Hoshino Resorts Tomamu – where to holiday in Japan with kids!

Are you looking for somewhere new and exciting to go on holidays with the kids? Hoshino Resorts Tomamu in Japan is packed full of family fun!

Hoshino Resorts Tomamu

Have you ever considered taking your family on a skiing holiday to Japan? We’ve just got back from a trip to Hoshino Resorts Tomamu Ski Resort in Japan. Whether you’re a family of expert skiers or have never been to the snow before, your whole family is going to love Tomamu!

Hoshino Resorts have taken the standard family ski holiday to a whole new level. Children of all ages are catered for at Tomamu – and as we all know, happy kids means happy parents! There’s plenty for parents to get excited about too. Tomamu not only offers high quality skiing for all levels, but a huge range of exciting snow-fun family activities to explore together. It’s the perfect family snow vacation!

The Hoshino Resorts Tomamu Risonare towers are a spectacular sight

The Hoshino Resorts Tomamu Risonare towers are a spectacular sight

Located on the second-largest Japanese island of Hokkaido, Tomamu Ski Resort is stunningly beautiful. Massive snowy mountains encircle the resort, and stretch for as far as the eye can see. Majestic forests thickly cover the mountain sides. Not just a skiing holiday, Tomamu is a nature-rice Japanese experience. During our stay we were to see squirrels, birds – even a beautiful fox!

Can we learn to ski or snowboard at Tomamu?

Expert ski instructors will have you skiing in no time!

Expert ski instructors will have you skiing in no time!

With excellent ski schools and individual instructors from all around the world, Tomamu ski resort is the perfect place for everyone in the family to learn how to ski or snowboard. 

The Gao Ski Academy offers English speaking skiing and snowboarding group and private lessons for both kids and adults. My children, Samantha, aged 11, and Brooke, 13, were only just introduced to skiing last year, so were keen to learn more.

The girl’s first morning on the slopes was spent in a private lesson with their very capable instructor Annie. She quickly assessed their skills and then spent their two-hour session building upon them. In the meantime, I took the opportunity to refresh my very rusty skiing skills! Often I would cross-paths with the girls, and it was amazing to watch their quick progress.

Mums and Dads can also have lessons, or go skiing whilst the kids are busy at ski school!

Mums and Dads can also have lessons, or go skiing whilst the kids are busy at ski school!

After their lesson, the girls passion was sparked, and they loved to get out on the slopes and improve their skiing skills whenever they could. Luckily, staying at Risonare makes popping out onto the ski slopes easy thanks to direct access to the ski trails. With the added advantage of night skiing, there’s plenty of time to get out there and have fun.

Easy ski runs and trails stretch right across the Tomamu Ski Resort, so even the most beginner skier can have a great time exploring the resort for miles. This makes Tomamu the perfect introduction to, or extension of, your skiing skills. If you’re a more experienced or thrill-seeking skier or snowboarder, you’ll love the challenging blue, or more difficult black Tomamu runs, which criss-cross all over the mountain.

The fun doesn't have to end at sundown thanks to night skiing!

The fun doesn’t have to end at sundown thanks to night skiing!

Do we have to bring our own ski gear?

From waterproof ski clothing to skis, snowboards and helmets – everything you need to ski or play in the snow can be hired directly from your Hoshino Resorts Tomamu hotel. There are Tomamu ski hire shops located in both the Risonare and The Towers. Right down to your gloves, hats and goggles, you’re totally covered. Of course if you’re already outfitted, you can bring your own ski gear with you. There are ski locker rooms located on the ground floor of your hotel to save you lugging ski gear up to your room.

The Tomamu Ski Resort – how to get around

The Tomamu Ski Resort is made up of several areas and attractions, all accessible by walking, skiing, or catching the free shuttle bus. Shuttle buses run every fifteen minutes, and each location is only a five-to-ten minute shuttle bus ride apart, making the service a very convenient way to get around the resort.

Tomamu Family Fun Activities

The Gao Outdoor Centre allows you to drive your own ski mobile

The Gao Outdoor Centre allows you to drive your own ski mobile

Tomamu isn’t just a brilliant ski resort – there are a whole range of fun family activities on offer to keep the kids entertained, from the tiniest toddler right up to the most hard-to-please teenager! Your holiday can be as relaxed or adventurous as you choose. Here are some of the family-friendly activities we tried during our stay – and we loved each and every one of them!

