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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 Asama Onsen in Matsumoto City

Asama Onsen was a ski area located in Matsumoto City in Nagano Prefecture. It was a fairly small area and was open between the 1950s and 1972. Despite having being closed for nearly 50 years, the ski lift is still there. More details along with a lot of photographs here: Asama Onsen, Matsumoto City      

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The story behind Family Skijo in Fukui City

Family Skijo オース was a ski area located to the east of central Fukui City in what used to be Miyama Town. The full name of the ski area in Japanese was ファミリースキー場オース but it is unclear how the last part of the name should be written in English characters. Perhaps one reason why the name is a mystery is… because the ski area never actually opened. The facility was built in 1994 and was officially abandoned in 2007 but during that period it did not officially open… not even for one day! Mo

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 monumen

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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 facil

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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 Gela

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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 woul

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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 avai

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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 Jap

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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 p

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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 a

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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.snowjapanhist

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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 O

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