Resort Spotlight: Madarao Kogen (Nagano)

Madarao Mountain Resort
Madarao Kogen (Iiyama City, Nagano Prefecture)

Madarao Mountain Resort (known as 'Madarao Kogen' in Japanese) is located in the north eastern part of Nagano Prefecture. It is connected to the Tangram Ski Circus resort at the top and a joint ticket is available to let you ski or snowboard at both resorts. Well known as offering some excellent powder snow conditions in season, the resort offers a good choice of courses suitable for beginners to more advanced snow riders.

In Madarao, 60% of the courses are ungroomed, so there’s a good chance that you’ll be able to enjoy a fluffy, deep powder when you ski. Also, since not as many people as you might think like to ski on untouched powder, there is not a lot of competition for the slopes!

Mt. Madarao stands 1382 meters tall and has 30 separate courses. There are 15 ski lifts at the resort. The ski area features a unique bowl-shape. Since Madarao was host to Japan’s first Freestyle Skiing Competition, there are many unique courses to choose from. There are groomed courses, ungroomed courses, the Tree Run courses, Free Ride Park, Kid’s Park, and wave courses - Madarao can be enjoyed by everyone from first timers to advanced skiers!

Planned 2016-2017 season:
Saturday 17th December 2016 until Sunday 2nd April 2017
Resort details & snow forecast: here
Daily snow and weather reports: Madarao Now

Popular Tree Run Courses at Madarao

The SAWA 'natural half pipe' course was introduced in the 15-16 season. Take a look at SAWA on this video:


Along with POWDERWAVE is our brand new course POWDERWAVE II.  Both courses take advantage of the natural landscape to create a unique and challenging course.  Given the irregularities of the natural landscape, these are technical courses geared toward experienced skiers. Whether you are in the mood for a powder run, are looking for some natural hits, or want to enjoy an air session, this is the course for all you advanced skiers out there. POWDERWAVE II can be accessed by way of Tangram Lift 2.

River Line is a V-shaped course filled with the remains of rivers, making long pathways in the snow which can be “surfed” like waves! This course takes advantage of the natural landscape to provide a challenging and technical course for advanced skiers. River Line will be open on an on-and-off basis depending on weather conditions - if it is closed, there will be a “closed” sign placed at the entrance. Under no circumstances may guests enter River Line if it is closed.


Another course is the popular tree-run course, Rabbit.  You'll feel just like a rabbit (usagi), zipping through the trees. Definitely worth trying your skills at if you consider yourself an advanced skier!

Click on the map below for larger 2016-2017 season course map

Round in classic ski area tour

What is "Round in classic ski area tour"?  The owners of lodges in Madarao Kogen Ski Area would like to introduce an exciting tour to you!

On this tour, you can stay at a comfortable lodge in Madarao Kogen and enjoy skiing and snowboarding in Madarao as well as other famous nearby classic ski areas, such as Nozawa, Myoko and Shiga Kogen.  Madarao Kogen Ski Area is located in the center of these famous classic ski areas.

It takes less than forty minutes to Nozawa and Myoko, and just sixty minutes to Shiga.... so Madarao makes for a great base-camp to go to these other classic ski areas.


Found in the central area, Restaurant Heidi is the main restaurant of the resort.  In addition to a sit-down area for restaurant eating, there is also a drink counter, snack shop, ski/snowboarding goods shop and a crepe shop.<p >Open from 9am until 4pm, capacity 800 people.  Non smoking.
Next to the Kids Park, Restaurant Tyrol has a kids room and other child services available.  Suitable for families.   9am-4pm.  150 seats.
Found in the lower part of Crystal Course is Restaurant Banff.  Popular meeting place as well as restaurant.  9am,-4pm.  250 seats.
Restaurant Wasanku.  This restaurant is found in the central area of the resort serving popular dishes and cakes.  10am-4pm.  100 seats.
Madarao Kogen Onsen is a natural onsen inside the Madarao Kogen Hotel at the entrance to the resort.  Great to relax and recharge.  People not staying at the hotel can also use this onsen.   Opening times are 7am-10am & 12pm-10pm.  Adults: 800 yen.  Children: 500 yen.  Includes facetowal.

Madarao no Yu.  This can be found 5 minutes on the way back down to Toyota.   Good place to pick up some souvenirs too.  Opening times are 10am-8pm (closed on Tuesdays).  Adults: 500 yen.  Children: 350 yen.



Lift Tickets 16-17

There are two kinds of tickets on sale - those for Madarao Kogen only and also a joint ticket that allows you to ski or snowboard at both Madarao Kogen and the connecting Tangram Ski Circus resort.

