To most European and North American skiers, Japan is a fabulous island with phenomenal snowy slopes for a great skiing experience. It’s a perfect skiing country for both resort and off-piste enthusiasts.
Japan boasts many ski areas with fantastic runs where recreational and competitive skiers can ride and have fun in the winter.
But is Fuji san one of Japan’s ski areas? Can you ride on the snowy peaks of Mount Fuji in Japan, or is it preserved as a country’s icon?
The short answer is yes. You can ski down Mount Fuji in Japan. This mountain has two incredible ski resorts and a vast backcountry territory waiting for you to explore!
While Mount Fuji is one of the three Holy Mountains of Japan and is mainly used as the country’s cultural icon, many people still ride its steep runs.
Unfortunately, you cannot ski this mountain every cold month, especially in the peak areas, as it can be too risky when the ice is too hard.
So, what is the best time to ski down Mount Fuji, and what does skiing in this area feel like? Is it worth climbing and skiing down Mount Fuji, Japan?
Keep reading to find out the answers to such questions and a few more things about skiing down the sacred mountain of Japan!
Ski Resorts in Mount Fuji
There are two ski resorts on Mount Fuji, both located toward the mountain’s base. This includes Fujiten Snow Resort and Fujiyama Snowtown Resort Yeti.
#1. Fujiten Snow Resort
Stationed at the foot of the northern side of Fuji San, Fujiten ski resort is a perfect destination for beginners and intermediate skiers.
It is a small resort, but it has every single service that skiers need when having fun in this area, and they all come at reasonable prices.
Are you new to skiing and are looking for a perfect area in Japan to build your skill? This ski resort is your best bet.
About 85% of the terrain in Fujiten Snow Resort is ideal for beginners and intermediate skiers, but there are also a few steeper trails and a snow park for seasoned skiers.
This resort has four lifts that serve seven varied trails, and the lingering one is almost a mile long.
While Fujiten snow resort is a fantastic option for new and intermediate skiers, it may not be a great destination for advanced skiers looking for an intense skiing experience.
The reason is that it’s a small ski area, and advanced skiers may quickly get bored, especially due to the lack of steep terrain. The steepest slope is only 32 degrees.
Amenities in Fujiten Snow Resort
Fujiten is a superb ski resort for your entire family and will not leave you feeling as if you’ve paid too much for the services.
There are affordable rentals, childcare centers, and riding courses available for all guests in this resort. A lift pass ticket for adults will only cost you $30.
Even so, night skiing can be a bit expensive, but the magical experience you get in this area when skiing under the stars is definitely worth the extra cost.
Fujiten’s Snow Conditions
The snowfall season usually starts in December and continues to early April. And while most of the snow on the mountain is artificial, especially in the first few weeks, unexpected storms are rare.
Since a big part of the terrain is usually covered with artificial snow, you can look forward to skiing on freshly groomed slopes every day.
This is perfect for beginners and skiers looking to improve their ski ability as they need smooth runs to excel in their practice.
#2. Fujiyama Snowtown Yeti
Just like the Fujiten Snow Resort, Fujiyama Snowtown is a budget-friendly ski resort. You can visit the resort with your entire family and enjoy skiing on the slopes without breaking the bank.
Here is what you need to know about its terrain, amenities and snow conditions:
If you are a first-time skier and are terrified by steep slopes, this resort has runs that are almost flat as you start.
About 90% of Fujiyama Yeti’s slopes are ideal for intermediate and new skiers. The steepest runs max out at only 25 degrees, making it a perfect ski area for young children and skiers who haven’t learned all the basics.
However, the snow park is your only option if you are an advanced skier looking for more challenging runs.
While the terrain park is relatively small, you will have good runs where you can do freestyle skiing, perform tricks and work your muscles out.
Yeti has everything skiers and boarders need when skiing in this area, from restaurants to child care centers. If you don’t have your own skiing gear, you’ll find several rental shops where you can hire the equipment at reasonable prices.
Fujiyama Snowtown also offers night skiing, and it’s surprisingly cheap. So, if you love riding the runs after the sun goes down, nothing will stop you in this resort.
You can ski down the runs until sunrise and embark on a snow hike the next day to diversify your experience.
Another thing that will surprise you in this resort is that a lift pass ticket will cost you as low as $30. This is incredibly cheap compared to what you would pay for skiing in European ski countries or North America.
Unlike Fujiten, which opens in December and closes in early April, Yeti has a slightly longer ski season. Skiing in Yeti begins in October with artificial snow and closes towards the end of March.
When spending your winter holiday in this resort, you’ll enjoy riding on fresh corduroy every day, as long as you hit the slopes before the hordes show up.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Mount Fuji Ski Resorts
- Very affordable
- Perfect terrain for beginner or intermediate skiers
- Rental shops and ski course available for guests
- Outstanding location and spectacular views
- Little technical terrain for seasoned skiers
- Less natural snowfall
- Easily crowded
Backcountry Ski Trip on Mount Fuji: Is It Worth It?
Yes, backcountry skiing on Mt Fuji is worth it. You can hike up to the mountain summit and ski down as long as the weather conditions are favorable.
