Teine Highland Ski Resort

Sapporo one day skiing trip – Teine Ski Resort

Hokkaido is a heaven for ski enthusiasts.People come from all over the world to enjoy the powdery soft snow of Hokkaido. Of course I am not one of those people, I am a sand bender. Snow is to me what sand is to a Polar Bear. But, I am not a Polar Bear and I was set on trying skiing even though I was still learning to walk on icy roads. Out of my ambition sprouted an impromptu plan to go ski training with my friends. Read along if you plan to ski in Hokkaido this winter.

Our choice of slope was Teine Highland Ski Resort. Being close to Sapporo the Teine Ski Resort is an ideal place for a 1 day trip. The day started early as we planned to meet at 8.30 am at the Sapporo JR station. I bought a one day “Empty handed ski trip” package  from the Sapporo station for ¥7000, which includes return tickets for train and bus, cost of renting ski gear (ski, boots and poles) and pass for ski lift for four hours. Additionally, ski wear is also available for rent costing ¥3900 per day. Talking of the Japanese convenience they also have direct bus packages from major hotels in Sapporo. Being local, we took the JR Local train to Teine JR station. Then, we boarded the JR bus # 70 to Teine Highlands. While in the bus, I googled Skiing for dummies videos and it looked like cakewalk!

Teine
Teine JR Station

After 25 min in bus we reached Teine Highlands Ski resort and straight-way went to the rental ski area in the Highland Ski Center. I filled up some forms in English giving details of my height, weight and shoe size, and then picked up the gears for never ever skiers (you can also extend the hours of the Lift pass by paying extra cash). After changing, we kept our stuffs in lockers that costs 300 yen. It was time for get set ski but only if I could reach the top in those peculiar ski shoes. Whoever designed it did not want anyone to walk in it. As I walked towards the lift I saw little kids skiing and again thought it’s going to be child`s play 🙂

Rental Ski - Highland CenterRented Skis and Poles

It was time to climb up the lower Olympia bunny slope to get to one of the lifts. I wore the skis, but once they were on how do I climb up the slope? “Easy, just walk like a crab” my friend said. Being a beach nomad, I thought which crab should I copy? After crab walking, getting on the lift’s chair with skis on was easy, but I fell on my face while getting off. The liftie collected me back up and I was embarrassed beyond redemption 🙁 . I forgot all that as soon as I saw the view from top, it was amazing.

Lift ride - Teine Ski Resort View of the Ishikari Bay - Mt Teine

As my training started my friend said “To rise up in life we must first learn to fall”. I thought he is getting snow madness but little did I know he was being serious. First thing I had to learn, was to fall without breaking bones and then to get up without help. He showed me how to do it, I nailed the fall it was flawless but I couldn’t get up. My friend fell again to teach me but I was hopeless in getting up 😐 . So I changed the motto “To rise up in life you must avoid falling”. The next thing to learn was to snowplough. With little help I learned how to snowplough and I beamed with confidence.

I was exhausted after mastering falling and snowploughing. We went to the North Maple Café using the gondola to grab some lunch. I refuelled on a bowl of Soba and Tempura and then headed back for practice.

Restaurant Menu inside the Gondola

After falling enough times I went down to return my gears and pick up my bag. We hopped back on the bus to reach JR Teine station. I was all drained out by the time I reached back home. That night I slept like a baby and next morning I became aware of the existence of muscles in my body I never knew existed, as they sent waves of pain one by one.

Although I was quite sloppy on my first day of skiing, it was an awesome experience. And, as they say practise makes a woman perfect, I will head back soon may be to a different location to master not falling.

Share with me your experience of skiing in Hokkaido.

Liked this post? Subscribe to supersillytraveller`s newsletter and get loads more!

37 thoughts on “Sapporo one day skiing trip – Teine Ski Resort

  1. Hello Supersillytraveller,

    My name is Jen Nee. I am visiting Hokkaido end of April 2015. May I ask for your help & information about skiing?

    I have google & found 2 places for Spring skiing in Hokkaido : Sapporo Kokusai (Sapporo International Ski Place) & Sapporo Teine.

    Can you please adivse which will be a better choice to visit for a first timer skier?

    Thank you.

