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Yuzawa () in Niigata Prefecture is one of the largest and the most easily accessed ski areas from Tokyo. You can be on the slopes from Tokyo Station in under two hours. Yuzawa is known for deep powder and a long season, with some of its resorts open from mid November to late May.

There are approximately twenty resorts in and around Yuzawa, varying in size from one to over thirty lifts. While some are near the town center, others are more remote, but they are all accessible by public transportation.

A few resorts team up to offer combination lift tickets that give you access to all of the participating resorts. They are typically connected to each other so that you can ski or snowboard between them.

Yuzawa is also known for its onsen (hot springs), with baths located at the ski resorts, hotels, public bath houses and shinkansen stations, including a sake bath as well as a sake museum at the Echigo-Yuzawa Station.

Gala Yuzawa, Ishiuchi Maruyama, Yuzawa Kogen Group

A special combination ticket for all three resorts is available. It costs 5100 yen and can be bought at any of the three resorts' ticket counters.

Gala Yuzawa
Just 90 minutes from Tokyo Station, Gala Yuzawa is the easiest resort in Yuzawa to access by train. The gondola to the mountain leaves directly from the shinkansen station, but be sure to check the wind conditions before you leave as the gondola does not operate when it is windy. There is no night skiing, but a 'Sunset ticket', good between 3 and 5, is offered instead for 2000 yen.
Season*
Mid December to early May
(December 16, 2017 to May 6, 2018)
Lifts
11 lifts
Tickets
Full day 4600 yen
Half day 3400 yen
Nighter N/A
Access
Bus/Train Joetsu Shinkansen to Gala Yuzawa Station.
Car Three kilometers from Yuzawa Interchange.
* Season dates may be adjusted due to lack of snow. Check before going.
Ishiuchi Maruyama
Ishiuchi Maruyama is one of the oldest establishments in the Yuzawa area and is known to have great powder. The resort is fairly large and offers some really long runs.
Season*
Mid December to early April
(December 21, 2017 to April 8, 2018)
Lifts
19 lifts
Tickets
Full day 4500 yen
Half day 3800 yen
Nighter 2000 yen
Access
Bus/Train Three mins walk from Ishiuchi Station or ten mins by free shuttle from Echigo-Yuzawa Station.
Car Four kilometers from Shiozawa Ishiuchi Interchange.
* Season dates may be adjusted due to lack of snow. Check before going.
Yuzawa Kogen
Yuzawa Kogen is located near the Yuzawa Interchange and Echigo-Yuzawa Station. The resort is made up mostly beginner in intermediate courses, and offers a family and kids' snowland with a variety of snow experiences to enjoy.
Season*
Mid December to early April
(December 17, 2016 to April 2, 2017)
Lifts
8 lifts
Tickets
Full day 4200 yen
Half day 3300 yen
Nighter N/A
Access
Bus/Train Two mins by free shuttle bus from Echigo-Yuzawa Station.
Car Two kilometers from Yuzawa Interchange.
* Season dates may be adjusted due to lack of snow. Check before going.

Naeba, Kagura Group

A combination ticket for Naeba and Kagura costs 5700 yen and can be purchased at either resort.

Naeba
Naeba is operated by Prince Hotels and is very popular even though it is the most remote of the major Yuzawa resorts. It has a large number of lifts, with multiple lifts serving each run. The slopes are generally steep, and can become quite crowded on weekends. Naeba is connected to neighboring Kagura via the Dragondola, an extremely long arial lift that spans the 5.5 kilometer distance between the resorts.
Season*
Early December to late March
(December 8, 2017 to March 31, 2018)
Lifts
30 lifts
Tickets
Full day 5000 yen
Half day 4500 yen
Nighter 2000 yen
Access
Bus/Train 50 mins by bus from Echigo-Yuzawa Station.
Car 21 kilometers from Yuzawa Interchange.
* Season dates may be adjusted due to lack of snow. Check before going.
Kagura
Known for having good powder and long runs, Kagura is reached by either the Kagura/Mitsumata or Tashiro gondolas. It is also connected to Naeba via the Dragondola. Kagura has the longest season of the Yuzawa resorts thanks to its location high up in the mountains. Night skiing is not offered.
Season*
Late November to late May
(November 23, 2017 to May 27, 2018)
Lifts
26 lifts
Tickets
Full day 4700 yen
Half day 3500 yen
Nighter N/A
Access
Bus/Train 25 mins by bus (300 yen) from Echigo-Yuzawa Station.
Car Eight kilometers from Yuzawa Interchange.
* Season dates may be adjusted due to lack of snow. Check before going.

