Ski Resorts In Niigata For Four Types Of Travellers | CoolJapan

Niigata Ski Resorts

Many ski slopes in Niigata are easily accessible from the train station and highway interchanges, and easy to get from Tokyo. (Photo from: Niigata Prefecture Tourism Association)

For avid skiers and lovers of snow sports, the name Niigata conjures up images of craggy mountainscapes, powder-white slopes and dreamy winter resorts.  As one of the highest snowfall areas in Japan and with many of the ski slopes easily accessible from railway stations and highway interchanges, it’s no wonder Niigata is one of the most popular ski destinations in the country. With snowy conditions in Niigata Prefecture lasting well into April and May, you still have time to plan a ski vacation. If you’re planning a trip to this winter wonderland, here are four recommendations on where to stay — one for every type of traveller.

For young families: Hotel Green Plaza Joetsu

If you have little ones in tow, your best bet would be the all-encompassing Hotel Green Plaza Joetsu. This sprawling resort features many facilities including seven restaurants serving a variety of cuisines, indoor and outdoor pools with hot spring water, a game room, and even a karaoke room. The rooms are also capacious to accommodate large families, with even an option for a two-floor maisonette-type room.

Young families will appreciate the many child-friendly amenities available here, such as an entire area dedicated to sledding, tubing and other snow activities, Spongebob-themed ski and snowboard lessons as well as a mini-triathlon for little tykes.

For honeymooning couples: Cupid Valley Ski Resort

With a name like Cupid Valley, you can be sure that this ski resort is built for romance. Located on the northern slopes of Mount Hishigatake, this intimately sized resort offers nine runs that are pitched at the intermediate level.

Apart from skiing, you and your sweetheart can take the lift to the top where you can enjoy a bit of snowshoe trekking. On clear days, you’ll be able to admire sweeping views of the Sea of Japan from the peak.

Need a break from all that high-energy action? Soothe your tired muscles at the local Yukidaruma onsen, located just a stone’s throw from the base of the ski resort.

For big groups of friends: Kagura Ski Resort

Divided into three sections and 23 mountain trails, Kagura Snow Resort is ideal for those travelling in a big group as it offers a wide variety of slopes in varying degrees of difficulty. Here, you can even enjoy off-piste, side-country and backcountry skiing, and snowboarding.

Because of its high altitude, Kagura also enjoys one of the longest ski seasons in the country — typically lasting from November to May. If the 23 trails are not enough for you, simply hop on the Dragondola — Japan’s longest gondola — that will take you to the nearby Naeba Resort in a scenic 25-minute ride.

For adventurous solo travellers: Satoyamajujo

If you’re winging it alone, no worries. From Tokyo Station, it takes just two hours on the Joetsu Shinkansen to reach Niigata Station. From there, you can easily hop on a local or express train to take you to your resort of choice.

Solo travellers might want to opt for a smaller-scale, family-run accommodation where the staff is more likely to lavish attention to you. Satoyamajujo — located about a 20-minute drive from the ski resort area of Minamiuonuma — is a luxurious ryokan that is decked out with modern fixtures and finishings. After a day on the slopes, enjoy a soak in their natural hot spring bath before heading to the on-site restaurant to savour home-style Japanese dishes made with local organic produce.

  1. 1.Hotel Green Plaza Joetsu
  2. 2.Cupid Valley
  3. 3.Kagura Snow Resort
  4. 4.Satoyamajujo
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