TOP RECOMMENDATIONS Lotte Arai Resort
An all-in-one mountain resort with top-quality snow
Lotte Arai Resort is an all-in-one mountain resort located in Myoko, Niigata Prefecture. The 14 courses spread across the east side of 1,429-meter Mt. Okenashi are served by five lifts, including a gondola.
Lotte Arai is particularly popular with powder hunters because free-ride zones cover most of the mountain between trails, meaning lots of accessible, inbounds off-piste terrain.
The base hotel has a full range of resort facilities, including restaurants, cafes, a spa, pool and playground offering you the choice of an active day or something more relaxing.
How to get there
There are paid shuttle buses to the resort from Narita Airport, Niigata Airport, and Toyama Airport. Reservations must be made at least one day in advance.
Take the Kanetsu Expressway from Tokyo to Fujioka JCT and change onto the Joshinetsu Expressway. Get off the highway at Arai Smart IC (130 minutes). The resort is seven minutes from Arai Smart IC via local roads.
From Sapporo, take National Road 230 via Kimobetsu to reach Niseko.
Head to the free-ride zones for top-notch powder
With an average of 18 meters of snowfall annually and eight free-ride zones, Lotte Arai is great place to enjoy powder skiing. The free-ride zones take up 80% of the resort area, so you can take a new route every time you hit the slopes. Rental skis and snowboards are available, including powder-specific skis and snowboards. The lifts can whisk you to an altitude of 1,280 meters to enjoy courses as long as 5,200 meters. Beginners can enjoy long courses like Myoko Long Run and Village Road, while more seasoned skiers can try mogul skiing on tough pistes like Legendary and Mamushi Gaeshi.
Activities beyond the ski slopes
Arai is renowned for Asia’s longest zip line, which covers 1,501 meters and drops from an altitude of 950 meters to 240 meters in just three minutes. Glide down at exhilarating speeds as you take in stunning views of the surrounding nature. There’s also a tubing park with a 192-meter-long course and a 170-meter zipline. The indoor playground offers a range of activities for all ages. It has Japan’s largest bouldering wall, a square trampoline with balls and hoops, the Fun-Wall, where each section has its own story, and the Wonder Wall, set up with projection mapping videos.
Luxe resort facilities and services
The resort hotel has a total of 257 rooms that cater to a variety of tastes; you can choose from the simpler superior rooms, the European chalet-style deluxe rooms, and spacious, well-furnished suites. Dining choices include Japanese and Italian, as well as a bakery, cafe and lounge. Other facilities include a hot spring, pool, kids room, winery, sports shop, rental shop, tune-up shop and currency exchange.