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About this blog

A selection of some of the old ski areas with particularly interesting stories featured on SnowJapanHistory.com

Entries in this blog

The story behind Makiyose in Hakuba

Makiyose was a ski area in the Shiojima neighbourhood of Hakuba Village in the northern region of Nagano Prefecture. Makiyose opened in 1962 and closed after less than a decade of operations in 1969. The single ski lift at Makiyose remains in place but it has been swallowed up by more than 50 years of natural growth, providing some very striking images. In recent years cross country and snow shoe tours have been held on this hill, and the old ski area has become something of a historical monument reminding us of a past era. More details here: Makiyose Ski Area, Hakuba Village, Nagano Prefecture

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SnowJapan

The story behind Sarugedake in Kamo City

Sarugedake was a ski area located on the north western slopes of the mountain of the same name, in the Saruge neighbourhood of Kamo City in Niigata Prefecture. Sarugedake opened in the mid 1960s and closed in the late 1970s. This region of Niigata Prefecture used to receive more snow than it does now, but even back in the 1970s Sarugedake apparently struggled with limited snowfall. A hiking course on the mountain comes down through what used to be the ski slopes. The old ski lift and other facilities remain in place. They are now surrounded by forest and undergrowth, making for some very striking and unique scenery. More details here: Sarugedake Ski Area, Kamo City, Niigata Prefecture        

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SnowJapan

The story behind Kamishiro in Hakuba

Kamishiro was the name of a ski area in the Kamishiro neighbourhood of Hakuba Village in Nagano Prefecture. This ski area existed before what is now known as Hakuba Goryu was fully developed. The top of the Kamishiro slope was connected with the Champion Expert Course at Hakuba Goryu as that ski area expanded. The ski lift at Kamishiro closed in the 1980s and has been removed. In recent years the area has been used as an official tree run course of Hakuba Goryu and is known as the Kamishiro Gelande. More details here: Kamishiro Ski Area, Hakuba Village    

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SnowJapan

The story behind Annandaira Ski Area in Yamanouchi Town

Annandaira was a ski area located in Yamanouchi Town in the northern region of Nagano Prefecture. It was on the lower western slopes of Boderayama, about 3km off Route 292 at a point before the road starts to climb up to the Shiga Kogen area. Annandaira opened in 1980 and closed in 1986 and so only had a short lifespan, but it has a fascinating story: Annandaira Ski Area, Yamanouchi Town      

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SnowJapan

The story behind Jitsukiyama Ski Area in Nagano City

Jitsukiyama was a very small ski area on the mountain of the same name, close to central Nagano City. It was only open for less than a decade and closed way back in 1970, but the story is an interesting one and you can now find it on SnowJapanHistory.com: Jitsukiyama Ski Area, Nagano City    

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SnowJapan

The story behind the 1972 Sapporo Winter Olympics downhill courses on Mt Eniwa

The downhill events of the  1972 Sapporo Winter Olympics were held on custom-made ski runs on the south west slopes of Mt Eniwa in Chitose City, Hokkaido. The location was chosen after no suitable venue could be found within the borders of Sapporo City, the official host city of the Olympics. A brand new 31 person ropeway, ski lift, heliport and other related facilities were all constructed - on the condition that they would be completely dismantled after the Olympics, and that the mountain would be restored to its original state. More on this fascinating story over on the SnowJapanHistory site here: https://www.snowjapanhistory.com/hokkaido-chitose-1972-sapporo-winter-olympics-mt-eniwa-downhill-courses    

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SnowJapan

The story behind Mikuni Ski Area in Yuzawa Town

Mikuni was a ski area in the southern region of Yuzawa Town in Niigata Prefecture, close to the border with Minakami Town in Gunma Prefecture. It was less than 4km to the south of the famous Naeba ski resort and was operated by the same company. Located deep in the mountains at the end of a winding and sometimes narrow road, Mikuni had a distinctly different feel to the more famous - and much busier - neighbour. For a long time, Mikuni was a skiers-only hill and joint lift tickets were available for the other two nearby areas - Shirakabadaira and Asagai. Mikuni closed in 2004 and the mountain has been returned to nature. More information and photos here: https://www.snowjapanhistory.com/niigata-yuzawa-mikuni    

