I had a great time here it less than a hour away from Kyoto by Train (Kosei Line) and a regular bus from Shiga station to Biwako Valley (320 YEN). A day lift ticket is 4000YEN and uses a electronic swipe card. The Gondola Lift then takes you to the top (1800 YEN).
The locals were very cool and even offered to help me through the ticketing and equipment hire. Most of the signs are still in Japanese but a few of the staff speak english and are very helpful.
For snowboarding it's great if you a beginner to intermediate level. Some of the wide runs enabled me to practice better turning at steep inclines and maintaning balance at high speeds.
Go during the week as i found the lift queues short and the snow runs uncrowded. Perfect place for a 1 day trip to the snow if your intenary moves through Kyoto.
The lifts close at 6pm (I think they are open till 8pm on some days too) which enabled me to do my first snowboarding under lights, something i hadn`t done at our slopes in Australia.
Also worth particular mention is the awesome view from the top of one of the runs. I am definitely looking forward to doing a day trip here again.
From 16 January, 2006
Snow condition on visit:
Cloudy, Mostly Clear
Things I liked:
Close to Kyoto, Quality Hire Gear, Forgiving snow runs