In Japan when winter comes around lots of people enjoy heading to the slopes around Japan for a spot of skiing or snowboarding. There are famous ski resorts all over the country in mountainous areas such as Hokkaido, Nagano and Shiga where experienced skiers and snowboarders can hit the slopes in spectacular surroundings.
If you are more of a beginner though, and you’re looking for somewhere to learn or get some practice in the Kansai area, why not head up to the Mount Rokko snow park near Kobe?
Getting there is easy, from Rokko Station on the Hankyu or Rokko Michi station on the JR line, you can walk to the Rokko mountain ropeway station up the mountain and take the bus to the snow park. Please note, it takes about 1 hour to walk from each station to get to the ropeway station. You need to take a Kobe municipal bus from each station to get there. It takes about 20 minutes and it runs every 6 minutes.
At the snow park you can rent all of the gear you need, warm coats, pants, gloves, ski boots and snowboards or skis or of course if you have your own you can take those along. The slope is pretty gentle if you’re experienced but as a beginner it seems steep enough! I’d never been snowboarding before and my friend was teaching me and it was a great slope for learning on! Although I wasn’t very good I did make it all the way to the bottom without falling once at the end of the day. I think one of the hardest parts was getting on the ski lift at the bottom!
If you don’t have a friend to teach you there are lessons available although you will need to be able to speak Japanese as there are no English lessons available.
They don’t only have skiing and snowboarding at the Snow Park though. If you are in Japan with your family they have “Snowland,” a kids area where they can go sledging and build snowmen and the park has 2 mascots who’ll play rock, paper scissors with the kids. Also they even have competitions to find hidden prizes buried in the snow!
It’s great if you’re just starting out skiing or snowboarding or if you just want a great winter day, head out to the Snow Park on Mount Rokko!