Resort Reviews from March 2003

All of the Resort Reviews of Japanese ski and snowboard resorts. Currently 19 reviews.
Nozawa Onsen
野沢温泉
Nozawa Onsen Village, Nagano
Submitted by andrewl on 28th March 2003
Nozawa Onsen review by jacques
I never saw so much snow / powder in my life! This IS the spot for snowboarding and skiing this period, despite snowing a lot.

I will remember this spot for a long time.

The village inhabitants are very friendly (and not to mention Hotel ST ANTON people!), food is terrific and it definitelly as good as the French and Swiss Alps I know.

GO FOR IT! But don't forget to bring enough cash, as NO ATM will accept
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Katashina Kogen
かたしな高原
Katashina Village, Gunma
Submitted by oo on 27th March 2003
Katashina Kogen review by Oz
This resort is really good for families. It has the Miffy rabbit as its logo, and there are lots of facilities for kids, eg. a rubber tyre snow run complete with its own lift, and a huge plastic crocodile with a slippery dip or something inside it. So basically if you're looking for a good resort to take the kids to, this is it.

If you're adults wanting a good hard days skiing with long steep runs and fast
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Pilatus Tateshina Snow Resort
ピラタス蓼科スノーリゾート
Chino City, Nagano
Submitted by andrewl on 17th March 2003
Pilatus Tateshina Snow Resort review by hoxy
This place is great for beginners. The main green slope is a nice long straight slope. Even though it is not so wide it's still great place to practice if you are a beginner. There isn't too many slope choices though, 1 green, 1 red, and 1 black. It doesn't seem to be an extremly popular place and there weren't that many people, even though I went on a Saturday.

When I was there it snowed a little bit which
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Maiko Snow Resort
舞子スノーリゾート
Minamiuonuma City, Niigata
Submitted by keithmcdon on 17th March 2003
Maiko Snow Resort review
Went here on a a day off from work and had a blindaaaaaaaa!

I found excellent runs through trees over the top at the 'bowl'.

Excellent snow - even in mid march.

This place is well worth a visit. I reckon it would be boring on any old day but after a dumping of snow it would be very good fun indeed
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Karuizawa Prince Hotel
軽井沢プリンスホテル
Karuizawa Town, Nagano
Submitted by andrewl on 17th March 2003
Karuizawa Prince Hotel review by pow
As an advanced skiier I found this resort to be pretty boring, because there's only one decent intermediate run, and one very short advanced run.

There are plenty of runs for beginners, but they'd have to watch their backs on weekends because it`s crowded.

We stayed in the Prince Hotel Cottages which are very nice, although many of them are about a 5 min walk from the main facilities (there is a shuttle bus, but it kept driving past us without stopping
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Zao Onsen
蔵王温泉
Yamagata City, Yamagata
Submitted by andrewl on 14th March 2003
Zao Onsen review by James Lourie
I have given this resort a 3. If it had snowed while I was there I would elevate this to a 4 although this would have made it a lot more difficult to get around the resort.

Basically ignore the people who complain about the stupid lift cars. You don't have to take them to get around the resort, there is plenty of access via the gondala and the 2 seater lifts. The lift layout is
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Tanigawadake Tenjindaira
谷川天神平
Minakami Town, Gunma
Submitted by andrewl on 6th March 2003
Tanigawadake Tenjindaira review by pow
Considering i went late in the season, this resort was OK. The snow was fairly slushy but you could still have fun on it. Out-of-bounds areas definitely weren't worth skiing on.

I went for 3 days - too long - the ski area is pretty small and it got boring quickly.

I stayed in the Kankou Centre on the mountain itself (the only accomm. up top) which was very cheap - i think Y4000 for the night inc.
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Kandatsu Kogen
神立高原
Yuzawa Town, Niigata
Submitted by andrewl on 5th March 2003
Kandatsu Kogen review (submitted before 2003)
Went here for the first time on my Japanese friend recommendation.

