Gassan Snow Resort is an outlier in Japan and most of the Northern Hemisphere. Whilst most resorts open early November to late April and Japanese resorts are known for even shorter seasons that start in December and end in early March, this ski area located on Japan’s main island starts its season in April and stops the lifts turning in July.
Why the back-to-front season, you ask?
One word. SNOW. The resort gets too much snow to enable the resort to be functional and operational during the traditional winter.
When the resort opened in 2010, the summit depth was over 26 feet deep. However, unlike other resorts in Japan, Gassan is not known for powder. Instead, spring and summer is the time to hit the slopes.
Skiers and riders can either descend from one of the three lifts offered at the ski area or hike up to the top of Ubagatake (5480 feet), which offers a longer and more varied descent.
Even though the lifts stop turning in July, if you still need to ski in August you can join the crowds hiking up to ski down.