Kawaba is located on the southern slopes of Mt Hotaka in the north eastern region of Gunma Prefecture. The multi-storey building at the end of the road acts as both the main mult car park and also the resort base - the resort base being on the top floor. Positioned at a high altitude, this region often enjoys favourable snow conditions and a long season. Kawaba is also popular for its parks and also offers a first tracks tour service, park lessons and night tours. Kawaba has been operating since 1989.
The region to the east of Minakami town and to the north east of Numata city in northern Gunma Prefecture is made up of Kawaba village and Katashina village. There are a number of ski and snowboard resorts dotted around the mountains of this region, all of which are accessed off the main Route 120 road from central Numata. This road is otherwise known as the Nihon Romantic Highway and continues through to Nikko in Tochigi Prefecture, though the prefecture border section of the road is closed during the winter months.
Gunma Prefecture is located in the north west area of Kanto region on the main island of Honshu and shares borders with Niigata Prefecture to the north and Nagano Prefecture to the west. There are over 20 ski and snowboard resorts in Gunma Prefecture and they are mainly concentrated in the northern regions of Minakami and Katashina and the western region of the Prefecture.
The resort has extended the 2016-2017 season until Sunday 7th May (weekends only from 22nd April and then Golden Week).
There are a number of shuttle buses available that go to Kawaba.
A free shuttle bus leaves the Michi-no-eki Kawaba Denen Plaza a few times a day in season. This is particularly handy for those not wanting to drive on the snowy mountain roads that lead up to the resort.
There is also a free bus service from Tokyo called Kawabus. Web reservations are required.
A bus also leaves Jomo Kogen Station heading for Kawaba and the journey takes about 50 minutes.
16.6km from the Numata IC on the Kanetsu Expressway
24.1km from the Tsukiyono IC on the Kanetsu Expressway
24.9km from the Showa IC on the Kanetsu Expressway
Nearest national route: Route 120 (14.7km away)
Nearest prefecture road: Prefecture Road 263
Kawaba is under 17km from the Numata IC exit on the Kanetsu Expressway.
There are a number of road options around the Numata IC, some a little closer than others, but the below route is the one that the resort themselves recommend.
From the Numata IC exit traffic lights, turn left onto Route 120. After about 500m on Route 120, turn left onto Prefecture Road 64 and continue along that road for just over 6km (passing the Michi-no-eki Kawaba Denen Plaza on the left side after about 5km). Turn right at the traffic lights and then 900m later turn left. After about another 500m, at the next junction turn right onto Prefecture Road 263. Follow this road for about 9km right up to the Kawaba resort base car parks.
You should find that Kawaba is well signposted on the route.
If you are not keen driving up to the base in icy and snowy conditions, you can park at the Michi-no-eki and use the free shuttle bus that goes up to the resort.
At the time of writing (mid May), almost all ski resorts in Japan have closed for the 2016-2017 season.
The information shown on this page is for the 2016-2017 season. Planned season dates and information for the 2017-2018 season will be updated over the coming months. Data for every ski resort should be updated in time for the start of the 2017-2018 winter season.
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