Where to Enjoy Skiing from Tokyo

Indisputably, one of the most popular countries to travel in winter must be Japan. There are numerous tourist attractions such as hot springs, snow festivals, dazzling illuminations and so forth. Especially the skiing and snowboarding could not be forgotten, on account of the quality powder snow and the optimum slopes of resorts. 
The tourists to visit Japan for skiing and snowboarding has rapidly increased, but not everybody knows that there are so many options to ski near the big cities like Tokyo and Osaka. Therefore, we would like to introduce some ski resorts near Tokyo including popular skiing resorts, and hidden gems.


1. GALA Yuzawa Snow Resort
GALA Yuzawa Snow Resort is renowned as the only skiing resort in Japan with its own Shinkansen train station. The train station is in the same building as ski gondola station which take tourists to the main courses. Many foreign tourists like to make day-trips here from Tokyo, thanks to such convenience.

Access from Tokyo: About 75 minutes by Shinkansen
Open-period: It varies with weather condition, changing in every year. From December 14th 2019 to May 6th 2020 for reference
Opening Hours: Depending on condition. Winter Time 08:00 – 17:00; Spring Time 08:00 – 16:00 Weekdays / 08:00 – 16:30 Weekends and Holidays
Find out the ski set rental prices from https://gala.co.jp/winter/english/rental/index.html


2. Naeba Ski Resort (Niigata)
Naeba Ski Resort is famous for its long histroy and reputation in Japan. Many international events including the 2016 Alpine Skiing World Cup has chosen it as the venue, the annual Fuji Rock Festival will also hold here in late July. Actually, this resort is the biggest one of “MT. Naeba” resorts which comprised of 4 ski areas. There is a joint ticket for entire 'Mt Naeba'. There into, Naeba and Kagura which is next to the former, are life-connected via the 8-person Dragondola that the longest cable car named as “Dragondola”.
There is fireworks event be held during the peak season from December to March, and it last totally 34 days!
 
Access from Tokyo: 75 minutes to Echigo-yuzawa Station from Tokyo Station by Shinkansen and 50 minutes by bus, or 4 hours from Ikebukuro Station by expressway bus
Open-period (vary in weather condition): For reference, December 7th, 2019 to April 5th, 2020 / April 11th to 12th April, 2020
Opening Hours (changing depending on condition): 8:00–17:00/16:00–20:30 (Night skiing)
Lift Ticket Rate (1Day): JPY4,600–6,000 PP
Seasons Pass: JPY 60,000-90,000 PP
Find more price details on official website: https://www.princehotels.com/en/ski/naeba/#tickets


3. Hakuba Ski Resorts (Nagano)
Hakuba Valley is the largest ski resort area in Japan, is one of the most popular ski resort areas that draw innumerable skiing lovers from worldwide every year. This area consists of 9 ski resorts, its reputation is from the finest snow powder which falls in the mountain area of Japan’s Northern Alps and makes fluffy snow field on the slopes. It is easily accessible from Tokyo, by shinkansen and express buses take around 3 hours, so it is possible to make a daytrip for the finest snow. And if you would like to choose a economical transportation, the long distance bus could be your option, although the one way trip takes around 5 hours.


Here recommended 4 resorts which are highly popular for 2019-2020 in Hakuba Valley:
● Hakuba Happo-one Ski Resort
Ticket
: JPY5,500 for adult (1day)(2019-2020)
Season: late November to the early May, Depending on weather condition 
Hours: 8:30-17:00/18:00-21:00 (Night skiing), Depending on weather condition 


 Hakuba Goryu
Ticket
: JPY5,500 for adult (1day) (2019-2020)
Season: late November to the early May, Depending on weather condition 
Hours: 8:30-17:00/18:00-21:30 (Night skiing), Depending on weather condition 


● Hakuba 47 Winter Sports Park
Ticket
: Around JPY5,500 (1day)
Season: late November to the early May. Depending on weather condition 
Hours: 8:30-17:00/18:00-21:30 (Night skiing), Depending on weather condition 


Hakuba Valley Kashimayari Ski Resort
Ticket
: Around JPY400 (1day)
Season: mid-December to the early April, Depending on weather condition 
Hours: 8:00-16:30, Depending on weather condition 


4. Karuizawa Prince Hotel Ski Resort (Nagano)
This resort is quite easy to access, by the shinkansen train takes only one hour from Tokyo, and 1 minute distance by taxi from Karuizawa Station, free shuttle buses operate between resort and station during the peak season. The lift ticket service is free for kids, and there is a snow stadium for visitors to try sledding and snow tubing.No wonder Karuizawa Prince Hotel Ski Area is a very child-friendly ski resort.
 
Access: 60 to 90 minutes from Tokyo Station by Shinkansen
Season: November 2 to April 5(2019-2020), Depending on condition 
Hours: 8:00-17:00/16:00–20:00 (Night skiing), Depending on condition 
Ticket: JPY4,900-5,700


5. Snow Town Yeti (Shizuoka)
Snow Town Yeti is the only one skiing place with Mt. Fuji in the background. It is the earliest opening at the season in Japan,by making artificial snow with their snowmakers. This town is also renowned for its location at the second station of Mt.Fuji. Some days during the season, This resort even opens all night until 8:00AM of the following day. The trip by bus from Shinjuku takes 2hour 40mintes, it is possible to ski here during the fall foliage season. Beside the Shinjuku, there are numerous buses to Snow Town Yeti directly from 18 stations such as Yokohama Station, Hachioji, Machida, Shinagawa, and so on.
 
Access: Around 3 hours by direct bus
Season for reference: October 25 to April 5 (2019-2020)
Hours: Weekdays 9:00-22:00, Weekends(April 1~4 will be closed at 17:00); Public holidays 8:00-22:00(Sundays during March 1~ April 5 will be closed at 17:00); All-night skiing 15:30-08:00 (next morning)
Ticket: Admission 850-1,000 JPY; One Day ticket 2,500-4,000 JPY


6. Norn Minakami Ski Resort (Gunma)
By the shinkansen from Tokyo to Norn Minakami Ski Resort is located in the mountain town, which takes only 1.5 hours from tokyo, that it is perfect for a day-trip. There is an unique area called “snow land”where childre and adults can enjoy and play in the snow safely that separate from the main main Norn Minakami resort. There are different types of discounted passes that vary in the date like night pass, early morning pass, and twilight pass.  

Access: 1.5hours by Shinkansen from Tokyo to Jomokogen Station or Minakami Station/ less than 3 hours by bus
Season: December 20 to April 5(2019-2020)
Hours: 8:00-22:00 weekdays, 8:00-0:00am next morning Friday & Saturday



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