Kiroro Ski Resort Overview
Highest lifted point: 1180m
Lowest skiable point: 570m
Vertical drop: 610m
Total run length: 33km
Longest run: 4km
Ski area size: 110 hectares
Terrain, snow, and transportation for Kiroro
In addition to Teine, the other ski area I visited in the immediate Sapporo area was Kiroro (キロロ) located in the mountains behind the port of Otaru (it’s 30 minutes by train from Sapporo to Otaru, from where you can take a bus to Kiroro; but it’s better to get a direct bus & lift ticket combo deal from the tourist information centre in JR Sapporo station – it’s located in the north-west corner of the main concourse). I only went there once, and while it was pretty decent I didn’t like it anywhere near as much as Teine – it also takes a bit longer to get there, so after checking it out I didn’t bother with it again. With that said, it’s a fair-sized ski area (in Hokkaido terms i.e. pretty small if you’re used to European mega-resorts) with the amazing quality and quantity of powder snow that comes as standard in Hokkaido and a fair bit of tree skiing, it wasn’t at all crowded for my visit (and I understand that it never really is), and they have a modern lift infrastructure with fast, comfortable lifts. The main problem I had with it was that much of the mountain had a pretty tame gradient, with just a few steeper sections, meaning that nice and steep Teine became my Sapporo hill of choice.
I don’t want to knock Kiroro too much as I had a fun day there and if you’re staying in Otaru it makes a lot of sense to ride at Kiroro, and it’s also a good choice for beginners; but if you’re looking for powder near Sapporo you should hit Teine, and if you’re up for travelling further than Teine, you may as well go all the way out to Niseko, Furano, or Rusutsu.
Kiroro Ski Resort Summary
A decent hill near Sapporo with typically awesome Hokkaido snow; it’s worth checking out, but those looking for consistently steep terrain to go with their powder will be happier at Sapporo Teine.
Resources and Useful Links for Riding at Kiroro
Check out my quick guide to Sapporo
Search for hotel deals in Sapporo and near Kiroro in Otaru
Airbnb is another good option in Japan, if you’ve never used it you can get a 30 dollar discount by signing up here
Travel insurance with snow sports cover from World Nomads. Their flexible insurance can be bought even if you’re already in Japan – I once found out the hard way (in Thailand) how important this can be!
Snow Forecast for Kiroro (snow-forecast.com does exactly what it says on the tin – my go to for accurate snow forecasts!)
Use Hyperdia to work out the train schedules in Japan (guide to using Hyperdia here)
Click the banner to pre-order a JR Pass for a 40-dollar saving (read more on whether you should get a JR Pass):
Have you been to Kiroro? What did you think? Does my information need updating? Do you have any questions about skiing in Hokkaido? Leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you.
(Photo Credit: Patty-OH!, Flickr. Used under Creative Commons license)
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