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The place to enjoy real skiing! GALA Yuzawa Ski Resort
Niigata is so closely associated with skiing that it is no exaggeration to say that if you want to go skiing, this is the place! Local high schools even teach skiing as part of their classes. GALA Yuzawa is especially popular even within ski-obsessed Niigata. Arrive from Tokyo Station by shinkansen in 2 hours, from Haneda Airport in 3 hours, or from Tokyo Station in approximately 1hour 15 minutes. Because the resort is directly attached to GALA Yuzawa Station, you don’t have to worry about getting lost. Traveling by car takes over 3 hours on snowy and slippery roads. It can be very dangerous if you are not used to the snowy roads, so please be careful.
There are plenty of rental shops, hot springs and restaurants!
The greatest charm of the GALA Yuzawa Ski Resort is by far the hospitality. There is rental ski equipment, of course, but there are also restaurants and hot springs. After a day of energetic skiing, you can also enjoy the luxury of relaxing in the hot spring or spa.
Among the many restaurants, we especially recommend Irori Cafe Omusubi-Dokoro Yuta. Here you can enjoy onigiri (rice balls) made from Niigata’s famous locally produced Minamiuonuma Koshihikari rice and Niigata-produced sake.
- By Shinkansen or Train: 2 hours and 30 minutes from Haneda Airport, 3 hours from Narita Airport 2 hours from Tokyo Station
- By Car: 3 hours 30 minutes from Haneda Airport or Narita Airport 3 hours from Tokyo Station
- Address: GALA Yuzawa Ski Resort Niigata-ken, Minamiuonuma-gun, Yuzawa-machi, Oaza-Yuzawa Za-Kayabira 1039-2 Business Period: from mid-December (to be confirmed) Business Hours: 8:00am-5:00pm (in certain cases, facilities close at 4:00pm）
Good access directly from nearby stations! Karuizawa Prince Hotel Ski Resort
Prince Hotel Ski Resort, with 10 types of ski courses, is popular as a ski resort that skiers from beginners to advanced can enjoy as much as they like. Living up to their reputation as one of the premier hotel management companies, Prince Hotels & Resorts also offers outstanding overnight accommodations such as Karuizawa Prince Hotel East. And there is more than just skiing! In addition to having easy access to spas and hot springs, you can also stay overnight in rooms with large picture windows.
Also, the area’s plentiful restaurants are another notable point. Two great examples are Sobakura Choji-an where you can enjoy Nagoya’s famous soba, and the immensely popular Italian restaurant Trattoria Primo. Usagi Yama Kitchen House offers light meals such as curry rice and miso soup with pork and vegetables that have already become classic ski resort dishes. It’s no stretch to say that being able to choose from a vast selection of meals to suit your mood is one of the features unique to Karuizawa Prince Hotel Ski Resort.
Snow Park, where children and beginners can enjoy the snow as much as they like
At Karuizawa Prince Hotel Ski Resort, attractions are also available for children and beginners to enjoy. The most popular amongst them is the “Sled Slope”. Because sledding is simply sitting on a board and sliding down a hill, you don’t have to work hard like in skiing - you can relax and enjoy the ride. If you don’t have a sled, you can rent one for 500 yen. (Entry to the park is 1,300 yen for both adults and children）
- By Shinkansen or Train: 3hours from Haneda Airport and Narita Airport 1hour 20 minutes from Tokyo Station
- By Car: 2hours and 30 minutes from Haneda Airport 3 hours from Narita Airport 2hours 30 minutes from Tokyo Station
- Address: Karuizawa Prince Hotel Ski Resort Nagano-ken Kita Saku-gun Karuizawa-machi Karuizawa 1016 Business Period: from November (to be confirmed) Business Hours: 8:00am-8:00pm (depending on the time of year, may open at 8:30)
2 hours from Tokyo! Enjoy natural snow at Norn Minakami Ski Resort
Norn Minakami Ski Resort can be accessed from Tokyo in less than 2 hours. The appeal of this ski resort is being able to ski on natural snow despite its proximity to Tokyo! It is also very popular with Japanese people who live in the Tokyo metropolitan area.
Compared to man-made snow, natural snow is soft and said to be good for skiing. Due to this, even beginners can easily enjoy skiing. It’s also famous for being open until late at night. Because long ski nights are hosted until 10:00pm on Mondays through Thursdays, Sunday, and national holidays, and until 12:00am Friday and the day before a national holiday, you can ski as much as you like.
