This place is small and a bit low key, families, lots of kids, skiers in skin tight lycra suits etc.
Having said that, the facilities are good, lifts well laid out and for a Saturday this place was empty.
The scenery here is amazing, the trees at the top of the mountain get smattered with snow and form snow monsters. There's heaps of fun to be had off course in the trees at this place. We cut fresh tracks all day, right up until closing time at 5. Nobody else seemed to be very interested in foot or so of powder in the trees so we had it all to ourselves. Most of the lifties and ski patrol are grumpy old men and they get even grumpier when you duck under ropes. The staff in the cafe, however are really friendly and helpful.
All in all, at first glance Minowa looked like just another small mediocre japanese skijo but with a bit of exploring we ended up having an epic day. I'll probably do another day at Minowa before the end of the season but I'm in no hurry to go back after all the hassles with the staff.
From 17 January, 2004
Snow condition on visit:
Off piste 30-50cm powder from day before, runs nicely groomed no fresh.