Joetsu Kokusai (Minamiuonuma City, Niigata)

Joetsu Kokusai
上越国際 (新潟県 南魚沼市)
Planned season: Saturday 9th December 2017 until Sunday 8th April 2018
'Yuzawa Now' daily report
Independent and exclusive snow and weather reporting from Yuzawa
Latest report posted at 7:45am on Wednesday 21st February 2018
Official snow depth 290cm (0cm) [updated on 21st February 2018]

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Joetsu Kokusai (often known as 'Jokoku') is located in the south western area of Minamiuonuma city in Niigata Prefecture. Despite the name it is actually in the Chuetsu region of Niigata, rather than the Joetsu region. The resort covers an extremely wide area and has four main interconnected 'areas'. The main area close to the train station and by the Hotel Green Plaza Joetsu is known as East. There are three other areas - the South 'Active Zone' (often known as Osawa), the North 'Panorama Zone' (often known at Atema) and the West 'Forest Zone'. Due to the scale of Joetsu Kokusai, it is a good idea to concentrate on one or two of the areas rather than try to cover it all in one day. Joetsu Kokusai and Iwappara resort in neighbouring Yuzawa town offer joint lift tickets and season tickets. Joetsu Kokusai has been operating since 1968 and so the 2017-2018 season is the 50th Anniversary.

Minamiuonuma city and neighbouring Yuzawa town - located just over 200km to the north north-west of the Tokyo region in Niigata Prefecture - are together home to over 20 individual ski and snowboard resorts, including some of the most well-known ski resorts in Japan. With easy and quick access by both train and road and a wide choice in a relatively compact area, this region is one of the most popular ski destinations in Japan. The region usually enjoys very heavy and consistent snowfall each winter and with Yuzawa town also being the inspiration and setting of the famous Nobel prize-winning novel Yukiguni (Snow Country), it can certainly lay claim to being the original 'Snow Country'.

Niigata Prefecture is located in the central region of Honshu to the north of Tokyo and has a 250km long coastline facing the Sea of Japan. Convenient transportation links make Niigata very easy to get to from Tokyo and other surrounding regions. Most of the larger ski and snowboard resorts in Niigata Prefecture are concentrated in the southern regions around Yuzawa town, Minamiuonuma city and Myoko city.

The Mountain

ropeways Ropeways gondolas Gondolas quad lifts Quad lifts triple lifts Triple lifts pair lifts Pair lifts single lifts Single lifts other lifts Other
0 0 3 4 18 0 0

