Appi Kogen3.5 out of 5 based on 7 reviews
  • Recommend
    86%
  • Would Revisit
    57%
World Nomads Travel Insurance
Powder Odyssey - chase the powder in Northern Honshu

Appi Kogen Japan
Appi Kogen Japan
Appi Kogen Snow
Appi Kogen Snow
Powder Skiing Appi Kogen
Powder Skiing Appi Kogen
Appi Kogen Japan
Appi Kogen Japan
Family Friendly Japan Ski Resort
Family Friendly Japan Ski Resort
The Appi pension village in the foreground
The Appi pension village in the foreground
Modern Lift Infrastructure
Modern Lift Infrastructure
Powder On Piste
Powder On Piste
Appi Kogen
Appi Kogen
Night Skiing
Night Skiing
Superb Cuisine
Superb Cuisine
Appi Sidecountry
Appi Sidecountry
Skiing the Groomers - Appi Ski Resort Japan
Skiing the Groomers - Appi Ski Resort Japan
Appi Pow
Appi Pow
Appi Grand Hotel
Appi Grand Hotel
Appi Japan
Appi Japan
Appi Kogen Has Excellent Grooming
Appi Kogen Has Excellent Grooming
Matsukawa Onsen
Matsukawa Onsen
Appi Kogen
Appi Kogen
Ski In Ski Out Hotel
Ski In Ski Out Hotel

Appi Kogen

Appi Ski Resort Japan

At Appi Kogen ski resort in Japan it’s a case of “Don’t Worry be Appi”! There’s no need to worry because Appi Kogen is the biggest ski resort in Tohoku, one of the best quality ski resorts in Japan, and it’s been labelled the St Moritz or Aspen of Japan.

The Appi Ski Resort Japan was developed in the early 1980s in the peak of the economic boom, and is a fairly quintessential Japanese bubble era ski resort. The Appi Kogen Ski Resort features a grand glitzy hotel and lots of first-class facilities and services. Appi Kogen caters very well to discerning skiers and boarders who are happy to pay a little more for a quality experience.

Summary of Pros and Cons of Appi Kogen

Pros
  • Appi provides an excellent ski resort experience. Overall it’s a very high quality ski resort with superior services and facilities and some good lift infrastructure.
  • The groomed slopes are a highlight.
  • Appi Kogen is not over-run with westerners and some English is spoken across many parts of the resort.
  • The range of restaurants and food is fabulous.
  • The ski-in ski-out Appi Grand Hotel provides the ultimate in convenience and service.
  • Appi is very family friendly. Apart from the many beginner slopes, Appi has a child specific ski area, child care, snow play areas, and a few other activities.
  • Somewhat rare for a Japanese ski resort, Appi offers group ski and snowboard lessons with English speaking instructors (ages 7+) for beginners.
Cons
  • Very limited nightlife (as with most other Japanese ski resorts unless they’re westernised).
  • The Appi Ski Resort is medium sized, but this is relative to other Japanese ski resorts, and there’s potentially not enough terrain variety for intermediate ability riders and above, for stays of more than 4-5 days.
  • If you’re looking for self-contained accommodation (apartment, house), there are only a couple of options.
Pro or Con Depending on Your Perspective
  • Appi is a resort with all the bells and whistles. There is no town or village to stroll around like you’ll find at Nozawa Onsen or Niseko.
  • Off-piste and sidecountry skiing is now permitted in a few permitted tree skiing areas. Some of the deep powder skiing may make you a very appi chappy! The only downside is that there is more competition for the freshies now that it’s not prohibited.
  • Fair weather and lots of snow don’t go hand in hand. The upside is that it snows a lot at Appi but the downside is that blizzard conditions are somewhat common.

Appi Ski and Snowboard Terrain

The 282 hectare Appi ski area is below the tree line and has 21 slopes and 828 metres of vertical. Appi Kogen is very proud of its long runs with 12 of the 21 runs being longer than 2km, and the longest being 5.5km. These lengthy runs are well renowned for the pure fall line skiing they offer – perfect for some major schussing at Mach 1.

The grooming is a highlight of the Appi Ski Resort. It’s obvious that the groomed runs are a strong point of the resort considering that they measure the amount of snow fall AFTER they’ve smoothed it down!

At first glance you’d think that powder skiing is not Appi’s forte, but on further inspection, hidden behind the façade of the groomed runs is some fantastic powder riding. They leave quite a few runs ungroomed, and even though tree skiing is officially banned, off-piste and sidecountry skiing is possible with a lot of discretion.

In keeping with the upmarket status of the Appi Ski Resort, the lift system is reasonably well developed which includes 2 gondolas and 3 high speed hooded quad chairs, and there are also 11 dinky double chairs.

Appi Kogen Snow

Powder hounds will also be kept ‘appi because the resort does well in the snowfall stakes with an average of 8 metres of “aspirin powder” per season (after it’s squashed down!), and most of the slopes are north facing which is advantageous for the snow conditions.

Where is Appi Ski Resort Japan?

The ski resort is located at latitude 40 degrees north in the western part of the Iwate Prefecture of the Tohoku region of Japan. This is the northern part of the island of Honshu, about 580km north of Tokyo.

From Tokyo the easiest way to travel to Appi Kogen is via train and bus. The Tohoku Shinkansen bullet train from Tokyo to Morioka takes about 2 to 2.5 hours. From Morioka there’s another train to Appi Kogen station (60 minutes) and then a 10 minute bus ride to the ski resort. Alternatively there is a bus that goes directly from Morioka Station to Appi.

