We had a bad season last year, in terms of snowfall... Rain, well into December, even on some of the bigger mountains. Overall very bad stuff. Our first half of the day we were on the Panorama side and the snow conditions were pretty bad... Slushy, thin, very thin, rocks visible in a lot of places. About lunchtime we decided to go see what the Shimokura side had to offer and we were not disappointed.
Not only was Shimokura less crowded, the snow was in much better condition. Not sure if that was because this side is slightly taller or what but overall it was much better.
The facilities were very nice, especially by Japanese bubble resort standards... Recently refurbished, very clean, great little restaurant with all of the essentials I've come to anticipate from Japanese resorts.
The lift provides a beautiful view of the Panorama side as it takes you up. It's a long ride, but well worth it. The runs are all medium difficulty, nothing really hard, pretty straightforward. Nothing really off piste unless you're feeling froggy and venture under the OB markers (at your own risk, the resort DOES watch the cameras...).
I'll say that advanced riders will probably find this boring after the first or second run, it doesn't offer a lot of challenges.
Overall I enjoyed this resort a lot, but it was a fairly good drive for us. APPI is closer and has a lot more to offer in peak season, so even though I enjoyed it I probably won't be back unless I'm in the area for some reason.
From 21 December, 2015 To 21 December, 2015
Snow condition on visit:
Good, a little icy... Not a lot of snow but what was on the ground was good.
Things I liked:
Not crowded, even on a weekend. Beautiful views on clear days, reasonably challenging runs but nothing particularly difficult.
Things I didn't like:
Not a whole lot to complain about. A good intermediate destination. Advanced riders would be bored by more than one visit.