So that was a busy February! It is now March, and spring seems to have arrived early and in full force. Much of the talk around town seems to be about ski resort closing dates and cherry blossom viewing trips! Not so fast everybody: there is plenty of skiing and snowboarding to be had yet. For those people asking can you still ski in Yuzawa in April, can you still ski in May, the answer is yes.
Spring is one of the very best times to learn how to ski and snowboard, or improve your skills. The beauty of being in Japan is that there is usually such a deep base of snow at the ski resorts that even with warm temperatures the resorts can still operate for several weeks. Most ski resorts in Yuzawa and around Snow Country are scheduled to close early April. Higher resorts (often with ropeways or gondolas to slopes further up the mountain) will keep going until Golden Week (early May) or beyond. GALA Yuzawa, Tashiro, and Kagura all aim to be running for part of May. If you are unsure about conditions in the various resorts around Yuzawa, drop us a line - we're here until the last lift stops operating and are happy to let you know how things are looking on the slopes.
Once the cherry blossoms come out in Tokyo many people switch to spring mode and forget there is still snow in the mountains. Fewer visitors means more space for those who are here.
Spring weather tends to be blue skies and sunshine. Temperatures are warm, and it is not uncommon to be skiing without a jacket. Very pleasant and a great time to introduce people to skiing or snowboarding. Don't forget the sunscreen.
Spring snow is soft. No need to worry about falling over!
Spring cuisine in Snow Country is something to be experienced. The first greenery to come out after the snow has disappeared is a delicacy in the mountains. The local forage for it on the slopes and then serve in many different ways. It used to be the first fresh food in months, and is still highly prized. There might even be a local festival on while you are here.
Hop on a shinkansen from Tokyo (the Tokyo Wide Pass is good for Echigo Yuzawa Station, or GALA Yuzawa Station), book one of our Snow Country Instructors and prepare to have a great time in the mountains of Japan skiing and snowboarding with a new friend!