Yuzawa is a well-known ski area located in Niigata prefecture, so it's no surprise that skiing, snowboarding and winter sports are the main activities. Situated in the Northern Japan Alps near the temperate Sea of Japan, Yuzawa gets more than 10m of snowfall per season. The Yuzawa and neighboring Minami-Uonuma area consists of 16 resorts. We have highlighted our favorites below.
Access couldn't be easier. This awesome mountain resort is just an elevator ride away from your TwinTips apartment. With a variety of wide, open slopes, advanced terrain parks and great side-country options, Ishiuchi Maruyama has for decades been a popular destination for skiers and snowboarders.
You can access more than 20 independent restaurants serving food and drinks within the resort, so unlike most ski resorts in Japan, eating here is a true joy. No wonder TwinTippers typically spend more time here than on any other mountain.
Kagura is one of the largest and best known ski resorts in Japan and here at TwinTips we feel incredibly blessed to have such a great mountain in our hood. Kagura usually opens in late November and continues through to Golden Week in May. They are the first to open and the last to close. With a top run of more than 1800 meters above sea level, the snow quality is excellent.
Kagura is a wide and expansive resort with a very large terrain to explore. There are also excellent hiking options for those looking for backcountry and it’s a popular location for beginner backcountry tours with local guides. Children under 12 can get free lift tickets.
From TwinTips apartments, it takes about 20 minutes to drive to the Mitsumata base, and 35 minutes to drive to the Tashiro base of Kagura.
Gala and Yuzawa Kogen
Do you want to explore a few other ski resorts, but can't be bothered to get in the car? Ishiuchi Maruyama is connected to Gala and Yuzawa Kogen via the "Yuzawa Snow Link". A 3-mountain pass opens up two more ski resorts to explore.
Gala Yuzawa is famous for being the only ski-resort with its own Shinkansen train station. Such convenience makes GALA Yuzawa extremely popular for day-trips from Tokyo, and it can get busy during weekends.
Yuzawa Kogen is a smaller and quieter resort that offers some spectacular views of Yuzawa town and the surrounding mountains. Lunch at the Ristorante Alpina, a sister restaurant of Pittore, is an absolute must and a great reward for crossing the mountain.
Not the biggest resort around, but Hakkaisan gets to the point. A quick gondola takes you from the base, straight to the top, where you get 900m of vertical to play with, all the way down. When snow conditions are good, Hakkaisan is a favorite destination for the members of the TwinTips Powder Creed.
If you like it steep and deep, look no further. It takes about 40 minutes to drive to Hakkaisan from TwinTips.
Junior Race Club
Kids who spend full seasons at TwinTips tend to become very good skiers and snowboarders. Skiing and snowboarding is about having fun, but there are also opportunities to join competitions and race against other teams.
The TwinTips Junior Race Club aims to advance the technical skills of junior athletes who are ready to take their skiing to the next level. January and February are dedicated to training and March to racing. We work with a number of ski schools and instructors to make sure the athletes get the training needed to compete. FIS and JIS registration is possible, and recommended for full recognition of achievements. Since the race club started in 2017, TwinTips junior racers have won more than their fare share of medals in races all around Japan.
Looking for a break from the slopes, prefer not ski or board? For a slower-paced snow experience, consider snowshoeing. Snowshoeing opens up the otherwise inaccessible terrain for exploration, and it is your best choice for a journey through scenic and often undisturbed landscapes. Snowshoeing is becoming a very popular activity - especially among long-time TwinTippers.