I had a great time at Shirakaba with a group of students and their "circle" of skiers and snowboarders. At the time, I had very little experience skiing, so the short length of the gentle slopes was a very nice practice ground for me to go slow, fall and learn how to ski.
For those of us in western Kanto(I'm in Yamanashi), the Shirakaba area is an easy day trip. We met at Kofu-Showa I.C. at 6am, and by 8:30am, we were getting ready to use the lifts. One lift ticket gets you the use of two pitches, thus 2 in 1, which was nice.
I wish I could remember more, but basically, for beginners to intermediates or families with kids, this place will do just fine for a day. For upper level skiers and boarders, I would spend my time elsewhere.
For a weekend in Shirakaba, one idea could be to find a place to stay in the area, and ski at 2 in 1 one day, then Echo Valley or Kuruma Mountain the other day.
From February, 2003
Snow condition on visit:
It was the coldest time of the year, so not so bad