Action & Adventure
Echigo Yuzawa Ski Resorts 越後湯沢 スキー場
More than 16 ski fields in Echigo-Yuzawa—let us help you choose
As the backdrop for the Nobel Prize-winning novel “Snow Country,” by Yasunari Kawabata, Echigo-Yuzawa is internationally-known for its abundance of fluffy, powder snow. Accessible from Tokyo in under two hours, this area is abuzz with activity in winter. There are 16 ski fields scattered around the main station, and each has its own perks. Here are some top picks:
How to Get There
Naeba Ski Resort: Take the Joetsu Shinkansen to Echigo-Yuzawa Station then take a 50-minute shuttle bus to Naeba.
Kagura: Take the Joetsu Shinkansen to Echigo-Yuzawa Station then take a 25-minute bus that goes to Mitsumata. From there, take the Mitsumata ropeway to Kagura.
Gala Yuzawa: Take the Joetsu Shinkansen directly to Gala Yuzawa Station.
Kandatsu Kogen: Take the Joetsu Shinkansen to Echigo-Yuzawa Station then take a free 10-minute shuttle bus to Kandatsu.
Naeba Ski Resort
Naeba Ski Resort is ranked one of the top ski resorts in Japan thanks to its reputation as an international skiing event venue, home to Japan's largest rock music festival, and a beautiful alpine park on the top of Mt. Naeba .
The elevation of the slopes is steep, and the courses are best for intermediate skiers and snowboarders.
Kagura Ski Resort
Kagura Ski Resort is interconnected with Naeba Ski Resort via the Dragondola—the longest lift in Japan. It is quieter than Naeba, and there are more beginner courses. Many experienced skiers and snowboarders are attracted to Kagura because of the off-piste and backcountry opportunities.
Gala Yuzawa Ski Resort
With its own shinkansen station, Gala Yuzawa Resort is the most easily accessible ski resorts in the Echigo-Yuzawa region and receives a lot of snow each year. With its convenient access from Tokyo, it can, however, get crowded. It is recommended to go on weekdays and non-holidays.
Like Naeba, the courses at Gala are best for intermediate skiers and snowboarders.
Kandatsu Kogen Ski Resort
Kandatsu is where the experts triumph. With the steepest terrain in Niigata , some of the courses at Kandatsu Kogen hit a gradient of 45 degrees. There are also off-piste zones and tree skiing.