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WINTER IN NIIGATA IS A
WORLD OF SLIVER-WHITE

Niigata, with its many snowcapped mountains, is home to numerous unique ski resorts, making it truly a winter sports paradise. There are numerous ski resorts near hot springs which are always busy with skiers coming to stay not just from Niigata but from Tokyo and Osaka areas as well, and these days, from overseas. The prefecture also offers fantastical illumination events, snow festivals, and other winter traditions that make use of the large amounts of snow that fall here. This section will introduce some of the most noted ski resorts in the Joetsu, Chuetsu, and Kaetsu regions. Welcome and enjoy the range of events and winter sports you can find in the silvery world of Niigata in winter.

It’s so easy to enjoy playing in the snow at this wonderfully accessible ski resort

 

Niigata, with its many mountains, offers ski resorts throughout the prefecture. Even deep in the mountains, each area is fully developed with rail, expressways, and national highways, making access easy. In addition, the number of hot spring resorts nearby is an added bonus courtesy of “Niigata, the Kingdom of Spas.” After a full day on the slopes, you can soak yourself in the warm waters and warm your chilled body to the core, taking away your tiredness as you enjoy everything a Japanese onsen has to offer. Each ski resort also has its own special ways of making visitors feel welcome. 

Information

Yuzawa Nakasato Ski Resort, Yuzawa-machi
Location: 5044-1 Tsuchitaru, Yuzawa-machi, Minamiuonuma-gun
Phone: 025-787-3301
Hours: 8:30 to 16:30 (Saturdays 8:00 to 21:00, Sundays 8:00 to 17:00) *Subject to change due to weather conditions.
Lift fees: one-day ticket: adult 3,900 yen, child 2,000 yen, middle-aged skier 3,500 yen, senior citizen 3,000 yen, family ticket (adults & children): 5,600 yen *Child = elementary school, middle-aged skier = 55 to 64 years of age, senior citizen = 65+ years of age (proof of age required)
Closed: Wednesdays
Parking: 900 cars

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Free lift tickets for 19 year olds!? Great bargains for students and kids too!

 

At 23 ski resorts around Niigata, including Qkamura Myoko Runrun (Myoko), Naeba (Yuzawa), Matsunoyama Onsen (Tokamachi) and Maiko (Minamiuonuma), 19 year olds can get free lift passes through the “Yukimaji! 19” scheme*1. All of these ski resorts also have plenty of classes for children and students as well as student discounts.*2
*1. Check details, such as application conditions, on the “Yukimaji! 19” website.
*2. Check detailed pages for each ski field for any child or student discounts.

Information

Myoko City Qkamura Myoko Runrun Ski Resort
Location: Sekiyama, Myoko City
Phone: 0255-82-3168
Hours: 9:30 to 16:30 (from 9:00 on Sundays and public holidays)
Lift fees: one-day pass: adult 2,500 yen, elementary school student or younger 2,000 yen. 4-hour ticket: adult 1,800 yen, elementary school student or younger 1,500 yen, single lift ticket: adult 250 yen, elementary school student or younger 200 yen
Closed: Open throughout the season
Parking: 100 cars

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Plenty of kids’ areas for the children where you can have fun learning as a family

 

One of the features of Niigata’s ski resorts is how well-equipped they are with family facilities. Ski resorts like Tainai (Tainai City), Akakura Onsen (Myoko), Gala Yuzawa (Yuzawa) and many more offer children’s areas with play equipment, sleds, and so on where the whole family can have fun. The Myoko Kogen Visitor Center (Myoko) and the Green Tsunan Ski Resort (Tsunan) also have cross-country skiing and snow shoes so you can enjoy exploring the great outdoors and getting in touch with the beautiful natural scenery of Niigata.

Information

Tainai City Tainai Ski Resort
Location: 881-166 Atsutasaka, Tainai
Phone: 0254-48-3002
Hours: 9:00 to 17:00 (from 8:00 on weekends and public holidays), night skiing: 17:00 to 21:00
Lift fees: one-day pass: adult 4,000 yen, child and senior citizen 3,000 yen. 4-hour ticket: adult and child 2,500 yen. Night skiing tickets: adult and child 2,000 yen
Closed: Open throughout the season
Parking: 3,500 cars

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Refresh your soul through the fantasy lights

 

Some of the most popular winter traditions are the snow illumination events that take place all over the prefecture. The Yasuzuka Snow Festival Candle Road (Joetsu), where candles are lit along both sides of the mountain valley road, as well as the “108 Lanterns” (Uonuma) where visitors can see snow lanterns and fireworks at the same time, or the Snowfield Carnival Nakasato (Tokamachi) where people can enjoy fireworks going off over the extensive ski fields are just some of the many events held each year. At each one, the lights flickering on the snow create a fantastical atmosphere, and the snowfields soothe the souls of the spectators.

