Awesome Off-Piste / Back Country Oporunities 90 Minutes from Tokyo
Decided at the last minute to do an "out-and-in" for the day to the nearest resort to Tokyo we could find even though the weather report said it would be warm and sunny (as it had been for days).
Instead of choosing trusty old Kagura (Niigata Yuzawa exit from Kanetsu only two hours from Tokyo), or Oze, we picked Kawaba.
While Kawaba only has 3 big intermediate courses, and a few Advanced with Moguls (booo), the Back Country Opportunities were all over the place.
From the lifts (only 3 main ones to the Top) you could see where other searchers were thrashing in the Pow in days past. We went on a Sunday and that sucked as it started to get crowded on the groomers and the main quad, but those in the woods don't mind.
As I know the snow conditions would suck, it has great potential if you get a few days of heavy dumping like we have had earlier this year.
From 21 February, 2015
Snow condition on visit:
Unfortunately we didn't have any fresh powder so it was kind of sticky with Ice Burn underneath HOWEVER: You could see where hundreds of folks had their time in the POW!
Things I liked:
Close to Tokyo, potential for back country riding
Things I didn't like:
Small, limited groomers, Limited lifts, crowded on Sundays