Ski @ Appi Kogen – Japan

Japan – one of my most loved countries in the world. For those who have not set foot in Japan, make it one of the destinations to visit in your lifetime. Experience the culture, soak up the nightlife, enjoy food perfection anywhere and anytime. I find the movie Lost in Translation extremely depictive. Today, I will feature my latest ski trip at Appi Kogen.

Where is Appi Kogen?
The Appi Kogen is located in the Appi Highlands in Iwate Prefecture, about 50km north of Morioka. From Tokyo, it’s 2.5hr on the Shinkansen Hayate to Morioka station and an hour’s bus directly to Appi.
appi map

Accommodation at Appi Hotel
The tower rooms are exceptionally large for Japan standards. Fret not about travel toiletries, you will very likely succumb to using those provided by the hotel. Ladies can also check out the vanity room in the Onsen area for a night of product sampling.
ski @ appi kogen hotel accommodation
Plus, be treated to this postcard view from the hotel rooms!
ski @ appi 2.5hrs on Hayate to Morioka from Tokyo

Skiing at Appi
APPI is located in latitude 40°N where world’s famous ski resorts like Austria’s Arlberg and USA’s Aspen are located. As such, it is uncommon to read about the quality snow here, or Appi being labelled as the St Moritz or Aspen of Japan. Best part, ski starts from early Dec and ends early May.
ski @ appi from Dec to May

Appi is significanly larger than the average ski resort in Japan – 282 hectares, 21 terrains and 45.1km of the total runs. It is a perfect place for beginners and intermediate skiiers who are looking to improve their techniques as slopes are mostly groomed, very wide, and less crowded because of its size.
ski @ appi wide slopes and runs good for beginners

Expert skiiers need not feel left out. There are a couple of black pistes from the summit, including light powder runs. Alternatively, enjoy the challenge of the moguls terrains.
ski @ appi Japan mogul terrains

Ski Conditions
Snowfall is adequate even for spring skiing. We enjoyed Appi’s well-known Aspirin snow (light and fine snow flakes) on the 2nd day of our ski trip!
ski @ appi aspirin snow fine snow flakes

Needless to say, there was amazing powder snow the next day, the sun was dazzlingly bright and we whizzed chirpily through the snow covered trees. In case you have the habit of evaluating the animal paw prints as you ride up the chair lifts, the ones in Appi are most likely fox tracks.
ski @ appi groomed runs enjoy skiing with friends

The summit is for all to enjoy
Enjoy the paronomic view as you take the gondola up to the summit. There are 3 black slopes down and the renowned 5.5km long green course which is popular with kids and family.
ski @ appi gondola to the summit

I am not an expert skiier, therefore my guts have limited pictures to only the groomed black run Hayabusa.
ski @ appi hayabusa black slope and yamabato green course

As well as a short video clip!

Dining at Appi
I loved all my meals – they looked good, tasted better, perfection. I will let the pictures speak for themselves. Remember to also order an Appi beer!

Japanese restaurant – best meal
ski @ appi japanese cuisine appi beer sake

French restaurant – French cusine with a Japanese touch
ski @ appi french cuisine

Must try – Morioka reimen (cold ramen). Only available in Morioka; so delicious we ordered it at every possible meal.
ski @ appi morioka reimen iwate

Conclusion
Appi Kogen is definitely a resort for skiiers of all age and levels and lives up to its reputation of a powderhound. Enjoy a western and modern facade alongside the traditional and immaculate service. Staff here, including ski instructors, speak relatively good English therefore foreigners need not worry. The ski resort is self-contained and there is nothing much outside / around the ski resort. I would recommend a stay of 3-5 days to truely enjoy all faciliites. And by the way, Appi’s motto is “Don’t worry, be appi!”

For more information on Appi Kogen and ski packages, you can visit http://www.appi.co.jp/foreign_country/english/

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