    1. Hi Jen,

      Thanks for your comment, and it`s so exciting to hear that you would be visiting Hokkaido in April 🙂

      For first time skiers both Kokusai and Teine is fine as both the resorts have slopes for beginners. I guess, it really depends on where would you be staying and how much time and money you would like to spend. The locals prefer Kokusai over Teine and after a tiring day of skiing at Kokusai you can enjoy an awesome hot dip at one of the Onsens in Jozankei too 😀 . Do you plan to take on any skiing lessons ?

      Cheers,
      Silly

      1. Hi Supersilly Traveller,

        Thank you for your advise.

        I am on a budget holiday with my family. It’s our first time ski in our life. We are look for a ski experience & we have not seen snow in our life. Ski lesson is expensive & we are just looking for fun. What do you suggest? Where can we get group ski lesson in English for a reasonable price?

        Kokusai sounds interesting as we can have hot spring after skiing. Is it expensive to travel from Sapporo to Kokusai & then to Jozankei Hot Spring. Kindly advise.

        I know the best time for skiing in Hokkaido is January – February. Thus I am just gonna have a day trip to experience skiing for my family. I have 2 young boys age 10 & 12.

        Please advise.

        Thank you

        1. Hi Jen,

          haha, I can understand. I too saw snow for the first time in my life after coming to Hokkaido 🙂 .

          Yes, the ski lessons are rather expensive if you are just looking for a fun day. I think a 4 hrs ski lesson at Kokusai for a group of 3-5 people will cost around 300,000 JPY and I doubt if they do the lessons in English. You will also need to get rental ski gears on top if you don’t have one. In regards to hot spring, Kokusai sells a package of 5 hours ski pass covering the lift charges along with an onsen bath ticket. During April-May the prices are around 3500 JPY per person. If you don’t buy this package, an Onsen ticket will cost you approximately 500 Yen in any of the Jozankei hotels. There are free shuttle buses from the Kokusai ski slopes to the Jozankei Onsen area and it takes approximately 20 min. So may be you can get a bus return package from Sapporo to Kokusai and depending on the bus return timings and the time you spend skiing, you can have a quick onsen trip to Jozankei as well. Trust this helps!

          Cheers,
          Silly

          1. Dear Super Silly Traveller,

            Good morning.

            Thank you for your reply.

            May I know what was your feeling on your first experience skiing? Did you take any lesson?

            May I ask if you know about this ski resort call Asarigawa Ski Resort? I will like to know if it is open until the Golden Week.

            I have tried to google but the website is not accessible.

            Thank you

            Rgds,
            Jen Nee

          2. Hello Jen,

            As you might have read in my blog, I was not the best during my first skiing experience. I just had a friend of mine helping me out with tips. If you dont plan to take any lessons and have no one around to guide you, it might be a good idea to check youtube out. There are plenty of videos that will give you some tips on how to ski. I haven’t been to Asarigawa yet and golden week is one of the busiest holiday seasons in Japan. Here is the link to the website http://asari-ski.ambix.biz/ . How long is your trip?

            Cheers,
            Silly

          3. Hi!

            You wrote that there is a free shuttle between Sapporo Kokusai & Jozankei Onsen.. I plan to stay at Jozankei (Staying at Hanamomiji) for 2 nights and ski at Kokusai for 2 days.. Would you have more detail on this free shuttle? Ie, timing?

            Tq, Mel

  2. Hello Super SIlly traveller,

    Good morning. Thank you for your advise.

    I am visiting Hokkaido for 10 days from April 30 – May 9. My main purpose is to see cherry blossom & any other flowers as well as enjoy the seafood.

    However my kids will like to ski thus I am looking for a suitable place for a day trip or probably we can stay a night at the ski resort.

    Based on your first experience skiing, did you feel that a day trip skiing for 4 hours is sufficient?

    Can you please help me to find out about the TEBURA empty handed package? I have checked at JR website & the information says valid till 31st March.

    Can you please call JR to find out if possible for me to get that TEBURA package on April 30th or May 1st?

    1. Hi Jen,

      I think 4 -5 hours is fine for a day skiing trip especially if you are doing it for the first time. In regards to the TEBURA package, JR keeps their website pretty much up to date so what ever date is mentioned it will be that only. I would suggest you to check in person once you arrive in Hokkaido at the JR ticket centre at Sapporo JR station as they might be able to help you better.

