Seki Onsen resort review (Myoko City, Niigata)

Seki Onsen
関温泉
Myoko City, Niigata
Submitted by Black Mountain on 20th March 2009
Seki Onsen review
Well, I'd been hoping to go to Seki Onsen for ages and finally got around to it last weekend. To say I was disappointed is a bit of an understatement. Actually, I still have 8 points left on a 12 point ticket which says a lot!

Seki Onsen is a tiny little village of a few pensions and restaurants within meters of the bottom lift of the ski resort. I think there are only 3 lifts there which don't really get you very high up the hill.

There were three kickers and two table tops at the bottom of the hill. Definately not a reason to go there!

What this place is known for is the 'back country' experience that is basically within the boundaries of the resort. From the top lift there are a few options for getting into the trees which was why I wanted to go in the first place. Had the conditions been a lot better I would have enjoyed this as it was really steep and the trees were nicely spaced and at times a little too tight (a challenge that I love!).

There is also a guided 'back country' tour organized by the resort in an area within view of the pisted runs which might be a good place to get some fresh tracks when everything else has been eaten up. (Looking up the hill it's on the right) The conditions were a little too slushy for us to want to try it that day. I think it was 5 degrees on the hill!

Anyway, my suggestion for anyone wanting to try out Seki Onsen is to go after a BIG dump on a weekday. Otherwise, you will find that it is completely tracked out early and not that enjoyable. Almost all of the off piste and side country runs I enjoy so much at Akakan and Suginohara are as enjoyable as Seki Onsen. Probably the best idea would be to buy the 3 mountain pass and do Seki first thing in the morning before heading to either Akakan or Suginohara (a whole day at Seki could only be fun if there weren't any other people on the hill because there really isnt that much terrain!)
Date visited: No specific date.
Snow condition on visit: Slushy, heavily tracked
Things I liked: Steep tree runs
Things I didn't like: Really short runs, everybody goes there after a big dump of snow!
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Seki Onsen

関温泉
Myoko City, Niigata
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Average Rankings

General score: 80
Snow conditions: 95
Courses/Terrain: 65
Lift system: 70
Apres ski: 30

Basic Resort Statistics

Max. elevation: 1210m
Min. elevation: 900m
Vertical: 310m
Steepest slope: 38°
Longest course: 1500m
Number of lifts: 2

Location of Seki Onsen