West Japan, the oft neglected "poorer cousin" of snow areas host some interesting fun resorts. Mizuho is one of them.
Dumps of powder are common and if you follow the weather reports a great time can be had. There are enough runs to keep most folks happy for a day and I've watched a few skiers and boarders venture off course in the untracked. Ski patrol never seems to be about. I'd say over the last 3 years the skier / boarder mix has moved decidedly in favour of the latter (maybe 70% - 30%) and all seem to be pretty mellow. Haven't spotted any of the "fascist skiier / board pigs" as yet. Out west here fun is cool.
Excellent restaurants, hi-speed quads, gondola and the longest run is 3.5k'z. The valley side is definitely "slushier" than the mountain, but is less crowded and has wider runs.
Unfortunately there is one downer about this otherwise top little number - the prices. Carpark, lift tickets - day & 1/2 day - kids nursery, etc. suck it up BIG. But 1st timers will be pleasantly surprised. Check it out.