White World Oze Iwakura resort review (Katashina Village, Gunma)

White World Oze Iwakura
Katashina Village, Gunma
Submitted by NECK on 21st May 2015
Worth the extra drive time.
White World Oze Iwakura is a nice sized resort in Katshina Village, Gunma Prefecture. They have a nice variety of runs for both intermediate and advanced riders. There are also a few runs for beginners at the bottom, but I think the hill is more geared toward intermediate riders.

Though it is a little harder to get to from Tokyo than some of the other hills in Gunma and Yuzawa, I think that people who make the trip will not be disappointed. I have driven out there from Nagano a couple of times and it takes a good two and a half to three hours, but it has been worth the journey both times.

I went there for the first time last season and scored an epic powder day with 'Bushiman' and 'Gunma Boarder'. Lots of really nice, steep powder lines if you know where to look. That was pretty much my best day last season!

This is a more general review of the resort, based on my second trip right at the end of the 2014/15 season. I was lucky enough to have won a day pass for Oze from one of the amazing SnowJapan giveaways, so I finally got around to using the ticket at the end of the season. It was spring conditions but the resort was still more or less in full operation and we had a great day. Thanks SnowJapan!

White World can be broken down into two main areas. A front and back side. The front side is a large bowl with all the runs leading back to the bottom. The backside is smaller but adds nice variety. The runs on the frontside tend to be longer and steeper while the runs on the backside are shorter, but still a descent length and seem to usually be less crowded.

Some of the highlights include an ungroomed 40 degree slope, for those that like the steeps, with a nice intermediate run beside it. There is also a long ungroomed course coming of the top of the gondola which is amazing early in the day after big snow.

There are also a couple of mogul courses for those skiers that like them. One thing I did appreciate was on the side of one of the mogul courses on the backside there was a groomed side course. Nice for mixed groups of skiers and snowboarders I'd say.

My personal favorite groomed run is the really long intermediate coming off of the gondola. It has so much variety in a single run! steep areas, waves both natural and built, cruisy spots with amazing views, some nice turns and some big steep walls to ride. I generally lose interest in groomers after a run or two, but I rode this one almost all day late season under spring conditions and had a great time!

Overall if you are looking for a good place to ride outside of the more famous areas, White World Oze Iwakura might be the place for you. It's definitely worth that little extra time on the road if you are driving from Tokyo.
Date visited: No specific date.
Snow condition on visit: Spring conditions.
Things I liked: Uncrowded, cheap, friendly staff, large parking area, lots of options on a powder day, long groomers, almost full operations late season.
Things I didn't like: Distance from my house, crowded highway exit during peak season.
Recommended for: Beginner riders
Intermediate riders
Advanced riders
Off-piste opportunities
Not recommended for: Snow Park
Authentic Japan experience
General score: 70
Snow conditions: 80
Courses/Terrain: 70
Lift system: 70

White World Oze Iwakura

Katashina Village, Gunma
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Average Rankings

General score: 80
Snow conditions: 83
Courses/Terrain: 81
Lift system: 77
Apres ski: 25

Basic Resort Statistics

Max. elevation: 1703m
Min. elevation: 1006m
Vertical: 697m
Steepest slope: 40°
Longest course: 3200m
Number of lifts: 10

Other resorts nearby

Katashina Kogen 1.20km
Snow Park Oze Tokura 7.30km
Marunuma Kogen 18.90km
Oguna Hotaka 21.90km
Hotaka Bokujo 22.10km
Kawaba 41.90km
Akagisan Daiichi 43.70km
Tambara Ski Park 48.90km

Location of White World Oze Iwakura