Resort Reviews by Mick Rich

Reviews of ski resorts submitted by Mick Rich. Currently 59 reviews.
Grandeco Snow Resort
グランデコリゾート
Kita Shiobara Village, Fukushima
Submitted by Mick Rich on 5th February 2016
Let's Grandeco!
My previous Fukushima ski-jo experience was an enjoyable daytrip to Inawashiro in 2013 [http://www.snowjapan.com/japan-ski-resort-reviews/detail/2013], so assisted by the new-for-2016 Grandeco Daily Reports, I decided to head further up the road to the Ura Bandai area where Grandeco ski resort is situated. Despite safety concerns (following a fatal crash in Nagano), I took an overnight ski bus leaving from Tokyo, and costing 8,400Yen including lift pass. Thankfully the journey from Shinjuku was drama-free and in exactly the reverse order from my
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Yuzawa Kogen
湯沢高原
Yuzawa Town, Niigata
Submitted by Mick Rich on 19th March 2015
Let's Yuzawa Kogen
I came here via GALA Yuzawa, having bought a combined ticket (costing 5,100Yen) covering both resorts plus Ishiuchi Maruyama. It's definitely a lot of ground to cover in one day but at least gives you a good workout! From GALA, you take the Landau ropeway from the bottom of the Southern Area. This runs every 20 minutes and takes you across to the main area of Yuzawa Kogen. If you're not coming from GALA, the main area is accessed by
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Hakuba Valley Kashimayari
HAKUBA VALLEY鹿島槍
Omachi City, Nagano
Submitted by Mick Rich on 5th March 2015
Let's Kashimayari!
The last review for Kashimayari was 9 years ago, so an update is long overdue! I took a nightbus trip from Tokyo, leaving Shinjuku at 22:45 and arriving at the resort at 05:00. For those who haven't experienced the joys of a Tokyo nightbus, be prepared for an at best restless, and at worst sleepless night, with an aching neck and/or back by dawn! On the plus side it's comparatively cheap, on this occasion (a Friday, so the most expensive
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Marunuma Kogen
丸沼高原
Katashina Village, Gunma
Submitted by Mick Rich on 26th February 2015
Let's Marunuma!
I came here by car from Yuzawa, which had noticeably different (and worse) weather - maybe worth remembering if you're in the area searching for the best conditions. The previous review by foofighter1981 gives some great practical info which, unlike me, you should try to follow as I ended up snowboarding down the skiers-only "Blue run" and paying separately for lunch!

On this occasion, unseasonally warm temperatures had affected the condition of the snow, particularly off-piste, so I stayed on-piste for
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Kandatsu Kogen
神立高原
Yuzawa Town, Niigata
Submitted by Mick Rich on 25th February 2015
Let's Kandatsu!
After a gap of a few years, Kandatsu Kogen has had 5 reviews in 2 months and here's another! First off, a BIG thanks to SnowJapan and Kandatsu Kogen for the free ticket - much appreciated!

This was a Sunday trip from Kanagawa with fellow SJ member, onehunga. We had planned to go to Kagura in a bid to avoid the forecast rain but when we popped out of the tunnel on the Kan-etsu expressway we could see Iwappara ski resort
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Ski Jam Katsuyama
スキージャム勝山
Katsuyama City, Fukui
Submitted by Mick Rich on 21st February 2015
Let's Ski Jam!
Having spent the weekend in Fukui city, I decided to visit nearby Ski Jam Katsuyama on the Monday. The biggest resort in the region, I had read that it gets busy at the weekends, especially with people travelling up from Kyoto, Osaka and Nagoya, but this wasn't an issue on this day and I was keen to check out a new resort in an area that I don't know so well. Access from Fukui is an easy and relatively cheap,
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Furano
富良野
Furano City, Hokkaido
Submitted by Mick Rich on 18th February 2015
Let's Furano again!
I visit Furano every winter and have come to think of it as my home resort, despite living down in Kawasaki.

This year I could only spend a week there and unfortunately that coincided with a spell of largely snowless weather, and probably the least amount of February snow I've seen in 5 years! Furano doesn't get as much snow as other well-known Hokkaido resorts but the payback is that it doesn't get as busy so that when it does
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Sapporo Teine
サッポロテイネ
Sapporo City, Hokkaido
Submitted by Mick Rich on 18th February 2015
Let's Teine Two!
I did a repeat of my day trip here in Feb 2014, stopping off en route from Otaru to Sapporo, and catching the first and therefore busy 09:10 shuttle bus from outside Mister Donuts at Teine station. However, unlike last year, this time I scored some decent conditions with colder temperatures and fresh snow. I headed back up to the Natural Course at the top of the resort and saw that the gate to what I presume were the back
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Kiroro
キロロスノーワールド
Akaigawa Village, Hokkaido
Submitted by Mick Rich on 18th February 2015
Let's Kiroro Again!
I did a repeat of my 2014 season day trip from Otaru to Kiroro, staying at the same hostel (Morinoki), and taking the same bus at the same time (leaves Otaru station at 08:10), though it now costs a little more at a still reasonable 930Yen. The big difference I noticed upon arrival was the large number of foreign, particularly "Western" punters in the lobby. Obviously the secret has got out but this was a Tuesday in early Feb so
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Otaru Tenguyama
小樽天狗山
Otaru City, Hokkaido
Submitted by Mick Rich on 18th February 2015
Let's Tengu!
When I stayed in Otaru in February 2014 I kept looking over at the slopes of what I found out was Tenguyama. so decided to check it out on my return visit to Otaru this season. It was snowing on the day I went but the snowfall was accompanied by strong, blustery winds, which stopped the lower lifts from operating. This meant that only the ropeway and the single top lift were running, the latter being the only lift available
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Kawaba
川場
Kawaba Village, Gunma
Submitted by Mick Rich on 30th December 2014
Let's Kawaba!
I visited Kawaba on a day-trip from Kanagawa on the Monday after Christmas.

The reviews on here had said good things about the place and they weren’t wrong! It’s not that far from Tokyo, has decent facilities at the base (including that multi-storey car park) and offers a variety of slopes and features (trees, moguls, park) to keep everyone happy. With plenty of early-season snowfall, on-piste conditions were good and there was about 20-30cm of largely untracked snow in the
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Tsugaike Kogen
栂池高原
Otari Village, Nagano
Submitted by Mick Rich on 28th March 2014
Let's Tsugaike Ropeway!
This was my 3rd visit to Tsugaike and came courtesy of an unclaimed Hakuba Alpen Resorts ticket from the SnowJapan Giveaways, so a big thanks to SJ, Hakuba Alpen Resorts and the person who didn't claim their winning ticket!

When I visited here last season (March 2013), I met up with fellow SJ’er Chriselle for a few turns and we discovered that Tsugaike has a top ropeway that only opens from March. We weren’t able to ride it that day but
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