If you are in Shikoku Island and are looking for a place to ski, snowboard or just play in the snow, then Ikawa Ski Resort Kainayama is the place to be.
Welcome to the beautiful snowy white mountains of Ikawa Kainayama, located in Miyoshi City of Tokushima prefecture.
As Shikoku is on the western side of Japan, snowfall can be quite scarce, thus finding a good place to indulge in winter-time activities can be pretty hard. But, never fear! For when there is a will, there is sure to be a way, and this beautiful ski resort is the answer to anybody who has been planning a white holiday in the Shikoku area.
Located at Mount Kainayama, which is the 6th highest mountain in Tokushima, this resort is as high as 1175 meters. It has up to four different courses, ranging from beginner to experts, and also a children’s snow park. It is easily accessible by the Ikeda Ikawa Interchange, through the Tokushima expressway. If you don’t have a car, don’t worry! One of the best things about this resort is that it has a shuttle bus from four different locations, leaving as early as 8.00 am.
The drive up the mountain will include a breathtaking scenery of trees and old fashioned Japanese houses covered in a blanket of white snow. There are also several rest areas along the ascent for any emergency bathroom breaks, and also for visitors to install their winter tire chains before ascending.
As you gradually ascend the mountain, The Ikawa Ski Resort Mascot, (a little ski man doll dressed in green) will greet you in certain corners of the road, signaling that you are on the right track and are almost there. Finally, after about forty minutes of driving, visitors will be welcomed with this signboard.
Visitors who have brought along their own equipment can gear up and head straight to the lift ticket counter. For those who don’t, a rental house is available nearby. Once you are ready, and have your lift ticket, it’s time to hit the slopes!
The beginner course, Nadeshiko (ナデシコ) and Kaina (カイナ) which is roughly 900 meters long, provide a good starting point for first timers. This course is surrounded by thick, snow-covered pine trees, creating a great atmosphere for skiers and snowboarders.
If you are already experienced, then head on to the Panorama (パノラマ) course! With the steepest slope being 22 degrees (Wow, that’s steep!), experts can take their speeds and skills to a whole new level. And if THAT is not challenging enough for you, and you are eager for the hardcore type of experience, then maybe the Takuira (タクイラ) course is for you. Not only is the slope twenty-five degrees, the course is littered with obstacles and jump slopes in case you want the winter Olympic experience.
On the other hand, if you are with your family and you just want to have fun with the kids, then rent a sled, or bring your own! Build Olaf the snowman, or run down the slope with a sled at the children’s snow park.
If you are tired of falling and tumbling over, a guest house is available for visitors to take a quick break. The guest house includes a restaurant with a variety of choices to choose from. Have a bowl of udon, or curry rice, or even just a cup of hot tea to relax for a while. Once you are warmed up and ready, it’s time to return to the slopes.
So, if you happen to be in the Shikoku area from late November until early March, grab your equipment and head on to Ikawa Ski Resort Kainayama for a winter time activity that you would not want to miss out on!
Website (in Japanese) : http://www.ikawaski.jp/