Ive been in january and february. Personally I like feb the best.
Agree that February is probably the best for conditions. But two qualifications:
1. OP does not want it to be dumping while riding (not clear why), but February in Hokkaido there is a fair chance of almost continuous snow fall for several days (and nights) in a row.
2. When Chinese New Year is in February (like in 2013) it will also be the busiest time in the big resorts like Niseko.
Whilst it generally snows at night you will still get a few days where its just snowing hard all day, the beauty of japan is its often snowing hard with no wind which is a really nice experience.
If you feel insecure go to niseko with the hordes. If you are a bit more adventurous and like equally good terrain with way less people try one of the other 50+ places to ride like rusutsu, kiroro, sahoro, tomamu, mt racey, furano and the list goes on.
And that is assuming you want to go to hokkaido (you should). Depending where you are coming from most people fly into narita (tokyo), bus transfer to haneda (tokyo) and fly up to new chitose (sapporo) then bus transfer to your chosen resort.
Pretty much agree with that. Couple of comments on travel:
- You can fly to Chitose/Sapporo from both Narita and Haneda airports. Handa has a few more flights (and is a nicer airport) but Narita is just fine. Unless you are going into Tokyo just transit at whatever airport you arrive in Japan - not worth the hassle to transfer between airports.
- Consider renting a car in Hokkaido, as it makes it much easier to move between multiple locations (or base yourself in one location but also hit others).