Winter Vacationer × Charlie Liu

The possibilities for enjoying the snow in Tohoku are endless.
Try the winter sports of skiing and snowboarding, enjoy gourmet Tohoku cuisine, or just create wonderful memories with your friends in a winter wonderland.
This is what a trip to Tohoku in winter is all about!
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About this Tohoku travel

Why not visit Tohoku, change into snow gear and go out to enjoy skiing or snowboarding in the excellent powder snow? In the Tohoku region, you can build a snowman, throw snowballs at your friends or any number of other "snow country" activities. Snow may be cold to the touch, but being in the snow is a thrilling experience that soon warms the heart. Tohoku has more than just snow. For those who like to avoid the cold, there are plenty of rare experiences available that do not involve snow. For example, for animal lovers, the opportunity to hug a fox will soothe your soul, or if you are a big eater you might challenge your limits with Tohoku's famous Wanko Soba. You could enjoy a generous helping of Japanese culture by taking an evening soak at a hot spring ryokan followed by a luxurious kaiseki banquet. If you would like to experience the wonders of the snow season, Snow Country Tohoku is definitely the place to visit.

Written by Cassie

Main area of ​​this travel

  • The joy of skiing and snowboarding in Tohoku

    Come to Tohoku for winter skiing and snowboarding! Pack light - you can rent all the gear you need. The ski areas offer classes for every level, so you can enjoy the mountain at your own pace. Beginners can also take lessons from pro instructors, who will make every effort to put you at ease on the slopes. Make your ski or snowboard debut this winter in Tohoku!

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  • Snowy fun up north

    There is also plenty to do for those less inclined to ski or snowboard. Ski areas are packed with ways to enjoy the winter from snowman building to having your first ever snowball fight, snow rafting, or trying your hand at snowmobiling. When it comes to winter recreation, Tohoku has all the thrills you can imagine.

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  • Other Area

    • Appi Kogen Ski Resort
    • Geto Kogen Resort
    • Wanko Soba
    • Playing with animals
    • Mystical winter scenery
    • Relaxing in a Japanese-style ryokan

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The joy of skiing and snowboarding in Tohoku

Tohoku ski areas can be enjoyed by everyone from beginners to black diamond experts.
Access to Tohoku ski areas is very good, and lessons for every level are available, so you can be sure that you will enjoy yourself.
Are you interested in skiing or snowboarding? If so, then you must visit Tohoku.

Why is Tohoku so great for skiing and snowboarding?

Who wouldn't have their breath taken away by the sight of a world of white stretching out into the distance? Tree branches sag under heavy loads of snow. The scenery is romantic. For Taiwanese people who grew up on a subtropical island, Tohoku is a fantastic destination to experience snow.

Geto Kogen Resort and Appi Kogen Ski Resort, which we visit here, are very large ski areas featuring a wide range of runs. Try a run to suit your level, whether you are a beginner or a slope master. The ski season in Tohoku is relatively long, so you can plan your trip for when you want.

The ski areas all have facilities such as snow outfit rentals, ski and snowboard rentals, changing rooms and lockers. Right down to the cool cafes, they are very convenient. Even better, if you stay in a hotel on the ski slopes, you can ski right out the door, and if you want a rest, it is easy to return to your room.

If skiing all day isn't enough for you, you can ski at night too. Both Geto Kogen and Appi Kogen have slopes that are open at night. Being out on the mountain under a starlit sky is a very special experience. Even with the floodlights, the stars are stunning in clear weather. The slopes at night are every bit as enjoyable as during the day.

Piece of cake for beginners

What do you do if you have never tried either ski or snowboard before?
Don’t worry. You can take lessons in skiing or snowboarding at both Appi Kogen and Geto Kogen to suit your level.
If you think the instruction will only be in Japanese and you won’t understand so why bother, don’t worry. Many of the instructors speak English, and you can even take a lesson in Chinese! Lessons begin with a briefing on ski equipment and the instructors are very kind. Once you learn how to use the gear, the instructor will begin to teach you how to ski or slide.

