SKIING IN JAPAN: How to get there

Even though Colorado is known for its world-famous ski resorts, most avid skiers and snowboarders in The Centennial State have Japan on their winter must visit list. While traveling to the landing of the rising sun and the falling snow may seem daunting, we’re here to tell Coloradans how EASY it is to get a flight to Japan. Conveniently, no visa is needed for Japan, making the trip even more seamless. If Japan has been on your “ski-it” list, there’s no reason to not cross it off this season. 

Related: 7 Things You Need To Know For Your First Ski Trip To Japan

Skiing Japan Powder
Ja-POW found in Niseko Japan


United Airlines offers direct flights to Japan from Denver. That’s right. You can fly directly from Denver International Airport (DEN) to Narita (NRT) or Haneda (HND), each a perfect entry point to begin your Ja-POW trip. And who doesn’t love a direct flight? Nothing gets you to the magical mountains of Japan quicker! Bonus points for United because they offer a direct flight daily.

Pro tip: Arrive for your Japan trip a bit early and kick back in the new lounge. United Airlines has unveiled the largest United Club Lounge in the world. This three-story, 600-seat haven is located in B concourse. The lounge stays true to the Colorado aesthetic with two fireplace lounges, stacked wood, flannel-patterned cushions and vintage ski décor. You’ll be able to kick back in front of a fire and sample the multiple seasonal beers they have on rotation. 


From Tokyo, you can fly right to the New Chitose, which will put you at the gateway to Hokkaido, the place where powder dreams become a reality! Hokkaido is the perfect landing zone to access Niseko, Rusutsu, Kiroro and Furano. Fly from Tokyo through United’s Star Alliance partner ANA or book separately with Jetstar or Japan Airlines, the main domestic carrier. Need help putting it all together?’s Mountain Travel Experts are supported by an in-house air desk with the sole purpose of helping people travel to the best skiing in the world. 

Pro tip: Check out Japan Airlines for great domestic flight fares once you get to Japan, and checked ski and snowboard bags fly free through March!

How to get to Japan direct from Denver


If you have read about Japan, you have heard of the bullet train, or Shinkansen. Landing in Tokyo provides the perfect opportunity for you to jump on the bullet train to Nagano City, where you can then take a shuttle to Hakuba Valley. This gem of an area offers piste terrain for all levels of skiers and riders and is home to the 1998 Winter Olympics. Want to skip the train and take the direct route? No problem. Your Mountain Travel expert can book a shuttle to take you right from the airport in Tokyo to Hakuba. 

RELATED: Skiing in Japan Travel Inspiration


Ready to jump on board for an epic trip to Japan? Check-in with on of our 65+ Mountain Travel Experts, ski-travel pros who can curate a complete Japan trip with hotels, lift tickets, guides and more. 


Looking to experience Japan with someone who knows all the secret stashes and the best place for après? Look no further than our guided trips to Japan. These choose-your-own-adventure itineraries were curated by the experts at with the pow-lover in mind. If you’re looking to snag a group rate without the hassle of actually being a part of a group, you’ll want to check out the ultimate Japan guided-trip package.