Resort Reviews from March 2009

All of the Resort Reviews of Japanese ski and snowboard resorts. Currently 22 reviews.
Winghills Shirotori Resort
ウイングヒルズ白鳥リゾート
Gujo City, Gifu
Submitted by andrewl on 28th March 2009
Winghills Shirotori Resort review by Pezby
I went with a friend who had never 'boarded before as the brochure said they had mostly beginner runs. Not true. The runs were at least intermediate and even then they would be tricky.

The conditions were very icy and we got a full refund and went to Takasu.

Takasu was great and we had a good day.

I would never go back to Winghills,, nor would I recommend the place to anyone.

Go to Takasu instead
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Akakura Kanko Resort
赤倉観光リゾート
Myoko City, Niigata
Submitted by Black Mountain on 26th March 2009
Akakura Kanko Resort
I've been going to Akakan for quite a while now and am never disappointed with it. It seems that Myoko area has it's own micro-climate and tends to get more snow than neighbouring areas.

Generally, I think the terrain is not all that challenging and is best suited for beginner and intermediate levels. The bottom of the mountain, not unlike many other places, is usually crowded with beginners and doesn't offer much for those looking for some excitment.
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Kagura
かぐら
Yuzawa Town, Niigata
Submitted by andrewl on 25th March 2009
Kagura review by Tora
This was our first time to vist Kagura and we were up for a day trip from Tokyo which is easily possible if you take the early shinkansen. Be warned that if you go at the weekend you could find the shared changing facilities at Mitsumata base are cramped and queues build quickly for the lift passes and ski rental once the bus from Echigo Yuzawa arrives. I saw some rental shops just across the road from the car park
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Hakuba Happo-one
白馬八方尾根
Hakuba Village, Nagano
Submitted by fireworld6666 on 23rd March 2009
Hakuba Happo-one review
Great big mountain with steep areas, fast sking, crowds ok, except for the weekend bunch.

We had sunny days on groomers and 3 big powder days in the 10 days we skied there.

Get up early to get the powder as it is tracked out early. Why did they groom to top slopes? This would have added a lot more powder sking
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Seki Onsen
関温泉
Myoko City, Niigata
Submitted by Black Mountain on 20th March 2009
Seki Onsen review
Well, I'd been hoping to go to Seki Onsen for ages and finally got around to it last weekend. To say I was disappointed is a bit of an understatement. Actually, I still have 8 points left on a 12 point ticket which says a lot!

Seki Onsen is a tiny little village of a few pensions and restaurants within meters of the bottom lift of the ski resort. I think there are only 3 lifts there which
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Nozawa Onsen
野沢温泉
Nozawa Onsen Village, Nagano
Submitted by andrewl on 18th March 2009
Nozawa Onsen review by David James
Spent three weekdays in Nozawa with friends and I had the best skiing ever.

Not one second spent waiting for a lift, up-down-up-down all day until my thighs could take no more.

Gondolas get you towards the top nice and fast
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Yunomaru
湯の丸
Tomi City, Nagano
Submitted by andrewl on 18th March 2009
Yunomaru review by 3da5rider
I went here mainly because most other places were fully booked for bus higaeri tours and this place was in my price range.

Being a small unknown place I was a bit worried that my friends and I would be disappointed.

However, to my surprise this intimate little mountain did not disappoint. The snow quality was just right. Not too hard and not too soft. The park area was also fairly decent with varying levels of terrain
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Hoshino Resort Alts Bandai
アルツ磐梯
Bandai Town, Fukushima
Submitted by andrewl on 16th March 2009
Alts Bandai review by SmittyGuy03
The first ski experience in Japan (have since had others to compare).

Must say was very impressed. Lots of options for varying degrees of difficulty. All runs were well groomed. Many lift options to keep the lines short, never waited. Lower runs could tend to get a bit crowded, but upper runs opened into an array of different slopes and were quite open. Lots of options for food, a lunch of burger and fries was 1,000Y.

