Resort Reviews from February 2008

All of the Resort Reviews of Japanese ski and snowboard resorts. Currently 19 reviews.
Inawashiro
猪苗代
Inawashiro Town, Fukushima
Submitted by andrewl on 27th February 2008
Inawashiro review
When we were there there was fresh powder.

We boarded under the lifts which was great, hiked up to the top of the mountain and found some terrific backcountry in the trees between the two sides of the mountain. \r\n\r\nStunning views of the lake and mountains.

Definitely recommended
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Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field
白馬岩岳スノーフィールド
Hakuba Village, Nagano
Submitted by andrewl on 25th February 2008
Hakuba Iwatake review by Brett Dennis
After very negative experiences at Happo and Tsugaike, I was very pleased with Iwatake. Certainly my favourite of the three 'Alpen Co' resorts and probaly the best of the five that I hit up in the valley while there. (Did'nt get to Cortina area so can't comment).

Iwatake flows much better as a resort, lift system seems well planned, no walking needed, shuttle bus was easy from Wadano and the terrain offered much more diversity in the way of natural features
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Ura Bandai
裏磐梯
Kita Shiobara Village, Fukushima
Submitted by andrewl on 25th February 2008
Ura Bandai review by Zer0star
A hidden gem in the Inawashiro area...

Only has a few slow old lifts but has a nice atmosphere, is cheap, has a pretty good park and probably the best food at a resort I've ever had. I heard the hotel chef comes up and cook for the lunch there...

Great place for a change of scenery, and gets some pretty good snow too. Definitely try it out
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Hakuba Happo-one
白馬八方尾根
Hakuba Village, Nagano
Submitted by andrewl on 24th February 2008
Happo-one review by Brett Davis
Unhappo Oh-no!!!

Coming here with much excitement and expectation, I was somewhat dissapointed by the actual resort itself, allegedly the 'grand centrepiece' of the Hakuba Valley.

Certainly, a big area with shedloads of vertical and spectacularly backdropped by the Japan Alps, the mountain has plenty going for it. Snowfall couldn't really be faulted, hucked down for five days and nights, didn't see much until last two days.

However the way in which Happo is run really seemed to hamstring the place. From
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Mashike Choei Syokanbetsudake
増毛町営暑寒別岳
Mashike Town, Hokkaido
Submitted by andrewl on 23rd February 2008
Mashike Choei review by Brett Dennis
Small local hill near interesting fishing village of Mashike. Not much vertical but plenty of snow and quite a novelty riding so close to coast.

Considering size of field, it is well serviced with two double chairs, two groomers and night skiing. After a memorable night staying at a local ryokan, we had some great fresh snow. The patronage seemed to be mainly local school kids and the army, we were the only westerners and I was one of only two
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Otoifuji
音威富士
Otoineppu Village, Hokkaido
Submitted by andrewl on 23rd February 2008
Otoifuji review by Brett Dennis
With much expectation we arrived in Otoineppu. Leaving the coast, the snow just got deeper and deeper as we heaed inland and plenty of superb looking backcountry could be seen just of the main road. Even farmers fields had some great lines.

With it's location in the centre of a broad peninsula and low ranges this area is obviously a snow magnet. On arrival in the town, we found a community besieged by winter. Deep almost bottomless snow covered the whole
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Kamui Ski Links
カムイスキーリンクス
Asahikawa City, Hokkaido
Submitted by andrewl on 23rd February 2008
Kamui Ski Links review by Brett Dennis
In keeping with other reviewers, I've got nothing but good things to say about this place, apart from having less snow than other areas at the time we visited.

Nice amount of vertical, some great fast and quite long groomers, well planned lift lay-out and best of all welcoming ride all areas policy.

When we first pulled up on the Sunday of a long weekend, things looked glum. The gondola line was snaking back down the hill and for Hokkaido the
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Asahidake Ropeway
旭岳ロープウゥイ
Higashigawa Town, Hokkaido
Submitted by andrewl on 23rd February 2008
Asahikawa Ropeway review by Brett Dennis
Stirling natural landscape, beautiful forests, streams and superb thermal activity. Visited on a long weekend, so was a reasonable number of people on the mountain.

