Hachimantai Shimokura3.5 out of 5 based on 1 reviews
  • Recommend
    100%
  • Would Revisit
    100%
Japan Ski Tour Tohoku Area

Hachimantai Ski Resort Japan
Hachimantai Ski Resort Japan
The Hachimantai snow is of good quality generally
The Hachimantai snow is of good quality generally
The Shimokura side has one beginner run at the base
The Shimokura side has one beginner run at the base
The base facilities on the Shimokura side of Hachimantai Resort
The base facilities on the Shimokura side of Hachimantai Resort
The trees offers plenty of fun
The trees offers plenty of fun
Off-piste is officially not permitted
Off-piste is officially not permitted
Hachimantai is one resort visited on the Powder Odyssey Tour
Hachimantai is one resort visited on the Powder Odyssey Tour
There are lots of freshies
There are lots of freshies
This was the busiest we saw the ski resort
This was the busiest we saw the ski resort
Hachimantai Ski Resort has 3 chair lifts at Shimokura
Hachimantai Ski Resort has 3 chair lifts at Shimokura
The "Canadian" cafeteria
The
More fun in the trees
More fun in the trees
Hachimantai Japan
Hachimantai Japan
This piste run was deserted
This piste run was deserted
Hachimantai is located in the Iwate Prefecture
Hachimantai is located in the Iwate Prefecture
Some of the off-piste runs are short but sweet
Some of the off-piste runs are short but sweet
Hachimantai Resort
Hachimantai Resort

Hachimantai Shimokura

Hachimantai Shimokura is worth powder hounds hitting up for a day of fresh powder lines, as an adjunct to visiting the various other Iwate ski resorts. Hachimantai Resort Shimokura shares a common lift ticket with Panorama. The two Hachimantai ski resorts are not interconnected via the slopes, but are linked via a 10-minute free shuttle bus service.

Summary of Pros and Cons of Hachimantai Japan

Pros
  • The Hachimantai Shimokura snow quality is often divine, in part due to the slopes having a favourable aspect.
  • This Hachimantai ski resort is well and truly off the beaten path of Japanese ski resorts that foreigners usually visit, so cultural experiences are high on the agenda, and there are only trifling gaijin to steal your fresh powder.
  • The ski resort is generally uninhabited, especially on weekdays, and the few locals and army dudes aren’t likely to head into the trees.
  • Hachimantai Shimokura probably only has enough terrain for one day, yet there are various other Iwate ski resorts that have plentiful offerings for powder hounds.  
  • When the westerly storms blow big time and close the lifts at nearby ski resorts, Shimokura is the place to be due to the easterly orientation of the lifts.
  • The region has lots of great onsens for a soak after a big day of pow.
Cons
  • The terrain size is rather small and with the exception of beginner terrain, it’s really only good for a one hour visit if you stay on-piste or one day if you head off-piste.
  • Hachimantai doesn’t cater well for your average English-speaking beginner.
Pro or Con Depending On Your Perspective
  • There are no ski-in ski-out accommodation options, day spas, or shops selling bling bling gear (if that’s your thing!).
  • You’ll want to have a set of wheels to visit Shimokura and other nearby ski resorts, either a rental car or private transport as part of a multi-day guided tour.

Hachimantai Ski Resort - Shimokura

The Hachimantai Shimokura Ski Resort is rather small with only 7 courses (marked trails), 550 metres of vertical, and 3 lifts; 1 triple chair and 2 double chairs.

Despite the trail stats being 30% beginner, 40% intermediate and 30% advanced, intermediate and advanced riders mostly frequent this ski resort. A small tree run area has been opened, and off-piste riding is permitted with a self-responsibility clause and submission of climbing registration. Guided backcountry tours are also available.

On weekdays you might only have to share the ski resort with a handful of army dudes, and generally you don’t have to share the off-piste with anyone except your powder buddies.

Where is Hachimantai Ski Resort?

The Hachimantai Resort Shimokura sits on the flanks of the imposing Mt Iwate (which shows off on fine days), and the Hachimantai Resort Shimokura Ski Area is 15km west of the town of Hachimantai in the Iwate Prefecture. Hachimantai Shimokura is 47km northwest of the city of Morioka and the Morioka Shinkansen station (which is 544km north of Tokyo). The base areas of the two parts of Hachimantai Resort (Shimokura and Panorama) are 3km apart by road.

It’s possible to get there from Tokyo by catching the Tohoku Shinkansen (bullet train) to Morioka which only takes 130-180 minutes. From Morioka station, there are buses to Hachimantai Onsenkyo, but the public transport systems are not really adequate to travel around the area. Having a rental car is the best way to get to the resort and your accommodation and to explore the various ski resorts in the region. Otherwise going on a multi-resort tour which includes transport, is a fabulous way to get the most out of the Iwate ski resorts.

Nearby Ski Resorts

There are various other ski resorts near Morioka on the flanks of the Mount Iwate volcano. Some are destination resorts (e.g. Appi Kogen) whilst others are best suited to a one day powder fix such as Iwate Kogen (38km south) and Amihari Onsen (41km south). The weather around the region can be very fickle and the big snow storms are usually accompanied by big winds, but considering that Mt Iwate is a big bertha, the weather can vary from one resort to another (Hachimantai ski resort is probably a good place to visit on windy days versus Appi Kogen which is more exposed).

Appi Kogen is 26km by road to the north of Hachimantai Ski Resort, whilst Shizukuishi is south of Hachimantai on a 57km road that travels around Mt Iwate. Geto Kogen is also in the region.

Hachimantai Hotels

There is no on-mountain accommodation but there are various Hachimantai hotels nearby or you can stay at Appi Kogen accommodation or the flagship Shizukuishi Prince Hotel.

Hachimantai Hotel Listings

Ski Resort Facilities

The Shimokura ski resort has one building at the base that houses the amenities for skiers and snowboarders. These include basic ski and snowboard rentals, a simple retail shop, lockers, and a little café that sells Canadian style cinnamon buns – the aroma lures you in! They have a “Canadian” cafeteria and bakery upstairs and you could be forgiven for thinking they might sell poutine or other typical Canadian ski resort food. Alas they just trick you – the fare is definitely Japanese.

Tours That May Include Hachimantai

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 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 Hachimantai Shimokura here
Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area Tours
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.
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See all Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area tours that visit Hachimantai Shimokura here
Backcountry Skiing Tours
Hokkaido - Honshu Expedition DETAILS
HOKKAIDO & HONSHU GUIDED BC TOUR
12 Nights | 11 Guided Ski Days
From price based on twin/triple-share for 2018-19 season.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 3,951
Ability: Advanced to Expert
This ADVANCED+ ski and snowboard tour (customisable for private groups) starts in SW Hokkaido and then heads south to Honshu where you will ski/ride some of Tohoku's hidden gems. The tour includes some ski touring / split boarding (or snow shoeing) but you don't necessarily need to have any experience in this area.
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See all Backcountry Skiing tours that visit Hachimantai Shimokura here

Ski Tours
Ski Lodging & Accommodations