One of the great things about the region around Yuzawa is the number of ski resorts. The downside of this is the need to choose where to ski! Sometimes the decision is made for you: proximity to your accommodation, discount or package lift tickets, where friends are going, etc.
If you are free to choose, there are some really good options. Almost every resort will have a good place for beginners to learn but some are better than others. Picking the best resort for your needs can make a huge difference in terms of enjoyment and progress.
Here is our list, in no particular order, voted for by our team of ski instructors of resorts that are great for beginner skiers. (We’ll do another post for snowboarders.) These are the resorts they have had the most success with beginners and recommend again and again.
Iwappara has long been a favourite for our ski instructors. It has plenty of flat areas for first timers, a magic carpet lift in the Kids Paradise area to get you started, and then after that some of the widest slopes in the region at gentle gradients. Additional bonuses are some good restaurants and stunning views down into the valley.
Maiko has two main base areas and both are good for beginner skiers. There is a magic carpet on the hotel side of the resort but the slope can often be a little steep for absolute beginners. The first slope on the gondola side of Maiko Resort is a great run once you have learned how to control your speed. The hotel side also has lots of great runs to explore if you are just starting out.
Yuzawa Nakazato has always had gentle runs which are good for beginners. Recently they have strengthened their claim with a really long magic carpet lift. The length means you can spend a good amount of time here practising before you need to move to the chair lifts in search of more challenging runs. It is a great area to build a solid grounding in the basics of skiing.
Yuzawa Park is one of those resorts that people seem to overlook when they come to Yuzawa but it is a great place for beginner skiers. There is a huge open area in front of Yuzawa Park Hotel for the first timers and after that the first lift takes you to a wide, gentle beginner run that is ideal for building confidence and technique.
If you can’t take a ski lesson at any of these resorts do not worry. An experienced instructor will be able to get you skiing well wherever you happen to have your ski lesson. If you do have the luxury of being able to try several resorts we strongly recommend it. Rental shops in Yuzawa town often provide a free shuttle service to local resorts so it can be very simple to try a different ski resort each day.
If you have any questions on which resort would be best for your needs, please drop us a line and we will be happy to make some recommendations.