I visited Kawaba on the 29th thanks to a ticket from the SnowJapan Giveaways. So a big thank you to SnowJapan and Kawaba Resort. I enjoyed nearly everything about Kawaba, the multi-storey base building, the long lifts, that had short lift lines, the nice variety of runs, my only grip was the music. If you are going to have music playing on a loop, please include more songs. I get to hear “Let it go” enough at home, without hearing it nearly every time I got on a lift.
The multi-storey base building has 6 levels of carparks, and 2 levels of shops, restaurants, changing areas, a rental shop, tuning shop, information area, ski/board schools and the ticket counter, with 6 lifts to get you up and down quickly. Reaching level 7 for the first time my first though was “how civilised”. It was nice to park inside, take a lift to the base area, get sorted and exit onto the snow. The only resort that I’ve been too to compare Kawaba to is Gala, if arriving by train.
While whoever had the idea for a multi-story carpark and base building showed great imagination, however the imagination wasn’t carried over to the naming of the lifts and runs. The lifts are named A to E and the runs 1 to 10. A good description of the lifts and runs can be found here http://www.snowjapan.com/japan-ski-resorts/kawaba
There is a wide variety of runs at Kawaba, including a mogul course, there are two park areas, both seemed to have enough boxes, beams and jumps to keep a park rat happy. While a few off piste areas were roped off, with some of the scariest danger signs I’ve seen, there were plenty of tracks amongst the trees, and riding down the D and E lift lines seemed to be popular. While I wimped out of trying the mogul run, no.6 and the steep run beside it no. 5 I did do every other run there, and enjoyed all of them.
While it may not have the size of some of the big Niigata or Nagano resorts Kawaba has enough to keep everyone happy, has a base building that is fantastic (did I mention how much I loved the carparking) and is close to Tokyo and Yokohama.
From 29 December, 2014 To 29 December, 2014
Snow condition on visit:
The snow conditions on the day were good, nice and powdery in the morning, got a little harder as the sun came out midday, and a few icy bits appeared late afternoon. The snow depth was 180cm on the day, and it could have done with another 20cm, a few areas had vegetation showing though.
Things I liked:
The carparking, Base building, short lift lines, the carparking, variety of runs, the carparking