Ishiuchi Maruyama resort review (Minamiuonuma City, Niigata)

Ishiuchi Maruyama
Minamiuonuma City, Niigata
Submitted by lyk on 24th October 2014
Charming - love the chill/homely atmosphere
My first review, and I'd like to dedicate it to charming little ishiuchi maruyama - so far the only skijo my timid beginner better-half has requested by name to return to - and for the third year in a row we have returned.

Now let me just start off with a big disclaimer - the skiing here is actually not that great.The slopes are average, the elevation low, the terrain uninspiring, the lifts are slow and laid out poorly, transport is somewhat a pain, the snow is just as good at any other yuzawa resorts, and there really isn't much unique on offer on or off the trails. Seriously, if you are a powderhound looking only to shred, don't bother.

But if you are taking along someone who is just getting their ski legs steady, isn't super enthused about lapping the hill non-stop, but would rather do some cruisy runs and then chill for a bit in the lodge, then this is the perfect hill.

First - the hill is pretty much all cruisy - beginner/intermediate level runs from bottom to top - so the trail map is not at all intimidating. Second - between the cruisy sections lies a heap of little cafes and restaurants - and not your typical faceless ski-jo curry cafeteria, but actual small businesses, run by real people, all doing their own thing, and doing it with pride. Its charming as hell.

It was the first place that really motivated my beginner skier to go and explore the hill from top to bottom, just to check out what little cafe lies around the next crest, comfortable in the fact that she is never far from a place to chill if and when she gets tired.

Its even got one or two sad looking abandoned buildings, for those looking for mt to granview levels of charm. (just kidding, nothing can possibly compare...)

Its such a contrast, compared to all these ultra commercial bubble-era ski-jos (especially Gala - ironic that they are connected at the top and share a ticket). They may have all the glitz, glamour, and convience, but none of the soul.

So in summary, visit ishiuchi to experience a little hill that tries to give you its best with what its got, while keeping true to that feeling of a family business that refuses to sellout.
Date visited: From 04 March, 2014
Snow condition on visit: Variable
Things I liked: Its... charmingness
Things I didn't like: Base is a little too dead at night, preferred to stay in yuzawa for lodging and food options and just bus/ski over for the day.
Recommended for: Beginner riders
Authentic Japan experience
Not recommended for: Advanced riders
Off-piste opportunities
Ungroomed courses

Ishiuchi Maruyama

Minamiuonuma City, Niigata
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Average Rankings

General score: 73
Snow conditions: 78
Courses/Terrain: 70
Lift system: 65
Apres ski: 30

Basic Resort Statistics

Max. elevation: 920m
Min. elevation: 256m
Vertical: 664m
Steepest slope: 35°
Longest course: 4000m
Number of lifts: 13

Other resorts nearby

Ishiuchi Hanaoka 1.50km
GALA Yuzawa 2.00km
Mt Granview 2.70km
Yuzawa Kogen 3.20km
Ipponsugi 3.80km
Maiko Snow Resort 5.00km
NASPA Ski Garden 6.00km
Iwappara 6.30km
Joetsu Kokusai 7.00km
Kandatsu Snow Resort 7.10km
Yuzawa Park 9.00km
Yuzawa Nakazato Snow Resort 9.10km
Nakazato Snow Wood 9.20km
Ludens Yuzawa 9.60km
Chateau Shiozawa 10.80km
Kagura 13.40km
Muica Snow Resort 16.20km
Itsukamachi 18.80km
Nakasato Kiyotsu 21.10km
Naeba 25.20km
Muikamachi Hakkaisan 25.30km
Hakkai Sanroku 28.00km
Muikamachi Hakkaisan 28.00km
New Greenpia Tsunan 32.30km
Koide 32.50km
Matsunoyama Onsen 34.50km
Sakae Club 35.10km
Yakushi 35.40km
Matsudai Family 37.10km
Norn Minakami 38.40km
Akasawa 39.00km
White Valley 41.50km
Oana 42.00km
Okutone Snow Park 44.70km
Oyu Onsen 44.80km
Suhara 46.00km
Tanigawadake Tenjindaira 48.10km

Location of Ishiuchi Maruyama