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SnowJapan

The story behind Akagisan Dai 1 Ski Area in Maebashi City

Akagisan Dai 1 (Akagisan Number 1) is a ski area located on the north-eastern slopes of the 1,674m Jizodake, by the side of Lake Onuma in Maebashi City in Gunma Prefecture. At one time there were three ski areas by the lake. Akagisan Dai 2 and Akagisan Dai 3 are now both closed, but Akagisan Dai 1 remains in operation. However, the current ski area is a greatly scaled-down version of what it used to be and in recent years it has boasted of being the ‘self-proclaimed smallest ski area in Japan’! At one time Akagisan Dai 1 was known as ‘the closest ski area to Tokyo'. More information and photos here: https://www.snowjapanhistory.com/gunma-maebashi-akagisan-dai-1    

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SnowJapan

The story behind Kirifuri Kogen Ski Area in Nikko City

Kirifuri Kogen was a ski area located on the eastern slopes of Mt Nyoko to the north of Nikko City in Tochigi Prefecture. The base was located at an altitude of 1,230m but even so it did not receive huge amounts of snowfall and a number of snow-making machines were used to help out. The lifts at Kirifuri Kogen were also used outside of the winter season for sightseeing. The ski lifts are now gone but the Kisugedaira Park still opens during the summer months. More information and photos here: https://www.snowjapanhistory.com/tochigi-nikko-kirifuri-kogen    

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SnowJapan

The story behind Iizuka Kogen Ski Area in Nagano City

Iizuna Kogen was located to the north of Nagano City on the southern slopes of Mt Iizuna, between the still-operating Togakushi on the western slopes and Iizuna Resort on the eastern slopes of the same mountain. Iizuna Kogen was owned by the city and was popular with locals. The Moguls events of the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics were held on the F Course and Tae Satoya won the gold medal. Subsequently, the course was named after her. In recent years Iizuna Kogen struggled with snowfall and made various changes to lift and course operations. The last day of operation was 16th February 2020. More information and photos here: https://www.snowjapanhistory.com/nagano-nagano-iizuna-kogen    

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SnowJapan

The story behind Urasa Ski Area in Minamiuonuma City

Urasa was a ski area located in the northern region of Minamiuonuma City in Niigata Prefecture. It was just 1km from the central town area of Urasa and the Shinkansen Station. Urasa was only a small ski area but it was very well known in the Japan ski community due to the reputation of the ski school… people come from afar to take lessons and take the ‘badge test’ at Urasa. It first opened in 1958 and closed in 2011. More information and photos here: https://www.snowjapanhistory.com/niigata-minamiuonuma-urasa    

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SnowJapan

The story behind Shinanodaira Ski Area in Iiyama City

Shinanodaira was a ski area located on the eastern slopes of Kuroiwayama and to the north of central Iiyama City in the northern region of Nagano Prefecture. It was originally known as Kuroiwa and experienced a few different ski lift set ups during the years of operation before closing in 2001. More information and photos here: https://www.snowjapanhistory.com/nagano-iiyama-shinanodaira      

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SnowJapan

The story behind Nanamaki Ski Area in Nozawa Onsen Village

Nanamaki was a ski area located in the Nanagamaki neighbourhood of Nozawa Onsen Village in the north-western region of Nagano Prefecture. It was to the north of the famous Nozawa Onsen ski area - less than 3km direct or just over 10km by road. Skiers would get off the train at nearby Kuwanagawa Station, take a ferry boat across Chikuma River and then walk about 1km to get to the ski hill. Nanamaki was the end point of a popular tour course coming down from the Uenotaira area of the Nozawa Onsen ski area. Nanamaki closed in 1982 and apart from the concrete foundations of the ski lift and base building, little evidence of the ski area remains. More information and photographs here: https://www.snowjapanhistory.com/nagano-nozawa-onsen-nanamaki    

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About SnowJapan

SnowJapan.com is the independent guide to skiing and snowboarding in Japan and has been online since 1999.

SnowJapan.com covers the whole of Japan. We are here to introduce the world to unbiased, honest and detailed information about winter sports in Japan. We publish exclusive and in-depth and daily content throughout the winter season and we add new functionality and content to the site every year.

We are not here to promote any specific destinations or resorts, or to sell our readers any kind of products or services. We are not a travel agency and we do not own any ski resorts, ski schools, accommodations or other related businesses.

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