06 Oct Quick Start Guide to Skiing & Snowboard in Yuzawa
So you have decided to have a trip to the snow during your vacation in Japan, and you have chosen Yuzawa as it is so easy to access from Tokyo by bullet train. Those are the easy choices done, and now you are feeling a little bit overwhelmed by the number of choices available.
Fear not! Things are much simpler than they seem and this is our recipe for an easy way to plan and book your ski trip.
If you are going to have ski lessons or snowboard lessons get in touch with a reputable snow sports school (Hello!) and check availability before you come. There are some really busy periods up in the mountains and instructors can be fully booked, so to ensure you get the best instruction on the snow, make sure to book in advance.
If at all possible try to come on weekdays and avoid weekends and Japanese holidays. Things can get really busy up here when Japanese people have time off so if you have a flexible itinerary, try to plan accordingly.
If you are just coming for the day use the Tokyo Wide Pass. It has recently had a steep price rise but is still great value if you can use it for multiple days of the 3 days it is valid.
If you are coming for multiple days, stay around the station area as you can then enjoy the restaurants in town, and use the rental shops with shuttle services as these are the most convenient way to get around.
There are rental shops that will drive you to and from the resorts each day if you rent from them. There are several around town offering similar prices and services (but not all of them go to every resort.) Daishin Sports have a pick up point right outside the West Exit of Echigo Yuzawa Station, just before the 7-11 on the main road. Chenda Rental is further down that road past 7-11 and is within walking distance of the station.
Choose a suitable resort for your level and what your are aiming to learn. Yuzawa has a good choice of resorts that cater to all levels. If it is your first time on skis, Yuzawa Nakazato has a great learner area with a long magic carpet. If it is your first time on a snowboard, Iwappara has wide, open slopes at a gentle angle that are great for practising. Maiko, Kandatsu, Yuzawa Park, GALA Yuzawa, Kagura, Tashiro, Naeba, and Naspa Ski Garden are other resorts that you could consider. Check out our blog for more information on various resorts.
Get lessons and get better. Beginners can level up quickly with instruction from a professional coach, and even experts can benefit from a quick tune up. Just a couple of points to think about can save you lots of energy and help you enjoy your time on the snow more. Our team are super-experienced with many of them doing two winters a year. This experience makes a huge difference. We also have a very high return rate so there is a good chance you can find your favorite instructors here year after year.
Use local knowledge. We are in Yuzawa year round and have years of experience helping visitors have the best snow experience possible. Feel free to pick our brains for recommendations and advice. You can email us any time with your questions.
See you up here soon.