Joetsu Kokusai Course Map

Click on the below image for a larger map
Course Map Small

Joetsu Kokusai Snow Depth Statistics

Official snow depth numbers from the current season and previous season
December January February March
1st - - 1st 140cm 50cm 1st 310cm 260cm 1st - 250cm
2nd - - 2nd 150cm 40cm 2nd 300cm 270cm 2nd - 250cm
3rd - - 3rd 160cm 40cm 3rd 280cm 270cm 3rd - 260cm
4th - - 4th 170cm 40cm 4th 270cm 280cm 4th - 260cm
5th - - 5th 180cm 50cm 5th 280cm 260cm 5th - 260cm
6th - - 6th 180cm 60cm 6th 280cm 250cm 6th - 250cm
7th - - 7th 200cm 60cm 7th 270cm 260cm 7th - 250cm
8th - - 8th 200cm 50cm 8th 250cm 270cm 8th - 260cm
9th 5cm - 9th 200cm 50cm 9th 250cm 270cm 9th - 260cm
10th 5cm - 10th 200cm 50cm 10th 240cm 270cm 10th - 260cm
11th 5cm - 11th 190cm 60cm 11th 240cm 280cm 11th - 260cm
12th 20cm - 12th 190cm 90cm 12th 240cm 280cm 12th - 260cm
13th 80cm - 13th 190cm 120cm 13th 250cm 290cm 13th - 260cm
14th 120cm - 14th 200cm 180cm 14th 250cm 300cm 14th - 250cm
15th 100cm 40cm 15th 200cm 230cm 15th 240cm 300cm 15th - 250cm
16th 100cm 40cm 16th 200cm 250cm 16th 240cm 300cm 16th - 240cm
17th 100cm 70cm 17th 180cm 260cm 17th 240cm 290cm 17th - 240cm
18th 110cm 70cm 18th 170cm 260cm 18th 270cm 280cm 18th - 240cm
19th 110cm 60cm 19th 170cm 250cm 19th 290cm 280cm 19th - 240cm
20th 110cm 60cm 20th 170cm 250cm 20th 290cm 270cm 20th - 230cm
21st 110cm 60cm 21st 170cm 250cm 21st 290cm 280cm 21st - 230cm
22nd 100cm 60cm 22nd 170cm 250cm 22nd - 290cm 22nd - 230cm
23rd 100cm 40cm 23rd 180cm 260cm 23rd - 280cm 23rd - 230cm
24th 100cm 40cm 24th 190cm 270cm 24th - 280cm 24th - 230cm
25th 90cm 30cm 25th 240cm 290cm 25th - 280cm 25th - 220cm
26th 90cm 30cm 26th 290cm 300cm 26th - 270cm 26th - 220cm
27th 120cm 30cm 27th 310cm 280cm 27th - 270cm 27th - 210cm
28th 140cm 30cm 28th 310cm 270cm 28th - 260cm 28th - 200cm
29th 140cm 40cm 29th 310cm 260cm 29th - - 29th - 200cm
30th 150cm 60cm 30th 310cm 250cm 30th 30th - 200cm
31st 150cm 60cm 31st 310cm 260cm 31st 31st - 200cm

Previous Statistics

Joetsu Kokusai Facilities

Ski School: Available Snowboard School: Available
Ski and snowboard lessons are available at Joetsu Kokusai. There are a number of independent ski and snowboard schools that cover the Yuzawa area and offer lessons in English - please check the Lessons in English section for current listings on SnowJapan. 
Equipment Rental
Ski Rental: Available Snowboard Rental: Available
Ski and snowboard equipment rental is available.
Ski and snowboard wear rental is also available. 
Children Facilities
Children's facilities
The 'Yuki-no-yuenchi Kids Paradise' area is found in the area in front of the main resort hotel - 500 yen entry charge. 'Spongebob Snow Camp' and children lessons are available.

A child-care facility 'Pou-kun-no-uchi' in front of the hotel is also available. 
Park Information
Park information
The 'Snow Park' can be found by the side of one of the main central courses in front of the hotel and features various items including a half pipe. 

Joetsu Kokusai Season & Opening Times

Typical season is from Early December until Early April
October November December January February March April May June July
Weekends and holidays Normally open from 8:00am until 5:00pm
Weekdays Normally open from 8:00am until 5:00pm
'Nighta' (night skiing)
Weekends and holidays Yes
Weekdays Yes
Opening information
Opening information
Joetsu Kokusai is open from 8:00am until 5:00pm every day in the daytime.

Nighta is scheduled for every day in the main season and open until 9:00pm. The open area for nighta is the area in front of the main hotel base (East).

Joetsu Kokusai Lift Ticket Charges

Adults Child
3 years to Elementary School age
55 years & over
1 Day (8am-5pm) 4,000 yen 2,500 yen 3,000 yen
5 Hours 3,000 yen 1,500 yen 2,000 yen
Long 1 Day (8am-9pm) 4,500 yen 2,500 yen 3,500 yen
PM & Nighta (12pm-9pm) 4,000 yen 2,500 yen 3,000 yen
2 Days 7,000 yen 3,500 yen 5,000 yen
Nighta (5pm-9pm) 1,500 yen 1,000 yen 1,000 yen
1 Lift Coupon 400 yen 400 yen 400 yen
Season Ticket 35,000 yen 25,000 yen 28,000 yen
Season Ticket (JK+I) 55,000 yen 35,000 yen 45,000 yen
Kids Paradise Entry 500 yen 500 yen 500 yen
Lift Ticket Information The 5 Hour ticket is valid for 5 hours from the time of purchase.

