Living in Zao Onsen, we wanted a change of scenery and especially since 2020 was warming earlier than normal so sought to go north. Crowds had also gone due to CV19. Initially drove to Appi for 2 nights which we know well and then somewhere else on the return leg and more of a local resort.
Decided to stay at the Prince which was offering a particularly good deal at the time and is right on the slope plus we wanted to stay somewhere with buffet (breakfast/dinner) plus the large bath.
Yes the hotel felt like it was from the '80s as someone commented but we liked the room and it was no big deal. Food was good, plentiful and varied. Car park was straight outside so handy for all the different skis we brought.
The gondola was efficient and we did not have to wait long at all. The connector lifts on the middle right, however, are a bit annoying as you have to go up one and then another if you want to go down the far right again.
We were lucky to get some powder whilst there and enjoyed the longer slopes on the far left top early in the day. There were also some nice pockets at the top going down the middle. We enjoyed cruising the far right right down to base although it was getting slushy at the end of the day with some undergrowth.
All in all, we liked the day and a half we spent there (nice to be in a cute smaller resort for a change) and would happily return for a weekend, especially if earlier in the season or when there is more fresh snow about. It is a resort for a few days though, not for longer stays unless you are a beginner/intermediate, in which case there are quite a lot of runs to have fun with and improve upon.
From 01 March, 2020 To 02 March, 2020
Snow condition on visit:
Good at top, poor at bottom
Things I liked:
Varied terrain Larger than the usual small local resort Good gondola
Things I didn't like:
One rest stop on the mountain (which was a bit pricey) and the hotel below is expensive. There is a further car park with a rest stop on the bottom right but it was closed when we were there.
Authentic Japan experience