GALA Yuzawa resort review (Yuzawa Town, Niigata)

GALA Yuzawa
Yuzawa Town, Niigata
Submitted by Mick Rich on 3rd February 2012
GALA Yuzawa
One of the first things I wanted to do after arriving in Japan was to ride the bullet train and when I found out that I could take one to a ski resort, I knew I had to go there! 2 and a half years down the line and I finally made it to GALA Yuzawa. As has been said before, it doesn't get much more convenient than this. Get off the train, take the escalator up to the ticket gate and its all there - ski ticket counter, locker rooms, ski rental, cafe/restaurant, souvenir shop, etc, etc. Buy your 1000Yen locker ticket (expensive but you can use the locker all day), punch in your code, change into your gear, walk through to the gondola and Bobs your uncle!

On the day I went there was poor visibility and a freezing wind but all the lifts were running (though sometimes very slowly) and it snowed non-stop all day. The pistes were lovely and soft and although it was the school holidays, it wasnt too busy. Perhaps due to the poor visibility, hardly anyone was going near the ropes and therefore the foot or so of powder in, under and around them, which meant more fun for me! Unfortunately the top section of the Southern Area was closed so you couldnt get to the more challenging/decent off-piste terrain over there but that was ok, as there was loads of untouched powder at the sides of Grenoble; about 2 feets worth on the skiers left side in particular.

On the whole, I would tend to agree that its more of a beginners-to- intermediates resort but then I didnt get to ride the Southern Area which is supposed to be more challenging. In any event, GALA cannot be beaten for convenience and from what I saw, it certainly gets a decent amount of snowfall too. I would therefore definitely recommend it, particularly if you are coming from Tokyo and/or can get there mid-week to avoid the Tokyo crowds! There are also some great deals to be had if you are coming from Tokyo. For starters, you can get a combined Shinkansen return ticket and ski pass which will save you a few thousand Yen but if you can book in advance, there are some really cheap deals online, cheap as in under 7,000Yen all in, though I think there are some restrictions and it is all in Japanese. However, like GALA as a whole, it is worth checking out.
Date visited: From 05 January, 2012
Snow condition on visit: Snowing all day
Things I liked: Very convenient, cheap ticket deals
Things I didn't like: Limited terrain

GALA Yuzawa

Yuzawa Town, Niigata
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Average Rankings

General score: 77
Snow conditions: 77
Courses/Terrain: 74
Lift system: 73
Apres ski: 40

Basic Resort Statistics

Max. elevation: 1181m
Min. elevation: 800m
Vertical: 381m
Steepest slope: 33°
Longest course: 2600m
Number of lifts: 11

Other resorts nearby

Yuzawa Kogen 1.40km
Ipponsugi 2.00km
Ishiuchi Maruyama 2.00km
NASPA Ski Garden 3.50km
Ishiuchi Hanaoka 5.80km
Iwappara 5.90km
Yuzawa Park 6.50km
Kandatsu Kogen 6.70km
Mt Granview 7.00km
Yuzawa Nakazato 7.70km
Nakazato Snow Wood 7.80km
Ludens Yuzawa 8.40km
Maiko Snow Resort 8.70km
Joetsu Kokusai 10.70km
Kagura 12.90km
Chateau Shiozawa 14.40km
Muica Snow Resort 19.80km
Itsukamachi 22.40km
Nakasato Kiyotsu 25.10km
Naeba 26.10km
Muikamachi Hakkaisan 28.20km
Hakkai Sanroku 30.90km
Norn Minakami 34.80km
Mountain Park Tsunan 36.00km
New Greenpia Tsunan 36.40km
White Valley 37.90km
Oana 38.50km
Matsunoyama Onsen 39.00km
Yakushi 39.00km
Sakae Club 39.20km
Akasawa 40.30km
Matsudai Family 41.00km
Okutone Snow Park 41.20km
Tanigawadake Tenjindaira 44.50km
Oyu Onsen 48.00km
Suhara 49.00km
Minakami Hodaigi 50.00km

Location of GALA Yuzawa