Resort Reviews from March 2010

All of the Resort Reviews of Japanese ski and snowboard resorts. Currently 9 reviews.
Nozawa Onsen
Nozawa Onsen Village, Nagano
Submitted by andrewl on 30th March 2010
Nozawa Onsen review by Brett Dennis
Nozawa Onsen, after Hakuba, arguably the next best known Honshu ski area, as much I would think because of the village as the riding.

Arriving straight from Myoko & Madarao (which were still in plain view from village) on a sunny winters afternoon, I immediately noticed less snow on the ground both in the village & on the steep lower mountain & the difference could not all be attributed to the slightly lower altitude, despite recent reports mirroring or surpassing snowfalls
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Akakura Kanko Resort
Myoko City, Niigata
Submitted by andrewl on 30th March 2010
Akakura Kanko Resort review by Canadian Freeskier
Akakan is a nice little resort with its red-hooded lodge located in the middle of the slopes as a unique cachet. It is a little bit small to spend few days there, but there are others resorts in the vicinity.

The snow conditions were excellent for this time of the year. On the groomed tracks, the snow coverage was perfect with granular powder. I did not encounter a single spot of ice.

HOWEVER, the particularity of this resort is
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White World Oze Iwakura
Katashina Village, Gunma
Submitted by andrewl on 29th March 2010
White World Oze Iwakura review by Kevin Dunn
Being late season meant few people (some constantly empty chair-lifts) but surprisingly good riding on powder at top, getting wetter on way down.

A fairly good mix of wide runs and great views down into the valley. A nice, convenient resort that will definitely return to.

Good for two days of fun
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Yuzawa Town, Niigata
Submitted by andrewl on 21st March 2010
Naeba review by Brett Dennis
From my understanding, the mighty Naeba is a flagship of the 'bubble era' resorts. Arriving here at night with heavy snow falling is quite surreal, steep mountains partially lit by the reflected light of the mini-city wedged into the narrow valley floor below, high above march rows of giant high voltage power lines giving the whole scene a strange science fiction feel.

We opted to stay at Naeba, with night skiing (for what it's worth) & more accom options, while riding
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Myoko Suginohara
Myoko City, Niigata
Submitted by andrewl on 19th March 2010
A long review of Myoko Suginohara - posted by Brett Dennis
Prior to visiting Myoko, I had heard mixed reports about Suginohara & aerial photographs suggested flatish terrain. Now after being there, of the three ski areas I rode at whilst in Myoko, Suginohara is firmly my favourite.

Staying at Akakura, it was an easy twenty minute free bus ride to reach Suginohara. The drive through varied forests with an assortment of cosy looking homes, lodges & pensions scattered along the route is very pleasant, sadly like many of the 'big' Japanese
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Madarao Mountain Resort
Iiyama City, Nagano
Submitted by andrewl on 19th March 2010
Madarao Kogen review by Brett Dennis
Madarao is making some solid efforts to increase it's visitation numbers & with further improvements will continue to be an excellent drawcard as part of the overall Myoko region.

Before our trip, I was really excited to be going to Madarao, with it's terrain, deep powder, quiet reputation & higher altitude village all appealling. Constantly looking across at the skyline runs of adjoining Tangram Ski Circus during five days at Myoko further increased the excitement. Although the first day was marred
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Tangram Ski Circus
Shinano Town, Nagano
Submitted by andrewl on 19th March 2010
Tangram Ski Circus review by Brett Dennis
See my review for Madarao Kogen
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Akakura Onsen
Myoko City, Niigata
Submitted by andrewl on 16th March 2010
Akakura Onsen review by Brett Davis
Whilst based closer to Akakura Kanko, rode here a few times, mainly by default when riding the main Kanko area.

The area certainly doesn't struggle for snow with a 3m+ base in the village in January & the locals constantly waging war on the snow attempting to bury their little town!! The actual ski area maintains snow in significantly better condition than Kanko due to it's more northerly aspect & substantial areas of dense evergreen conifer forest which create a cool
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Niseko Mountain Resort Grand Hirafu
Kutchan Town, Hokkaido
Submitted by andrewl on 2nd March 2010
Niseko Grand Hirafu review by King
That place is what I call a proper ski resort. I had an awesome experience and I'll be back for sure. Anyone who goes there should hike the peaks because the snow on the way down is the best.

On a sour note, I get mad when I think about how much money and effort I've wasted on going to Australian snow fields. I am no longer prepared to pay top dollar to ride crap snow after my Japan experience.

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