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Nap and dinner at the inn, then right out for some nighttime skiing
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After arriving in Shiga Kogen, we immediately went to Yokoteyama Ski Resort to enjoy some skiing, so we were already really tired out. We returned to the inn for a bit for a nap. The room was so big it was more than sufficient for even two people, so we were very satisfied! We spread out the futons and napped for about 2 hours. Dinner was buffet-style. There were quite a few young people who were there for ski camp or on group trips with their companies.
At this time of year, the only ski resort that offers nighttime skiing is Ichinose Family Skiing Area. It seems like the ski resorts that are offering nighttime skiing change daily, so we recommend asking the front desk staff at the hotel or ryokan where you are staying before heading out. The route to Ichinose Family Skiing Area is about 15-20 minutes by car. At night the field of vision narrows drastically, so we proceed with caution, paying close attention to oncoming traffic.
A family-oriented resort with a retro atmosphere
Finally, we arrived at Ichinose Family Skiing Area. The area of the ski resort that was open for nighttime skiing was the resort’s main area, Main Slope. This is a wide, straight-shot, so you can ski around within the course as much as you like. With it being a weekday, there weren’t very many other visitors, so we could comfortably ski there the whole time.
In the base area, there is a Ski Center. By buying a lift ticket specifically for nighttime skiing at the ticket counter here, you can ride the ski lifts. In contrast to normal business hours, the facilities within the Ski Center are closed, so it would be a good idea to eat first before coming.
It gets extremely cold at night. The higher in elevation you go, the lower the temperature gets, so we recommend making sure to dress warmly. The thing that sets nighttime skiing apart from skiing during the day is that it brings out a special atmosphere of being enveloped by quietness. The fantasy-like feeling you can get there is something that has to be experienced to be understood.
We never get tired of enjoying the beginner’s course, no matter how many times we go down
The overall level of challenge was not too difficult, but it was an interesting course where steep slopes sometimes peek out for a bit. In particular, in the mogul slope zone at the beginning of the course, there are some slopes steep enough that beginners have to be cautious starting out. This is a course with some real substance to it, where practicing multiple times brings real, visible progress.
There was a large ratio of skiers on the slopes during nighttime skiing. We had the opportunity to listen to the impressions of a group of 3 young women who came from Taiwan, and they told us, “When you ski, it might be a little scary if you don’t have a good handle on how to brake with your skis in a v shape.” However, there is a practice zone in the base area, so it seems like it would be good for people who don’t yet feel comfortable on steep slopes to practice here first.
Going into the onsen after a day of skiing melts away your fatigue
With this experience, our first day of skiing in Shiga Kogen safely came to an end. Last, we went to the onsen to let the fatigue of a long day of skiing melt away. We could definitely feel the strong effect of the sulfur water in the warmth throughout our bodies after we got out of the bath. For our first day, we were running around from place to place, but it seems like it would be a good place to stay and rest after eating dinner on a longer vacation where there’s time to stay for more than one night.
Before going to sleep, we wanted to have some snacks while drinking sake, but we forgot to go shopping. There is nothing like a convenience store anywhere nearby in the Shiga Kogen Area, so it would be a good idea to go into town to buy something beforehand. Inside our accommodations there were vending machines with beer and cup ramen, which were delicious. Next time, we’ll report to you about our last day of skiing in Shiga Kogen, at a ski resort that prides itself on its top-class snow quality, Terakoya Skiing Area. Please join us next time!
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