Resort Reviews from April 2014

All of the Resort Reviews of Japanese ski and snowboard resorts. Currently 15 reviews.
Hakuba Happo-one
白馬八方尾根
Hakuba Village, Nagano
Submitted by andy63_5 on 22nd April 2014
Disastrous day. Limited review.
First of all, thank you to SJ and Alpen for sponsoring my ticket.

Took the day off from work and drove out to Happo-one for my first time. There isn't a BIG parking lot with a main lodge like at Hakuba Goryu or Hakuba 47. Instead, there are small parking lots scattered throughout the base, most with parking fees, even though it was this late in the year. The ski slope meshes directly into the small community at the base, so
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Ikenotaira Onsen
池の平温泉
Myoko City, Niigata
Submitted by Kansaiash on 17th April 2014
The snow is almost too deep!
After taking a month off the snow for recovery I was itching to get back on my board. We started our trip on Friday night around 10pm. I decided to leave a bit earlier then planned because of the forecasted snow and the chance of the highway closing. Luckily my run up to Myoko was pretty easy and the highway was relatively clear most of the way. We took the Hokuriku highway along the Sea of Japan
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Gassan
月山
Nishikawa Town, Yamagata
Submitted by Rock-hand on 16th April 2014
Next level spring riding
After hearing good things about Gassan from some Japanese friends, I bit the bullet and decided to head down for opening weekend. My friends were not lying and I was not disappointed.

Driving up from Yamagata city on Sunday morning, it took about an hour to get there. The last part of the drive was spectacular going up the mountain, hairpin after hairpin with snow walls up to 8m high surrounding the narrow road corridor.

The car park was a little
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Myoko Suginohara
妙高杉ノ原
Myoko City, Niigata
Submitted by Agent Smith on 16th April 2014
Bad timing
We hit Suginohara in February 2014 in the middle of a dry spell, and unfortunately it felt more like late spring season than full on mid-winter which of course spoiled things for us.

I have heard that Myoko is well known for being on the receiving end of epic amounts of powder snow, though we didn't see any of that.

Nice place, just need to time it better next time. I would be willing to give it another go though
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Hakuba Happo-one
白馬八方尾根
Hakuba Village, Nagano
Submitted by Agent Smith on 16th April 2014
I visited at the wrong time
I thought February would be a sure bed for decent snow conditions, but it wasn't so this season.

I had heard so much about the snow in Hakuba and Myoko that I had high expectations, but sadly I was left really disappointed.

We didn't get much fresh snow at all in our visit and conditions were not great.

But.... I can certainly see the appeal and the backcountry looks amazing - as is the general alpine scenery around Hakuba.

I must get back one
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Zao Onsen
蔵王温泉
Yamagata City, Yamagata
Submitted by Rock-hand on 16th April 2014
Late season potential
After receiving a couple of free passes thanks to SnowJapan, I planned a trip to Yamagata Zao in late February. Unfortunately my trip coincided with one of the biggest storms of the season which forced me to cancel (most of the lifts ended up closed that weekend). I didn't get a free weekend to reschedule until April so thought I would head down to get in some spring riding.

Arriving at Zao mid-morning the conditions were great. Blue sky and very
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Akakura Kanko Resort
赤倉観光リゾート
Myoko City, Niigata
Submitted by NECK on 16th April 2014
Akakan in springtime
Akakura Kanko, Myoko. – April 5th, 2013.

Thanks Snow Japan for sending me these 2 tickets for anywhere in Myoko in your last giveaway of the 2013 season! Also, congratulations on the new site. Layout is great and easy to navigate.

So here is my review for Akakura Kanko in Myoko. I waited to use the tickets until April, so I could take my brother who was visiting from England. It was his first time visiting Japan and his first time snowboarding
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Niseko Mountain Resort Grand Hirafu
ニセコマウンテンリゾートグラン・ヒラフ
Kutchan Town, Hokkaido
Submitted by OzOzOz on 16th April 2014
Still the best
What has not been said about Niseko Grand Hirafu (and connecting).