      I hope you have a lovely time in Hokkaido!

      Cheers,
      Silly

  3. Hi,

    Your post is really helpful! I enjoy reading it. Thanks for sharing. I would like go Sapporo next January, Im thinking to go Teine for skiing too, since it’s so close to Sapporo and easily accesible. May I know how you got that 7000yen package? I would like to get it, it’s so worth it!

    Thanks

    1. Hi Vicka,

      I am glad that you enjoy reading my posts 😃 . The empty handed Teine Ski package can be bought from the JR Sapporo Station Ticket Counter, opposite to Starbucks coffee. It is towards the north exit of the station. I hope you have an awesome holiday in Hokkaido.

      Cheers

  4. Love the frankness of your post. We are beginners also at level zero. Is it worth buying the “Empty handed ski trip”? If all we’re going to be doing on day 1 is to fall and stand?

    We have a family of 4 coming with zero baggage so not sure what the cheapest and hassle free way of getting to Tiene will be. Any advice? The prices sound on the high side…

    1. Hi AK,

      Sorry for the late reply, and I am glad you liked my writing style.

      The “Empty handed ski trip” maybe your only option if you don’t have any gear. You will have to rent waterproof jacket and pants also if you don’t have any. Will it be worth it? I don’t know, depends on what you are looking for. I really enjoyed my day even though I sucked at it, because I went for the experience. It is physically demanding, so if you are athletic, you should be fine.

      The best and easiest way would be if your hotel can arrange direct transport for you. Many of them team up with bus providers to ferry guests to the ski slopes. Ask them directly. Otherwise, take the JR and bus route described in the blog.

      Cheers
      Monika

  5. hey! im torn between teine and kokusai. i saw prices for kokusai at ~300USDish but they teach it in English. but the 7000yen(70ishUSD) at Teine is very tempting but do they teach in English? i have 0 japanese knowledge. and heres the thing, im traveling solo! im afraid to join a class only to find out that it doesnt meet the minimum requirement no. of pax and it’ll be canceled. plus im thinking of just walking in to the ski resort and sign up for a class on the spot – unless they have reservations in english. help me!

    love, agony. 😛

    1. Hi Shiddy,

      Thanks for the comment. You will be glad to know Teine offers English skiing lessons for 1.5 and 3 hrs costing roughly 75 USD and 100 USD respectively. They do have a minimum requirement of 2 persons for the lesson though. I reckon you will end up getting a friend to ski with 😃 as the resort is usually busy. Booking a lesson on the spot should be Okay, but make a reservation if you can to avoid any disappointments. English speaking staffs are available at Teine, hence you should be all right. Check this link with more information and their contact details for reservation http://www.sapporo-teine.com/snow/lang/en/attraction/. I hope this helps.
      Happy Skiing ❤
      Monika

  6. Hi Supersilly,

    I’m planning to go to Teine in Feb 2016 with my husband, but when I checked the JR Hokkaido website, they don’t have “day trip ski pack” for Teine.. does that mean they no longer sell the “Empty handed ski trip” 7,000 yen? when you bought the ticket that time, was there a sale/validity period? I’m afraid when I reach the JR station there I can’t buy it coz they no longer sell it (as it’s not in their website) T_T and it’s not in Teine website either.. T_T

    Oh btw, we never ski before, so is it worth it to spend 75USDx2 (for 2 persons) for 1.5 hours ski lesson? or just buy the normal bus pack with lift & ski rentals for 4 hours (should be around the same price, right?) and try to learn ski by ourselves? I’ve read your experience above and it seems challanging, but at least you got a friend who taught you the basic that time, while we.. are totally beginner by ourselves ^_^; any advice?

    Thanks beforehand!

  7. Hi Lilith,

    As far as I remember correct, the validity of the ticket that I bought was for the same day itself. I checked on the websites as you mentioned and could not find the information either,but I don’t think that the empty handed package (Tebura package) is no longer available. The skiing season in Sapporo usually starts after Christmas, hence I guess this is probably why there is no information yet on the websites. In any case, I recommend you check it in person at the JR information counter or the Ticket counter when you arrive in Sapporo.

