This resort was a comparatively long haul for us, but I had high hopes and I was, for the most part, not disappointed.
Due to the long drive, we didn't get there until nearly 11 AM, but we were able to quickly purchase lift tickets (which, at 4700 yen with lunch included, were a reasonable price for the resort) and get on the large, mass transit gondola. It took us a good amount of time to get from the bottom to the peak, but there were useful course maps posted all over the place so it was easy to know exactly where we were on the mountain all day.
The runs were very nice, well kept and large. The resort is pretty big so even though it was a busy day we never waited for a lift and never experienced any congestion on the slopes. The snow conditions were fantastic thanks to a large amount of good snow the night before so really every run was entertaining. Most of the runs are geared towards intermediate/advanced riders but there were a few short beginner type runs. Some of the runs are a little bit better for skiers, which makes sense since it at one point played host to the World Alpine Downhill Skiing Championship.
The restaurant Aleyska was pleasant, the food was good and it, as a bonus, is situated about halfway up the mountain so you can avoid the large gondola at lunchtime.
There's a very, very small snow park with a few jumps and one rail. I hit it a couple of times but it was in a sort of bad place, you either had to ride a long lift and go all the way down an intermediate to get to it or you had to take a very short life that had a short, steep run leading into the park. The short run was no fun because the lift ride was disproportionately long for the amount of time you could actually spend in the park, and the long run was no fun because by the time you got to the park you'd forgotten you were even going there.
My only negative for this place is that it felt like it had started to feel its age. A lot of resorts in Japan built during the bubble are having this issue but it felt worse than most. The hotel, especially, was dismally depressing looking, with grime on its windows and a general feel of disrepair. That, however, did not affect the boarding experience in any way.
Overall a good resort that I felt was worth the drive. Not the best I've been to in the area but far from the worst.
From 28 January, 2015 To 28 January, 2015
Snow condition on visit:
Excellent. We were working with 4 to 6 inches of fresh, overnight powder.
Things I liked:
Large, well kept, good runs and good variety.
Things I didn't like:
Old, somewhat run down, the atmosphere suffered from this.