Resort Reviews from February 2007

All of the Resort Reviews of Japanese ski and snowboard resorts. Currently 38 reviews.
NASPA Ski Garden
Yuzawa Town, Niigata
Submitted by andrewl on 27th February 2007
NASPA Ski Garden
I visited Naspa for the Chinese New Year Holidays with two young kids (age 3 and 5, my wife and a helper).

Great resort for a family since the slopes were literally behind the hotel building and were all very wide. There were plenty of ski intructors who could speak English and the whole place was just very family friendly and oriented (eg. play rooms, Pingu character coming out into the children ski slopes in the afternoon).

Although the resport is
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Kandatsu Kogen
Yuzawa Town, Niigata
Submitted by bryantp on 26th February 2007
Kandatsu Kogen
This is a sad place.

The crappy conditions made it sadder still. Snow was falling but too little - too late.

Still, even with good conditions, better places are nearby. It's not even a good place for first-time riders. The green runs start and end too steep for them but the "black runs" aren't even ambitious "reds".

After teaching some friends in the morning, I went to the top around 1 PM. There were no tracks under the lift -
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Niseko Mountain Resort Grand Hirafu
Kutchan Town, Hokkaido
Submitted by airwalk on 26th February 2007
Niseko Grand Hirafu review by airwalk
This was my second visit. The first one was a few years back and it was so windy that I couldn't enjoy a thing.

This time was different. Still windy, but alternating with sun, snow, blue skies, dense clouds, and heavy snow.

We got tickets for Grand Hirafu, but boarded the actual slope only once. Most of the time we hiked up to the very top and boarded the slopes left of Hanazono. Fantastic powder. Unfortunately about a couple hundred people got
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Takasu Snow Park
Gujo City, Gifu
Submitted by andrewl on 26th February 2007
Takasu Snow Park review by snowgirl from canada
Great compared to other resorts like mt heavens and araragana (nagano prefecture). Runs are long enough.

Tough to know which run you want unless you can read katakana.

Went down champion run which was a mistake since i'm only a beginner.

Survived with a few bruises so no big complaint really
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Nozawa Onsen
Nozawa Onsen Village, Nagano
Submitted by andrewl on 25th February 2007
Nozawa Onsen review
We were up in Nozawa in mid March this year and had an absolute ball.

We managed to luck out and scored some great conditions after it snowed for a few days. Great powder in the trees and nice and empty on the groomed.

Just a great vibe in the whole resort and village, the people are super friendly and the hotsprings are amazing.

We will definitely be back up soon
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Nozawa Onsen
Nozawa Onsen Village, Nagano
Submitted by bryantp on 20th February 2007
Nozawa Onsen review by bryantp
The 5 stars are because I know what Nozawa can be...if it was based upon what it is this season, it would be one or two.

It's time to close. This year's lack of snow and unseasonable rain has devastated Nozawa Onsen. Several of the better/steeper runs are closed and others should be. Grass and bamboo are burning through every run I saw.

I am committed to ride next weekend...without significantly more snow, this will be my last trip in the Niigata/Nagano
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Hakuba Cortina
Otari Village, Nagano
Submitted by andrewl on 20th February 2007
Hakuba Cortina review by Shack
Small resort with decent snow.

We missed the weekend crowds, if any, by going Sunday/Monday. The hotel was very nice. Limited slope access from the hotel, one door in the front from the parking lot and one door out the back to the slopes. I spent most of the daytime with my kids on the bunny slope. The remainder of the time was on the steep death runs, it was great. The Hotel was nice, altogether a really good price.
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Grandeco Snow Resort
Kita Shiobara Village, Fukushima
Submitted by horrified on 20th February 2007
Grandeco Snow Resort review
Just went with a buddy and 4 kids between us. We bought the family ticket which paid for 2 adults and 2 elementary kids (12,000yen.) Our other kids are pre-school so they ride for free.

That ticket also gave us 2,000yen in restaurant vouchers. Great deal!

The snow is better here than anywhere else in Fukushima or Niigata this year.

We were pleasantly surprised at how good it was.

Beautiful weather and stunning views of the area certainly helped our mood
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Rusutsu Resort
Rusutsu Village, Hokkaido
Submitted by tregster on 20th February 2007
Rusutsu Resort review by tregster
So far the best place I have ridden in Japan. It seems like the lift system was actually planned rather than decided by geriatric throwing darts at a picture of the mountain. There is plenty of tree riding to be had and the management seems to actively endorse it by grooming up to an exit point of a gulley where it might otherwise be too flat to ride out.

Probably the best area for off piste riding is the bowl formed
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Miyagi Zao Sumikawa Snow Park
Zao Town, Miyagi
Submitted by aussiebill on 19th February 2007
Miyago Zao Sumikawa Snow Park review by shusha
Sumikawa is awesome for a day's boarding. It's convenient to Sendai, and if you don't have a car they operate a bus/lift ticket package for 4000yen from Sendai Station (phone bookings required).

I've been there through all conditions, but overall it's very nice, none too crowded, the back country is fantastic & and the SBX course is nice with options for boarders of different levels.

On a cold clear day, nothing can beat it
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Miyagi Zao Sumikawa Snow Park
Zao Town, Miyagi
Submitted by andrewl on 19th February 2007
Miyagi Zao Sumikawa Snow Park review
I got there at 7.45am wanting to be first up the mountain - says it opens at 8am. BS. Hanging around till 9am when it actually opened!

Nice friendly place. Top third is steep and has some powder and tree runs. Bottom two thirds is flat as a pancake. makes the resort really small, just hitting the same runs over and over. That said if there is powder it's awesome, steep backcountry feeling and no patrols / no roped off areas
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Marunuma Kogen
Katashina Village, Gunma
Submitted by andrewl on 19th February 2007
Marunuma Kogen review by toma
This was my first ski of the season an d fortunately there was plenty of snow, especially at the top of the slopes. The gondola takes you to the top of the 2000m peak and there are a selection of courses down to the bottom; some of the intermediate courses are fairly steep though and it is easy to stray off as I did and find yourself in the middle of the mogul course.

Very nice restaurants now so things
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Hunter Mountain Shiobara
Nasu Shiobara City, Tochigi
Submitted by sanji on 19th February 2007
Hunter Mountain Shiobara review by sanji
After reading the rather positive reviews here, and noticing than 130 cm of snow were annonced, I decided to go to Hunter Mountain Shiobara for a day of ski.

While cheap packages seems available if you go by train/bus, using a car is not a good idea: you need to pay 600 yens for just using 5 minutes a long pay road (the resort being "conveniently" located after the toll gate), and they charge 1000 yens to park your car (Sat
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Hida Takayama
Takayama City, Gifu
Submitted by andrewl on 14th February 2007
Hida Takayama review by number9
This is by far the smallest resort I've been to, but it was good fun for at least half a day, especially after fresh snowfall.

Because it's such a small resort, there isn't the competition for pow. And despite there being only three lifts, the run down from the top lift offers some challenges
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Star Spur Ryokufu Resort Hida Nagareha
Hida City, Gifu
Submitted by andrewl on 14th February 2007
Star Spur Ryokufu review by number9
Great mid size resort that is far enough removed from the big cities to avoid the mad crowds on weekends.

It's vertically shaped gelande offer many varied runs for various skill levels, and the Kokusetsu area up top offers nice powder snow. There's lots of potential for tree runs that I didn't get to explore enough this time. And there are also nice long courses with decent steepness.

To top it all off, the new(ish) day trip facility, M Plaza, with the
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