With so many snow resorts to choose from across the length of Japan, picking where to shred some powder can be a truly difficult task come wintertime. For beginners, you’ll be on the lookout for a resort that offers forgiving slopes, and for pros, you’ll want somewhere that offers a variety of courses so you can pick your challenge.

Mount Jeans Nasu is a relatively large snow resort located in Tochigi Prefecture which boasts a range of slopes made for snowsports enthusiasts of all abilities. Just a 2.5 hour drive from Tokyo by car, the resort is a popular day-trip location for those in the capital.

If the park’s 10 courses ranging from a maximum height of 1450m and a minimum of 950m isn’t quite enough to convince you to visit, there is one other incentive that might peak your interests – the annual Santa Ski Run that takes place for just 2 days in December.

During this annual event, which is taking place for the 20th time this year, 100’s of skiers and snowboarders get together and take to the slopes in full Santa costumes.
Those who participate will receive a one-day free ski lift pass to use during the event, and will also be able to take part in the simultaneous Santa Ski Run which will be recorded by the media. The conditions for participation are simple – rock up in your Santa outfit, along with a mask and a mindset to stay safely socially distanced from one another on the slopes.

With the event having been a family favourite for two decades, it seems the magic of cosplay has rubbed off on Mount Jeans Nasu, which earlier this year held its first ever cosplay festival.
Held in collaboration with Tokyu Land and Tokyu Resort Service as a way to boost tourism, the event saw skiers and snowboarders alike taking to the slopes in a wide range of cosplay outfits. Some of the more recognisable figures were characters from Sailor Moon, Naruto and Pokemon. A more in depth introduction to the cosplay festival can be found here.

The snow resort’s Santa Ski Run is being held this year for two days in mid-December. Two group gliding sessions will be held on the first day for the media to record photos and video, after that participants are free to enjoy their day on the slopes as they see fit.

Mount Jeans Nasu Santa Ski Run 2021
Dates: Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th December 2021
Group gliding session for the media: 18th December from 10:30am (participants should speak with the reception at 10:00am, who will then guide them to the correct location on the slopes for the event)
*Participants are reminded to wear warm and appropriate clothing under costumes, such as jackets, base layers, gloves, neck warmers and well-fitted boots.

By - Connie Sceaphierde.