Japan Ski Resorts: A Complete Guide to Skiing in Yuzawa, Niigata | Guidable - Your Guide to a Sustainable, Wellbeing-centred Life in Japan
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Japan Ski Resorts: A Complete Guide to Skiing in Yuzawa, Niigata

By Devy Dec 2, 2021

Winter has arrived! Now, it’s time to pack your bags and start heading to the nearest ski resorts with your loved ones.

In Japan, people usually go to Hokkaido or near Mount Fuji to get the whole ski experience, as these ski resorts have become some of Japan’s favorite skiing destinations.

However, did you know that there is a small town in Niigata prefecture, called Yuzawa, which is a famous ski-resort town not too far from Tokyo?

Why Visit Yuzawa Ski Resort in Japan?

Yuzawa is known to be one of the closest ski destinations to Tokyo, and the beauty of the surrounding nature is a plus that should not be understated. 

Here, we would like to elaborate on why Yuzawa in Niigata should be your top destination this season! 

It’s Only 1 Hour From Tokyo by Shinkansen

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Firstly, the main reason is that Yuzawa, Niigata, is located 1 hour away by shinkansen from Tokyo. 

You can easily reach Yuzawa from Omiya Station or Tokyo Station by getting the shinkansen to Yuzawa Station. 

A one-way ticket costs around ¥6,000 from Omiya Station. Why not try getting a reserved seat and make sure to choose the window seat so that you can easily enjoy the fantastic view. 

You will feel like you are being taken into a fantastic winter wonderland! 

Note that for the first few minutes, the scenery will look normal. 

Then the train will go through a sudden tunnel that is quite long. 

After that, you will feel like you’ve been transported to an amazing snow world! Suddenly everything everywhere has been covered in thick snow and behind the unending snowfall is an unbelievable snow village.

A Fascinating Snow Village

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Once you step off the shinkansen, you will feel as if you were in a Christmas movie in a traditional snow-covered village. 

Heavy snow is everywhere, watch your step! 

Right in front of the west gate of Yuzawa Station, there is a traditional mini onsen for free that is available for anyone who wants to try dipping their feet in the warm water in the snowy weather. 

There are a lot of traditional restaurants and shops around Yuzawa. Since this is a small town, you’ll probably find it easy to reach everywhere by foot or the available buses. 

Yuzawa is surrounded by mountains and hills covered by snow. It is important to note that there are not many activities you can do during the winter season besides enjoying wonderful skiing experiences. 

There are a lot of ski resorts available for you to visit, and you can find information about them all at the information centre in Yuzawa station. 

Top Yuzawa Japan Ski Resorts

1. Gala Yuzawa

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Gala Yuzawa is the most famous ski destination in Yuzawa. From locals to tourists, everyone is dying to get a chance to see the beauty of this snowy resort. 

You can reach the resort, which is one stop away, by train or take the shuttle bus which comes once every hour.

Visitors who have not come to ski can access several areas, the central gathering area and an area further up the mountain. At the starting point, you will be asked to be put on a ski suit for skiing even though you will not do the sport. 

The reason for this is that the weather and conditions uphill are freezing and windy, so they are trying to keep all visitors safe. 

You can catch a gondola at Gala Yuzawa, which will offer you an amazing view from the window. 

There is a rental desk for ski-wear at the starting point, and you can choose between snowboarding or skiing. If this is your first time, there is also a coach who can teach you the basics. 

The cost of the rental for a complete suit is around ¥19,000 for a day, including all the skiing or snowboarding equipment. 

For more information, you can check out their website.

2. Ipponsugi Ski Resort

Ipponsugi Ski Resort is the perfect ski resort for those of you who want to ski in a relaxed environment, just enjoying the scenery without having to challenge yourself to difficult ski or snowboarding slopes. 

The beautiful view is extremely fascinating, and you can see almost all of the city of Yuzawa covered by snow which makes for a  lovely ambiance. 

Ipponsugi Ski Resort offers sledding and playing in the snow, which makes it a suitable place for beginners or children to have a memorable time. However, you will still have to rent ski-wear or equipment if you are not equipped. 

There is also a shuttle bus so you can reach the resort from the central station of Yuzawa Station or by car. 

Here is their website for more information.

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Photo by Author 

Pack Your Bag to Head For One of Yuzawa’s Ski Resorts

For information on other ski resorts, you can check here. This website offers detailed information about each ski resort including offers and prices. 

One additional tip: Since the main purpose of visiting Yuzawa is usually to go skiing, you should properly prepare equipment, outerwear, and make sure you’re fit. 

If you aren’t familiar with the equipment you need to go skiing, there are rental places at each ski resort available so that you can rent. 

Moreover, you should be able to find accessible accommodation on sites such as Booking.com and Airbnb or be able to book a hotel in advance. This makes it easier as you will be able to find the most accessible ski resort from your place. 

It is important to note that the central station is Yuzawa Station, and there is no local train service. You will be better off renting a car or familiarizing yourself with the shuttle bus services available in the city.



Devy Muffliha,



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