Visit the Ice Village

Visit the magical Tomamu Ice Village

Visit the magical Tomamu Ice Village

World-famous and incredibly unique, for an experience like no other make sure you visit the Tomamu Ice Village. This beautiful village is constructed almost entirely of ice, and is open to view during winter. Not just a display, there are working shops, cafes, a bar, a hotel room, the Chapel On The Water church…all made from solid ice. Outside there is even a charming ice rink for most of the winter months, plus fun sliding chutes for the kids. Gentle classical music plays, and the ice is lit to a brilliant white or soft pastel colours. Topped off with a fireworks display every night, the Ice Village an unforgettable experience for the whole family.

Watch our walk-through video of the Tomamu Ice Village…

Take the Unkai Gondola up the mountain

Go for a ride on the Unkai Gondola

Go for a ride on the Unkai Gondola

The Tomamu Unkai Gondola offers stunning views as it climbs 1088 metres up the mountain. At the top you can visit the Unkai Terrace – famous for it’s cloud views. Also at the top is the Terrace of Frost Tree, where the mountain tree’s delicate branches magically transform to snow-white frost in cold conditions. There’s a small café to purchase snacks, including the famed cloud-drink topped with fairy floss. Here too you can toast big marshmallows over an open fireplace.

To get back down the mountain, it’s choose your own fun! You can ski, snowboard or hire a snow sled (at the base of the gondola before you go up) to  descend via the easy or more difficult runs to the bottom. Alternatively, you can simply catch the Gondola back down. The Unkai Gondola is a Tomamu must-do experience!

Watch our sled ride down the Unkai Gondola run…

The Gao Outdoor Center

Ride a banana at the Gao Outdoor Center

Ride a banana at the Gao Outdoor Center

Where else can your child drive a snow mobile, or the whole family ride aboard a flat-out inflatable snow-banana? It’s the Gao Outdoor Center! From snowball makers and sled-hire to racing along on a snow mobile, “The Gao” has all the equipment for a snowy-fun time with the kids. We spent half a day at The Gao, and had so much fun! We did a drive-yourself snow mobile tour, took a thrilling inflatable banana ride and went for a back-country snow buggy tour. Everything is safely run and guided and there’s plenty of photo opportunities along the way. We even saw a beautiful Japanese Red Fox in the wild!  The Gao Center is a real Tomamu highlight for kids and their parents alike.

For a closer look at the Gao Outdoor Center activities, read our blog here.

Mina Mina Beach indoor wave pool

Go for a swim at the Mina Mina Beach indoor wave pool

Go for a swim at the Mina Mina Beach indoor wave pool

Just because it’s freezing outside, doesn’t mean you can’t swim! Mina Mina beach is an indoor wave pool and swimming complex located right in the middle of the Tomamu Ski Resort. It’s cathedral-like glass and steel structure means you can have fun in the pool while surrounded by an amazing snowy view.  Inside the complex the temperature is nice and cosy, and the water in the pool is beautifully warm too. There are beach chairs to lounge on by the pool, plus huge floaties such as flamingos and dragons available to hire. Surrounding the main wave pool you’ll find several spa pools, plus a toddler pool full of coloured balls to play with. Every half hour sets of waves roll in and tumble on the “beach”. For a great family fun experience, don’t miss out on Mina Mina beach.

Where to stay in Tomamu

The Risonare overlooks Hotalu Street restaurant precinct

The Risonare overlooks Hotalu Street restaurant precinct

Accommodation choices at Hoshino Resorts Tomamu are of a very high standard. Whilst in Tomamu, we stayed at the wonderful Hoshino Resorts Risonare.

Take a look around our beautiful Hoshino Resorts Risonare, Tomamu suite…

Hoshino Resorts Risonare is the place to stay in Tomamu. This elegant twin tower suite hotel is nestled within beautiful Japanese forest.

A ski in/ski out hotel, the Risonare is conveniently located on a hillside, next to an easy ski run leading directly down to the chair lifts. Enclosed glass walkways connect the Risonare to the restaurant district and The Tower complex below. 

Hoshino Resorts Risonare suites are large and luxurious

Hoshino Resorts Risonare suites are large and luxurious

There are only four suites on each floor. Each suite is large and beautifully furnished, and also have a sauna and spa bath. Our suite featured panoramic mountain views.