Nice recreation area for
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Grandeco Snow Resort
グランデコリゾート
Kita Shiobara Village, Fukushima
Submitted by andrewl on 16th March 2009
Grandeco Snow Resort review by SmittyGuy03
Was not impressed from the very beginning.

Parking was 1,000Y. Only 2 lifts at the base, a quad chair lift that stays at the lower runs and a gondola lift that goes to the upper runs. Lower runs are "ok" but very short. The time spent riding the chair doubles the time it takes to get down. Wait for the gondola to the upper runs was never shorter than 30 minutes.

Upper runs were "ok" and more lifts opened more
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Rusutsu Resort
ルスツリゾート
Rusutsu Village, Hokkaido
Submitted by andrewl on 16th March 2009
Rusutsu Resort review by SmittyGuy03
By far the greatest place I have ever skied not only in Japan but also in American and Europe.

Large resort with many things to offer. Two complete sides connected by a gondola. Plenty to see and do. Best powder snow I have ever seen, so soft you can glide right through it. Lots of off trail skiing where you can find your own adventure. Fantastic runs if that is more your alley. Plenty of lifts with very short lines,
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Appi Kogen
安比高原
Hachimantai Town, Iwate
Submitted by dyna8800 on 10th March 2009
Appi Kogen review
Appi is a classic example of a Bubble Era ski resort, with a grand hotel, high rise condominiums, and several annex buildings surrounding an expansive mountain. I have always wanted to see this resort, as it is very popular, almost always in the top 10 ranking of ski areas in Japan as voted by Japanese skiers.

Perhaps one of the reasons why is what Appi refers to as "Best Snow Quality - Gifted Natural Environment" and the aspirin snow. Their description
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Hachi Kogen
ハチ高原
Yabu City, Hyogo
Submitted by andrewl on 9th March 2009
Hachi Kogen review by SnowKobe
Hachi Kogen/Hachi Kita are supposed to be the best of the West in Japan, and since the combined size is substantial I might agree.

Pros:

Drive from Kobe just 135km/2hrs. Left Kobe at 5am Sunday morning and had no traffic. Toll just 1400yen each way.

Quite a few short runs, some fast lifts, nice views at top. There was enough snow, but less than average for Feb. From Sunday afternoon crowds thinned out and there were no lines to speak of.

Hachi Kita looked
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Furano
富良野
Furano City, Hokkaido
Submitted by dyna8800 on 9th March 2009
Furano review
Furano is best known for its fields of lavender and being the scene of the drama called "Kita no Kuni Kara" (From Northern Country) with its rustic stone and log house. Recently, the town of Furano has been making efforts to attract more foreigners to visit, and it seems to have been successful judging from the number of non Japanese that we saw on our trip. Asahikawa airport allows easy access (much faster than through Shin Chitose/Sapporo airport).

To briefly describe
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Shizukuishi
雫石
Shizukuishi Town, Iwate
Submitted by dyna8800 on 9th March 2009
Shizukuishi review by dyna8800
Shizukuishi was known in the past as the flagship of the Prince ski empire. It has the typical two mountain with interconnecting course/lift layout, similar to Furano. However, it's age is starting to show, as this gem from the Bubble Era is starting to fade.

The Prince Hotel is on the left side, the Mt. Takakura side which comprises the largest area and boasting a 101 person ropeway. On the right side, there is the Mt. Kotakakura side with a 6
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Geto Kogen
夏油高原
Kitakami Town, Iwate
Submitted by andrewl on 8th March 2009
Geto Kogen review by Pete
Heard about this resort after visiting Appi the year before. Apparently gets amazing snow depth so we couldn't pass it up...

The season by local standards was poor but the resort still had over a 3m base by late February.

It hadn't snowed in a few days but we found powder off-piste on the first day. Ski patrol didn't seem existent in the first few days but we were hassled (slightly) towards the end of the trip.

They got snow on the other
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