Resort Reviews from February 2003

All of the Resort Reviews of Japanese ski and snowboard resorts. Currently 45 reviews.
Kagura
かぐら
Yuzawa Town, Niigata
Submitted by Kambei on 28th February 2003
Kagura review by Glen Falting
Kagura is a great resort and although Tashiro and even Naeba can be accessed from Kagura, it's at Kagura that the best terrain is located.

If the person is keen there are quite a few tree runs and even the groomed runs are quite wide.

The Kagura Mitsumata Tashiro area beats GALA, Yuzawa Kogen and even Iwappara for variation, quality of groomed runs and access to tree runs and off piste locations
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GALA Yuzawa
GALA湯沢
Yuzawa Town, Niigata
Submitted by yunker on 21st February 2003
GALA Yuzawa review
I am new to snowboarding this year - hardly ever seen any snow before now - and my first trip was to be taken to GALA Yuzawa with some Japanese friends. I'm not sure if this was a good resort to be at as a beginner, but the views there were spectacular.

It was blue skies all the way, and so much snow! I couldn't believe it! My first attempt was really bad. I thought I
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Hakuba Happo-one
白馬八方尾根
Hakuba Village, Nagano
Submitted by yunker on 21st February 2003
Happo-one review
My second time out was to Happo in Hakuba. Another place that I had heard so much about on this site and from my Japanese friends.

First impressions - wow! What a mountain! The valley was really impressive, I loved it before I was out of the car.

Happo was so much bigger than my only other snowboarding experience - GALA in Yuzawa. Wider, bigger, higher - all sorts of words could be used.

I found a good
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Hakuba 47 Winter Sports Park
Hakuba47ウインタースポーツパーク
Hakuba Village, Nagano
Submitted by andrewl on 20th February 2003
Review submitted by 'jaque b. knimbel' before 2006
Either I went on a bad day, or I wasn't supposed to try and kill myself; I got a concussion on my first run, and didn't start doing well until the last few runs.

If you go there, watch out for the Japanese skiers. I've got nothing against the people, but they are literally hell on skis
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Shiga Kogen Okushiga Kogen
志賀高原 奥志賀高原
Yamanouchi Town, Nagano
Submitted by andrewl on 20th February 2003
Review submitted by 'jaque b. knimbel' before 2006
I may have been having a bad day that day, but I didn't really like this place.

You would think that with all those different places at one resort, you could find at least one half empty run, but the place was packed.

We found out later that it was a Japanese holiday
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Naeba
苗場
Yuzawa Town, Niigata
Submitted by andrewl on 20th February 2003
Review submitted by 'jaque b. knimbel' before 2006
Great beginners hill.

If you really want to learn, this is a good place - just make sure you come on a weekday.

I have been there many times, but I still can't really get to like it a lot
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Nozawa Onsen
野沢温泉
Nozawa Onsen Village, Nagano
Submitted by andrewl on 20th February 2003
Review submitted by 'CT' before 2006
I had a great time there with my cousin who was a first time skier.

There is a wide and long beginner's trail on top of the gondola so (even as a novice) she was able to enjoy the views/conditions of a trail that is close to the peak. Tons of good runs for advanced skiers too.

People were very friendly and I loved the "authentic" Japanese feel of the village (as far as I can tell).
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Zao Liza World
蔵王ライザワールド
Kaminoyama City, Yamagata
Submitted by andrewl on 17th February 2003
Review submitted by 'M' before 2006
Liza is perfect for a beginner snowboarder. Only on the weekends are the lifts ever busy. The staff is so friendly. The mountain is small enough that it is impossible to get separated from your friends. There are really really easy runs and a few intermediate level as well.

Every day the groomers have done something different to the slopes, sometimes making moguls or new jumps. The snow conditions have never been the same two days in
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Hakodateyama
箱館山
Takashima City, Shiga
Submitted by Jezza on 16th February 2003
Review submitted by 'Jezza' before 2006
Conditions were slushy but still enough snowpack to enjoy it. Very small courses though, and the lift ticket was 5,000, terrible deal.

Crowded too.

If you're from Osaka area, I'd suggest going to Nagano for any trip because the extra money is definitely worth it.

This place was just too small and boring
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Sahoro Resort
サホロリゾート
Shintoku Town, Hokkaido
Submitted by calyxia on 15th February 2003
Review submitted by 'calyxia' before 2006
Our group had one snowboarder, one ski boarder, and two who both used short skiis, and regular skis. We are of varying abilities, and we were all able to find areas where we could ski at our own levels. Food at the restaurant was reasonablly priced and good
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Yonezawa
米沢
Yonezawa City, Yamagata
Submitted by yaamez on 15th February 2003
Review submitted by 'yaamez' before 2006
A small resort on Route 13 between Yonezawa and Fukushima City, the resort is great for weeknight skiing. On weekends, extra runs are open, but it gets crowded. The snow has been good this season, but I wouldn't recommend going after the end of February. \r\n\r\nThere are three main runs - a beginner's which also has a few jumps on the side, an intermediate which is fun taken fast, and a mogul course/steep slope which is good
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Hakodateyama
箱館山
Takashima City, Shiga
Submitted by kevnolan on 13th February 2003
Hakodateyama review by kevnolan
The first day being a Sunday, and the crowds were there, although the place was by no means over-run - it only added to the atmosphere. The rented boots were a little over-used, although larger sizes were of limited availability. Lockers were limited, with baggage filling the corners and locker-tops. Vending machines were plentiful, although marginally over-priced as could be expected.

The crowds were definitely enjoying the mild, dry weather, and the restaurants offered good standard Japanese fare; oden,
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Hakuba 47 Winter Sports Park
Hakuba47ウインタースポーツパーク
Hakuba Village, Nagano
Submitted by keithmcdon on 13th February 2003
Hakuba 47 Winter Sports Park review by keithmcdon
Went here on a week day so it wasn't too busy.

Nice wide courses so very good for boarding.

A good run from top to bottom too which doesn't involve sitting in a lift for half a day.

Only thing to say is that this is probably more an intermediate resort.

Beginners may find it a little scary as some courses are very steep.

The views of the surrounding mountains are superb
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Nozawa Onsen
野沢温泉
Nozawa Onsen Village, Nagano
Submitted by keithmcdon on 13th February 2003
Nozawa Onsen review by keithmcdon
Went here two days after a decent snow fall. At the top there was a powder run through trees where no one else seemed to want to go. My friend and I had it all to ourselves.

Excellent place and you can have a free onsen afterwards.

Only drawback is that there's not much of a decent run from top to bottom.

And if you're not careful you could end up killing yourself on one of the
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Iwappara
岩原
Yuzawa Town, Niigata
Submitted by wendy-cake on 9th February 2003
Iwappara review by wendy-cake
After a day at Nozawa, we went over to Niigata and chose Iwappara as the place to go. I've seen Iwappara a few times in summer when I was going up to Niigata to visit a friend and it always looks wide, long and fun.

Anyway, it was a weekday and, like Nozawa, the place was quiet - just as we hoped.

We headed over to the central quad lift and tried that run a few times. The snow was in really
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