Ishiuchi Maruyama is a popular resort located in Minamiuonuma city, just to the north of the central area of Yuzawa town. This resort is connected with the Northern Area of GALA Yuzawa resort in Yuzawa town at the top of the mountain, which in turn is also connected with Yuzawa Kogen. A joint lift ticket that covers the three resorts is available from 14th January until 20th March 2017. There are three base areas to Ishiuchi Maruyama - the Hatsukaishi Entrance (just off Route 17 and the closest to Yuzawa town), the main Chuo Entrance and the Kanko Entrance. Ishiuchi Maruyama has been operating since 1949.
Minamiuonuma city and neighbouring Yuzawa town - located just over 200km to the north north-west of the Tokyo region in Niigata Prefecture - are together home to over 20 individual ski and snowboard resorts, including some of the most well-known ski resorts in Japan. With easy and quick access by both train and road and a wide choice in a relatively compact area, this region is one of the most popular ski destinations in Japan. The region usually enjoys very heavy and consistent snowfall each winter and with Yuzawa town also being the inspiration and setting of the famous Nobel prize-winning novel Yukiguni (Snow Country), it can certainly lay claim to being the original 'Snow Country'.
Niigata Prefecture is located in the central region of Honshu to the north of Tokyo and has a 250km long coastline facing the Sea of Japan. Convenient transportation links make Niigata very easy to get to from Tokyo and other surrounding regions. Most of the larger ski and snowboard resorts in Niigata Prefecture are concentrated in the southern regions around Yuzawa town, Minamiuonuma city and Myoko city.
Ski and snowboard lessons are available at Ishiuchi Maruyama. There are a number of independent ski and snowboard schools that cover the Yuzawa area and offer lessons in English - please check the Lessons in English section for current listings on SnowJapan.
Ski and snowboard equipment rental is available. Ski and snowboard wear rental is also available.
The 'Ishimaru-kun Kids Park' is located near the car park at the base of the Chuo Area.
There are a number of park areas at Ishiuchi Maruyama - the 'Angel Snow Park', the 'Ginza Halfpipe', the 'Big Area Ground Zero' and the 'Hatsukaishi Snow Park'.
Alongside the popular half pipe by the Chuo Number 2 lifts, for 2016-2017 season there will be a new 'Monster Half Pipe'. This new feature (called 'Monster Pipe') will actually be operated by Minamiuonuma city - a charge will be required and bookings for use (info correct as of early October 2017).
Ishiuchi Maruyama Season & Opening Times
Typical season is from Mid December until Early April
Weekends and holidays
Normally open from 8:00am until 8:50pm
Normally open from 8:00am until 8:50pm
'Nighta' (night skiing)
Weekends and holidays
Ishiuchi Maruyama is open from 8am until 5pm every day in the daytime. Nighta is scheduled for every day during the period 23rd December 2016 until 19th March 2017, and is open until 8:50pm. There are two unconnected areas of the resort open for nighta at Ishiuchi - part of the Hatsukaichi and Chuo areas. Note that there is no floodlit connecting course between the two areas.
Ishiuchi Maruyama Lift Ticket Charges
Elementary School age
60 years & over
1 Day (8am-5pm)
Long PM (12pm-closing)
8 Lift Coupons
Lunch Pack (1 day)
Lunch Pack (Half day)
The 1.5 Day ticket is valid for nighta on the first day and a half day either the first or second day. The 2 Day ticket is valid for nighta on the first night and until 5pm on the second day. The 3 Day ticket is valid for nighta on the first and second nights and until 5pm on the third day. The Lunch Pack tickets include 900 yen voucher for food and drink.
Mt 3 Ticket The Mt 3 ticket is valid at Ishiuchi Maruyama and also the connecting GALA Yuzawa and Yuzawa Kogen resorts. This ticket is available from Saturday 14th January until Monday 20th March 2017. 1 day - 5,100 yen adults; 4,200 yen children; 4,200 yen seniors 2 days - 8,100 yen adults; 6,600 yen children; 6,600 yen seniors
Ski-kodomo-no-hi (Children's Day) is on the third Sunday of January, February and March. On those days, children under the age of 12 can ride the lifts and enter the Kids Park for free.
Getting to Ishiuchi Maruyama
By public transport
3.7km from Echigo Yuzawa Station on the Joetsu Shinkansen line
1.3km from Ishiuchi Station on the Joetsu Line
The Hatsukaishi Entrance is the closest to central Yuzawa and less than 4km from Echigo Yuzawa Station on the Joetsu line and Joetsu Shinkansen line.
The Kanko Entrance is about 2km from the small local train line Ishiuchi Station on the Joetsu line but this is a station and there is no bus service to the resort.
Most people visiting Ishiuchi Maruyama by train use Echigo Yuzawa Station and the shuttle bus from there.
There is a shuttle bus service between the East Exit of Echigo Yuzawa Station and the Chuo Entrance of Ishiuchi Maruyama for day return visitors. This is a free service and takes 10-15 minutes. A taxi journey from Echigo Yuzawa Station costs around 2,000 yen.
2.7km from the Shiozawa Ishiuchi IC on the Kanetsu Expressway
4.6km from the Yuzawa IC on the Kanetsu Expressway
14.3km from the Muikamachi IC on the Kanetsu Expressway
Nearest national route: Route 17 (0.1km away)
The closest exit of the Kanetsu Expressway is Shiozawa Ishiuchi IC (2.7km) but the Yuzawa IC (4.6km) is also convenient (and a little cheaper if you are approaching from the south). From the Shiozawa Ishiuchi IC, turn right onto Prefecture Road 28 for about 1km until reaching the traffic lights on Route 17. Turn left onto Route 17 and about 1km later turn right at the signposts for Ishiuchi Maruyama. The main car park is a few hundred metres further along that road on the left hand side.
There are a number of car parks dotted around all three of the base areas. The largest car park area is located between the Chuo and Kanko areas, about 500m off Route 17. Parking is free in most of the car parks on weekdays and 1000 yen on weekends and holidays.
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