GALA Yuzawa is famous for being the only ski and snowboard resort in Japan with it's own Shinkansen bullet train station - the train station and ski gondola which goes up to the base of the main courses are actually in the same base building. Such convenience makes GALA extremely popular for day-trips from Tokyo. There are 4 main areas to GALA - Central Area, Southern Area, Northern Area and the downhill course. With a relatively high altitude, GALA Yuzawa enjoys a long season and generally some of the best snow conditions in the region. GALA Yuzawa is lift-connected to the Yuzawa Kogen resort (from the South Area) and also to the Ishiuchi Maruyama resort (from the Northern Area). A joint lift ticket that is valid at all three resorts is available. A new simple course that connects the North Area with the base of the Central Area opens for the 2016-2017 season. GALA Yuzawa has been operating since 1990.
Yuzawa town and neighbouring Minamiuonuma city - located around 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 GALA Yuzawa - lessons in English are available directly with the resort. There are also a number of independent ski and snowboard schools that cover the Yuzawa area, 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.
There is a 'Chibbiko' area at the base of the ski runs in the Centre Area. Special SpongeBob Snow Camp lessons for childen are also available.
A 'Kids Room' child-care facility is also available on the 2nd Floor of the Resthouse 'Cheers' and is for children ages 2-6 years old. The charge for 1 hour is 1,200 yen.
The 'Snow Park' for beginners is located in the North Area of GALA Yuzawa.
GALA Yuzawa Season & Opening Times
Typical season is from Mid December until Early May
Weekends and holidays
Normally open from 8:00am until 5:00pm
Normally open from 8:00am until 5:00pm
'Nighta' (night skiing)
Weekends and holidays
GALA Yuzawa is generally open from 8am until 5pm.
From 3rd April until 7th May 2016, the resort is open until 4:30pm (4pm on weekdays in April).
There is no nighta at GALA Yuzawa.
GALA Yuzawa Lift Ticket Charges
Elementary School age
55 years & over
1 Day - Mt 3
2 Days - Mt 3
Pre-schoolers ride the lifts for free.
A ticket that is valid for every day from 1st February 2017 costs 31,000 yen. A ticket that is valid on every day from 1st March 2017 costs 21,000 yen. A ticket that is valid on every day from 1st April 2017 costs 11,000 yen. All season tickets include 10% off school lessons.
Mt 3 Ticket The Mt 3 ticket is valid at GALA Yuzawa and also the connecting Yuzawa Kogen and Ishiuchi Maruyama resorts. This ticket is available from Saturday 14th January until Monday 20th March 2017.
Spring season tickets are available from 1st April 2017 and they are cheaper than the tickets sold in main season: Adult 1 day - 3,700 yen Adult 2 day - 5,700 yen
Getting to GALA Yuzawa
By public transport
0km from Gala Yuzawa Station on the Joetsu Shinkansen line
1.9km from Echigo Yuzawa Station on the Joetsu Line
1.9km from Echigo Yuzawa Station on the Hokuhoku Line
GALA Yuzawa is unique in that it has it's own Shinkansen bullet train station. As an extension to the main Joetsu Shinkansen line and just 2km further on from the main Echigo Yuzawa Station, the GALA Yuzawa building houses both the train platform and the ski resort gondola. Not all Joetsu Shinkansen train services stop at Gala Yuzawa Station and so be sure before choosing which train. If you do get on a train that stops only at Echigo Yuzawa Station, there are free shuttle buses from there to GALA Yuzawa and they only take around five minutes.
Connections to the Hokuhoku line are also available at Echigo Yuzawa Station.
Very good value day trip return tickets that include the Joetsu Shinkansen train and ski lift tickets are available.
A free shuttle bus is available from the West Exit of Echigo Yuzawa Station. Another shuttle bus also connects GALA Yuzawa with the nearby Yuzawa Kogen and NASPA Ski Garden resorts.
A taxi journey from Echigo Yuzawa Station to GALA Yuzawa costs around 900 yen.
4.3km from the Yuzawa IC on the Kanetsu Expressway
6.3km from the Shiozawa Ishiuchi IC on the Kanetsu Expressway
Nearest national route: Route 17 (0.8km away)
Nearest prefecture road: Prefecture Road 462
From the Yuzawa IC exit, turn right onto Route 17 and continue north towards Minamiuonuma for 3.4km after which there is a large sign for GALA Yuzawa on the left hand side. Turn left at the sign and follow the road for about 700m to the car parks at GALA Yuzawa. There is a small car park right in front of the GALA Yuzawa building, and once that is full staff will direct you to the other car parks (left side).
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