Aomori Spring4 out of 5 based on 3 reviews
  • Recommend
    100%
  • Would Revisit
    100%
Hokkaido & Honshu Tour

Rockwood Hotel at Aomori Spring
Rockwood Hotel at Aomori Spring
Aomori Spring Ski Resort Japan
Aomori Spring Ski Resort Japan
The terrain park features are the best in Japan
The terrain park features are the best in Japan
Fantastic tree skiing at Aomori Spring
Fantastic tree skiing at Aomori Spring
Climbing to the top
Climbing to the top
Rockwood Hotel
Rockwood Hotel
Short skins lead to amazing treed terrain
Short skins lead to amazing treed terrain
Sometimes the visibility isn't so good during storms!
Sometimes the visibility isn't so good during storms!
When face shots come thick and fast
When face shots come thick and fast
Photo: Keith Stubbs
Photo: Keith Stubbs
Powder Skiing Aomori Spring Japan
Powder Skiing Aomori Spring Japan
The Ramen House is a great spot to warm up
The Ramen House is a great spot to warm up
No surprise that Aomori Spring is home to freestyle camps
No surprise that Aomori Spring is home to freestyle camps
Dumping with snow!
Dumping with snow!
It snows a lot at Aomori Spring
It snows a lot at Aomori Spring
View from the hotel across to the sea
View from the hotel across to the sea
Aomori Spring Resort
Aomori Spring Resort
Backcountry hiking
Backcountry hiking
The Corkscrew at Aomori Spring
The Corkscrew at Aomori Spring
Rockwood Hotel at Aomori Spring Resort
Rockwood Hotel at Aomori Spring Resort

Aomori Spring

The Aomori Spring Ski Resort in Tohoku Japan (formerly Naqua Shirakami Ski Resort) is well and truly off the radar of most international skiers and snowboarders who head to Japan in search of powder. Unlike the high profile Japanese ski resorts that are over-run with westerners where fresh tracks disappear within an hour and any cultural experiences are heavily diluted, Aomori Spring Ski Resort is the real deal. Aomori Spring (Ajigasawa Resort) provides a modern Japanese skiing experience and is ideal for hungry powder hounds looking for a powder fix. It's also fabulous for those who love to launch in the terrain parks.

Aomori Spring is emerging as a destination ski resort in its own right, and it's also worth visiting for a few days if you're road tripping in the northern Tohoku area. It's in the vicinity of the renowned Hakkoda, and a trip to Aomori Spring could be particularly good for stormy days when the weather is too brutal at Hakkoda and the Hakkoda ropeway is closed. Or in the height of winter you may be better off staying at Aomori Spring Resort and heading to Hakkoda only if the weather permits.

Aomori Spring Resort: Summary of Pros and Cons

Pros
  • At Aomori Spring Ski Resort there is negligible rivalry for the fresh powder in the trees.
  • Aomori Spring offers fantastic tree skiing - both lift accessed and with short to long hikes.
  • The region scores plenty of snow and Aomori Spring has a northerly aspect which is favourable for the snow quality.
  • If it's snowing and blowing, unlike Hakkoda, Aomori Spring still offers some resort options for storm skiing. Aomori Spring is also better than Hakkoda for deep days because the terrain is a little steeper.
  • The park and pipe offerings are the best in Japan and the beginner terrain is also fantastic.
  • The lovely Rockwood Hotel is conveniently ski-in ski-out.
  • The Aomori Spring Ski Resort offers nice views of the sea when the weather is nice.
Cons
  • The Aomori Spring ski area may not be big enough to provide adequate variety for a long multi-day stay.
  • There is no nightlife, but this is typical of 95% of Japanese ski resorts. There is just the hotel at the resort (which is also the case at many other Japanese ski resorts), so if you're looking for a cute village with lots of restaurants and shops, think again.
Pro Or Con Depending On Your Perspective
  • Aomori Spring is situated in a relatively remote part of Japan, way up in the far northern part of Honshu. This helps to keep the crowds away yet getting to the resort is much easier than you'd initially think.

Aomori Spring Ski and Snowboard Terrain

Like many other Japanese ski resorts, Aomori Spring Resort (Naqua Shirakami) is not particularly large with only 15 courses, 525 metres of vertical (396 - 921 metres), and 4 lifts. One of these is a gondola and there are 2 hooded quad chair lifts which are ideal for the often snowy conditions.

The Aomori Spring ski area consists mostly of mellow groomed slopes and the trail stats are 50% beginner, 40% intermediate and 10% advanced. The steepest on-piste slope is only 30 degrees, which is unlikely to get your heart racing if you're an expert!

As with the majority of Japanese ski resorts, the real terrain for advanced and expert riders is off-piste, and there are plenty of trees at Aomori Spring and minimal competition for the abundant fresh powder. And very short skins/hikes open up plenty of steep trees.

During spring or on those rare fine days during the height of winter, there is also some amazing backcountry skiing above the lift-serviced terrain, including some alpine steeps.

The Aomori Spring Resort also has an excellent terrain park and big half pipes, which is a bit of a rarity in Japan.

Where is Aomori Spring Resort?

Aomori Spring Ski Resort sits on the northern flank of Mount Iwaki near Ajigasawa Town in the Aomori Prefecture, the most northerly prefecture of the Tohoku region and Honshu Japan. The ski resort is 54km southwest of Aomori City.

There are direct flights into Aomori Airport from Seoul Ichinose, Tokyo Haneda and Sapporo. Or you can get a bullet train to Shin-Aomori station. From Shin-Aomori station and Aomori Airport, there are hotel shuttles to the ski resort.

Or it's ideal to have a rental car if you want to explore other northern Tohoku ski resorts, or you can get there via a guided multi-resort tour.

Aomori Spring Hotel

There is no village at Aomori Spring, with the only on-mountain accommodation being the fully ski-in ski-out Rockwood Hotel. This deluxe hotel has lovely western style rooms, an amazing onsen including an outdoor hot spring bath, and a couple of great options for dining.

Lodging Only Bookings
Aomori Spring Ski Packages

Ski Resort Facilities

The ski resort has reasonably well developed amenities and services including equipment rentals and private ski and snowboard lessons with an English speaking instructor. In addition to the hotel restaurants, there is a ramen eatery and a cafeteria. There is a kids' play area that includes tubing, an air trampoline, and mini snowmobiles.

The Rockwood Hotel has very good facilities including the onsen, massage services, 2 restaurants, a lounge bar, cinema room, games room, gymnasium and gift shop.

Tours That May Include Aomori Spring

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