If you have a car or are on a multi-resort tour, there a few other ski resorts in northern Tohoku for powder hounds.

Appi Accommodation

Whilst not as distinctive as the yellow Portillo Hotel (in Chile), the golden tower of the Appi Grand Hotel is a major feature of the landscape at Appi Kogen. This grandiose hotel is only steps away from the slopes and offers a range of quality hotel accommodation options as well as restaurants and extensive facilities.

Other Appi Kogen accommodation includes the Appi Hills Shirakabano-mori and Appi Kogen Onsen Hotel, which provide a more casual form of hotel accommodation. For the more budget oriented, Appi has a pension village about a kilometre away from the ski resort.

Appi Kogen Accommodation Listings

Culture and Language

Appi is a resort in the conventional sense, and it doesn’t have a village or town per se. Consequently Appi Kogen might be somewhat lacking in its ability to provide a traditional Japanese cultural experience (relative to places such as Nozawa Onsen or Myoko Kogen), but considering that there aren’t that many international tourists at Appi, you’ll certainly be immersed in new age Japanese culture and the local customs. However, Appi Resort offers bus tours to nearby Hachimantai so that you can experience traditional Japanese culture.

Don’t worry if you don’t speak fluent Japanese. Appi Kogen caters really well to English speaking visitors with lots of English signage and English menus in the restaurants. They also have a fantastic English Service Centre with bilingual hosts who can assist with any queries before you arrive or during your stay, and the English concierge service at the Appi Grand Hotel is particularly impressive. There are also Chinese speaking staff. At Appi you’re not likely to have many lost in translation moments!

Tours That May Include Appi Kogen

Safari (Road Trip) Tours
Frontier Explorer DETAILS
GUIDED SAFARI - NORTHERN HONSHU
8 Days | 7 Nights | 6 Ski Areas + Cat Skiing
From price based on twin-share room occupancy.
Base/invoice currency is in yen not including consumption tax.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 2,552
Book before Aug 31 2018 to get 20,000 yen off the advertised price.
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Trying to get away from the crowds & the tracked out snow? Away from the masses you will experience Japanese culture, food & unlimited powder on this Tohoku tour. Chase the best snow on the day in the far northern parts of Honshu.
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Powder Odyssey DETAILS
GUIDED SAFARI - TOHOKU
7 Nights | 6 Days Guided Skiing
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 1,836
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
If you are looking to go off-the-beaten track in Tohoku (northeastern Honshu) where there are abundant lines of fresh powder and no foreigners, this tour is perfect! Visit Tohoku ski areas you've probably never heard of before and immerse yourself in the Japanese culture.
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Tohoku Yuki DETAILS
GUIDED ROAD TRIP NORTHERN TOHOKU
13 Nights | 12 Days Skiing | Up to 7 Ski Areas
From price is based twin/triple-share and some dorm rooms (no private room upgrade option)
Base/invoice currency is in Japanese Yen inclusive of tax
*Display price may vary slightly due to fluctuation in exchange rates.
Price p/p
USD 3,335
Book & pay full amount by Nov 15 & get 10% off displayed price
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
NEW for 2019, this hosted & guided road trip travels to the northern reaches of Tohoku and includes off the beaten track powder resorts such as Zao Onsen, Tazawako, Appi Kogen, Shimokura, Geto Kogen, Aomori Spring & Hakkoda.
More
See all Safari (Road Trip) tours that visit Appi Kogen here
Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area Tours
APPI Kogen Cat & BC Tour DETAILS
APPI RESORT PLUS CAT SKIING
4 Nights | 2 Days Resort | 1 Day BC | 1 Day CAT
Sample price based on twin-share accommodation
Base/invoice currency is Japanese Yen
Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 1,162
Ability: Beginner to Advanced
Get away from the crowds and enjoy back country & CAT skiing tours in some of the best powder snow Northern Japan has to offer. This sample package that can be customised from 2 nights or more to suit your desires and number from early January though to to early March.
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Iwate Guided Day Trips DETAILS
IWATE GUIDED SKI & SNOWBOARDING DAY TRIPS
PRIVATE GROUPS ONLY | Max group of 6 per guide
Price is per person based on a group of 6 (full price is 6 x this rate).
Base/invoice currency is Japanese Yen
*Displayed price may vary slightly due to currency fluctuations
Price p/p
USD 81
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
If you are heading to the Iwate region these PRIVATE GROUP guided day tours are a must! In-resort powder hunting, lift-access sidecountry & backcountry touring are all options. Resorts include Shizukuishi, Getto Kogen, Tazawako, Hachimantai Shimokura & Panorama, Amihari, Iwate Snow Park & Appi Kogen.
More
See all Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area tours that visit Appi Kogen here
Backcountry Skiing Tours
Shizukuishi Cat Powder Adventure DETAILS
SHIZUKUISHI CAT + BACKCOUNTRY DAY TRIP
PRIVATE GROUPS ONLY up to 6 guests
Price is per person based on 6 in group
Base/invoice currency is Japanese Yen
*Displayed price may vary slightly due to currency fluctuations
Price p/p
USD 257
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
This fantastic PRIVATE GROUP day-tour includes 4 epic cat skiing runs at a disused ski area plus up to 3 adventurous powder runs in the backcountry of Shizukuishi ski resort. Grab up to 5 other friends & enjoy what is sure to be one of the most memorable days you will have skiing in Japan.
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See all Backcountry Skiing tours that visit Appi Kogen here

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