Along with others, found the flatness of the groomed runs a bit frustrating but plenty of fun in the trees, chutes and bowls nearby. Snow depth was quite variable being crusty and windblown up high, was only time I had trouble with rocks and partially covered shrubs while in Hokkaido.

Definitely a mountain with plenty of
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Onbara Kogen
恩原高原
Kagamino Town, Okayama
Submitted by andrewl on 23rd February 2008
Onbara Kogen review by Canadian Dave
This hill definitely isn't the Alps or Hokkaido, and if you are driving up on the expressway it's really not even a whole lot further to continue on to Daisen. But if you are in the neighborhood and want a fun little place to ride for the day, then Ombara could be just what you are looking for.

I snowboarded there 5 or 6 times over the 2008 season since I worked (teaching English) in the town. I would mix
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Shibetsu-shi Hinata
士別市日向
Shibetsu-shi City, Hokkaido
Submitted by andrewl on 23rd February 2008
Shibetsu-shi Hinata review by Brett Dennis
Dropped in for a couple of hours after seeing hill from highway.

Another local field with mainly schoolkids there when we arrived, however probaly see's a few more westerners being closer to Asahikawa.

Two single chairs service a limited numbers of shortish runs with a couple of nice steep sections. Could buy a cheap ticket (about $8.00) allowing about 12 trips on the lifts, lift closest to base was fairly short and had to walk uphill to access the second longer lift
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Hoshino Resort Tomamu
星野リゾート トマム
Shimukappu Village, Hokkaido
Submitted by andrewl on 20th February 2008
Tomamu review by Peter Cohen
We had a group of 10 experienced skiers.

It took us 5 days to track out the back O.B. areas. rating 3+ (out of 5)

Food excellent at the various japanese eateries.\r\n\r\nThe piste is moderately intermediate & can be found anywhere.

Would I go back? Yes, if freshies were on
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Myoko Suginohara
妙高杉ノ原
Myoko City, Niigata
Submitted by andrewl on 18th February 2008
Myoko Suginohara review by Tubby Beaver
This place was awesome, apparently I went during the biggest snowfalls the area has had in a million years, the snow was outstanding quality. It was soooooooo deep, light and fluffy!!

They have plenty of trees to explore, the runs under the lifts are fantastic. The pistes themselves were great, nice and wide for the most part, good linking trails from piste to piste, pockets of trees/bushes and powder in between the runs to enjoy!!

We got free lunch as
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Megahira Onsen Megahira
女鹿平温泉めがひら
Hatsukaichi City, Hiroshima
Submitted by andrewl on 16th February 2008
Megahira Onsen Megahira review by snowbunny
I've been very pleased with the conditions at Megahira.

I've probably gone over 20 times to this resort. When there is fresh snowfall, the powder rivals Lake Tahoe. The artificial snow making is much better here than in the states, for instance Big Bear in California. It's a good place for all skill levels. There are lots of food options too and they're delicious. There is also a free foot onsen near the parking lot to
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Mizuho Highland
瑞穂ハイランド
Ohnan Town, Shimane
Submitted by andrewl on 16th February 2008
Mizuho Highland review by snowbunny
I was probably unlucky on the day that I went to Mizuho. It was raining and there was not alot of snow on the run. Since it is very well-known as being one of the best resorts in the area, I expected to have more options on runs. For some reason the only run that was available was the main run which was not completely covered in snow. Lots of grass and dirt was visible.
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Rusutsu Resort
ルスツリゾート
Rusutsu Village, Hokkaido
Submitted by andrewl on 12th February 2008
Rusutsu Resort review by Hard to please
Not quite the scale and variety one finds in the US and Europe -- Rusustu is a small mountain that is good for a week at most. But the snow is unbelievable -- the lightness and the quantity are amazing -- and no crowds other than on weekends. This plus great tree skiing makes this a great ski mountain (we have skied all over the US and Europe and ski Aspen and Canadian heli every year). The
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