Resort Spotlight: Yuzawa-machi (Niigata)

Yuzawa Town
Niigata Prefecture

English Website:
Tourism Website

Daily Snow & Weather Reports from  Yuzawa:
Yuzawa Now!

 

Yuzawa Town is a popular all-year resort but mostly famous for it's excellent ski & snowboard resorts and onsen hot springs. 

World events have been held in Yuzawa, with the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup scheduled to be held in February 2016.

The town is in an excellent location making it the most convenient resort area from central Tokyo - and day return ski trips from Tokyo a reality!  The Joetsu Shinkansen bullet train takes you from Tokyo Station to Echigo Yuzawa Station (the main station in Yuzawa) in around 80 minutes.  By car, the 200km journey using the Kanetsu Expressway takes just over 2 hours.

 

 

Ski and snowboard resorts in Yuzawa

There are a 13 ski resorts in Yuzawa, all within easy reach of the main station - ranging from small beginners slopes near the center of town to the large Mount Naeba resorts just 30 minutes away.  For more information on each resort - including ski resort data, resort reviews, photographs and daily updated snow and weather reports - click on the links below:

RESORT NAME
(in alphabetical order)
Information on SnowJapan
GALA Yuzawa HERE
Ipponsugi HERE
Iwappara HERE
Kagura HERE
Kandatsu Kogen HERE
Ludens Yuzawa HERE
Naeba HERE
Nakazato Snow Wood HERE
NASPA Ski Garden (* skiers only) HERE
Kandatsu Kogen HERE
Yuzawa Kogen HERE
Yuzawa Nakazato HERE
Yuzawa Park HERE

Other closeby resorts (located to the north in Minamiuonuma city) include Ishiuchi Maruyama, Maiko Snow Resort, Joetsu Kokusai and Muikamachi Hakkaisan.

'Snow Country'

Echigo Yuzawa was the town that Yasunari Kawabata was staying at when he wrote the Nobel winning novel "Yukiguni" which translates as "Snow Country".  Many people think of Yuzawa as this original Snow Country.... and each winter Yuzawa truly does transform into snow country with huge amounts of snowfall from December through into the spring months.

A visit to the Museum on the main onsen road of Yuzawa is worth a visit to get an idea of how life used to be in Yuzawa.

 

Winter Events in Yuzawa 2014/2015

Yuzawa Onsen Yuki Matsuri (Snow Festival)

The popular Yuzawa Snow Festival is one of the main events each winter season and the 63rd such festival will be held on Saturday 7th March 2015. 

Various events take place on the main onsen road of the town with the main events from 6pm until 9pm on the lower Nunoba slopes of the Yuzawa Kogen resort, about 5 minutes walk from the West Exit of Echigo Yuzawa Station.

(The 'Miss Komako' contest will be held on Friday 6th March 2015 by the Station)
 

Firework displays at resorts around Yuzawa

Wednesday 31st December 2014
Yuzawa Park
NASPA Ski Garden

Thursday 1st January 2015
Yuzawa Nakazato

Monday 12th January 2015
GALA Yuzawa

Saturday 17th January 2015
Naeba (Naeba Kamakura Festival)

Saturday 31st January 2015
Kandatsu Kogen

Saturday 7th February 2015
Iwappara

Thursday 19th February 2015
Naeba (Asagai area - Chinese New Year Event)
Kagura (Mitsumata Station)

Saturday 28th February 2015
Nakazato Snow Wood

Saturday 7th March 2015
Yuzawa Kogen (Yuzawa Onsen Snow Festival)

Saturday 14th March 2015
Kagura (Tashiro Station)

Saturday 21st March 2015
Ipponsugi

Saturday 28th March 2015
Ludens Yuzawa
 

Other events include...