The hotel itself has a selection of excellent on-site services, including beautiful restaurants, a souvenir shop and ski hire. 

The Risonare is luxury family accommodation you won’t want to leave at the end of your holiday! 

For a closer look at the Hoshino Resorts Risonare, you can read our Risonare blog here

Where to eat – restaurants in Tomamu

The Nininupuri Forest Restaurant is a beautiful family buffet restaurant

The Nininupuri Forest Restaurant is a beautiful family buffet restaurant

Not just delicious Japanese dishes, but all types of cuisine are available at Tomamu. Restaurants and eateries are located in your hotel, plus all over the Tomamu Ski Resort – even up on the mountain!  Don’t worry about your fussy-eater children either, as the two main buffet restaurants are a great family meal choice. They offer plenty of Aussie kid-favourites such as macaroni cheese, spaghetti, noodles, chicken nuggets and chips – and of course, there’s lots of veggies and fruit!

Then there is the fabulous Hotalu Street restaurant district, with some delicious specialist restaurants to try, too.

No matter where you eat during your stay, don’t miss out on the opportunity to try something new – Tomamu restaurant’s Japanese dishes are an absolute foodies delight!

For more information on where your family can eat in Tomamu, you can read our Best Family Restaurants in Tomamu blog here

Australia to Japan – how to get to Tomamu
New Chitose Airport

Getting to Tomamu is a very easy trip from Australia, and jet-lag free thanks to the majority of flying taking place overnight.

Our Qantas flight from Sydney, Australia included dinner and breakfast, and took just nine hours to Haneda airport in Tokyo. From Haneda’s International Terminal we stepped straight onto a bus for the quick transit trip to the domestic terminal. There we caught our JAL one and a half hour domestic flight to New Chitose Airport at Hokkaido.

It takes less than two hours coach ride from New Chitose Airport – or just 70 minutes by train – to get to Tomamu. You’ll be on the ski slopes in no time!

Take the family to Tomamu for an amazing family vacation

Hoshino Resorts Tomamu is quite simply a superb family holiday, from start to finish. With so much to see and do, excellent skiing and luxurious accommodation, it ticks every family vacation box.

We made family memories to last a lifetime at Tomamu, and can’t wait to return to make even more.

Plan your own Hoshino Resorts Tomamu adventure now – find out more at the official website here.

Tomamu Fast Facts

Do people speak English in Japan?

They certainly do all over the airports and Tomamu. The Japanese people are wonderfully welcoming, and always go beyond to help or communicate. 

Where is Tomamu?

Hoshino Resorts Tomamu is located at Naka-Tomamu Shimukappu Yufutsu Hokkaido JAPAN 079-2204 (Scroll down to see our Google Map)

What airlines fly from Australia to Japan?

Qantas and JAL (Japan Airlines). Qantas link flights operate via JAL domestic in Japan,

How will I charge my phone/the kid’s devices in Japan?

You will need to purchase a Australian-to-Japanese power converter before you leave, readily available at the airport. (If you ever forget a power plug converter anywhere in the world, you can often plug your phone charger straight into your hotel room TV usb outlet)

Will my mobile/cell phone work in Japan?

We use Telstra, which worked perfectly everywhere.

Do I need to take Japanese currency?

Currency – Japanese Yen  (Currently the exchange rate is 77.85 JPY = $1 AUD as at March 2019). You don’t need to take Japanese cash (we actually didn’t), however it is useful for vending machines or random cafes, etc. Credit cards inc. Visa are accepted almost everywhere.

Where do I find out more about Hoshino Resorts Tomamu?

Find out more or book your accommodation for Hoshino Resorts Tomamu at the official website here.

Where in the world is Tomamu, Japan?

*All information and prices are correct as at March 2019 – please check the official website link above for relevant, up to date information and accommodation prices.

Let’s go Mum were hosted guests of Hoshino Resorts Tomamu, however all opinions remain firmly our own.

Hoshino Resorts Tomamu have raised the bar on the standard family ski holiday with truly outstanding food options, luxury suite accommodation and fun and exciting activities. 

Have you ever visited Japan? Tell us how much you loved it in the comments below…

About LetsGoMum

Hi, I'm Barbara, mum of the Let's Go Mum blog. We'd love to hear from you! You can contact me anytime with ideas on where you think we should go or what you think we should try...just drop me a line at barbara@letsgomum.com.au!