    About if it’s worth spending 75 USD for a ski lesson with rentals included, it’s really your choice. As per my experience, if you are serious about getting the basics right then learning to ski by yourself with no prior experience might be little too challenging. Although, my friend tried really hard to help me, trust me I still didn’t get it right. If only I knew about the English ski lessons when I went, I would have been saved from my tens of thousands of falls. However, to have some fun on the slope you definitely don’t need an instructor 😊.

    Cheers,

  8. Hi Silly,

    Thank you formsharing your experiences, lovely to read.

    We are going to Hokkaido on March 22 2016, and we are planning to go to one of the ski resorts that you have mentioned.
    My question is, we are not that into ski, We just want to play amd take couple of beautiful photos, can we actually go up to top with the lift without renting the ski or intention to ski?

    Regards,

    Alvin

  9. Hi Alvin,

    I am glad to know that you enjoyed reading my experience on skiing 🙂
    About your question, I doubt that you will be allowed to get on the the ski lifts without wearing skis or snowboard. However, you can certainly get on the gondolas where everyone takes off their skis before getting on. Teine, has one of those gondolas which goes up to the restaurant I mentioned in my blog. But, you need to buy a lift pass to get on that one too. If you are looking for places in Sapporo to take pictures from the top of a mountain, then Okurayama Ski Jump is also a good option.
    I hope this helps.
    Cheers,

  10. Hi Supersilly

    That was cool 🙂

    I am visiting Sapporo on 3 December 2016. This is our first time seeing and experience snow. Apart from ski, does both the resort teine and kokusai has park for the kids to play in snow? Will both places open on 3 December? Which one is more suitable for my kids. My kids are both 7 years old? If to take ski lessons, can we learn as a group? Will appreciated it if you can go answer my queries.thanks.

    1. Hi Derrick,

      Apologies for the late reply, as I have been slightly busy with the arrival for my little one 😊 You will find separate kids area at both the resorts. We usually have the first snowfall in November, so I don’t see a reason for the resorts to not to be open early December. Have a look at my http://supersillytraveller.com/top-eight-ski-resorts-hokkaido/ post. You will find an answer to most of your queries here.

      Cheers,
      Monika

  11. Hi Monika
    I like your blog and make me want to read more, and congratuations on the arrival of your little one.
    My husband and I will be on a 8 days vacation in Sapporo in Janauary. We never have any ski experience but plan to have some fun in snow fields. Just checked the link you recommended on top-eight-ski resorts Hokaido, they look interesting. I have read there is this place Takino Suzuran Hillside National Park and it will turn into snow field during winter and is free entrance. Can you help me on that ?

    Thank you

  12. Hi Supersilly,

    My friend and I are going to Hokkaido on 31/12/2016, and we are planning to try Skiing on 01/01/2017.

    We are first time skiers and are interested in “First-Time Ski Experience” package offered by SAPPORO TEINE.

    Can you please advise how can We make a reservation (just in case it is fully booked)? Both of us can’t speak Japanese so calling to make reservation might not be feasible.

    It will be great if you can also advise on transportation from Sapporo JR station. 😀

    Hope to hear from you soon.

    Thank you!

    1. Hello,
      Phone is possibly the best way to make a reservation and 1st of January can certainly be a busy day. Perhaps the hotel where you plan to stay can make a reservation on your behalf? Please catch the Japan Railways Local train to Teine JR station ( Hakodate line towards Otaru) from the JR side of the station and then get on the JR bus number 70 to Teine highlands. Feel free to ask the station personnels on any doubts . I hope you have an awesome trip 🙂

  13. Based on JR website, it seems like the JR ski pass is only applicable for niseko this year? Was hoping for teine to be included. I read that Niseko can be crowded, what do you recommend? Picking up the JR ski pass option for Niseko or joining Teine ski package.
    P.s. First time skier/snowboarder, like to try both on different day

    1. Hi Zac,

      Locals here usually prefer going to Teine and other ski resorts nearby to avoid Niseko’s crowd. Do you plan to take on any ski/snowboarding lessons too? If you are staying in Sapporo, being a first timer I would suggest trying Teine or other nearby resorts. Niseko is 3 hours from Sapporo and the first experience of skiing and snowboarding is usually the most painful 😣

      Good luck!

  14. hi supersilly,

    I am visiting sapporo this coming december with my family .We would like to take a day trips to ski resorts just for fun on their ski motor or sled … any recommendation and advise from you .Thanks

    Lyn

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *