If you want to get away and enjoy a few days or more skiing in Central Japan then look no further than Tsugaike Kogen Ski Resort
Multi-Day Trip to Tsugaike Kogen
The Tsugaike Kogen resort is located in Nagano Prefecture and boasts many facilities for a family ski holiday. Travelling to the resort is not difficult. One can take a bus ride from the Shinjuku Station and within 5 hours you will be at the resort, check out Willer Express for bus travel options. Alternatively you could take the train to Nagano and then bus to Hakuba / Tsugaike Kogen, but it takes about the same time and costs a lot more. The road network is well maintained and your family will find rest stops which offer a variety of souvenirs and refreshments along the way, which will certainly add to the novelty of your family ski vacation. After the journey you will arrive at the Hakuba Happo Bus Station where you would either take a bus or taxi to the resort.
There are plenty of accommodation options on the mountain ranging from pensions to full service hotels. I recommend Hotel Cerulean Alpen which has a mix of western and Japanese style rooms and a homely and welcoming atmosphere, or alternatively another small family run inn that provides an authentic atmosphere is Country Joe’s which is conveniently located beside the ski slopes.
Your mornings at the resort will commence with a wonderfully delicious Japanese breakfast that will set you up for a great day on the slopes. On your first day you will then go to the rental shop next door to rent your gear. The nearby Kane-no-naru-oka slope is a good starting option if you or anyone in your party haven’t skied a lot. It boasts 3 quad lifts transporting enthusiastic skiers to the summit of a 1km long beginners slope which is perfect for a family ski trip as you may have young children in the group who are still learning how to ski.
The Hanoki and Shirakaba runs provide a more advanced experience for those who are up for more of a challenge, with many others for the more advanced skier. The beauty of this resort is that it offers various level slopes from beginner to advanced. No day skiing at Tsugaike would be complete without a delicious lunchtime curry at Country Joe’s Curry House conveniently located right beside the ski slope.
After a day out on the slopes you can return to your accommodation and enjoy another delicious Japanese style dinner followed by a soak in the spring fed baths. If you are up for it there are a number of bars around the resort where you can enjoy an apres ski drink or two, before catching a great nights sleep so you are ready to go again the next day.
|Tickets||Adult||Child (elementary school students)||Senior Citizen (over 60 years old)|
|Ticket books||3,200 yen||2,100 yen||–|
|Gondola (1 way)||1,360 yen||780 yen||–|
|Half-day ticket||3,900 yen||2,300 yen||2,900 yen|
|1 day ticket||4,900 yen||2,800 yen||3,500 yen|
|2 day ticket||8,400 yen||4,900 yen||5,600 yen|
|Beginners 1 day ticket (Areas are limited)||2,900 yen||1,800 yen||–|
|Night Tickets (limited to Kane-no-naru-oka)||2,000 yen||1,500 yen||–|
|Night tickets (Limited to Karamatsu/Shirakaba)||2,000 yen||1,500 yen||–|
|1 day ticket for disabled persons||3,100 yen||1,600 yen||–|
|2 day ticket for disabled persons||5,300 yen||2,700 yen||–|
The half-day tickets are valid in the morning from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm and the afternoon tickets are valid from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm. It is important to note that the one day, two days, disabled persons and season pass tickets cannot be used for night skiing and they are valid between the hours of 8:00 am and 5:00 pm. The operating period for night tickets are limited and one must check the Night Skiing Schedule. Disabled persons and senior citizens should show their certificate or ID at the ticket office.
If you would rather have a guided tour to the snow monkeys and take in Zenko-ji Temple as well, find out more here.
If you are just looking for a single days skiing easily accessible from Tokyo then check out my post on Gala Yuzawa.