Madarao Kogen resort only

  Adult Senior
over 60 years
6-12 years
1 lift 400 yen 400 yen 300 yen Valid on day of issue
4 hours 3,900 yen 3,300 yen - Valid for 4 hours after issue
1 day 4,500 yen 4,000 yen 1,500 yen 8:30am-5pm
2 days 8,100 yen 7,100 yen 2,500 yen
3 days 11,900 yen 10,100 yen 3,500 yen
Afternoon + night 4,800 yen 4,000 yen - 12pm-9pm
Night 1,800 yen 1,600 yen - 5pm-9pm
Season 48,000 yen 30,000 yen 20,000 yen All days and also including nighta
Season 6 Days 19,000 yen 11,600 yen   To use on any 6 days during the season - consecutive or not consecutive within the season

A ticket that is valid at both Madarao Kogen and Tangram Ski Circus is also available for 5000 yen (3000 yen for children)
A Madarao Kogen only ticket can be 'upgraded' to a joint Madarao Kogen + Tangram Ski Circus ticket for 500 yen (per day)


Ski & Snowboard Rental

A wide range of skiing and snowboarding equipment is available for rental at the resort.  Basic charges are as below at Shirakaba Rental by the entrance to the resort

Adult 1 day Set Skis or board Boots Poles Wear
Skis 3,700 yen 2,700 yen 1,300 yen 500 yen 3,800 yen
Board 4,400 yen 2,800 yen 2,500 yen   3,800 yen
Child 1 day Set Ski or board Boots Poles Wear
Ski 2,500 yen 1,900 yen 900yen 500 yen 2,500 yen
Size   90cm- 17cm- 75cm- 100cm-
Board 3,200 yen 1,900 yen 1,800 yen   2,500 yen
Size   90cm- 19cm-   100cm-

Backcountry Tours

Backcountry tours aimed toward enjoying the natural landscape of Mt. Madarao through skiing and snowboarding. There are several paths leading up the mountain and hiking up to the top takes around 20 minutes - perfect for beginners. 
>> More information here.

Kids Park

The Madarao Kids Park is popular with children - and their parents! It is set up on a regular ski run but also has lots of fun stuff like sleds, snow tubes and a Japanese style igloo for the kids to enjoy. There is also a 'snow fun corner' where anybody can have fun in the snow regardless of age or ability. The entry fee of 500 yen per person includes kids park admission and use of the special snow escalator, making it easy for even small children to move around.

The Sky House ('Sola no Ie') Kids Room is available free of charge.

Rental sleds and tubes are available (tubing 1,000 yen for 1hour)

Child Care Facility `Tsumiki no Heya` (The Building Block Room)

At the entrance of the ski resort - inside the Madarao Kogen Hotel - is the 'Tsumiko no Heya' child care facility where you can leave children older than one year old.

* Business Hours are from 9am to 12 noon and 1.30pm to 4.30pm.
* Costs are 3000 yen for a half day, 5000 yen for a full day.
* Children older than one year old only.
* Bookings are essential.
* Reservation 0269-64-3214(Madarao Kogen Hotel)


For current conditions, please see the Madarao website (in Japanese) or the weather report on SnowJapan Below is a current webcam image from the resort.

Current live camera webcam image from Madarao Kogen:
(please note that we do not control this camera)


How to get to Madarao Mountain Resort

Madarao is located in the north eastern part of Nagano Prefecture, on the border with Niigata Prefecture. It is just an hour or so from central Nagano City and is part of Iiyama City.  

By Train

The Hokuriku Shinkansen bullet train stops at Iiyama Station, just 30 minutes away from Madarao Kogen.
Travel time is approximately 111 minutes with frequent departures throughout the day.
A direct bus connects Iiyama Station with the resort and costs 500-700 yen for adults and 250-350 yen for children, depending on the time of the service.

From Nagoya, take the Chuo limited express (Shinano) from Nagoya Station which travels to Nagano via Matsumoto. Travel time is approximately 3 and a half hours.
From Osaka, take the Thunder Bird to Kanazawa and then transfer to the Hokuriku Shinkansen direct from Kanzawa Station to Iiyama Station. Travel time is approximately 4 hours.

2016-2017 Train & Bus information
>> To Madarao
>> From Madarao

By Car

From Tokyo
There are two main ways to get from Tokyo to Madarao by car:
Take the Chuo Expressway to the Okaya JCT and then head towards and past Nagano city on the Nagano Expressway and then continue on the Joshinetsu Expressway until the Toyama Iiyama IC.
Alternatively, take the Kanetsu Expressway to Fujioka JCT and then turn onto the Joshinetsu Expressway towards and past Nagano city until the Toyama Iiyama IC.
Exit at the Toyota Iiyama IC and follow Route 117 and signs to Madarao Kogen.
Travel time is approximately 4 hours.

From Nagoya
Take the Chuo Expressway to the Okaya JCT and head towards and past Nagano City on the Nagano Expressway and then continue on the Joshinetsu Expressway until the Toyama Iiyama IC.
Exit at the Toyota Iiyama IC and follow Route 117 and signs to Madarao Kogen.
Travel time is approximately 4 hours.

From Osaka or Kyoto
Take the Meishin Expressway to the Komaki JCT, then head on the Chuo Expressway to the Okaya JCT and head towards and past Nagano city on the Nagano Expressway and then continue on the Joshinetsu Expressway until the Toyama Iiyama IC.
Exit at the Toyota-iiyama Interchange and follow Route 117 to Madarao Kogen.
Travel time is approximately 5.5 hours.

Both the Myoko Kogen resorts in neighbouring Niigata Prefecture, and Nozawa Onsen and Shiga Kogen resorts in Nagano are within easy reach from Madarao Kogen.