Imagine a family ski resort where the powder is so plentiful, and runs so roomy, that the mention of its name turns every famous Japanese ski destination green with envy. Welcome to Kiroro, Hokkaido.
But it’s not just the incredible snowfalls and uncrowded slopes that have in-the-know skiers returning to this holiday gem time and again. The cherry (blossom) on top, is the excellent range of accommodation, activities, facilities, nearby attractions and quick access from the international airport.
Whether you enjoy your whole stay here, or combine Kiroro’s unique charms and unparalleled snow quality with the bustle of Niseko, you’ll soon discover why this ski-haven is one of Japan’s best-kept secrets – for now.
Here are our favourite things about Kiroro:
- The breathtaking beauty of Hokkaido’s snowiest resort
- Just 90 minutes from the international airport
- Ski runs and lessons for kids and adults of every level
- Dreamy accommodation options
- The relaxed, warm and intimate town and mountain-base
- Lashings of activities, both on and off the snow
- Speedy lifts and uncrowded mountains
- Excitement and festival fun in nearby Sapporo and Otaru
Kiroro…its Japanese for snow wonderland
As a holiday destination, Kiroro has many attractive qualities for ski lovers to swoon about.
Above all, the astonishing abundance of snow and unspoilt natural beauty make this first-class resort the dreamiest of family winter playgrounds – whether your band of merry mountaineers are complete beginners, intermediates or advanced skiers and boarders.
Wherever you ski on Kiroro’s two breathtaking mountains, Asari and Nagamine, lift queues are as rare as sashimi. So, you’ll always find open space on the slopes to learn, cruise or take on a fun challenge – even if it’s to see who makes the most impressive snow angel.
And with months of abounding powder, you can bask in Kiroro’s magical skiing conditions from late November through to early May.
- Located in Yoichi/Akaigawa, Hokkaido’s highest snowfall area
- Celebrate 21m of the finest quality snow each season (yes, 21!)
- Average 5m base depth (for soft landings)
- 23 runs across 120 hectares of duvet-plump powder
- 9 lifts including a gondola and 5 high-speed hooded chairlifts.
- Varied runs – 31% beginner, 34% intermediate, 35% advanced.
- Fresh powder even when you ski in the evening
- Ski-in ski-out village – so no lugging skis and boots for miles.
- Stunning back and side country to explore
Kids adore school time in Kiroro (so do mum and dad)
From tots to teens, beginners to advanced, children have the time of their lives learning and making new friends at Annie Kids Ski Academy, sister property of the largest kid’s ski school in Europe, Village des Enfants.
- Annie Kids Ski Academy caters for 3 – 12 years
- Learn with some of Japan’s best skiers and snowboarders.
- Full-day programs including lunch and after lesson activities
- Dedicated kids learning area
- Toboggan area
- Children 3 years and younger can also use the indoor play room.
Mountains of options
Across the two resort mountains, Kiroro offers a rare blend of awe-inspiring scenery, state of the art facilities and terrain – so everyone from beginner to expert can clip on their boots and experience some of the world’s most smile-inducing ski and snowboard conditions:
- Begin or brush up on your skills with lessons at Kiroro Ski Academy
- Half and full day private lessons for children and adults (for 1 – 8 people)
- Lots of long gentle runs and flatter areas for beginners to develop confidence
- Long and wide, open powdery runs for intermediates and advanced
- A large number of courses with moguls aimed at advanced skiers
- The longest run extends over 4,000m
- Plenty of memorable boarding experiences
- Evening skiing on fresh snow
For a feast of powder snow action without a guide, advanced skiers and boarders can carve up specially designated and patrolled side country and tree skiing areas within the resort.
Once you’ve mastered these areas, you may be feeling exhilarated and confident enough to take on the awe-inspiring backcountry. There’s no better way to get up close and personal with the natural beauty of Kiroro.
Snow many outdoor family experiences
Even off the skis and boards, your snow-loving clan will soon become smitten by the range of on-snow activities and tour options that you can revel in together, such as:
- Kid’s Snow Park – sledding, tubing and playing in the powder together.
- Snowcat tours – hop aboard a grooming machine adventure
- Snowshoe tours – take a picturesque clomp through the forest
- Snowmobiling – with an instructor or hire mini snowmobiles (8yrs and older)
- Rafting and banana boating – grab on, laugh and ride the powder towed by a snowmobile (6yrs and older)
- Snow biking tour and Snow buggy 4WD tours & Snow striders – tiny bikes on skis for 1.5 – 5yrs
- Segway tours – on two-wheeled electric vehicles (16yrs and over)
Enjoying these activities as a family makes them more than just unique experiences. They’re special times that you get to see the excitement and wonder on your kid’s faces – and create memories to look back on together for years to come.
When the day is done…
Of course, you go on a ski holiday for the snow. Saying that, one of life’s great pleasures is arriving back at your accommodation, working your way out of tight boots and damp clothes, to enjoy the fruits of your abode.
Kiroro’s three main properties cater perfectly for that precious boot-free moment and your entire stay. Each is designed with varying needs and budgets at the top of mind.
The Kiroro, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel, Hokkaido
- Just a 7-minute walk or 3-minute shuttle from the ski lift access area.
- Generously proportioned rooms.
- 11 restaurants
- Gym, indoor pool, kids’ playroom, plus many of the activities listed above.
Sheraton Hokkaido Kiroro Resort
- Located slope-side with unbeatable ski-in/ski-out convenience.
- Public bath on 2/F with sauna
- Three restaurants and bar.
- Link to mountain center where you can head to ski rental shop and position make it a great option for families or learners.
- Easy access to ski school for lessons.
Yu Kiroro condominiums
- Luxurious apartments with kitchens and ski in-and-out access.
