Shizukuishi3.5 out of 5 based on 1 reviews
  • Recommend
    100%
  • Would Revisit
    100%

Shizukuishi Ski Resort Iwate
Shizukuishi Ski Resort Iwate
Shizukuishi Prince Hotel
Shizukuishi Prince Hotel
Officially off-piste is prohibited
Officially off-piste is prohibited
Shizukuishi receives an average of 6.5 metres of snow per season
Shizukuishi receives an average of 6.5 metres of snow per season
The "aspirin" snow
The
The flagship Prince Hotel
The flagship Prince Hotel
The hotel is fully ski-in ski-out
The hotel is fully ski-in ski-out
The hotel rooms are somewhat typical of Prince Hotels
The hotel rooms are somewhat typical of Prince Hotels
The outdoor onsen is a highlight of the hotel
The outdoor onsen is a highlight of the hotel
The pond next to the onsen has oversized gold fish
The pond next to the onsen has oversized gold fish
The hotel houses most of the ski resort facilities
The hotel houses most of the ski resort facilities
Very few riders head off-piste
Very few riders head off-piste
The kids' ski area
The kids' ski area
Shizukuishi Japan
Shizukuishi Japan
Shizukuishi Ski Resort
Shizukuishi Ski Resort
An on-mountain cafeteria
An on-mountain cafeteria
Alyeska has simple Japanese lunch fare
Alyeska has simple Japanese lunch fare
Hello Kitty is at home here
Hello Kitty is at home here
More kitty
More kitty
Ski-in Ski-out Accommodation
Ski-in Ski-out Accommodation

Shizukuishi

Shizukuishi Ski Resort

The Shizukuishi Ski Resort in Iwate Japan is owned by the Prince Hotel group, and during the bubble era it was known as the flagship destination of the Prince dynasty. Perhaps the flag is now just flying at half mast because the resort is starting to show its age a little, despite Shizukuishi marketing itself as “pristine grandeur”. Some parts of the ski area have closed down, a major lift no longer runs, and other signs of financial constraints are creeping in.

However Japanese ski resorts that are shiny and glitzy don’t necessarily equate to fantastic, and one possible allure of Shizukuishi for westerners is the lack of other gaijin. At Shizukuishi, you’ll definitely know you’re not at Niseko or Hakuba, but a real Japanese ski resort.

One good sign that Shizukuishi is a genuine Japanese resort is the proliferation of Hello Kitty. Hello Kitty makes guest appearances at the resort, there are Hello Kitty ice sculptures, and there’s even a Hello Kitty Snow Land just a few minutes away – only in Japan…..!

Where is Shizukuishi?

Shizukuishi ski resort is located in northern Honshu in the prefecture of Iwate, 560km north of Tokyo. The Shizukuishi Resort is situated just north of the town of Shizukuishi and about 13km from the Akita Shinkansen’s Shizukuishi Station, and 28km northwest of the city of Morioka (a drive of about 35-45 minutes). From Tokyo, train travel is the easiest way to get there (see Hyperdia for routes and timetables) and from the train station, the Prince Hotel provides free shuttles to the resort.

There are various other ski resorts around Morioka and the flanks of the massive Mount Iwate. Nearby ski resorts include Appi Kogen, Hachimantai, and Geto Kogen, but these are not easily interconnected via a public transport network, so you’ll need your own wheels or private transport to get around. A great way to explore the powder gems in this area is on a multi-resort tour (see below).

Shizukuishi Prince Hotel

There’s no village at Shizukuishi, with the Prince Hotel acting as the centrepiece of the base area. The Shizukuishi Prince Hotel is perfectly ski-in ski-out and provides western style accommodation. The hotel has a couple of restaurants, a ski and snowboard rental outlet, and a 3Ss retail shop - snacks, souvenirs and sake (OK they have beer too!).

One of the highlights of the hotel is the Takakura Onsen, a hot spring that has been recognised as an onsen heritage site. The outdoor undercover onsen is particularly beautiful, surrounded by snow-covered rocks, little waterfalls and a large pond that has oversized goldfish that you can peer at.

Shizukuishi Prince Hotel Shizukuishi Prince Hotel (3 Star)
 $$
Ski-in/out western-style hotel rooms for 1- 2 guests. The hotel has a lovely indoor & outdoor hot springs and a couple of restaurant options. Free wifi, massage services and Karoake are available in the hotel.
See all available Shizukuishi accommodation options here >>

Facilities & Services

In addition to ski and snowboard rentals, other ski resort amenities include on-mountain restaurants and ski and snowboard lessons. For English speaking guests, lessons are only conducted in a private format.

Single run cat skiing operates on some days on Mt Ko-Takakura.

Summary of Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Shizukuishi has the convenience of a fully ski-in ski-out hotel.
  • The Takakura Onsen is beautiful.
  • The Skizukuishi ski resort is great for intermediate riders.
  • Some of the side-country terrain is super fun.
  • The resort is not westernised, yet it caters somewhat for English speaking guests. A few staff speak English and there are lots of signs in English.
  • The area offers dramatic views of Mt Iwate.

Cons

  • Shizukuishi doesn’t receive as much snowfall as many other Japanese ski resorts, although the powder is generally of very good quality.
  • Shizukuishi is not a very steep mountain, which can play out for powder hounds if the snow is a little heavy. There’s pitchier terrain above the lifts if you’re prepared to hike to the peak.
  • Despite the presence of Hello Kitty (!), the resort doesn’t cater particularly well for western children.

Pro or Con Depending on Your Perspective

  • Off-piste skiing is frowned upon but it is possible. The advantage of the prohibition on tree skiing is that combined with only minimal gaijin visiting, there are abundant freshies.
  • For powder hounds, Shizukuishi probably only has enough variety on offer for one to two days, but there are other ski resorts nearby that also act as powder skiing playgrounds. Shizukuishi is a ski resort that might be visited as part of a multi-resort tour. 

Tours That May Include Shizukuishi

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 2,639 USD 2,639
To be eligible for any advertised specials you must book & pay the required deposit by the last day of the promotion...no exceptions.
Book before Sept 30th to get 7% discount off advertised price
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
If you are looking for an adventure away from the masses where you will experience Japanese culture, food & unlimited powder then this tour could be the one you are looking for. 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 1,888
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 Powder Tour DETAILS
OFF THE BEATEN TRACK ROAD TRIP
Customisable Guided Tohoku Tour
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
Enquire Enquire
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Tohoku skiing and snowboarding is all about heading to ski resorts that most people have never heard of, where there are freshies galore in the off-piste areas. With this Tohoku ski tour you can work with the guides to customise your own private powder adventure.
More
See all Safari (Road Trip) tours that visit Shizukuishi 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.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 4,086
10% off advertised price. Must book via Powderhounds.com and pay deposit by June 15th 2017.
Ability: Advanced to Expert
This ADVANCED+ ski and snowboard tour starts with 4 days in the Southwest of Hokkaido and then heads south to Honshu where you will ski or ride some of Tohoku's epic 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 Shizukuishi here

Ski lodging & accommodations
Hosted Ski Tours & Multi-Resort Safaris