Resort Reviews from February 2009

All of the Resort Reviews of Japanese ski and snowboard resorts. Currently 15 reviews.
Naeba
苗場
Yuzawa Town, Niigata
Submitted by andrewl on 28th February 2009
Naeba review by Endless Winter
This was my second time to visit Naeba and it did not disappoint.

A good 20-30cm of snow had accumulated, the wind had ceased, and the whole mountain was open. It was one of those blue bird days with panoramic views of the entire region from the top. Not being too familiar with the mountain I took my time once off the gondola and figured out how the lifts and runs connected to each other.
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Togakushi
戸隠
Nagano City, Nagano
Submitted by Black Mountain on 28th February 2009
Togakushi review
We ended up at this resort by default as it was raining in Myoko and snowing in Togakushi as it's a bit higher up. Actually, it was only about a 30 minute drive from Myoko Kogen so not really all that inconvenient a place.

Togakushi is a pretty small resort. Basically, it's three small mountains so the areas are divided up and spread out making it seem larger than it actually is. Another benefit of the lay-out is
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Iwappara
岩原
Yuzawa Town, Niigata
Submitted by powder rocks on 28th February 2009
Iwappara review
I visited iwaparra and I thought the runs were perfect for a beginner or a skier who wants to brush up his carving. The food is good with lots of election and it is cheap. The runs are so wide they don't seem busy and the lifts don't have long queues.

However an advanced skier would get bored in an hour most. There is no park and not many advanced runs (except the large mogul run at the top) The
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Kawaba
川場
Kawaba Village, Gunma
Submitted by brand3177 on 28th February 2009
Kawaba review
Went up alone on a Friday, so it was not too busy but still enough people to avoid on the main runs.

Has nice potential for good tree runs and lift runs, however, as it hasnt had a good dump for a while, the pow among the trees and under the lifts have frozen and made for a very crunchy ride.

All in all, considering the distance from Tokyo, it isnt a bad area. Has 2 small park areas, with a few
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Hakuba Cortina
白馬コルチナ
Otari Village, Nagano
Submitted by waubin on 26th February 2009
Hakuba Cortina review
This resort is well set-up & economical if you stay at the Green Plaza. Walk out the back door & straight to the lifts. The wide & long (just over 1,000 metres) beginner slope is excellent for beginners. Right at the top of the mountain you can choose from: Expert, intermediate or beginner runs. If you really want a long run you can board 5kms!!

The lockers (the big square ones) are cheap 300 Yen (you pay 400 but get 100
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Appi Kogen
安比高原
Hachimantai Town, Iwate
Submitted by andrewl on 25th February 2009
Appi Kogen review by paul
On the clear sunny days it was fantastic. When the wind picked up the main gondola shut down so only a few runs were open.

Top of the hill has good runs for advanced skiers while the bottom is a great place for beginners. Overall a good medium sized resort with enough variety for all the family.

Resort has all ammenities for the traveller that wants all inclusive package. English speaking staff were great.
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Makado Onsen
まかど温泉
Noheji Town, Aomori
Submitted by andrewl on 17th February 2009
Makado Onsen review by Jetnfast
I took my wife skiing for the first time today and the conditions were mainly good for both skiing and snowboarding.

The POSITIVE: It was not crowded at all for a weekday. The runs were very wide open and it felt like we had the place to ourselves. Also, the poswder was EXCELLENT, it was absolutely perfect snow!

THE BAD: The conditions were a little windy at first with blowing snow, with off and on poor visibility. At one point the
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Togakushi
戸隠
Nagano City, Nagano
Submitted by andrewl on 14th February 2009
Togakushi review by Vegeskis
Probably my favorite single resort - an anti-thesis to Naeba - very local and quaint but plenty of intereset for intermediate - advanced skiers. Most of the visitors there know their stuff - not likely to find a human barricade of clueless beginners on your way back to the lift...

