| Hokkaido

Exquisite beauty “The garden where the gods play” Mt. Taisetsuyama · Kurodake ski area

Kurodake ski resort in the Taisetsu zan mountains is a place of exquisite beauty know as the “The garden where the gods play.” Mt. Kurodake of the Taisetsu zan mountain range has an altitude of around 5950 feet. It rises just above the Souunkyo hot spring with the “Taisetsu Kurodake ski resort” spreading out on its northern slope.
Mt. Kurodake

Offered Photo: Kurodake Ski Area

With its beautiful scenery and good quality snow it is one of Hokkaido’s premier ski resorts. In fine weather, it offers a magnificent view of the Taisetsu zan mountain range. It’s as beautiful as if you entered a world of mountains like you see in the movies. Because the altitude is high, the amount of snow is steadily high, so the length of the skiing season is long. It will open early in November and you can ski to the Golden Week in May.

Offered Photo: Kurodake Ski Area

In addition, the Kurodake ski resort is called a “land of yearning” by the local mountain lovers. Those skiers/snowboarders who wish to visit it even once. It has beautiful scenery and some of the best powder snow in Japan. It has vegetation conditions similar to Alaska and continues to attract many mountain skiers and snowboarders.


The high altitude slopes have a lot of Powder snow!

“Taisetsu Kurodake ski resort” is about 1 hour 30 minutes away from Asahikawa Airport. From Sapporo, it takes about 2 hours 30 minutes by car when using the highway. It is a ski resort in the hot spring town of Sounkyo.

Offered Photo: Kurodake Ski Area


Illustration map provided: Kurodake ski resort

The slopes of the mountain don’t actually reach the town of Sounkyo. There are places to ski at the ½ way and ¾ way mark of Mt. Kurodake. It takes about 7 minutes to take the gondola from “Sounkyo Gorge Station” at the foot to “Kurodake Station” at the ½ way point. From there you can ride a lift to the ¾ waypoint.

Offered Photo: Kurodake Ski Area

Since it is possible to rise to about 4,500 feet from roughly 1,800 feet altitude with a ropeway or a lift, you can enjoy the transition of vegetation and changing snow scene.

Offered Photo: Kurodake Ski Area

The altitude at the ¾ waypoint is around 4,500 feet where the air is cold and the snow is flying around like specs of light. It creates some of the finest powder snow in Hokkaido.

“Kamuimintara” means “Garden where the Gods play” in the Ainu language!

When introducing the appeal of Kurodake’s ski resort, the beautiful scenery comes first. On sunny days, you can see the 6,000-foot-high Taisetsu mountains which contains the highest peak in Hokkaido.

Offered Photo: Kurodake Ski Area

Kurodake is one of the highest peaks in the Taisetsu mountain range which is located in the center of Hokkaido. That Taisetsu mountain range has been called “Kamiminimara” in Ainu language. The meaning is “the garden where the gods play”. It is primarily made up of a lava plateau spreading between 6,000 feet high mountains. It is home to more than 300 alpine plants. Its magnificent landscape is “paradise on the clouds” a suitable place for the gods to play!
Powder run
You can experience long powder runs while enjoying some of the best views in this “garden.” It is a real pleasure unique to Kurodake!

Kurodake is comparable to Honshu’s 9,000 foot Mountain!


Offered Photo: Kurodake Ski Area

The peak of Mt. Kurodake can be seen from the ¾ point of the mountain. It looks somewhat like a ragged desert site. Many people say that they would like to see the scenery from the summit! As a matter of fact, people want to climb to the top.
There is no lift from the ¾ waypoint to the summit. From there it is “backcountry” and the summit can only be reached by foot. Mt. Kurodake has an altitude of about 6,000 feet but has conditions comparable to the 9,000-foot mountain in Honshu because it is further north in latitude. The summit is like another world where forest limits are reached and spacious open fields spread out in front of you! It is a place that can seduce many mountain skiers and snowboarders. With sufficient equipment, knowledge and experience you can reach the summit by foot. For beginners, we recommend climbing with a guided tour. The beautiful scenery is not just for advanced climbers. Even beginners can participate in snowshoe tours. You might be able to see shimmering ice and diamond dust if the timing is good.

You can enjoy skiing all the way to the Golden Week!

The Kurodake ski resort has a long season that lasts all the way through Golden Week in the beginning of May. There is a complete ski rental set available for 3,500 It is recommended for those visiting the area for leisurely purposes and soaking in the hot springs.

Offered Photo: Kurodake Ski Area

Even in Kurodake, the feel of winter last until February and March. When it comes to the Golden Week, it truly has the spirit of the warmth of spring. As the weather stabilizes, it is a perfect time to enjoy the scenery.
Sounkyo Onsen
After a day of skiing, it is routine to warm up at the Sounkyo hot spring located at the foot of the mountain. You don’t have to stay overnight at an inn to enjoy the hot springs. People who are on day trips are also welcome! There are day-trip bathing specials at each of the hot spring inns, but there is also a public hot spring “Kurodake no yu” in the hot spring town.

* For the operating period of the 2017-18 season (updated on November 21, 2017) *
• Scheduled open date
November 19, 2017 (Sun)
• Operating period
Thursday, November 23, 2017 to May 6, 2018 (Sun)
• Night sales
* Please check the latest information from the official website.

Smart tip
  • Even people who do not ski find value here on sunny days! There is an observation deck at the ½ way point where you can get at from the ropeway. You can also get off at the ¾ way stop at the lift desk, so you can enjoy a spectacular view from there. The round-trip fare for the ropeway is 1,950 yen for adults.
  • When viewing the scenery, please pay attention to the "woods." The trees freeze in the cold weather, so you need to be aware of any broken tree branches that may fall. On Mt.
  • The ropeway is susceptible to the influence of the wind, and often it will be closed. Always check before you plan to use it.
What's interesting

On these slopes you can enjoy the best snow quality without feeling crowded. Although you can enjoy the slopes, it is also the real pleasure at Kurodake for advanced skiers and experienced people to take on the challenge of backcountry skiing. Do not forget that there is also the danger of avalanche!