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Japan Sees Signs Of Ski Baby Boom


Numbers of Japanese skiiers and snowboarders starting to revive
Japanese skiing hits its peak in the late 1980s and early 1990s before the country’s bubble economy burst and public taste turned me to video gaming.

However there are signs of a long awaited upturn in the popularity of snowsports in the Japanese domestic market, following on from a surge in international guests to the country’s ski slopes over the past decade.

Japan had just 7.6 million skiers and snowboarders last season according to official stats, around 40% of the peak seasons in the late 1990s when nearly 20 million Japanese went skiing each winter.

But demand is showing signs of picking up according to local reports, as the generation that experienced the 1990s skiing boom comes back with their families.

The response of resort operators has been to provide more to attract them. Several leading resorts offer totally free lift passes to children up to age 12, one of the most generous offers in the skiing world.

This season the country’s Prince Hotels Group, one of its largest ski resort operators, have announced a number of improvements including creating a new families and beginners snow park at their Manza Onsen ski resort in Gunma Prefecture. The park will have a 150m long snow tubing course for added fun and snow huts to visit.

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