If skiing with groups of people on the slope is not your thing, you might want to try backcountry skiing on Mount Fuji.
Backcountry skiing is a perfect way for advanced skiers to challenge themselves with something more intense than what you get in the resorts.
If you don’t want to get bored riding on the intermediate slope in the resort, the sacred mountain provides access to steeper and complex off-piste terrain.
The good thing about backcountry skiing on Mt Fuji is that there are many guides who can direct you to the technical slopes on the mountain.
You’ll enjoy riding on the fresh snow from the top of the mountain and maximize your time on the lengthy vertical drop.
Nonetheless, backcountry skiing on Mt Fuji is not ideal for beginner skiers. The traditional terrain is designated for experienced skiers who can handle intense slopes and the worst conditions.
This is because climbing the mountain is actually physically demanding, and you need to wear the right gear to climb the snowy mountain.
I wouldn’t recommend hiking up the icy mountain if you are not comfortable walking on the snow or don’t have advanced equipment like an ice axe and crampons on your skis or ski boots. Otherwise, your ski boots may feel a bit uncomfortable and you might end up falling during the ascent.
So, is backcountry skiing on Mount Fuji any better than riding in the resorts?
Well, the answer to this question depends on the type of experience you are looking for on the mountain.
If you are an experienced skier and want to ride on more challenging terrain, then backcountry skiing is the front-runner. You’ll have a unique experience on the technical terrain with better snow and no hordes.
Your weather forecast skills will come in handy when climbing the mountain, as you don’t want to reach the summit only to be caught in a storm.
Nonetheless, it may not be worth it or even safe if you are a beginner or not comfortable climbing the mountain. Also, if you are on a low budget, guided trips can be a bit pricier than ski lifts in the resorts.
What is the Best Time to Ski Down Mt Fuji, Japan?
The best time to ski Mt Fuji is from January to March, with February being the crowning ski month in Japan.
During the peak season, thousands of skiers and snowboarders crowd Mt Fuji resorts to enjoy skiing and boarding on the smooth runs. Others choose to climb to the summit for backcountry skiing in the winter season.
However, ski resorts usually open as early as November or even late October, but they use artificial snow.
The man made snow makes the slopes even better when natural snow falls since it creates a good base that will last. Don’t hesitate to visit resorts like Fujiten and Yeti Snowtown if you want to start skiing early.
Q: Can You Snowboard on Mount Fuji?
A: Yes, you can snowboard on Mt Fuji. There are several resorts for skiers and snowboarders, including Fujiten and Snowtown Yeti.
These resorts offer well-groomed runs for beginner and experienced skiers and snowboarders. But they are relatively small, with only a few lifts.
If you want to embark on backcountry snowboarding or skiing on Mt Fuji, be sure to bring the appropriate gear, like an ice axe and boot crampons for the ascent.
It is also essential to keep in mind that backcountry skiing on Mt Fuji is for advanced skiers and snowboarders. You need to be physically fit and have good experience for safe climbing and descent.
When backcountry snowboarding or skiing Mt Fuji terrain, you need to be cautious about the weather conditions.
The snow conditions can change within no time, and it may not be safe to ride rugged terrain on windy days.
Q: Is Mt Fuji Always Snow Covered?
A: No, Mt Fuji is not always covered with snow throughout the year. The mountain is usually all-white during the snowfall season, which starts from November to April and sometimes to May.
However, the mountain is not skiable throughout the entire winter season. Most people ski and snowboard on this mountain during the peak season, which is usually from February.
The mountain is usually too cold between November and January, and the strong winds blow away any light snow, making it impossible for skiers and boarders to ride.
Q: Does the Snow on Mount Fuji Melt?
A: Yes, the Snow on Mt Fuji usually starts melting in May. The mountain is typically all black in summer since the snow melts down.
However, snowfall begins as November approaches, and the mountain becomes all white and windy again.
Q: What Can You Do on Mount Fuji in the Winter?
A: There are many things you can do on Mt Fuji in the winter, from skiing to snow hiking. You can bring your own gear or rent everything you need from rental shops near the slopes.
Beginners can ski down the mountain on groomed runs, while advanced skiers and snowboarders can enjoy riding on the backcountry terrain.
If all you want is a view of the mountain, you can take a short bus or train trip from Tokyo. Then explore the mountain to take pictures and see other incredible attractions like Lake Yamanakako and Lake Kawaguchiko.
And when night falls, you’ll have a fantastic view of candle lighting and fireworks launched against the snowy mountain at Yamanakako.
While most mountain climbers will tell you that the best time to visit MT Fuji is summer, the mountain is the most captivating in winter. The highest mountain views from the various lakes surrounding it are magnificent.
If you are wondering whether you can ski down Mt Fuji in Japan, the answer is yes. Mt Fuji is a beautiful destination for skiers and snowboarders of different abilities.
And the good thing about the resorts on this mountain is that they are near Tokyo, so you can easily access them with a direct bus or train.
If you are new to skiing, you can check out the Mt Fuji resorts for an affordable and safe riding experience. But if you already have the skill and are up for a challenge, the backcountry terrain is your best bet!