Alright, first of all here's your primary resource (excepting myself of course on skiing in Japan:http://www.snowjapan.com/e/index.php
lots of information & data, skier reviews, trip reports, etc. naturally, you should salt reviews well before digesting. feel free to message me if you feel the need for a totally unbiased opinion
The best bet for consistent powder is the north island of Hokkaido, especially Niseko, Rusutsu & Kiroro. There are other good powder areas but for non-Japanese speakers they'd be a little difficult to get to and enjoy (unless you've got friends nearby).
The three Niseko areas of Hirafu, Higashiyama & Annupuri interconnect at the top and there's a joint lift ticket. Most seasons the place is a good bet for 6 to 18 inches of fresh overnight
three or four times a week from mid-December to end-February. There's also the occasional big dump
. Powder quality is usually good
, not Rockies good (the mountain tops out at 1,300 meters (4,200 feet), but as good as I've skied at Whistler or Squaw. It tends to be heavy when the cloud cover dips down onto the mountain, but lightens up very quickly once the cover rises.
Niseko doesn't have Whistler/Jackson/Snowbird steeps. I'd call it good powder cruising. There are some decent pitches, but nothing that makes me stop and take a deep breath
: before pushing off (and I'm pretty much of a chickenheart
). Come skiing with me and I'll show you some runs the tourists don't find.
There are a number of good hot springs hotels (yo Epic! need an icon for `damn that feels good'), and thanks to the Aussie invasion of the past few years a far wider choice of cuisine.
Feel free to ask questions, y'all. I'll try to put together a note on Rusutsu and Kiroro in the next day or two if anyone's interested. Again, pretty good skiing in Japan IF you're already here, but I'd never recommend making a special trip.