Resort Reviews from November 2003

All of the Resort Reviews of Japanese ski and snowboard resorts. Currently 13 reviews.
Onikoube
オニコウベ
Osaki City, Miyagi
Submitted by andrewl on 28th November 2003
Onikoube review by Tony
A bit of a trek from Sagae in Yamagata but well worth the trip.

A big selection of runs varying from wide open beginner slopes to steep tree lined runs further up with piles of deep powder on.

A good number of lifts if they are all open
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Yonezawa
米沢
Yonezawa City, Yamagata
Submitted by andrewl on 28th November 2003
Yonezawa review by Tony
Excellent place to start boarding on with some nice gentle easy slopes and plenty of early season snow.

After that it can get a bit boring but by then the rest of the slopes are open
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Hakuba 47 Winter Sports Park
Hakuba47ウインタースポーツパーク
Hakuba Village, Nagano
Submitted by rchuckrey on 25th November 2003
Hakuba 47 review
I enjoyed this mountain because of its location and accessibilty.

The crowds are never overbearing and the surrounding places to stay are well-kept.

Highly recommended
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Appi Kogen
安比高原
Hachimantai Town, Iwate
Submitted by andrewl on 25th November 2003
Appi Kogen review
Fancy a change from the main resorts in Nagano and Niigata?

Appi is a fantastic alternative, with lots of runs good snow and not too crowded.

Definitely worth a try
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GALA Yuzawa
GALA湯沢
Yuzawa Town, Niigata
Submitted by Gammaman on 25th November 2003
GALA Yuzawa review
There was a very good deal at the end of last season, so I went a few times. Very simple. Jump on the bullet train in Tokyo, 75 minutes later hop out, get changed in the same building and jump in the cable car to the mountain. Scoot over to the park. Hang off to the left and find the run with a couple of kickers and a rail. Nobody else goes there. Had the rail to myself for a
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Niseko Mountain Resort Grand Hirafu
ニセコマウンテンリゾートグラン・ヒラフ
Kutchan Town, Hokkaido
Submitted by andrewl on 25th November 2003
Niseko Grand Hirafu review
This is easily the best boarding I've done or heard of in Japan. Minimal lines, heaps of light dry powder, variety of terrain, great scenery.

Wow!

Runs are a little short and there are no full-on black diamond runs (typical Japanese style), but I'd recommend this to anyone.
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Tsugaike Kogen
栂池高原
Otari Village, Nagano
Submitted by skifans on 24th November 2003
Tsugaike Kogen by llo
I've been there for two times this year, the area is fun for beginner and mid-level players.

The this place is good for training beginner. Onsen is good and the people is freindly.

I planned another trip to there at the end of the year to train up some of my friends
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Owani Onsen
大鰐温泉
Owani Town, Aomori
Submitted by andrewl on 19th November 2003
Owani Onsen review by badboy
Owani is in a nice location, and it's a place where beginners can go for a good day out. There's not always that much snow, however, due to the fact that the bottom of the resort is sat at pretty much sea level.

I'd recommend it to beginners who live in the ken, but not to others who would have to travel for more than 45 mins to get here.

If you aren't a beginner, you may as well go the
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Minowa
箕輪
Inawashiro Town, Fukushima
Submitted by yaamez on 17th November 2003
Minowa review
A little gem on R115 between Aizu and Fukushima city, Minowa is popular with locals because of it's steep slopes and easy access.

Best suited for the intermediate skier / boarder, it has pretty good snow for most of the season, and really good food too - toasties, panini and real coffee
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Okutone Snow Park
奥利根スノーパーク
Minakami Town, Gunma
Submitted by Gammaman on 8th November 2003
Okutone Snow Park review by Gammaman
Nowhere to escape the masses, not good to take your boarding virgin mates as hire equipment is not good and the courses are pretty tricky and steep. Not very long so not that challenging either.

Small park. But ok for 'improving' park shredders.

Landed my first table top, but I didn`t rule.

Close enough to Tokyo to attract the student hords, if that's what you like
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Hakuba Valley Kashimayari
HAKUBA VALLEY鹿島槍
Omachi City, Nagano
Submitted by Gammaman on 8th November 2003
Kashimayari Sports Village
Inoffensive little spot with good views and just enough to make a day of, just.

Went with a beginner boarder and reasonable skier. Pissed myself stupid when I saw them appear in their hire gear!! About ten years old and purple, white red and blue, hilarious!

Had a good laugh but had I wanted a serious challenge it would have disappointed. No park or jumps.

The one funky twisty turny route on the right from the highest lift had us racing board
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Sugadaira Kogen Snow Resort
菅平高原スノーリゾート
Ueda City, Nagano
Submitted by Gammaman on 8th November 2003
Sugadaira Kogen review by Gammaman
Ok.

So if I knew anything that I know now then I wouldn't have bothered. But this was the first trip I booked in Japan and was recommended by the travel agent.

The place was rabid with snakes of schoolkids. No park. No fun through the trees. Probably the worst hotel I've ever had the misfortune to look at. Short runs, and boring for the snowboarder.

Forget it. Go somewhere good instead
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Gassan
月山
Nishikawa Town, Yamagata
Submitted by andrewl on 1st November 2003
Gassan review by Tony
Quite frankly this place is pretty dreadful.

You really only go there so as to say that you have done some summer skiing. The snow is dreadful, the lifts are very poor and the price expensive... having said that I just had to go to know what it is like.

You have to walk up half the mountain and get very wet in the process. The only reason I went was because for 2 years I could see the mountain
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