Thanks to the kindness of my instructor, I was able to go from a beginner level to skiing down runs alone in no time. I just can’t express the feeling of accomplishment in words. It is not possible to learn everything in one day, but you do feel like you are making progress during the lesson. This makes you want to try harder, to ski more, and with these thoughts one day is never enough.

Of course, ski lessons are available not just for novices but for mid-level and advanced skiers too. Lessons can be taken individually or in groups, so you can choose the right format for you. You might even be able to ask the instructor for an extended lesson if you feel like you need more practice at the end of the time!
In the lesson we took, the students were all of different levels. But that did not have any effect on our enjoyment of skiing and we had a great day on the slopes. It was a great idea to have a lesson and together with friends it was 100% fun too. If you like, you can ask the ski area in advance about the lessons they have available.

Ease of access

Do you imagine it’s hard to get to ski areas in Tohoku? In fact, it is very simple. All you have to do is take the shinkansen from Tokyo. You will be in Snow Country in about 1 hour and 40 minutes. That is a lot easier than you may have thought. Many ski resorts offer shuttle buses from the train station. That makes it easy to get around and enjoy skiing or snowboarding, even without a car.

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Snowy fun up north

For those who do not or cannot ski or snowboard, should you stay away from the ski areas?
Not at all. Tohoku ski areas have many other activities to enjoy!

The ski resorts of Tohoku have a vast array of options for enjoying the snow apart from skiing and snowboarding. If you have never seen snow before, you probably won’t be able to drag yourself away from the mountain. Together with friends or family you can make snowmen, throw snowballs, take pictures as you throw the deep powder snow up into the sky, and generally create lasting memories of your time in the white stuff.

On the slopes, you can rent sleds and airboards. These do not require any special skills so if you start your run from a slightly higher point, you will enjoy a thrilling ride down the snow. Make it a race with your friends!

Another activity is snowrafting. Drifting through snow aboard a boat is not something you can experience in snowless regions. Snowrafting travels at a slow pace, allowing those on board to enjoy the ski area scenery as if cruising down a Venetian canal. You will find yourself slowly relaxing as the white world flows past.

For something a little different, try renting a snowmobile. Drive the machine at a speed which is comfortable for you. Racing through the snow is truly a thrilling sensation.
At ski areas like these, you have a plethora of options apart from skiing and snowboarding to enjoy the wonders of the snow.

One delight of the ski areas is that when you need a break, you can go to a café. Ordering a hot coffee or dessert will completely refresh you. You never know, sharing the highlights of your day with friends may end up being the most treasured memory of your trip.

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Enjoy Spot

Tohoku has a lot of ski areas, but on this trip we skiied and snowboarded at two resorts. We spent the rest of our time playing with foxes at the animal park, eating famous local soba noodles (Wanko Soba), and at night warming up with friends under the twinkling lights on the mountain.
At the ryokan, we soaked in hot pools to warm up our chilled bodies, and before falling asleep I would talk endlessly with my friends about what had happened on our Tohoku trip, etching the memories into our hearts.
There is no end to the delights of winter in Tohoku, and I truly hope to visit again and again.

  • Appi Kogen Ski Resort

    The scale of Appi Kogen Ski Resort makes it the biggest in Tohoku. The variety of runs and levels means that you will find the right course regardless of your ability. The resort company runs a hotel right here, so if you like waking up and skiing out the front door, pick this hotel. Having exhausted yourself during a day on the mountain, set yourself up for the next day by relaxing in the large hot pool inside the hotel. Appi Kogen also enjoys a ski season that runs to mid-May.

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  • Geto Kogen Resort

    Geto Kogen Resort enjoys a deep snow base with superb snow quality, with a skiing season that lasts until mid-May. It is a mecca for top skiers from around the world, with 14 runs serviced by five gondolas. The ski resort features not just accommodation facilities and hot springs but exceptional chill-out zones, such as the modern café offering freshly baked bread.

