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Japan Piste Difficult Ratings

Japanese Ski Run Difficulty Ratings


Unlike anywhere else in the world of skiing or snowboarding, and according to wikipedia.org, Japan has a very simple ski piste difficulty rating system. In general, slopes are grouped into the following categories to the right, namely, beginner, intermediate an expert.  Furthermore, there is no agreed definition of each difficulty.  In other words, the three difficulties are relative to one another at each resort.  By and large, you should expect them to be similar but there is no guarantee that they will be – caution is needed.


Japan Piste Difficult Ratings

 

 

In Openstreetmap.org (OSM), where in part freshsnow.jp gets its data, it seems the convention is slightly different for Japan data though. In OSM, there are 6 categories used in Japan, namely, novice, easy, intermediate, advanced, expert and freeride plus many unrarted pistes (eg. no data provided) which is very similar to Europe. In fact, here is the difficulty matrix used in Europe:

Certainly, not all resorts in Japan use all all categories and while some mountains follow the Japan standard, other mountains do not.  Th pie chart shows is an example of the piste ratings for Zao Onsen ski mountain, one of Japan’s largest ski resorts.  Because the data is so variable in Japan (eg. some resorts have 6 categories of difficulty while others only 3 categories, freshsnow has decided to to group all difficulty levels in to just 3 categories of green (beginners), red (intermediate) and black (expert).

Japan SKi and Snowboard Course Difficulty

On the main index screen, located here, freshsnow.jp reduces the 6 category to just three.  On the individual mountain pages, for example Niseko, they are broken down into 6 categories.