When it's on - which is often - it really is simply the best.

It may not be the steepest.
It may get very busy.
It may get too many, er, boisterous foreigners spoiling things a bit.
It may get windy affecting lifts too often.

But the snow is just awesome and hard to beat.

Great restaurants and nightlife too.

Just don't go expecting a quaint traditional Japanese experience
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Muikamachi Hakkaisan
六日町八海山
Minamiuonuma City, Niigata
Submitted by joshnii on 16th April 2014
A fine place to spend a day
I have been to Muikamachi Hakkaisan a few times. This time was courtesty of SnowJapan and Minamiuonuma as I used the ticket I won on the site.

I timed it well.

This season was not classic by any means in terms of snowfall, but I was waiting to go to Hakkaisan in as perfect as possible conditions. Lots of fresh snow and decent weather. That's what I got.

Hakkaisan is a long and fairly narrow resort. Though having
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Myoko Suginohara
妙高杉ノ原
Myoko City, Niigata
Submitted by NECK on 16th April 2014
Spring pow day!
I used to visit Suginohara often when I first moved to Nagano, as at that time I lived on the northern side of Nagano city and it only took an hour or so to drive across into Niigata and the Myoko area. Now that I live such a short drive from the Hakuba valley, I rarely get across to Myoko and I do miss the place.

I was lucky enough to win not one, but two tickets to use anywhere in
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Hakuba Happo-one
白馬八方尾根
Hakuba Village, Nagano
Submitted by NECK on 16th April 2014
Happo in springtime
Happo is a resort that I have held a season pass for a couple of times in the past. The resort itself is a little too bumpy for my taste, but the main selling point for me is the easy access to the backcountry from the top Grat Quad lift.

I also used to like the ‘High Cascade Park’ that was a feature for a few seasons on the course far skiers left of the resort, served by the Kitaone 3
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Niseko HANAZONO Resort
ニセコHANAZONOリゾート
Kutchan Town, Hokkaido
Submitted by kokodoko on 15th April 2014
Good powder runs
Hanazono has got 3 chairs. Chair 1 you can access Strawberry Fields and Blueberry Fields, which have good tree runs. Chair 3 has got good tree runs off it too. Or you can ski the pistes. There is very easy access from Hirafu. You can just ski across or catch the shuttle bus.

There are good restaurants at the bottom, ski school and Hanazono Powder Guides.

It would be best to get an all mountain pass for the whole Niseko
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Hoshino Resort Tomamu
星野リゾート トマム
Shimukappu Village, Hokkaido
Submitted by MagSeven on 14th April 2014
Tomamu 2014
I made a couple of trips to Tomamu this year, one of which was thanks to the Snow Japan giveaway ticket.

I'd say Tomamu is a good medium sized resort which isn't actually that difficult to get to from the Sapporo area, either by train or by car via the Expressway.

There are two sides of the resort but I've only ever been on the gondola side, lookers left of the mountain. At the top of the hill there is an
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Muica Snow Resort
ムイカ スノーリゾート
Minamiuonuma City, Niigata
Submitted by Gunma Boarder on 7th April 2014
A good place for families and beginners.
I'll start with the positive. Muikamachi Ski Resort is a good place to bring the family. It has enough going on for kids that don't ride to be entertained all day. They have a nice kids room with a Super Famicom (American name is Super Nintendo) as well as a ball pit and lots of toys. Down the hall from this room is an onsen (hot spring) bath to get clean after riding or just to relax in for the
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Hachimantai Resort Shimokura
八幡平リゾート下倉
Hachimantai Town, Iwate
Submitted by Rock-hand on 4th April 2014
Sheltered pow for a windy day
Living semi-locally to this resort I was disappointed it took me so long to visit. A regular customer at the nearby Appi resort, I had heard all year that when Appi is too windy, Shimokura is the spot. Come March 8th I found out that what I had heard was right on.

We got there nice and early the day after a 30cm dump and found that the valley the resort was in was perfectly sheltered from the wind which was
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