With the cicadas buzzing outside and the heat of the Japanese summer upon us there is no better time to sit back and contemplate winter!
We covered great resorts for beginner skiers so now it is time for those people who are coming to the Yuzawa area for their first time snowboarding.
If you are taking your first snowboard lesson you are likely to start on a flat area learning the basics of mobility and then get into some gentle sliding and steering. Snowboarders tend to use the lift and the beginner slopes much quicker than skiers, though they need a slope with slightly more incline when they are starting out. The flatter slopes that are great for beginner skiers aren’t so good for snowboarders.
As with our recommendations for beginner skiers, most resorts will have somewhere that is good to learn, and an experienced instructor will be able to ensure you get the best possible start to your snowboarding career. Don’t worry if you first time will be at one of the other local resorts.
Iwappara’s wide, open slopes are great for learning. The magic carpet lift in the Kids Paradise area is just about steep enough to accommodate any nervous beginners, though most learners are better served by heading up the lifts once they have mastered the basics on the flat. Slopes at a good angle offer plenty of options to practice as you improve.
Ishiuchi Chuo Area
The new Sunrise Express lift that was opened in the Ishiuchi Chuo Area in 2018 gives easy access to the slopes starting in the middle of the resort. Once you have mastered the basics there are a couple of good beginner runs with short chairlifts that make for good practice areas to learn new skills.
Mitsumata Area of Kagura
Kagura is the first resort to open in the region and has a reputation for being a resort for intermediates. The first area you reach as you come up from the carpark is Mitsumata. It has a long first run that is at a good angle for beginner snowboarders, though be warned, it is long, so probably best for the more active.
Snowboarding looks effortless when it is done when well, and you may well be tempted to just give it a go. Getting a good foundation in the basics and learning the proper technique will ensure that you have the maximum enjoyment from your time on the snow and for years to come. If you can take lessons until you can confidently link turns (making an S-shaped line as you come down the slope) you will be at a good stage to explore some easy terrain.
If you have questions about first time snowboarding lesson in any of the Yuzawa or Minami Uonuma resorts, please feel free to ask.