I was able to visit ARAI when it was open 10+ years back, then known as ARAI MOUNTAIN & SPA (if I remember correctly). I really liked the place, a spread out large mountain with excellent snow conditions and some really nice pots of powder to be found.
The facility lay quiet for a decade or so but last December re-opened after Lotte took over - and renamed it Lotte Arai Resort. Pretty exciting. I was stoked and really looking forward
I had read a few things about Kawaba - some people had noted how it was larger than they imagined, and for some reason I kind of ended up feeling that too. Nice long lifts and if you keep to the quads, fast too. It's a bit out of the way - well, 25 mins from Numata IC - but still pretty popular. And I can see why. Being high up, the snow quality was really good and... well, that's enough for
Not my first choice personally but I was quite pleased with Norn. It's a fairly small ski hill and I had a good few hours on the uncrowded slopes. The folks that I went with were really there for the "playing in the snow" gig... and Norn has a really big area for that kind of activity and seems to be popular for it. Recommended for that. It's also really easy to get to just 5 minutes from Minakami IC on the Kanetsu Expressway