Experience Iwate’s famous Aspirin Pow at Appi Kogen and Hachimantai resort.
infoski resortshotelsski shopsski schools & guides
Download Snow Explorers app
Still off the radar for most international travelers except for true pow connoisseurs who want to sample the region’s famous Aspirin Pow. Appi Kogen and Hanchimantai are the largest and most well known resorts in Iwate, but there region is home to a number of smaller resorts which are powder magnets and definitely worth checking out. They get a huge amount of snow here, score a good day and you will be back for more of Iwate’s medicine.

Morioka -  the capital city of Iwate is flanked by the snowy peaks of the mountains in the Towada-Hachimantai National Park. This is where the Hachimantai ski resorts are located including Appi Kogen - the largest resort in Iwate. Morioka is only 2 hours from Tokyo by the Tohoku Shinkansen.

Skiing & Snowboarding in Iwate

Iwate get its fair share of Japow and in previous years, some resorts have even claimed to have had the highest snowfall in Japan. Appi and Geto in particular. Unless its public holidays or weekends you can expect fairly uncrowded slopes.

Aspirin Pow

Due to Iwate’s location on the Eastern side of Tohoku, it is not as humid since the snow clouds from the West have to travel further inland. Snow that falls here has low moisture which results in very dry powder snow, nicknamed Aspirin Pow because it feels like you got a tablet and crushed it. When you are skiing through it, it doesn't clump up as much and if you are lucky to get a deep powder day, you can experience the weightless feeling of your skis / board gliding through without feeling the bottom.

Iwate Backcountry

The mountains of Iwate are a natural playground for backcountry skiers & boarders. There are guided tours and CAT tours that can take you to the best spots.

Appi Kogen
The largest ski area in Iwate, Appi is developing into a world class destination. They have opened 5 tree run areas.
Geto Kogen
The King of Snow specializes in tree runs with 10 dedicated areas and a graded course system to match your skill level.
Known as the Prince of Powder, this resort has runs catering to beginners and those leveling up to intermediate. They run a CAT operation in a special area for those wanting to access untouched powder.
The Panorama area is great for beginners and intermediates while the Shimokura area has ungroomed and tree run areas for advanced skiers.
Technically part of Akita, Tazawako is actually easier to get to from Morioka. Like others in the region, this resort benefits from the high snow fall and dry powder.
Compare Iwate ski resorts

Iwate Ski & Snowboard Shops

There are a couple of ski and snowboard shops in Morioka city where you should be able to find the gear you need. 
Shop Jaja in Geto Kogen has a very desirable range of snowboards and skis designed for deep powder which you can buy or rent.

View all ski & snowboard shops in Iwate

Where to Stay in Iwate

The larger Iwate resorts Appi, Hachimantai and Shizukuishi have hotels with ski in ski out access. You can also choose to stay at ryokans in the villages nearby which offer a traditional relaxing onsen experience. The mode of operation is to ski till you drop, then soak in an onsen before being enjoying a gourmet meal.

Morioka city is located centrally to the Iwate resort and Tazawako in Akita. It's an ideal base if you want to keep your options open as to which resort to ski at. Its a short drive away to most resorts and there are trains and snow shuttle buses. This also means you have a greater variety of restaurant options available.

Kitakami city is also an option with good access to Geto Kogen.

View all hotels in Iwate

What to Eat in Iwate

Iwate is known for it’s noodles which are are made with locally grown buckwheat flour. Visitors should try the 3 Great Noodles of Morioka, especially Wanko soba. The challenge of eating as many little bowls of this noodle is a fun group experience. The seafood is excellent  here, freshly caught from the Pacific ocean off the Sanriku coast.

Wanko Soba
Wanko soba is unique in the way it is served. You are given several small bowls of noodles and toppings. Once they are finished, the bowls are stacked up and you can order more, as many times as you like.
This noodle grew in popularity from a Chinese restaurant and is a bit like Zhajiangmian. Noodles are served topped with a Meat sauce and sliced cucumber. Mix them up and slurp them down.
noodles in a cold broth are topped with boiled egg, sliced beef and kimchi resulting in a refreshing taste.
Kitakami Croquette
If you are in Kitakami, don’t miss this street food snack made with Taro, local wagyu beef or pork and asparagus.

Things to do in Iwafe

Apart from skiing, Northern Tohoku has lots of sightseeing and cuktural activiites for travelers. 

Hachimantai Onsenkyo
The Hachimantai range is an active volcano region home to several famous onsens collectively known as the Hachimantai Onsenkyo. Explore the hot springs and let the rich mineral waters revive your HP.
Iwate Snow Festival
Staring around the first week of Feb, the Iwate Snow Festival takes place in Kowai Farm. There are snow sculptures, igloos, entertainment and of course street food with a local flavour.
Hachimantai Onsenkyo
The Hachimantai range is an active volcano region home to several famous onsens collectively known as the Hachimantai Onsenkyo. Explore the hot springs and let the rich mineral waters revive your HP.
Tazawako Winter Base
A winter fun park at Lake Tazawa where you can engage in snow activities such as snow shoe tours, snow rafting, tobogganing & snowboarding. There are also glamping tents and saunas you can rent.

ski resorts

Hachimantai Ski Resort

ski shops


food & drinks

Related Stories

February 28 24
Gear for deep powder riding in Japan.
April 9 24
Bring your snorkel to these mountains which are known to dump hard.
March 6 24
Discover the best places to buy ski and snowboard gear in Sapporo, Hokkaido. Find everything you need for your winter missions.
March 19 24
Part 1 of a solo journey through Hokkaido where I ski Hakodate Nanae, check out the Asaichi morning markets & eat a dancing seafood bowl.
March 25 24
A list of ski & snowboard shops where you can update your gear for your snow trip.
February 28 24
A guide for those just starting out on the Japanese slopes. Intermediates can skip ahead.
February 28 24
A guide to this Hokkaido specialty, how to eat it and locations of the best soup curry restaurants on the ski fields and in the cities of Hokkaido.
February 28 24
Tips & advice for skiers & boarders heading to Japan.
August 28 23
2020 / 2021 season Burton Hokkaido road trip part 2
August 28 23
Japanese Brews for your Snow Trip
February 28 24
For Families With Little Skiers & Boarders.
August 28 23
Snowsurfing's past and present through the eyes of Shinzo Tanuma - creator of MOSS Snowstick.
August 28 23
S20 / S21 Riders from Vector Glide in Hokkaido
August 28 23
Find out about Taro Tamai and his creation Gentemstick.
October 5 23
2020 / 2021 season Burton Hokkaido road trip part 1
February 26 24
Some of the best places to try Hokkaido's local specialty ramen!
August 28 23
The Supernatural is unique to Rusutsu.
August 28 23
Watch the Konishi Family shred Seki together.