Tazawako resort review (Semboku City, Akita)

Semboku City, Akita
Submitted by Rock-hand on 31st January 2014
Untapped Resource
Coming from Iwate prefecture, this resort is almost as close as the bigger resorts like Appi and Geto to Morioka. Like these other locations it cops plenty of snow but not the crowds, perhaps due to the absence of regular public transport.

I went by car, but there is a shinkansen station that would only be a ¥2-3000 taxi from the resort so it's not unreachable. Also there are a number of accomodations nearby ranging from dormitory to pension to onsen hotels which I'm sure would provide transport services. We stayed at a self contained 12 person cabin complete with bar, wood fire stove and private indoor/outdoor onsen for ¥3000/person per night. What a bargain.

We hit the mountain mid-morning once we arrived after sorting out rentals for the few who didnt have their own gear. There is a small shop near the bottom carpark (near the pensions) which sorted us out really cheaply for decent gear. We paid ¥2500 for a decent board/boots/bindings set (not new season) for 2 days. Unbelievable!!
The place had recieved a dump the night before so we headed straight to the top for the ungroomed runs. Being a weekday the crowds were basically non-existant which meant we had these powder runs to ourselves.

After a reasonably priced curry and beer for lunch we headed back up the mountain. The runs were starting to get tracked out mostly from us so we headed just off the main courses into the trees. Waist deep, Unreal!! The ski patrol was floating around but didnt seem to have problems with us going through the trees. We stayed out of the roped off areas but there was still heaps of open tree areas. Down the bottom was plenty of groomers, in particular the course off to the right at the bottom was great for beginners. Nice, long and straight with some little pow hits off to the sides.

The weather was fairly mild and the clouds backed off in the afternoon giving us an epic view of the lake and bathing us in sunshine. It was great on the day but the melt made the next day a little icy

My only grievance was the speed of the lifts. We didn't have to line up once but when we were on them they took a really long time, this was even the case with the covered quads. Maybe they were just running them slower because the crowds weren't there to pay for full speed?

Overall the resort turned it on for us and we had a great couple of days. Can't wait to get back there in February
Date visited: From 25 December, 2013 To 26 December, 2013
Snow condition on visit: Waist deep pow!
Things I liked: Powder, Lack of crowds, Onsen nearby, Friendly Staff, Cheap rentals, View
Things I didn't like: Small resort so got bored quickly, Slow lifts
Recommended for: Beginner riders
Intermediate riders
Advanced riders
Off-piste opportunities
Ungroomed courses
Authentic Japan experience
Not recommended for: Snow Park
General score: 85
Snow conditions: 95
Courses/Terrain: 55
Lift system: 45
Apres ski: 50


Semboku City, Akita
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Average Rankings

General score: 85
Snow conditions: 95
Courses/Terrain: 55
Lift system: 45
Apres ski: 50

Basic Resort Statistics

Max. elevation: 1186m
Min. elevation: 578m
Vertical: 608m
Steepest slope: 38°
Longest course: 3000m
Number of lifts: 6

Other resorts nearby

Ohdai 33.30km
Shizukuishi 43.10km
Iwate Kogen Snow Park 48.30km
Amihari Onsen 51.70km

Location of Tazawako