We had a good time, but smaller than I was imagining before getting there. My girlfriend is a beginner and so she didn't have much choice here apart from the main run at the bottom of the hills.

Definitely better for intermediate boarders and skiers.
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Okutadami Maruyama
奥只見丸山
Uonuma City, Niigata
Submitted by andrewl on 5th March 2003
Okutadami Maruyama review (submitted before 2003)
Small place in the center of Niigata, about an hour north of the famous Yuzawa area.

Nothing special, apart from the fact that its open until Golden Week. I went there April 15th and had a decent time - still lots of snow around (about 180cm they were claiming) and wasn't too bad at all.

In the peak of the season, go to another resort. But late season, this place is an option.
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Hakuba Happo-one
白馬八方尾根
Hakuba Village, Nagano
Submitted by andrewl on 4th March 2003
Happo-one review by Adam
I was fairly excited to go here because a few friends of mine had said it was pretty good for Japanese resort which if you value accomodations, eating, and price it's not bad at all.

I put all the emphasis on the mountain however, and in this Happo is slightly disappointing. I've skied much worse in Japan, and only a few much better, but compared to North America, New Zealand, Europe - it's a bit of a letdown.

I would go back
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Yuzawa Kogen
湯沢高原
Yuzawa Town, Niigata
Submitted by andrewl on 4th March 2003
Yuzawa Kogen review (submitted before 2003)
A small but pleasant resort. Very quiet when we went(+1) -- in fact, seems almost like a well kept secret compared to some of its neighbours.

I hadn't skied for a while so the practice runs were useful to, well, practice. Seems about right for a half day's skiing. The best route the Panorama (a green) was very scenic and not really difficult.

Some of the black runs were exciting, but only merits half-a-day.
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Furano
富良野
Furano City, Hokkaido
Submitted by andrewl on 3rd March 2003
Review submitted by 'John Little' before 2006
My wife and I are both intermediate skiers (skiing, on and off, for ten years) and we both enjoyed Furano tremendously. We stayed on the "Shin Furano Prince Hotel" side of the mountain, where the new ropeway whisks you 2KM up the mountain in just five minutes. There are two gondolas on this lift with a capacity of 100-persons each. You will have to wait (one gondola is on the down leg while the other is on the
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Myoko Suginohara
妙高杉ノ原
Myoko City, Niigata
Submitted by andrewl on 3rd March 2003
Myoko Suginohara review (submitted before 2003)
For those who wanna do some decent long run for about 6 km, I rekon it's one of the best resorts you can expect in Shinshu/Joetsu area.

It's not like the one in Kagura/Mitumata where most of its 5 km is just a flat and straight boring kind of... sorry! But its terrain/piste is wide and steep enough yet no moguls are on your way so you can feel a bit of world cup down-hill side! For those who wanna try
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Hirayu Onsen
平湯温泉
Takayama City, Gifu
Submitted by andrewl on 3rd March 2003
Hirayu Onsen review (submitted before 2003)
Wow!! What a great little place!

This place is in northern Hida next to the Abo tunnel near Hirayu. It's tricky to get to from anywhere really, due to it being far from anywhere civilized. There is basically one big chairlift and two smaller chairs (for the beginner runs). From the top of the big chair you can slide left left left and take the gentle panorama course. Those with nuts can get off and try some really hairy stuff
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Jigatake
爺ガ岳
Omachi City, Nagano
Submitted by andrewl on 2nd March 2003
Jigatake review
This is a nice little ski-jo that is fairly close to Matsumoto (it is the closest one in the Hakuba region). The main slope is a beginners slope, but it is long and steep enough to keep most people amused, and there are at least 4 other (steeper) slopes plus some jumps and a halfpipe. The staff are really friendly and helpful, particulurly the rental shop people, and the food in the restaurant is cheap and super-tasty.

The highlight for
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