Adventure sports are those that are typically associated with a high degree of danger. Of these, skiing and snowboarding fall smack in the middle and are perceived as high-octane sports. But typically snowboarding and skiing are performed on-piste, implying the existence of a specific track that skiers will have to follow. The true unadulterated forms of snow sports, however, are experienced off-piste, where the individual will have to make dynamic reactions at the blink of an eye, to keep themselves from crashing. A few places where off-piste skiing is allowed are Madarao Ski Resort in the Honshu region and a few places in the Hokkaido region.
Northern Japan is famous for its powder snow, its indigenous sushi and ramen, and its relaxing geothermal spas. These three can be found in abundance in Northern Japan, and specifically in the North of the Nagano prefecture. Below, three prominent skiing resorts are listed:
- Madarao Ski Resort :The slopes of Madarao have been sculpted for skiers of all ages and skill levels. Approximately 60% of its slopes are ungroomed, allowing for amazing off-piste skiing. Apart from this, Madarao has groomed about 40% of its slope, and created approximately 30 ski trails. With its astounding 13 metres of average snowfall, the slopes of Madarao are blissful for those who prefer waist-deep powder. This is not the only distinguishing characteristic of this resort however, as it also happens to be within 25 minutes of various other popular ski resorts such as the Kijikadaira, Ryuoo Snow Park and MyokoKogen.
- NozawaOnsen :This resort strikes the perfect balance between the Japan of old, and the Japan of new. It attracts a large percentage of skiers from Western countries, while simultaneously retaining its loyal base of Japanese skiers. The NozawaOnsen features courses tailored to beginners and intermediates, and so attracts large participation. Unfortunately, the NozawaOnsen area does not approve of off-piste skiing and this may prove to be a deterrent for advanced skiers.
- TogariOnsen :High snowfall and an apparent lack of visitors makes this place ideal for those weekend getaways when NozawaOnsen and MadaraoKogen are full. Separated into two parts, TogariOnsen has high verticals at its peaks for those daring adventurers, and low-angled, expansive slopes for the beginners. However ski gear will need to be brought as there is a lack of good rental gear. Last but not least, TogariOnsen also has provisions for off-piste skiing, but only for the most adventurous and daring of individuals.