A rich variety of slopes that skiers from beginners to advanced can enjoy
At Norn Minakami Ski Resort, you can enjoy a wide variety of ski slope courses. Depending on the course, long runs that are close to 2 kilometers are also possible! In addition to this, the resort has prepared a course perfect for snowboarding. A school where the principal is a professional snowboarder is also very popular.
As one of the most prominent hot spring districts in Japan is close by, you can also comfortably relax at a hot spring after building up a sweat from skiing. If you have a lift coupon from Norn Minakami Ski Resort, we also recommend taking advantage of numerous discounts.
- By Shinkansen or Train: 2 hours 20 minutes from Haneda Airport to Jomo-Kogen Station, 2 hours 30 minutes from Narita Airport to Jomo-Kogen Station, 1 hour 20 minutes from Tokyo Station to Jomo-Kogen Station, 20 minutes from Jomo-Kogen by shuttle bus (reservation required)
- By Car: 2 hours 20 minutes from Haneda Airport, 3 hours from Narita Airport 2 hours 10 minutes from Tokyo Station
- Address: Norn Minakami Ski Resort Gunma-ken Tone-gun Minakami-machi Terama 479-139 Business Period: from mid-December (to be confirmed) Business Hours: 8:00am-10:00pm (or until 12:00am depending on the day）
Beginners, advanced skiers and even families can enjoy Maiko Snow Resort!
At Maiko Snow Resort, a total of 26 ski courses are available - and you might be surprised to know that the longest ski slope is approximately 6,000 meters. There are a variety of courses, from courses where skiers can feel comfortable bringing small children to challenging courses with steep slopes that advanced skiers can enjoy. You can choose a course that suits your own skill level.
Maiko Snow Resort is also famous as a ski resort you can enjoy as a day trip or as an overnight stay. If you go for a day trip, you can make use of the ski center’s various facilities such as their nap room and break room, restaurants, kids room, hot spring, relaxation rooms. Even if it’s only a day trip, it goes without saying that enjoying the hot springs is an unparalleled luxury.
If you stay overnight, we also recommend Maiko Kogen Hotel and Maiko Kogen Lodge! Watching the view of the slopes and enjoying moments of relaxation will definitely make for wonderful memories.
Enjoy skiing all day at the many ski courses
Without question, the best characteristic of Maiko Snow Resort is its rich variety of 26 types of ski courses. They can be divided into 3 categories: the Okusoechi Area, the Nagamine Area and the Maiko Area.
At the Okusoechi Area, which is intended for advanced skiers, 8 courses taking advantage of the natural peaks and valleys of the rugged terrain are available. The Nagamine Area has 5 courses including the resort’s much-admired longest run. The view is fantastic, and they say even some beginners can ski this course after about 3 hours of practice. How about giving it a try yourself? At the Maiko Area the Kids’ Park and a sled-only course are also available, so small children and beginners can also enjoy at their own pace.
- By Shinkansen or Train: 2 hours from Haneda Airport to Echigo-Yuzawa Station, 2 hours 20minutes from Narita Airport to Echigo-Yuzawa Station, 1 hour 10 minutes from Tokyo Station to Echigo Yuzawa Station. 30 minutes from Echigo-Yuzawa Station by shuttle bus (reservation required)
- By Car: 3 hours from Haneda Airport, 3 hours 30 minutes from Narita Airport 3 hours from Tokyo Station
- Address: Maiko Snow Resort Niigata-ken Minamiuonuma-shi Maiko 1819-79 Maiko Day Trip Ski Center Business Period: From mid-December (to be confirmed) Business Hours: 7:00am-6:00pm, All Night hours run from 11:45pm until 7:00pm the following day (to be confirmed)
That brings us to the end of our introduction to various ski resorts easily accessible from Tokyo - we hope you enjoyed the ride. You can access any of these ski resorts in 2 to 3 hours, and furthermore, these are all facilities that provide rental ski equipment. In other words, whichever ski resort you choose to try, you can enjoy a memorable skiing experience. How about trying one of these ski experiences while you’re traveling in Japan?
Pricing information and schedule may not be up to date and are subject to change without notice. Please check before your trip.