The Season Ticket noted as 'JK+I' is valid for the season at both Joetsu Kokusai and the Iwappara resorts. With the joint Joetsu Kokusai and Iwappara season ticket, one day lift tickets at GALA Yuzawa can be bought for 1,000 yen.

With the Joetsu Kokusai-only season ticket, one day lift tickets for Iwappara or GALA Yuzawa resorts can be bought for 1,000 yen.

Parking is also free for season ticket holders along with other special discounts.

Getting to Joetsu Kokusai

By public transport
12.5km from Echigo Yuzawa Station on the Joetsu Shinkansen line
0.1km from Joetsu Kokusai Ski Jo Mae Station on the Joetsu Line
12.5km from Echigo Yuzawa Station on the Joetsu Line
Transport Information
The Joetsu Kokusai Ski Jo Mae Station is a small train station on the Joetsu line and is located right at the base of Joetsu Kokusai - the closest ski lift is about 100m from the station exit. Local trains from the major Echigo Yuzawa Station are available - the train journey from Echigo Yuzawa Station to Joetsu Kokusai Ski Jo Mae Station takes about 14 minutes. There are shuttle buses available from Echigo Yuzawa Station to the main base of Joetsu Kokusai.

>> More information on getting to Minamiuonuma by public transport
A free shuttle bus is available from the East Exit of Echigo Yuzawa Station to the main base of Joetsu Kokusai. The journey takes about 20 minutes. If connections are convenient, it's quicker and recommended to take the local train to the Joetsu Kokusai Ski Jo Mae Station near the base lifts of Joetsu Kokusai.

A taxi journey from Echigo Yuzawa Station to the main base of Joetsu Kokusai costs around 4,800 yen.
By Car
5.7km from the Shiozawa Ishiuchi IC on the Kanetsu Expressway
9.4km from the Muikamachi IC on the Kanetsu Expressway
13.3km from the Yuzawa IC on the Kanetsu Expressway
Nearest national route: Route 17 (1.1km away)
Nearest prefecture road: Prefecture Road 451
The main base of Joetsu Kokusai is about 6km from the Shiozawa Ishiuchi IC and just over 9km from the Muikamachi IC of the Kanetsu Expressway.

From the Shiozawa Ishiuchi IC turn right onto Prefecture Road 28 for about 1km until reaching the traffic lights on Route 17. Turn right onto Route 17 for about 4.5km until reaching a set of traffic lights with a large Joetsu Kokusai sign on the left hand side and a 7-11 on the far right side. Turn left at these traffic lights and go straight ahead for about 1km to arrive at the resort and main base car park.

From the Tsunan town and Tokamachi city areas to the west side using Route 117, turn east off that road onto Prefecture Road 76 at the Atema Iriguchi traffic lights. Follow the road for about 6.5km to the Atema car parks.

>> More information on getting to Minamiuonuma by car
There are 4 main parking areas available at base areas of Joetsu Kokusai. At the main base in the East area there is parking for 1500 vehicles. An additional nearby parking area for up to 2000 vehicles called Mina is usually open only on weekends and holidays. At the South area (Osawa) there is parking for 1000 vehicles at the South area. There is also parking for 500 vehicles at the base of the West area (Atema) which allows good access from Route 117, Tsunan town and Tokamachi city. There is no parking available at the North 'Panorama Zone'.

Parking is free on every day of the season at the Mina, Osawa and Atema car parks. Parking is free at the main base parking on weekdays; and 1,000 yen on weekends and holidays.

More Information

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Lift system 50
Apres ski 40
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