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Naeba Ski Resort Overview

Whistler Cafe at Naeba

Naeba Ski Resort Overview

Yuzawa and Minami Uonuma boast an impressive number of ski resorts dotted around the region. It can be difficult to decide where to spend your time, so these overview article aim to give you a brief introduction to each area.

Naeba township is part of Yuzawa but about 30 minutes drive away from the Echigo-Yuzawa Station area in the centre of Yuzawa town. The Naeba Prince Hotel sits on the base of the ski resort offering ski-in, ski-out accommodation, and there are also plenty of ryokan, lodges and apartments in the town itself. There are hotel buses and public buses that run out to Naeba from Yuzawa, but it is too far away to be serviced by the Yuzawa rental shops that offer shuttle services.

Naeba has lots of options for beginner terrain, so it is a good destination for family holidays with little kids, or for adult beginners. Right after you have mastered the basics of stopping and turning there are comfortable chair lifts taking you up to new heights, gradually increasing the skill level and gradient of the slopes. The upper part of the mountain also offers steeper and more difficult terrain for intermediates and expert riders.

Naeba functions as its own ski resort with a big hotel at the bottom with plenty of amenities like restaurants, spas and entertainment for kids and adults alike. Winter sports enthusiasts will find a good variety of options, from skiing/riding, to snowmobile tours and tobogganing. There are plenty of things to do and explore. People who prefer to experience the winter through a big window in front of a roaring fireplace with a hot chocolate in their hand will also find that Naeba resort has something to offer for them! From indoor skiing for the toddlers, to shopping and spa days for the adults, you will not be bored while other members of your group are skiing.

Naeba is also linked to Kagura/Mitsumata/Tashiro ski resorts via the Dragondola. This is a long horizontal cable car that takes you across the mountains to link up the different ski areas. It takes about 20 minutes, but do check about operation times so you don’t miss the last cable car back, and end up having to get the public bus home again! 

For lift tickets you can purchase one that covers the lifts in Naeba only, or the more expensive one that covers all the lifts in Naeba, Tashiro, Kagura and Mitsumata. 

There are rental shops in most buildings of the Prince Hotel at Naeba. There are also rental shops available for day trippers located close to the main parking areas. If you are staying in Naeba town itself there are local rental shops too with Kinroku 11 being one of the more well-known.

Naeba has an international ski school of its own – Sherpa International Snow School Naeba – which can be worth checking out if we are fully booked. For lessons at Naeba we have to copy the pricing of their in-house school, so our lessons at Naeba are usually a little more than our prices at other resorts. (If you would like to take advantage of our normal pricing you are welcome to meet us at Tashiro, and take your lesson there, but you will have the added transportation time to factor into your logistics.)

If you are taking classes with Snow Country Instructors our usual meeting point is on the snow next to the igloo-shaped Whistler cafe outside of Building 2, because we can get to all kinds of terrain quickly. Other meeting spots are of course possible on request. The hotel is quite long so it may be easier to meet outside the building in which you are staying, or the car park you are using.

For those in Yuzawa in summer, Naeba is also host to the anual Fuji Rock Festival which is one of the biggest multi-day music festivals in Japan. The slopes are covered in tents and the multiple stages are spread through the lush nature long the base of the ski resort.

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