Ski Resorts in Nagano
By LIHUA ZHAO. Posted on February 26, 2015
Nagano Prefecture is a paradise for skiing and snowboarding. The ski resorts in Nagano can be easily accessed from Tokyo or Nagoya by bus or Shinkansen. Here, I would like to introduce some of the ski resorts in Nagano Prefecture.
1. Madarao Kogen Ski Resort
Mt. Madarao is about 1382 m with 28 courses from beginner to advanced. In total, they have 15 lifts operating among the different courses. There are also free lessons available every morning for beginners. The view from the top is spectacular and you can enjoy beautiful scenery all the way down to the bottom.
Some single-ride lifts are quite scary, but it's really exciting to go to the top of the mountain and see the amazing view of the mountains. The trees on both sides of the ski courses are covered in white snow. Many restaurants with different types of cuisine are available at the ski resort. Madarao Kogen Ski Resort is highly recommended for snowboarding, and the beautiful view would make your day!
After snowboarding, we had sukiyaki for dinner, which is a Japanese dish. Sukiyaki contains sliced beef, tofu, and vegetables with soy sauce. It is usually cooked with soy sauce in the pot and dipped in raw egg. There are also onsen spas near the ski resort where you can take a bath and relax.
Hakuba Sanosaka Ski Resort
This famous ski resort is in Hakuba area of Nagano. There are 10 courses and six lifts in operation at the Hakuba Sanosaka ski resort. I highly recommend the Lake Down course, where you can enjoy a spectacular view from the top.
Gift shops, restaurants, and kids‘ playrooms are also available at the ski resort. Hakuba Sanosaka Ski Resort can be easily accessed from Tokyo or Nagoya by JR train. The nearest JR station is Minami-Kamishiro Station, and you can take a free shuttle bus to the ski resort (8:00AM – 11:00AM).
Hasuike Ski Resort
Hasukike Ski Resort is a ski resort in Shiga Kogen (Shiga Highlands). Shiga Kogen, one of the largest ski resort regions in Japan and the world, is home to many ski resorts. Hasuike ski resort is suitable for beginners and kids to practice. There are only three courses, which are 500 m, 600 m, and 700 m in length, respectively.
We stayed one night near Hasuike Ski Resort and enjoyed Japanese-style dinner and breakfast. The hotel staff prepared our futons (traditional Japanese bedding) while we had dinner. There is a free onsen for the customers to relax in after a long day at the ski resort.
Ryuo Ski Park
Ryuo Ski Park opens from late November until early May, and it is located in the north of Nagano prefecture. There are 15 courses (beginner: 35%, intermediate: 40%, advanced: 25%) and 13 ski lifts available. The hotels provide shuttle buses that take customers to Ryuo Ski Park.
You can also experience night skiing/snowboarding at Ryuo Ski Park. Some ski courses are open until 21:00 at night. In addition to skiing and snowboarding, you can also enjoy the banana boat, dragon rider, snowmobiling, four-wheeled ATVs, and snow rafting. If you take public transportation, you can either get off at Nagano Station and then take a direct bus to the resort or get off at Shinshu Nakano Station and then take a bus to the resort.
Nagano prefecture is full of ski resorts, and you can enjoy skiing and snowboarding surrounded by a world of white. You can easily find ski tour packages with fare prices that include accommodation, meals, rental fees (skis, snowboards, clothes, goggles, etc.) and lift tickets.
Lihua Zhao has been living in Japan for 6 years as a researcher in computer science. She loves travelling and hiking in Japan. Now she started to explore the Shoryudo region of Japan (Central Japan).