Tsugaike Kogen resort review (Otari Village, Nagano)

Tsugaike Kogen
Otari Village, Nagano
Submitted by andrewl on 15th May 2008
Tsugaike Kogen review by nee.deep
Best time to go is earlier in the season there are less crowds and the snow is light and fluffy. Some really nice off piste terrain, not too scary and plenty steep to not get stuck in a stack.

The upper range is accessible by hiking and possibly snow mobile, but later in the season can be accessed by tram car and heli service - not worthwhile late in the season.

Due to a sand storm which blew in from China, the snow was ruined for a good month or so from late February. A good solid concrete mid layer formed and new snow found it hard to settle on top.

An avalanche early in the new year saw patrol kick up a huge fuss about off piste skiing. But there are plenty of places to go where you aren't likely to be seen anyway. You just have to find your entry points away from resort staff.

As a con there are a huge amount of slow going snow bikes all over the mountain, I have no idea why one would choose this form of sliding. There was one regular who had a "speed bike" consisting of 2 skis front and rear of his bike plus he had mini skate type skis on each boot. I had trouble catching him down a steepish run. Everything from parachutes, inflatable gliders, to taxi toboggans, this place seemed to draw them all.

As mentioned in other reviews the lower section is great for beginners, confidence inspiring!! Terrain can be challenging for High Intermediates, but there's very little of that on piste. Advanced skiers and boarders will enjoy a day or 2 hiking and getting back country freshies.

Don't bother paying the 10,000 heli ticket, unless there's been a good dump a day or 2 before. Even after the heli ride people were still hiking a good half hour to an hour for pristine lines.

The same goes for the tram car. Only worthwhile if you were looking to hike further without spending too much time.

HIT park, not bad if the lift was running, forget about it on a powder day.
Date visited: From December, 2007 To April, 2008
Snow condition on visit: Varied, Powder to slush to concrete
Things I liked: Beginners courses, terrain, punters with odd equipment.
Things I didn't like: Lift layout, strict patrol, stupid snow bikes.

Tsugaike Kogen

Otari Village, Nagano
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Average Rankings

General score: 63
Snow conditions: 64
Courses/Terrain: 59
Lift system: 58
Apres ski: 42

Basic Resort Statistics

Max. elevation: 1704m
Min. elevation: 800m
Vertical: 904m
Steepest slope: 35°
Longest course: 4630m
Number of lifts: 21

Location of Tsugaike Kogen