2016.12.09 Welcome to the Snow Wonderland in Japan!

 GALA Yuzawa, directly accessible from the Shinkansen train, and the Tohoku region’s ski resorts offer magnificent snow vistas and some of the best snow-related activities in Japan.

 

1. GALA Yuzawa Minami-Uonuma County, Niigata Prefecture

 




An about 75-minute trip from JR Tokyo Station brings you to a snow resort that is directly accessible by the Shinkansen! As soon as you exit the station you will find areas selling and renting equipment – anything from skis and sleds to clothes and accessories. Get what you need and you are ready to enjoy the slopes!

First-timers will prefer the quieter and smoother beginner slope, and there is even a ski and snowboard school held in English. More experienced skiers and those with a sense of adventure will opt for any one of the other 17 slopes with levels going up to expert. Particularly enjoyable is the powder in the uncompressed snow slopes on the southern area, whereas families with children might opt for the snow playground and sledding slopes of the central area.

And when you’ve had all the fun you can take on the snow, you can relax in the onsen (hot springs), the special children’s pool and the Jacuzzi. Is there a better way to spend the winter holidays?

 

Access: JR GALA Yuzawa Sta.

URL: https://gala.co.jp/winter/english/

 

2. Appi Kogen Ski Resort Hachimantai City, Iwate Prefecture

 




Boasting 21 different slopes and quality snow, the Appi Kogen Ski Resort is at the same latitude as Colorado’s Aspen in the United States, one of the most famous winter sports resorts in the world.

With options including uncompressed, powdered snow, backcountry skiing and snowshoeing, this resort offers a variety of choices guaranteed to satisfy everyone, from families with children to upper level winter sports enthusiasts.

Access: About 50 minutes by bus from JR Morioka Sta.

URL: http://www.appi-japan.com/

 

3.Zao Onsen Ski Resort Yamagata City, Yamagata Prefecture

 




Although it is mostly known as a skiers’ and snowboarders’ destination, Zao is also very popular for “juhyo”, which are frost-covered trees and also called “snow monsters”. Even those who are not into snow sports can take the cable car up to the mountain’s summit and marvel at the art created by the ice and the wind.

Enjoy the sight day or night (tours of the lit-up area are also available) and cap your day with a bath at the historic Zao Onsen (hot springs)!

 

Access: About 45 minutes by bus from JR Yamagata Sta.

URL: http://zao-spa.or.jp/english/

 

4. ALTS Bandai Ski Resort Yama County, Fukushima Prefecture

 




One of the largest ski resorts in the Tohoku area, where you can enjoy spectacular view of Mount Bandai and Lake Inawashiro! If your main purpose is to enjoy the snowscape, why don’t you take a chair lift and go to the lookout. Mount Bandai covered with snow and surrounded by a sea of clouds is well worth seeing.

And if you visit with your family, there are plenty of fun activities for the young ones including snow rafting, making snowmen and building igloos!

 

Access: About 100 minutes by shuttle bus from JR Koriyama Sta. (Shuttle bus runs from Dec.21, 2016 to Mar.20, 2017. Reserve your seat by 17:00 on the previous day.)

URL: http://www.alts.co.jp/en/

 

About “JR TOKYO Wide Pass”

Validity: Three consecutive days

Prices: Adults 10,000 yen, Children 5,000 yen

Purchase at:

- JR EAST Travel Service Center (Tokyo, Shinjuku, Ikebukuro, Haneda Airport International Terminal, Narita Airport Terminal 1, Narita Airport Terminal 2-3)

- Stations (Narita Airport Terminal 1, Narita Airport Terminal 2-3)

- Travel Service Centers (View Plaza) (Shinagawa, Shibuya, Ueno, Yokohama, Mito)

URL: http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/tokyowidepass/

Purchasing locations subject to change. Information is current as of November 2016.

 

About “JR EAST PASS (Tohoku area)”

Validity: Flexible for 5 days (any five days within 14 days of issuance)

Prices: From overseas: Adults 19,000 yen, Children 9,500 yen / Within Japan: Adults 20,000 yen, Children 10,000 yen

Purchase at:

 - JR EAST Travel Service Center (Tokyo, Shinjuku, Ikebukuro, Haneda Airport International Terminal, Narita Airport Terminal 1, Narita Airport Terminal 2-3)

- Stations (Narita Airport Terminal 1, Narita Airport Terminal 2-3)

- Travel Service Centers (View Plaza) (Shinagawa, Shibuya, Ueno, Yokohama, Mito, Fukushima, Sendai, Yamagata, Morioka, Hachinohe, Aomori and Akita)

URL: http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/eastpass_t/

Purchasing locations subject to change. Information is current as of November 2016.

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