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Winter season is finally here! What about planning a day trip skiing or snowboarding somewhere not too far from Tokyo? Whether you’re an expert or just a beginner and have a passion for winter sports, Gala Yuzawa Resort in Niigata prefecture is the place to go!
Gala Yuzawa Resort
Conveniently served by the Shinkansen bullet train, the resort is easily accessible from Tokyo. In less than 1 hour and 30 minutes (departing from Tokyo Station), you’ll leave the tall skyscrapers and busy streets of Japan’s capital behind to find a beautiful mountainous panorama right in front of your eyes!
The resort offers 17 trails, from beginners to advanced. Whatever your level is, you’ll surely have loads of fun! When I went there I hadn’t been skiing in almost 10 years! So I took some time to get comfortable once again in my skies. But right after the first slope, it was like I had never stopped, just like when you learn how to ride a bike and no matter how much time goes by, you still can do it just fine! I literally spent an entire day going incessantly up and down the slopes, and had a wonderful time!
Of course, I didn’t miss the chance to take a break for lunch and enjoy some good Japanese delicacy at the food court. The choice is wide: karage (Japanese style fried chicken), ramen, curry, gyoza, but also hamburgers, hot dogs and ice cream.
Does it sound like the trip for you? You could also consider spending the night in Yuzawa and go back to the slopes two days in a row. The area has plenty of hotels and air b&bs and it would totally be an alternative way to spend a Friday or Saturday night. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the chance to do this, but you might want to keep that in mind!
You don’t have your gear with you? Don’t worry! You can easily rent ski and snowboard equipment, including ski wear and boots, right once you get at the resort! (Careful: Fees apply!) Once you get changed you can conveniently leave all the stuff that you won’t need in one of the lockers located in the Cowabunga Ski Center before the gondola that will bring you to the slopes.
Here’s a brief summary with the main info!
Shinkansen ticket (one way): ¥7,090 (from Tokyo Station to Gala Yuzawa Station)
Opening times: 8.00 to 5.00 (until 4.30 in April)
Typical season from mid-December until early May (this year season will start on December 15th until May 6th).
Lift charges: ¥4,600 adults – ¥2,300 child – ¥3,700 seniors (55 years and over)
Discounts available with JR Pass!
Rental fees: check here!
If you have any question, feel free to drop a comment here!
Hope you all have a great time skiing or snowboarding down the slopes of this awesome resort!