Resort Reviews from March 2015

All of the Resort Reviews of Japanese ski and snowboard resorts. Currently 17 reviews.
Madarao Mountain Resort
Iiyama City, Nagano
Submitted by Daniellho on 27th March 2015
Powder and trees
This was our 5th Japan trip. The resorts we have been to previously discourage tree skiing. Whilst there was also the potential for rope ducking, the treed terrain in most of the other Japanese resorts we felt were not worth offending the local management ... what is the point to duck ropes when the terrain in the trees was so gentle that one had to aim straight to risk getting stuck, or has poor fall-lines resulting in significant
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Mt Norikura Snow Resort
Matsumoto City, Nagano
Submitted by snowdude on 23rd March 2015
A great medium resort with great snow and good views
Norikura is a medium sized resort to the west of Matsumoto, Nagano, about 100k from my house, it took about 90 mins to get there, half motorway half small roads, that is the only option. It is not far from Kamikochi, and to get there from Matsumoto you have to follow a small mountain road that crisscrosses through lots of tunnels and interesting drive, and one that would be a bot of a nightmare on a day when it is
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Zao Onsen
Yamagata City, Yamagata
Submitted by dsclifford on 20th March 2015
Snow monsters and snow boarding
After winning a lift ticket through SnowJapan website (thank you very much SnowJapan!), my wife and I traveled to Zao Onsen after spending some time in Nozawa Onsen.

Travel to the resort was quite easy with the Shinkansen and then local bus service (no signs in English at Yamagata bus station though, but still easy to find bus). Following someone else's review we checked out the french bakery just next to the bus stop to stock up on some pastries
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Yuzawa Kogen
Yuzawa Town, Niigata
Submitted by Mick Rich on 19th March 2015
Let's Yuzawa Kogen
I came here via GALA Yuzawa, having bought a combined ticket (costing 5,100Yen) covering both resorts plus Ishiuchi Maruyama. It's definitely a lot of ground to cover in one day but at least gives you a good workout! From GALA, you take the Landau ropeway from the bottom of the Southern Area. This runs every 20 minutes and takes you across to the main area of Yuzawa Kogen. If you're not coming from GALA, the main area is accessed by
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Hakuba Happo-one
Hakuba Village, Nagano
Submitted by cody on 11th March 2015
Great snow interesting terrain
This was my first visit to Hakuba after spending many years at Niseko and Rusutsu, on the island of Hokkaido.
I was impressed!
The terrain was better than I expected and more varied.
We skied the resorts of Happo One, Goryu, Hakuba 47 and Tsugaike. We missed Cortina and Iwataki because of bad weather.
My preference was Happo One, probably because on the days we skied there we had mostly good dry powder.
I would have liked to have spent more time in the trees
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Zao Onsen
Yamagata City, Yamagata
Submitted by Sciclone on 10th March 2015
Never mind the smell, you'll get used to it!
Ok, so to be fair, I didn't get to Zao on the best terms. It had been raining here the day before I arrived, and I busted my knee earlier in the trip, so this is going to be more of a "town" review of sorts.

First of all, big thanks to the SJ crew for the free ticket. Even though I wasn't able to use it for snowboarding as intended, I was able to use it to see the snow
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GALA Yuzawa
Yuzawa Town, Niigata
Submitted by Sciclone on 10th March 2015
Go to Gala for a ball.
Ok, so this won't be the best review. Reason being that I damaged my knee 2 days before getting to Yuzawa and wasn't able to go boarding, but having snowboarded here for the last 2 years, I think I'm qualified to write a review.

First off, big thanks to the SJ team for the free tickets. As expected, they were waiting for me at my hotel when I arrived. I wish I could have used them properly.

Gala Yuzawa's accessibility is both
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Hakuba Village, Nagano
Submitted by Teamjak on 7th March 2015
Awesome birthday
Thanks to snowjapan we had a free lift ticket for hakuba goryu.

We spent my partners birthday there and it was a great day.

Goryu and 47 are joining mountains and over great terrain choices.

We found pockets of fresh in a bowl up top cause the top hadn't been open the day before. Great surprise for a day without fresh snowfall.
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Hoshino Resort Alts Bandai
Bandai Town, Fukushima
Submitted by jimmyb on 7th March 2015
I noticed that the last review was from before the tsunami and nuclear accident. Don't stay away from Fukushima ski areas; they can be brilliant.

The slopes are well groomed and when the weather is nice (as on Friday the 6th), the scenery is beyond beautiful all the way down – Mt. Bandai towering over the ski area and the Aizu valley and Lake Inawashiro at your feet.... great!

The food in the restaurants is a little pricey, but not for
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Akaigawa Village, Hokkaido
Submitted by endure on 6th March 2015
Kiroro resort
My friend and I had a great time at Kiroro for a day trip. We were staying near Niseko and it was about an hours drive to get there. It was great to get away from the crowds around Hirafu. The drive was easy, even with some freezing rain on the roads.

Once we got there, we were told that the gondola was closed for the day because of the weather (moderate to high winds in particular).
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Tsugaike Kogen
Otari Village, Nagano
Submitted by woody on 5th March 2015
Great stepping stones from beginner to intermediate
Thanks to SnowJapan's competions, wining us a free lift pass we booked a private lesson and picked Tsugaike Kogen to use the pass.

Tsugaike is a great place especially for beginners and intermediates, lots of wide open runs allowing you to progress your sking gradually or quickly as there are many types of graded runs. My husband and I are at different level of sking but we were able to ski some runs together or part runs then meet up at
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Myoko Ski Park
Myoko City, Niigata
Submitted by nhorsnell on 5th March 2015
Great snow, good variety
Myoko is still a quaint village though it appears to be undergoing a rapid transition as visitor numbers increase. There are plenty of small, cheap restaurants to choose from though the quality is only average - as is the variety of food on offer.

There are several alternative resorts that are relatively easy to access within 30 to 40 minutes via shuttle. However if your visit is during a busy time you may find yourself waiting for infrequent services and not
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Hakuba Valley Kashimayari
Omachi City, Nagano
Submitted by Mick Rich on 5th March 2015
Let's Kashimayari!
The last review for Kashimayari was 9 years ago, so an update is long overdue! I took a nightbus trip from Tokyo, leaving Shinjuku at 22:45 and arriving at the resort at 05:00. For those who haven't experienced the joys of a Tokyo nightbus, be prepared for an at best restless, and at worst sleepless night, with an aching neck and/or back by dawn! On the plus side it's comparatively cheap, on this occasion (a Friday, so the most expensive
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White Valley
Minakami Town, Gunma
Submitted by Gunma Boarder on 3rd March 2015
Ungroomed Powder Fun!

White Valley is a small, local hill in Tanigawa Onsen (hot spring) in Minakami. It is known by many of the locals as “Little Tenjin” in reference to the larger and more famous Tanigawa Tenjindaira located just above White Valley. Besides it’s location, White Valley and Tenjin have a number of other similarities. Both get a lot of fresh powder and both have nice ungroomed walls. In fact the majority of White Valley is ungroomed which is their major selling
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Mt Norikura Snow Resort
Matsumoto City, Nagano
Submitted by Kansaiash on 2nd March 2015
Mt. Norikura
The weather leading up to this trip was a little worrying. My original pan was to head to Dynaland on this day, but due to a freezing level of over 1500m and rain on the forecast I decided to head for higher ground. With Ontake still closed and a free ticket thanks to SnowJapan, I decided to check out Mt. Ñorikura. The forecast at Norikura was for 24cm overnight. I think that forecast was one of the most accurate forecasts
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