Candle Live '15 'SNOW CRYSTAL'
Saturday 17th January 2015 - 6:30pm until 8:30pm
About 10,000 candles in a display of light and sound
Location: Echigo Yuzawa Onsen Doori (near Station West Exit)

Happy Birthday Campaign
Wednesday 10th December until Thursday 30th April 2015
Receive a free 'Happy My Birthday Card' - this card will entitle you to some special presents!
Location: Go to the Tourist Office at the Station West Exit with

Naeba Kamakura Matsuri
Saturday 11th January until Sunday 26th January 2014
'Kamakura' is a Japanese style igloo.  Look out for some giant 'kamakura' around the resort - and get to make your own!  Fireworks every Saturday evening
Location: Naeba

Kagura Mitsumata 'Yuki Akari'
Saturday 28th March 2015 - starting from 7pm
Lit up snow sculptures, fireworks, local sake tasting and games!
Location: Kagura Mitsumata Ropeway Car Park

49th Yuzawa Nakazato Snow Carnival
Saturday 14th March 2015 - from 7pm
A fun snow festival featuring events, games, local sake and food tasting, as well as a firework display.
Location: Yuzawa Nakazato Snow Resort

Tashiro 'Yuki Akari'
Saturday 14th March 2015 - 6pm until 9pm
Enjoy viewing 1,000 candle illuminations whilst sampling local drinks and foods.
Location: Tashiro Ropeway Station car park

"CoCoLo no Hi"
Fourth Saturday of the month
Fun workshops to enjoy within the main Yuzawa train station.
Location: JR Echigo Yuzawa Station (Event Corner)




 

Getting to Yuzawa

Getting to Yuzawa is a very simple journey from Tokyo - both by train and car.

By Car

The Kanetsu Expressway (toll road) runs through Yuzawa.  The journey from Nerima I.C. in northern Tokyo to Yuzawa I.C. is about 176km and in good conditions can take less than two hours.  (Please note that in bad weather conditions and peak times, it can take considerably longer).  The journey takes you north through Saitama and Gunma Prefectures, under the Tanigawa mountain range in northern Gunma and into Yuzawa Town.

If you are planning on visiting the resorts in the Yuzawa Town area and Minamiuonuma, get off the Expressway at Yuzawa I.C.   From the exit, either turn left onto Route 17 towards Kandatsu, Kagura and Naeba or turn right onto Route 17 towards other resorts in Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma.

(If you are planning on visiting Naeba or Kagura you might want to get off the Kanetsu Expressway before then at the Tsukiyono I.C. in Gunma Prefecture.  From there, take Route 17 and head north to Naeba).

If you are planning on visiting the resorts in Mimaniuonuma you can either take Route 17 north through Yuzawa or continue on the Kanetsu Expressway past Yuzawa I.C. and get of either at Shiozawa Ishiuchi I.C. or Muikamachi I.C.

By train

The main station of Yuzawa Town is called Echigo Yuzawa Station.  The Joetsu Shinkasen (bullet train) stops regularly at Echigo Yuzawa Station.  The train from Tokyo takes on average between 75 to 85 minutes. 

The GALA Yuzawa resort has it's own station (GALA Yuzawa Station) which is just a few km further on than the main Echigo Yuzawa Station.  Please note that not all of the trains that go to Echigo Yuzawa continue on to Gala Yuzawa Station, so it is best to check beforehand.  If you planning to go to any of the other resorts in the region apart form GALA Yuzawa, you should get off the train at Echigo Yuzawa Station.

On exiting Echigo Yuzawa Station you will find shuttle buses going to most of the main resorts in the region from both the West and East exits of the station.

From Narita

From Narita International Airport (About 4 hours)

From Narita International Airport, you will first want to get into central Tokyo using either the Narita Express or Keisei Skyliner - both take around 1 hour.

The Narita Express goes direct to Tokyo Station, and from there you can easily transfer to the Joestu Shinkansen. 

The Keisei Skyliner goes to Keisei Ueno Station.  From there it is a 5 minute walk over to the JR Ueno Station where you can also catch the Joetsu Shinkansen.

See above for info on the Joestu Shinkansen.

 


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