- If its your first time, youre staying for a week or two, money aint too big a deal, and its all about the snow, id just go to niseko sometime in mid-late January.
- If you want a more varied trip then you cant really beat nagano. You can hit up most of hakuba, then pop to nozawa, spend a few days on shiga kogen, hell you could even hit up myoko, ryuoo, and the new takaifuji multi-resort pass (im determined next year to check it out).
- Finally, if you want to hit up somewhere that keeps you pretty close to tokyo then Yuzawa is awesome. Kagura/naeba are fantastic and on top of that you have the south area of gala and ishiuchi. Loads of great places.
A fourth option might be zao and yamagata in general but honestly i know little about tohoku riding.
So Niseko, Hakuba, Zao and Yuzawa id say are your best bets. But first time, id just hit up niseko if you get the chance. I mean its tracked out, but you wont give a crap because theres probably another dump on the way. Plus loads of little places like kiroro chisenupuri and moiwa nearby. Finally theres rusutsu just down the road.
Oh, and theres also asahidake/furano in hokkaido. This gives you access to the awesome little gem that is kamui ski links (but the powder in furano is way less frequent - 9 days in late january 2011 there, got about 10cms tops, and lost about 30 from melting).