Information

Yasuzuka, Joetsu City, Yasuzuka Snow Festival Candle Road
Location: Yasuzuka area *Fireworks are at Cupid Valley.
Date: February 27th
Time: Inquire for details
Cost: Free entry
Parking: Available
Inquiries: 025-592-2004 (NPO Yuki no Furusato Yasuzuka)

Full of winter events that use snow to the max

 

Starting back in 1950, the Tokamachi Snow Festival has more than sixty years of history, and is the largest snow festival on the entire Japan Sea coast. In addition to the huge snow sculptures and fun-filled stage events, snow sculptures created by the local residents appear around the city during the festival, helping enhance the atmosphere of the snow festival. The Minami-Uonuma Snow Festival is also a rare event where you can enjoy local cooking inside old-style snow igloos, called “kamakura.” The white swans migrating from Siberia, heralding the coming of winter, are another winter tradition.

Information

Tokamachi City, Tokamachi Snow Festival
Location: Throughout Tokamachi
Dates: February 17th to 19th, 2017
Times: Inquire for details
Cost: Free entry (some zones require an entry fee). Passport: 2,500 yen (advance purchase), 3,000 yen (same-day)
Parking: Available
Inquiries: Tokamachi Snow Festival Executive Committee Secretariat (025-757-3100)

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Children up to elementary school age ride lifts for free!

 

The piste is just a step away from the 1,200-room Naeba Prince Hotel. Everyone from young to old can have a great time at the entertainment resort. There is a wide range of facilities that will appeal to everyone such as the Naeba Terrain Park which is open for both skiing and snowboarding, the N-Hiroba and the Waku-Waku Family Snow Land which offer snow tubing and snowmobiles. Snowboarding is permitted on all runs. The resort offers runs up to 4 km long. The piste in front of the Prince Hotel, where you can ski directly to it, is the heart of Naeba. With three gondolas, high-speed chair lifts, and lighting for night skiing, all skiers and snowboarders can have a great time at this resort.
The ski resort is also famed globally, and in February 2016 it hosted the FIS Alpen Ski World Cup Yuzawa Naeba.

Information

Naeba Ski Resort
Location: 202 Mikuni, Yuzawa, Minamiuonuma-gun
Inquiries: 025-789-4117
Hours: 8:00 to 17:00 (Depending on weather conditions)
Night skiing: 16:00 to 20:30
Lift fees: 1-day pass: 5,000 yen / 5-hour pass: 4,500 yen / Night skiing pass: from 2,000 yen
*New Year holiday period and spring skiing prices apply (inquire for details)
Rentals: Adults: 5,000 yen, children: 3,000 yen
*Ski/snowboard shared set   
Closed: Open season-long
Parking: 3,800 cars 

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Boasting a direct connection from the station and a long ski season!!

 

Amazing access, with a direct connection to Gala Yuzawa Station on the Joetsu Shinkansen line. And with its long season, you can enjoy skiing right up to the first week of May. The Ski Center has a full range of rental equipment, as well as an onsen to warm yourself up after a day of skiing. There’s a wide variety of courses, both gentle and steep, like the Southern Area with its dynamic courses of unpacked snow or the Falcon descent course with its amazing views, so even beginners can have a great time here.

Information

Yuzawa Gala Yuzawa Ski Resort
Location: 1039-2 Kayabira, Yuzawa, Minamiuonuma-gun
Inquiries: 025-785-6543
Hours: 8:30 to 17:00
Lift fees: Day passes: adults 4,600 yen, children 2,300 yen, seniors 3,700 yen
Morning passes: adults 3,400 yen, children 1,600 yen, seniors 3,000 yen
Afternoon passes: adults 3,700 yen, children 1,800 yen, seniors 3,300 yen
Closed: Open season-long
Parking: 800 cars

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A ski resort the whole family can enjoy

 

This well-established resort was the first in Japan to be acknowledged as an international ski resort. With its 4.5 km long cruising run to enjoy, as well as the Free Ride Park for beginners, it’s the perfect place to try skiing for the first time. Right by the main parking is the Chibikko Hiroba area for children who aren’t yet able to head out onto the slopes. This place is just one of the many ways this resort offers a wealth of services to make things easier for parents.
The early-bird discount lift pass for either Myoko Suginohara, Ikenotaira Onsen, or Akakura Kanko Resort ski areas offers great savings! An early-bird discount for the Super Season Pass, which lets you ski all three resorts, is also available.

Information

Akakura Kanko Resort Ski Resort
Location: 216 Tagiri, Myoko City
Inquiries: 0255-87-2503 (8:00 to 17:00)
Hours: 8:30 to 16:30 (no night skiing available)
Lift fees: 1-day pass: adults 3,900 yen, children 2,700 yen, middle school/seniors 3,000 yen
Family Pack: 5,500 yen (one adult, one child)
8,800 yen (two adults, one child), 11,000 yen (two adults, two children)
*Children are under middle school age. Seniors are 60 or more. See the website for details of special dates where prices change.
Closed: Open season-long (season scheduled to end on May 6th)
Parking: 1,800 cars
*Close to the Myoko IC on the Joetsu Expressway. Use Joetsu Myoko Station on the Hokuriku Shinkansen.

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We have distributed our winter skiing and event information, but you are probably most concerned about how much snow will be on the ground before you leave to go skiing. At such times, you should take a look at the Snow Japan website. It updates the amount of snowfall at popular ski resorts and shows the weather report every day during winter. Please take advantage of this reference when you go skiing in Niigata Prefecture.
http://www.snowjapan.com/japan-ski-resorts/prefecture/niigata( External link ) (English)

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