Resort Reviews from March 2005

All of the Resort Reviews of Japanese ski and snowboard resorts. Currently 16 reviews.
GALA Yuzawa
GALA湯沢
Yuzawa Town, Niigata
Submitted by dentist on 24th March 2005
GALA Yuzawa review by dentist
The resort was nice itself, but the long lines on the bottom were annoying. I recommend you to get a full ticket and ascend as high as possible and enjoy there. Some of the slopes were narrow and icy.

We wasted one hour and half to get a table to sit for lunch.

Also another hour to get out of the narrow parking alleys to the main road. I will never understand why Japanese make such narrow alleys even where they have
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Cupid Valley
キューピットバレイ
Joetsu City, Niigata
Submitted by andrewl on 23rd March 2005
Cupid Valley review by James Gowans
This is one of the few resorts in Niigata that is very far from the highway (40-50 mins from Joetsu IC). However, it's well worth the drive as there are no crowds. This proved to be just what I needed after visits to GALA and Hakuba where the amount of time spent in various queues drove me slightly crazy. And even though there's just two main sections here, the runs are really long, minimising time on the lifts. Also, there's
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Maiko Snow Resort
舞子スノーリゾート
Minamiuonuma City, Niigata
Submitted by andrewl on 23rd March 2005
Maiko Snow Resort review by rossno
Maiko is a great place to learn snowboarding.

Easy dismounts from lifts, short runs, and a 500m flat ending to all runs!

The average snowboarder beyond their first year would grow bored in an hour. The conditions were terrible because it had rained from several days before my visit and that produced solid rock ice on all slopes covered by a thin frost created by the snow flurrys of the day.

The facilities at Maiko offer three relaxation rooms for sleeping. I
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Mizuho Highland
瑞穂ハイランド
Ohnan Town, Shimane
Submitted by bulldog on 16th March 2005
Mizuho Highland review by bulldog
Mizuho revisited.

This place kicks ass for western Japan.

First time here on a weekday and like everywhere else, there is hardly anyone around. It dumped for two days before we came, so the snow was excellent for mid-March. The advanced runs have good terrain and enough length. The rest of the mountain is pretty wide open and good for beginners. Modern facilities with warm, clean toilets and decent restaurants, etc... It doesn't have
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Shiga Kogen Nishitateyama
志賀高原 西館山
Yamanouchi Town, Nagano
Submitted by andrewl on 15th March 2005
Shiga Kogen Nishitateyama review
Using two quads it was so easy to get to the top of Nishidateyama from where we could cruise down all the way to the bottom of the valley. Although the course isn't that long, since no dull flat section in between so every skill level had great fun.

Easy access to Ichinose from the top and to Giant and Higashitate from the bottom
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Hida Takayama
飛騨高山
Takayama City, Gifu
Submitted by andrewl on 12th March 2005
Hida Takayama review by Roland
After a big dump - head here for great virgin powder skiing/boarding - very quiet midweek.

If the very top chairlift is open - try it.

It's a severe gradient and has a nice little lip to get air - also great views from the top
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Shirakaba Resort Ikenotaira Snow Park
白樺リゾート池の平スノーパーク
Chino City, Nagano
Submitted by jimmy on 11th March 2005
Shirakaba Resort
Very nice slopes, lifts are fast and not very many people.

I really enjoyed snowboarding there
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Shiga Kogen Giant
志賀高原 ジャイアント
Yamanouchi Town, Nagano
Submitted by andrewl on 10th March 2005
Shiga Kogen Giant review by Highlandjin
This is the place where you practice high speed cruising skills since the plase is straight&wide from the top to bottom.

Good lift connection to transfer to Nishidate, Higashidate and other areas of vast Shiga-Kogen.
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Shiga Kogen Higashitateyama
志賀高原 東館山
Yamanouchi Town, Nagano
Submitted by andrewl on 10th March 2005
Shiga Kogen Higashitateyama review by Highlandjin
From the top of the gondola station (top of the Higashitateyama mountain) you will have breathtaking view of Japan alps so don't forget bringing a camera. This is the starting point of the Olympic womens'GS. It is fairly steep and long.

If you are intermeadiate skier you will find this course is quite challenging and you will love it.

You can also descend to Terakoya, Takamagahara and Ichinose areaa from the Godola station
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Shiga Kogen Okushiga Kogen
志賀高原 奥志賀高原
Yamanouchi Town, Nagano
Submitted by andrewl on 10th March 2005
Shiga Kogen Okushiga Kogen review by Highlandjin
North western tip of gigantic Shiga-Kogen. Easy access to Yakebitai and other ares of Shiga Kogen.

Okushiga slopes are facing east/north. So the snow conditon is generally very good and give you a fantastic view of Japan alps from the top. When we visited it was right after snow fall so the condition was really excellent with super blue skies.

Absolutely no queue for the lift/gondlas.

This is the place where the imperial family enjoy skiing. So you can
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Zao Onsen
蔵王温泉
Yamagata City, Yamagata
Submitted by andrewl on 10th March 2005
Zao Onsen review by highlandjin
We went there with group of 10 and we have decided to come back next year.

Takatori, Kurohime courses were OK and snow quality, Onsen, Juhyo and cost-performance, relatively easy access from Tokyo beat the complaints that there were too many flat sections in-between connecting gerendes.
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Nozawa Onsen
野沢温泉
Nozawa Onsen Village, Nagano
Submitted by Sanno on 8th March 2005
Nozawa Onsen review by marnix
It was supposed to be a good day, but the visibility was very poor and we didn't know where to go. Had fun though between the trees and some other runs where other had gone before us. Missed out on the steeps Toque was talking about.\r\n\r\nRuns were short.\r\n\r\nSnow was ok (there was a frozen layer under the top softer layer)

Bottom part it was raining.

Vis poor

If you know where to go (or when you can see where you are going) this
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Winghills Shirotori Resort
ウイングヒルズ白鳥リゾート
Gujo City, Gifu
Submitted by andrewl on 8th March 2005
Winghills Shirotori Resort review by Mike
Is going to be a short season!

Not even mid-March but snow is melting rapidly - slushy conditions, bad control very easy to fall (there were people falling all over the place).

Get there quick before snow has GONE
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GALA Yuzawa
GALA湯沢
Yuzawa Town, Niigata
Submitted by b-chan on 7th March 2005
GALA Yuzawa review by bhills
My last trip to the snow for 2004/5 season, and I decided to try somewhere new that I've heard about from several friends: GALA Yuzawa.

The trip up on the shinkansen is easy and fast, and the train arrives right in the gondola station - amazing! However, that means of course that *everyone* needs to go through that one station - and it gets pretty crowded.

Out on the snow, we had pretty nice conditions: deep snow from recent falls, and
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Hakuba Cortina
白馬コルチナ
Otari Village, Nagano
Submitted by timo on 6th March 2005
Hakuba Cortina review by timo
Barely seems to get a mention with the other resorts in Hakuba but if like me you wanna ride in powder all day - forget everywhere else & come here.

An absolute gem of a resort with an endless variety of drop-in spots around the main resort bowl.

Only bummer is the patrol - they are ever present and seem to be out to bust people 24/7.

So long as you mix up where you ride, the deep stuff is there
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