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  • Wanko Soba

    The most famous food of Iwate would have to be Wanko Soba. With an attendant at your side, your bowl gets refilled with noodles as soon as you finish. It doesn’t end until you put the lid on it, so the only way to stop the eating is to quickly close the lid. This is like a game, and it is really funny. When you finish, you receive a certificate from the shop to prove how many bowls you ate. It is a great souvenir to take home with you. If you have the chance when you come to Tohoku, give Wanko Soba a try. Compete with your friends to see who can finish the most bowls – you might find a new talent for eating contests. If you are not satisfied with your performance, you can always go back and challenge it again another day!

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  • Playing with animals

    If you love animals, you can’t miss a chance to interact with foxes and other creatures. At Zao Fox Village, not only can you observe foxes close up, you can even give one a hug. The mere sight of a cute fox is heart-melting. If you see one curled up resting on the snow, it is amazingly cute!

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  • Mystical winter scenery

    Koiwai Farm, which is known as a producer of fresh milk, is transformed into a glittering spectacle on winter nights. The area of illumination is not as big as a city event, but it features special light shapes and designs. Famous displays at this event include the display based on Night on the Galactic Railroad, the book by famous Iwate-born writer Kenji Miyazawa, and also eco-friendly displays. Enjoy a hot bowl of soup if you’re cold, or creamy ice-cream made with fresh milk if not. Gathering in a circle with friends to gaze at the lights while recounting the day’s events is a special experience.

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  • Relaxing in a Japanese-style ryokan

    When traveling in Japan, you must stay overnight at a hot spring ryokan to experience Japanese culture. Tohoku has many hot springs, and many people visit for the benefits that the water has for the skin. This time we stayed at the Daikon-no-Hana hot spring ryokan. As soon as we checked in, my friends and I went to relax in the hot pool.
    We then walked down a wooden, Japanese-style corridor, enjoying the garden scenery along the way.
    Buy some snacks to eat as you discuss tomorrow’s schedule, release some stress with a boardgame, or test your skills with a traditional Japanese toy. You might find a special talent!

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Spot Details

  • Appi Kogen Ski Resort

    Appi Kogen Ski Resort
    17-17 Appikogen, Hachimantai, Iwate 028-7306

  • Geto Kogen Resort

    Geto Kogen Resort
    Wagacho Iwasaki Shinden, Kitakami, Iwate 024-0322
    General desk: 0197-65-9000
    Ski school enquiries: 0197-65-9007

  • Wanko Soba

    Wanko Soba Yabuya (Hanamaki Main Branch)
    7-17 Futsuparicho, Hanamaki, Iwate 025-0078

  • Playing with animals

    Zao Fox Village
    11-3 Kawarago, Fukuokayatsumiya
    Shiroishi-shi, Miyagi-ken 989-0733

  • Mystical winter scenery

    Koiwai Farm
    36-1, Maruyachi, Shizukuishi-cho, Iwate 020-0507

  • Relaxing in a Japanese-style ryokan

    21-7 Togatta Onsen Kitayama, Zao-machi,
    Katta-gun, Miyagi Prefecture 989-0916

Hotels in TOHOKU

About Charlie

I'm Charlie

Charlie is a popular Taiwanese YouTuber who mostly posts about beauty. She has many young female followers who like her gentle way of talking and her neatly presented, cute make-up. Her Taiwanese fans trust her to deliver straight and honest comments, reflecting her basic personality. Joint appearances with her Swedish husband Jonas are extremely humorous. Whenever Charlie releases a new video, it is a big event among the young women of Taiwan.

Where is TOHOKU?

The Tohoku region is made up of the six prefectures located between Tokyo and Hokkaido.
There is great beauty in the unknown wilderness, mountainous expanses, and humanity of these six prefectures.
This website introduces examples of travels in the Tohoku region, where history, culture, and tradition are seamlessly fused together in the fabric of everyday life.

Getting to TOHOKU