UPDATE NOV 19 - Due to lack of snow on the upper slopes Kagura didn't make it's planned opening date.
UPDATE OCT 26 - Yuzawa Park & Muica Snow Resort from December 16th 2016
UPDATE OCT 25 - Gala Yuzawa from December 17th 2016
UPDATE SEPT 21 - Okutdami Maruyama from November 26th 2016.
UPDATE SEPT 14 - Kagura from November 19th 2016. Maiko Snow Resort, Tashiro, and Naeba planning to be open on December 10th 2016. Yuzawa Nakazato, Kandatsu Kogen, and Muikamachi Hakkai-san on December 17th. Ishiuchi Maruyama planning to be open from December 21st 2016. NASPA Ski Garden from December 22nd.
We're getting a few emails from people planning their winter 2016/17 snow trips wondering when the various resorts in the Snow Country region will open. We don't have any concrete dates yet but we imagine it will be much the same as last year. You can see the opening dates for Winter 2015/16 here.
We had an incredibly mild winter last year across the whole of Japan and most resorts missed their planned opening dates due to lack of snow. We are hoping the weather settles back into its normal routine this year but will just have to wait and see.
If you are planning to go skiing in Japan in late November or early December the Yuzawa area is usually a good choice. Kagura Ski Resort opens at the end of November every year. They have a long snowmat and snow-making capabilities (if the weather is cold enough) so can open even if there has been no early snow. Tashiro, Naeba Ski Resort, Iwappara Ski Resort and Maiko Snow Resort also usually aim to open early if snow conditions allow. Other resorts like NASPA Ski Garden, Gala Yuzawa, Yuzawa Kogen, Yuzawa Park and Yuzawa Nakazato usually open a little later.
If you are looking to learn skiing or learn snowboarding this winter we are in Yuzawa year round so can tell you how things are looking as winter approaches. Also if you are just looking for a snow experience or to play in the snow we are happy to let you know where might be best. We teach all over the region so will usually aim to go where the snow is best if conditions are not perfect, and are always happy to advise. For your first ski or snowboard experience there are some great ski resorts at which to learn around Yuzawa.
Here's hoping for a cold winter, an early start to the season in the Yuzawa ski resorts, and lots of Japanese powder for Winter 2016/7.