TOP RECOMMENDATIONS Charmant Hiuchi
Savor snow and seafood in Niigata Prefecture
Charmant Hiuchi is located at the northern base of 2,462-meter-high Mt. Hiuchi in the Myoko region of Niigata. The top of the ski slope is at a relatively low altitude of 1,009 meters, but its northern aspect means it still receives plenty of snow — up to 5 meters annually. From the summit, you’ll be rewarded with views of Mt. Hiuchi's peak to the south and the Sea of Japan to the north
Ski resorts that allow off-piste skiing have become more common recently, but Charmant Hiuchi is the spot that pioneered the trend in Japan. With seven powder areas (unpatrolled) in total, this is a hotspot for powder enthusiasts.
How to get there
Take the Hokuriku Shinkansen from Tokyo to Itoigawa Station. A free shuttle bus will take you to Charmant Hiuchi (60 minutes). Note that the bus is only available on weekends, and there is only one per day.
Take the Kanetsu Expressway from Tokyo and enter the Joshinetsu Expressway at Fujioka ICT. Get off the highway at the Nou IC. From there, it’s about 30 minutes via Prefectural Route 246. The trip from Tokyo takes roughly four hours in total.
Expansive powder areas
The resort's course layout makes efficient use of its three lifts. Beyond seven groomed runs, the three ungroomed runs and seven powder areas make up 65% of the resort. Hiyama, the most impressive of the powder areas, is 1,101 meters long and includes plenty of steep tree runs. Be sure to check the latest conditions and information at the Ski Center House before you hit the slopes.
Rent fat skis for deep snow
Charmant Hiuchi's rental shop specializes in fat skis perfect for powder snow. They offer skis from a variety of brands with waists measuring over 100 millimeters in width. Revolutionize your deep-snow skiing experience with a pair of fat skis. Telemark skis are also available for rent.
Seafood at the summit
Souche is a restaurant located at the top of the resort, operated by the Maseguchi Onsen Taigakuso lodging at the base. The restaurant is best-known for its seafood bowls featuring fresh catches from the nearby Sea of Japan. Travelers can also drive 30 minutes to Marine Dream Nou, whose seafood center is filled with freshly caught delicacies. Particularly delicious is the red snow crab from the Nou Fishing Port.