I've ridden at Suginohara off and on for the last 13yrs, and it is one of my favourite mid-winter resorts. I've written mid-winter powder reviews of the place from a snowboarders perspective, but seeing as (as my buddy puts it,) I've gone to the dark-side during the spring, aka skiing, I'll write about my experiences with that.
First off, Suginohara is big! There are pistes everywhere so you have a huge choice of slopes from super mellow greens, to crazy steep
Great potential, just need the right conditions...
I like Akakura Kanko, but I'd like it a lot more if I could hit it with the right conditions... Being a weekend warrior, that seems to have eluded me so far... But still, it's a great resort!
Akakura Kanko is a large resort with plenty of slopes, and lots of fun terrain out in the designated 'off-piste' section. The cool thing about Kanko is that even if the conditions aren't the best (like when I went), there's plenty of
This place hidden in it's own corner of Niigata Prefecture opens early season and late season. Usually it closes between mid January and mid March. I don't know if it is because of particularly huge amounts of snow or just that the costs involved in keeping the roads open in mid-winter would just be too silly, but that's the deal.
So it's known as the first and last place to go in a season for some folk.
Last season I spent a week in Tokamachi city meeting some friends, and during that time a day at this fairly small ski-jo. It was a weekend but still not really busy and there was no waiting for lifts - not more than a minute any way. There had been a lot of snow the week before we went and a bit the day before, so conditions were excellent. Not much to say about this place other than it's definitely decent for at
Seki Onsen is a small resort in the Myoko area, with a very friendly feel to it and a pretty solid group of local riders. The whole resort has only 2 lifts and they turn pretty slowly, but the lifties are really funny older guys who like to joke around and make small talk.
I have visited Seki Onsen about six or seven times over the years, always during peak season and always when the place seems to have been