
10% off advertised price. Must book via Powderhounds.com and pay deposit by June 15th 2017.
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Enter the powder room! Visit some of Hokkaido's most remote locations and best backcountry zones. This trip has a backcountry touring focus and the skins will probably go on every day but your group will be within reach of ski resorts if the weather isn`t suitable for touring or the lift accessed pow looks too good!
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Lift Access Day Tours DETAILS
GUIDED LIFT ACCESS DAY TOURS
Niseko & Nearby Areas | Private Groups Only
From price based on private group of 5 guests.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 121
10% off advertised price. Must book via Powderhounds.com and pay deposit before June 15th 2017
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
If you are staying in NISEKO and are looking for a guided day at Niseko or a RESORT NEARBY this could be the trip for you. This tour aims to use the lifts where possible to minimise hiking. These tours are for private groups of 1 - 5 guests however 6 or more is possible with extra guides
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Niseko Xtreme Guided Day Tours DETAILS
GUIDED DAY TOURS IN / AROUND NISEKO AREA
For PRIVATE GROUPS only
From price based on private group of 6 people on a half-day Hidden Secrets In-Bound Resort Tour of Niseko.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 44
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
Niseko Xtreme offers a variety of PRIVATE GROUP (max 6 per group) tours in and around the Niseko area. The tours range from in-bounds resort powder hunting to full blown backcountry touring. Destinations include Niseko, Rusutsu, Kiroro, Teine, Kokusai, Mt Yotei & more.
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See all Backcountry Skiing tours that visit Sapporo Kokusai here