If one of your family members or friends loves skiing in Japan as much as we do, the chances are that you don’t hear the end of it. After all, skiing in Japan is objectively the single greatest experience on earth and those of us that have had that opportunity just need to spread the word, constantly!

Well, today I’ve put together a list of six gifts you can buy to satisfy their Japan ski craving for the time being. Or maybe make them go on about it even more, who knows!


1. My Hokkaido: The Ultimate Guide to Japan’s Great Northern Islands

My Hokkaido - Aaron Jamieson

My Hokkaido: The Ultimate Guide to Japan’s Great Northern Islands. Buy now

Hokkaido is well known for being a skier’s paradise, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s the first place you look at for a ski holiday in Japan. The snow is deep, the ski slopes are plentiful, and the après ski is on point! That said, it’s an island with far more depth than just skiing. Think of incredible seafood, epic mountainous landscapes, and fascinating cultural history.

Long-time Hokkaido resident and photographer Aaron Jamieson manages to discuss all this and more in his book “My Hokkaido”. So if you’re looking for more information on Japan’s number one ski island, then this is a fantastic book for you or that other person who loves skiing in the land of the rising sun!

2. Atomic Bent Chetler 120 Skis

Atomic Bent Chetler 120

Atomic Bent Chetler 120. View more images

No ski trip to Japan would be complete without a few waist-high powder days. With perhaps the most reliable snow conditions on earth, it’s a case of when they will happen, not if they will. That means those race skis you’ve packed probably aren’t going to cut it, but the Atomic Bent Chetler 120 skis absolutely will!

Refined by Chirs Benchetler since 2008, these legendary skis perform at their best when conditions get deep. For that reason, these skis were our top pick when we compiled a list of the best ski for Japan.

3. GoPro HERO11

As the slightly annoying saying goes, “pics or it didn’t happen”. With the GoPro HERO11, you’ll have 27-megapixel pics, 5.3k 60fps footage, and a practically indestructible camera. All of those will be enough to prove to your mates you did in fact pull off that unnatural double alley-oop flatspin 900… probably. If not, it’ll certainly be enough to capture the stunning Japanese mountains covered in snow well enough for video memories to look back on.

GoPro Hero 11

GoPro Hero 11. Buy now

4. Guided Backcountry Tour

Japan has its fair share of awesome on-piste ski runs, but most of the attention from visitors is on the epic backcountry, rightly so in my opinion. Unless you’ve grown up around Mount Yōtei, you aren’t going to know any secret spots or best places for the current conditions. That’s why buying a guided backcountry tour for someone, or yourself is one of the best investments you can make in your ski trip. That’s if your ability can handle it, of course! You’ll likely be given the opportunity to get completely fresh lines, improve your tree skiing, and hang out with other like-minded people and awesome skiers. What’s not to love!?

Tohoku backcountry tour

3-day backcountry skiing in Tohoku. Enquire with Explore-share

Not sure where to look? Ski Asia partner Explore-share is a booking engine for backcountry adventures around the world, where guides have been vetted to ensure they have the relevant certifications and experience. Enquire here.

5. Oyuki Haika 3-in-1 Glove

Oyuki Haika 3-in-1 glove

Oyuki Haika 3-in-1 glove

There’s no point in booking yourself onto one of those backcountry tours without the necessary gear to keep yourself comfortable. Japanese winters can be extremely harsh, and if your kit doesn’t keep up with you, you aren’t going to have an enjoyable time. In my opinion, gloves, as well as socks and boots come near the top of that kit list. As such, having cold or wet hands is the best way to quickly ruin a day on the mountain. So what better way to keep warm and dry than with a pair of hard-wearing gloves designed and built specifically for the Japanese backcountry.

Oyuki is a great little brand born out of Niseko, the ski capital of Japan, and their Haika 3-in1 can take all the punishment a Japanese winter can throw at you. Plus, supporting a local brand is never a bad thing!

6. Japanese Phrasebook

Japanese phrase book

Lonely Planet’s Japanese Phrasebook. Buy now

Learning a few Japanese words on your ski trip to Japan could prove invaluable, especially if you’re heading off the beaten track to a resort with little to no infrastructure. That said, even if you or the person who loves skiing in Japan is going somewhere like Niseko or Hakuba, learning a few words is never a bad idea.

It might help you connect with the locals, or maybe just confidently order that bowl of ramen. Either way, it’ll broaden your horizons and help you enjoy your ski trip as much as possible.

Well, there you have it. Six of the best gifts to buy for people who love skiing in Japan! I can’t promise buying one of these will stop them from endlessly going on about japan, but I can promise they’ll be happy if they get one of these!


Japan backcountry skiingOrganise your guided backcountry skiing tour in Japan

There are lots of options in Hokkaido and Honshu that can be tailored to the kind of skiing you like and when you plan to come. Answer a few questions and we’ll get back to you with some recommendations.

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