The food was delicious - a welcome change from the usual shokudo in other places...
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Iwappara
岩原
Yuzawa Town, Niigata
Submitted by foofighter1981 on 12th February 2009
Iwappara review
This resort hadn't been reviewed in awhile so thought I'd give my two cents. I went on a holiday that fell on a WED, which could be comparable to going on a SUN. I agree with the consensus that this is a good resort for beginners and/or a relaxing day for experienced boarders. That doesn't mean it wasn't fun.

There is plenty of room on the one main (and very wide) run to avoid newbies or teach your newbie friends if
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Nozawa Onsen
野沢温泉
Nozawa Onsen Village, Nagano
Submitted by JA on 12th February 2009
Nozawa Onsen review
Fact is, I would not return to Nozawa. Not because of the place, but mainly because the terrain does not fit my idea of my ability.

I rate myself as strong intermediate, and there are plenty of bump runs for the adventurous and lots of flattish runs for beginners and very litle between.

Lift unloads seem not to have been designed for easy access to next load point, and that leaves a push to get anywhere.

That said, I am glad to have
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Kaida Kogen Mia
開田高原マイア
Kiso Town, Nagano
Submitted by andrewl on 8th February 2009
Kaida Kogen Mia review by Antony
Although I live in Hakuba in the shadow of Goryu, but I often find myself driving all the way to Kaida Kogen Mia for several reasons:

1) Snow condition: dry - on a par with Shiga early, mid, and late season - never had a slushy day, unlike some of the bigger ski grounds with heavy traffic.

2) The location, views, and friendly atmosphere never fail to create a feel-good factor that is hard to get at the bigger, busier resorts.

3)
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Shiga Kogen Ichinose Family
志賀高原 一の瀬ファミリー
Yamanouchi Town, Nagano
Submitted by andrewl on 6th February 2009
Ichinose Family review by Kam from KL
We arrived at Nagano by shinkansen from Tokyo and had to wait a couple of hours for the bus to Shiga.

In hind sight we should have checked the bus schedule. The sun was out in Nagano but the temp was well below freezing. By the time we were dropped off at Ichinose (Y1800 bus fare) it was a white out.

Dragging luggage thru a heavy snowfall was a chore. Thankfully our hotel was near the stop.

Ichinose was well located with respect
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Hoshino Resort Tomamu
星野リゾート トマム
Shimukappu Village, Hokkaido
Submitted by hipsterandjane on 3rd February 2009
Hoshino Resort Tomamu review by hipsterandjane
This is a pretty surreal place. We had not planned on going there, but we ran into a well traveled Hokkaido skiier that called it the most underrated resort in Japan.

I won't go that far, but I definitely had a great time there. It is an over the top resort by all measures. Ice Bar, Wave Pool, 40 story hotels - over the top!

That being said I have never stayed on the 35th
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Rusutsu Resort
ルスツリゾート
Rusutsu Village, Hokkaido
Submitted by andrewl on 2nd February 2009
Rusutsu Resort review by emohawk
6 days straight of beautiful sunshine (one half day of fog on top) following on from overnight Japanese dustings (5-15cm per night) made for a fantastic skiing week for my family and I.

Third year running at Rusutsu, and those who say "not enough runs" evidently don't use the whole mountain. Groomed terrain immaculate (for the little we were on it), and tree skiing, while not the usual waist deep powder, still had enough of the soft stuff
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Aomori Spring Ski Resort
青森スプリング・スキーリゾート
Ajigasawa Town, Aomori
Submitted by andrewl on 1st February 2009
It's a great family resort
It's a great family resort.

There are plenty of fun things to do for the kids to do as well as skiing.

The service at the hotel has been excellent but there isn't much to do in the evening. You'll need a good book!\r\n\r\nI hold a ski pass and there is almost always good snow to be found.

I think this resort is good for those who want to learn or brush up their skills. From mid January the far left of
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