- Use the newly built Gateway Gondola to travel from Yu Kiroro to the slopes and the mountain center, Sheraton Kiroro Resort.
- Condo sizes spanning from studio to multi-bedroom suites and an incredible penthouse.
- Beautiful design blending traditional Japanese charm, Swiss alpine architecture and state of the art technology.
- Ski Valet service, onsen and fully equipped gym.
- Kids Space, Family Space and restaurant.
- 24-hour hotel concierge can organise transfers, rentals, activities, pampering and dining.
Ski-in, ski-out and get around Town
Off the slopes, Kiroro has been carefully planned and built to ensure families feel right at home. With its welcoming and helpful locals, superb accommodation options, dining and activities, you immediately feel part of a community that knows you’re all sharing something very special.
In town, you’ll find a selection of shops, a fitness centre, sauna, onsen (more about this heavenly local tradition in a moment), bars and restaurants.
Plus, being close to the coast, you can experience Hokkaido specialty dishes prepared using fresh, locally-sourced ingredients.
Food glorious food
Many of the best après ski feast and beverage choices can be found in the very places you lay your weary head after a magic day on the mountain:
Sheraton Hokkaido Kiroro
- Take in the World Buffet Rivierouge’s spectacular mountain views with buffet breakfast or dinner.
- Kick back at the Lobby Lounge enjoying casual dining and/or creative cocktails
- Watch your fresh catch seafood sushi and grilled food being made by a Japanese sushi chef at a sushi counter grill food.
The Kiroro, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel, Hokkaido
- Be part of the action at POP World Buffet with international cuisine, live-cooked noodles and a special kids’ menu.
- Head to Alla Moda and melt under the spell of their Italian-born chef’s mouthwatering menu and selection of wines.
- Even pickiest little eaters can’t resist lunch and dinner choices on Alpine Brasserie’s sensational French, Japanese, International and American menu – also includes live music every night.
- Asian Kitchen for unique and sensory-tingling Thai-Chinese cuisine.
- The Hokkaido Bar for local beers & spirits including the famous Nikka Whiskey.
- Treat yourself to first-class local cuisine experiences at Yanshu (Japanese Yakiniku), Shunsai (steak house) and Fuga (Japanese sushi) operated by Sapporo Lion
- Yukashi for an array of mouth-watering Japanese and Western dining.
For other dining options on the mountain, and around Kiroro Town, we suggest you:
- Ski-in and out on a pitstop for lunch or between runs at Crest.
- Enjoy a tipple and good company at the Mountain Café & Lounge après bar.
- Experience soul-warming local favourites such as Hokkaido ramen, seafood-topped rice and Japanese curry at Lumiere.
- Relax with the family and good music at Lounge bar Popke.
- Take in the mountain-top panorama with your coffee, sweet treat or light meal at Asari View.
Winter events and activities
The resort has plenty to keep your family entertained throughout the season, including fireworks, comedy and magic shows, Taiko performances and more. Plus, a host of exciting events to watch, such as the PowderRide Championship and Banked Slalom.
Other activities include:
- Granship Activity Center – let the kids loose on the climbing wall, bouldering, ball pits, giant inflatable slides, arcade games and mystery pirate adventure
- Japanese crafts – create gel candles, music boxes and metal badges with your kids.
- Ice-candle making – learn how to create your own ice candles in the winter season
- Kotan Massage – luxuriate in body care, treatments and oil massages.
Sink into and thaw out at an Onsen hot springs
You cannot say you’ve truly experienced Japan until you’ve shivered in from the cold and submerged into a natural hot springs bath. In Kiroro, you’ll find onsen waiting to soothe and warm you at:
- Kiroro Onsen – a 100% hot spring bath draws water from a nearby village.
- Tokiwayu Public Bath – an outdoor bath with a magical view out to the snow.
- Yu Kiroro – guests staying at the property can relax in indoor and outdoor pools watching the snowfall on the mountains.
Visit exciting destinations close-by
Kiroro’s envied location seems almost unfair and not only are guests blessed with some of the world’s best and most consistent snow, but you can be in three of Japan’s most unique and interesting destinations in under an hour by car, bus or tour.
Otaru (35 minutes)
- A laid back, peaceful port city with wonderful canals and historic buildings.
- If you’re staying at the resort in February, you can’t miss the Otaru Snow Festival, where the town streets are lit up with a myriad of snow candles.
- Otaru has some excellent dining and bar options including the Otaru Soko No1 Brewery German Style Hofbrau, complete with music, atmosphere and laughter.
Sapporo (60 minutes)
- The world-famous Snow Festival is held over seven days in February – experience the amazing ice sculpture contest illuminated ice sculptures and ice bar.
- Marvel at the views from the top of the Sapporo TV Tower.
- Raise a glass and say “Kanpai!” at the Sapporo Beer Museum.
- Sample the restaurants, pachinko, cinemas bars in Susukino.
- Visit the deer, monkeys, timber wolves and polar bear at Maruyama Zoo.
- Sample a dram or two of Yoichi Single Malt at the Nikka Whisky distillery.
- Enjoy authentic Italian food with local wine at OcciGabi Winery.
- Explore the dramatic Shakotan coastal line in winter.
Getting to and from Kiroro
Chitose international airport
- Around 90 minutes by bus, car or transfer.
- One-way direct buses from the airport cost approx. USD38 (JPY4,100 for adults; USD 29 which is about JPY 3,100 for kids)
- Approximately 40 mins by bus, self-drive car or private transfer
With all that’s been happening in the world, there’s something very poignant and warming about the idea of travelling to a new and beautiful destination with the people who mean the most to us.
And with excellent value packages available for the winter ahead, now is the perfect time to begin looking into a truly special and unforgettable Kiroro family ski holiday experience.