Ishiuchi Maruyama is a popular resort located in Minamiuonuma city, just to the north of the central area of Yuzawa town. It has been operating since 1949. This resort is connected with the Northern Area of GALA Yuzawa resort in Yuzawa town at the top of the mountain, which in turn is also connected with Yuzawa Kogen. A joint lift ticket that covers the three resorts is available in the peak season. There are three base areas to Ishiuchi Maruyama - the Hatsukaishi Entrance (just off Route 17 and just outside Yuzawa town), the main Chuo Entrance and the Kanko Entrance.
Really big news from Ishiuchi Maruyama for the 2018-2019 season as they unveil three brand new major facilities. Close to the Chuo Entrance base is a brand new Resort Center building that includes the various facilities you might expect at the ski resort base (changing rooms, rental, shop, rest area, etc). The new ‘Sunrise Express’ lift that goes up to the central area of Ishiuchi Maruyama combines 10 people Gondola cabins for and ski lifts that seat 6 people... all on the same cable line. This new lift features brand new specs that promise a very comfortable and quiet ride experience. Luxurious too - heated gondola cabins and heated ski lift seats! If that wasn’t enough, there is also a new triple lift called ‘Tyrol’ in the central area. Impressive! (To make way for the new Gondola lift, the Chuo Number 1 quad lift and central triple lifts have been removed).
Minamiuonuma city and neighbouring Yuzawa town - located just over 200km to the north north-west of the Tokyo region in Niigata Prefecture - are together home to over 20 individual ski and snowboard resorts, including some of the most well-known ski resorts in Japan. With easy and quick access by both train and road and a wide choice in a relatively compact area, this region is one of the most popular ski destinations in Japan. The region usually enjoys very heavy and consistent snowfall each winter and with Yuzawa town also being the inspiration and setting of the famous Nobel prize-winning novel Yukiguni (Snow Country), it can certainly lay claim to being the original 'Snow Country'.
Niigata Prefecture is located in the central region of Honshu to the north of Tokyo and has a 250km long coastline facing the Sea of Japan. Convenient transportation links make Niigata very easy to get to from Tokyo and other surrounding regions. Most of the larger ski and snowboard resorts in Niigata Prefecture are concentrated in the southern regions around Yuzawa town, Minamiuonuma city and Myoko city.
Ski and snowboard lessons are available at Ishiuchi Maruyama. There are a number of independent ski and snowboard schools that cover the Yuzawa area and offer lessons in English - please check the Lessons in English section for current listings on SnowJapan.
Ski and snowboard equipment rental is available. Ski and snowboard wear rental is also available.
The new 'Snow Land' area is located close to the top Gondola Station and open from 10:00am until 4:00pm from late December until late March. A Free Pass for the area is 1,000 yen. Special return tickets for the new 'Sunrise Express' Gondola lift are available for non-skiers: 1,500 yen adults; 1,000 yen children.
There is also a 'Kodomo Hiroba' play area for children close to the Kanko Entrance base area and a 'Chibikko' area close to the Hatsukaishi Entrance base.
There are a number of park areas at Ishiuchi Maruyama - the 'Main Park' and the 'Beginner Park'.
The 'Gungho Monster Pipe' (actually operated by Minamiuonuma city) is located in the central area of the resort. Specs: 6.7m high, 22m wide, 170 long! The planned opening dates for the Gungho Monster Pipe are 19th January 2018 until 31st March 2019 (opening times vary). A 1 day ticket to use this facility are 1,000 yen for adults if you are coming from outside Niigata Prefecture (700 yen if you are a Niigata resident) and 750 yen for children.
Ishiuchi Maruyama Season & Opening Times
Typical season is from Mid December until Early April
Weekends and holidays
Normally open from 8:30am until 5:00pm
Normally open from 8:30am until 5:00pm
'Nighta' (night skiing)
Weekends and holidays
Ishiuchi Maruyama is open from 8:00am until 5:00pm every day in the daytime.
Nighta is scheduled for every day during the period Friday 28th December 2018 until Saturday 16th March 2019, and is open from 4:00pm until 8:30pm. (Note that nighta in the Kanko and Hatsukaishi areas is only on nights before holidays and over New Year).
* Between 1st April and 7th April, only the Chuo Entrance will be open.
Ishiuchi Maruyama Lift Ticket Charges
Elementary School age
60 years & over
1 Day (8am-5pm)
PM + Nighta
10 Lift Tickets
The 2 Day ticket is valid for nighta on the first night and until 5:00pm on the second day. The 3 Day ticket is valid for nighta on the first and second nights and until 5:00pm on the third day.
Yuzawa Snow Link The Yuzawa Snow Link ticket is valid at Ishiuchi Maruyama and also the connecting GALA Yuzawa and Yuzawa Kogen resorts. This ticket is available from Friday 29th December 2018 until Sunday 31st March 2019:
1 day - 5,700 yen adults; 4,200 yen children; 5,000 yen seniors 2 days - 9,200 yen adults; 6,500 yen children; 7,800 yen seniors
Ski-kodomo-no-hi (Children's Day) is on the third Sunday 21st January, Sunday 18th February and Sunday 18th March 2018. On those days, children under the age of 12 can ride the lifts and enter the Kids Park for free.
Getting to Ishiuchi Maruyama
By public transport
3.7km from Echigo Yuzawa Station on the Joetsu Shinkansen line
1.3km from Ishiuchi Station on the Joetsu Line
The Hatsukaishi Entrance is the closest to central Yuzawa and less than 4km from Echigo Yuzawa Station on the Joetsu line and Joetsu Shinkansen line.
The Kanko Entrance is about 2km from the small local train line Ishiuchi Station on the Joetsu line but this is a station and there is no bus service to the resort.
Most people visiting Ishiuchi Maruyama by train use Echigo Yuzawa Station and the shuttle bus from there.
There is a shuttle bus service between the East Exit of Echigo Yuzawa Station and the Chuo Entrance of Ishiuchi Maruyama for day return visitors. This is a free service and takes 10-15 minutes, the first bus is at 5:40pm.
A taxi journey from Echigo Yuzawa Station to Ishiuchi Maruyama costs from around 2,000 yen. The Hatsukaishi Entrance is the closest to Yuzawa.
2.7km from the Shiozawa Ishiuchi IC on the Kanetsu Expressway
4.6km from the Yuzawa IC on the Kanetsu Expressway
14.3km from the Muikamachi IC on the Kanetsu Expressway
Nearest national route: Route 17 (0.1km away)
The closest exit of the Kanetsu Expressway is Shiozawa Ishiuchi IC (2.7km) but the Yuzawa IC (4.6km) is also convenient (and a little cheaper if you are approaching from the south). From the Shiozawa Ishiuchi IC, turn right onto Prefecture Road 28 for about 1km until reaching the traffic lights on Route 17. Turn left onto Route 17 and about 1km later turn right at the signposts for Ishiuchi Maruyama. The main car park is a few hundred metres further along that road on the left hand side.
The 2018-2019 winter season is approaching! Hurray!
At the time of writing more than 60% of the ski hills in Japan have still not updated their own information for the upcoming season. We are continuing to manually update the information on these ski resort pages of SnowJapan but for the moment things are unavoidably a mix of old and new. In most cases ski resorts open and close around the same dates each season, so even if the planned season dates shown on this page are still from the 2017-2018 season, that is usually a good indication of what to expect this time round.
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