photo：Trysil on frickr
Ski resorts in Niigata are all blessed with plenty of snowfalls and good quality powdery snow. In addition, from the ski slopes you can enjoy the magnificent view of the Sea of Japan and surrounding mountains. Here are five of the most popular ski resorts.
Maiko Snow Resort
The resort is easily accessible from the Tokyo Metropolitan area. There are a total of 26 trails from beginner to expert level. The longest skiable slope is 6,000 meters-long, and it offers a great skiing experience. Ski lessons are also available in this resort.
Yuzawa Kogen Ski Resort
This ski resort is popular for the spectacular view from the mountain top, and the fluffy powder snow. The resort also features one of the biggest ropeways in the world with a maximum occupancy of 166 persons which quickly takes you to an altitude of 1,000 meters. The longest ski run is 6,000 meters-long, from Kogen area to Nunoba area. Ski lessons are available.
Tainai Ski Resort
This resort is located right next to a national park, so the scenery is really beautiful. You can see Sadogashima Island in the Sea of Japan from the ski slope. The resort is conveniently located as it is about an hour drive from the city of Niigata. It features a wide variety of trails, which make it very popular.
(only in Japanese)
Joetsu Kokusai Ski Resort
This extensive snow resort has four areas and various trails that can be enjoyed by beginners as well as expert skiers. Kids’ Paradise, a ski slope located right in front of the hotel, offers a wide range of attractions for kids of all ages. This resort also offers ski lessons.
PDF Guide: http://www.jkokusai.co.jp/pdf/eng.pdf
Ikenotaira Onsen Ski Resort
This ski resort features extensive ski areas that offer an enchanting ski experience. Most of the trails are from beginner to intermediate level, including the woods trail and wider trails.
Ski resorts in Niigata Prefecture are large and well equipped with great facilities. Access from the Tokyo Metropolitan area is relatively convenient and shuttle bus services are available from major cities. If you are visiting Japan during winter, don't forget to add a ski trip to your itinerary!