Iwappara, Joetsu Kokusai Group

A combination ticket for Iwappara and Joetsu Kokusai costs 4000 yen and can be purchased at either resort.

Iwappara
Iwappara is located near the center of Yuzawa Town. The main area of Iwappara is extremely wide, well groomed and an excellent place for beginners. In addition, the resort has good snow play facilities for children including a large kids park, kids ski camp, and one of the country's longest sled runs.
Season*
Early December to early April
(December 9, 2017 to April 8, 2018)
Lifts
11 lifts
Tickets
Full day 4000 yen
Half day 3000 yen
Nighter 1500 yen
Access
Bus/Train 10 mins by bus (200 yen) from Echigo Yuzawa Station or a 15 min walk from Iwappara Skijo-mae Station.
Car Three kilometers from Yuzawa Interchange.
* Season dates may be adjusted due to lack of snow. Check before going.
Joetsu Kokusai
Joetsu Kokusai is one of Japan's largest resorts, spanning a number of mountains and valleys. It offers long runs and lots of powder. Joetsu Kokusai is about ten kilometers north of central Yuzawa.
Season*
Early December to early April
(December 16, 2017 to April 8, 2018)
Lifts
26 lifts
Tickets
Full day 4000 yen
Half day 3000 yen
Nighter 1500 yen
Access
Bus/Train 25 minutes by shuttle bus from Echigo-Yuzawa Station or a few steps from Joetsu Kokusai Skijo-mae Station.
Car Six kilometers from Shiozawa Ishiuchi Interchange.
* Season dates may be adjusted due to lack of snow. Check before going.

Unaffiliated Resorts

Maiko
Maiko is a large park located near the Shiozawa Ishiuchi Interchange, about six kilometers north of central Yuzawa.
Season*
Mid December to early April
(December 15, 2017 to April 8, 2018)
Lifts
13 lifts
Tickets
Full day 4700 yen
Half day 4200 yen
Nighter 500 yen
Access
Bus/Train 30 mins by bus from Echigo-Yuzawa Station (300 yen).
Car One kilometer from Shiozawa Ishiuchi Interchange.
* Season dates may be adjusted due to lack of snow. Check before going.
Yuzawa Nakazato
Yuzawa Nakazato has its own train station on the local JR Joetsu Line. This resort offers a large kids snow play area and snowmobile rides.
Season*
Mid December to early April
(December 17, 2017 to April 2, 2018)
Lifts
10 lifts
Tickets
Full day 4200 yen
Half day 3300 yen
Nighter 1500 yen
Access
Bus/Train 30 mins by bus from Echigo-Yuzawa Station (300 yen).
Car One kilometer from Shiozawa Ishiuchi Interchange.
* Season dates may be adjusted due to lack of snow. Check before going.

Access and Orientation

By train

Echigo-Yuzawa Station can be reached from Tokyo Station in 80-90 minutes by the Joetsu Shinkansen. During the winter, some trains from/to Tokyo serve Gala Yuzawa Station in the mornings, late afternoons and evenings, while a shuttle train runs just between Echigo-Yuzawa and Gala Yuzawa during midday. The one way trip between Tokyo and Yuzawa costs around 6500 yen and is covered by the Japan Rail Pass, JR East Nagano Niigata Area Pass and JR Tokyo Wide Pass.

Furthermore, a discounted round trip ticket is offered by JR for access to Yuzawa from greater Tokyo during the ski season. JR and travel agencies also sell a range of discount travel plans that combine a round trip to Yuzawa with lift passes and/or accommodation.

By car

Yuzawa is located along the Kanetsu Expressway, which connects Tokyo with Niigata. The drive from Tokyo to Yuzawa IC takes about two hours and costs around 5000 yen in expressway tolls (one way for a regular car). Winter tires are required when there is snow.

Hotels around Yuzawa

Page last updated: October 13, 2017