Two base areas - the Gondola area and the Maiko area which is literally 500m from the Shiozawa Ishiuchi IC exit of the Kanetsu Expressway. Super convenient.
The Gondola area is where I go. Either take the Gondola or two quad lifts (the quad lifts are the better idea on a busy day) up to the Okusoeji area. The bowl. And that's where I spend most of my time when I go to Maiko.
I have been to Nozawa Onsen a number of times and it seems to be talked about almost always in positive ways. While it's certainly a decent place and offers a lot of terrain, I can't help but come back each time thinking somehow... disappointed. Perhaps it's the level of expectation. I don't know, can't quite put my finger on it.
This season the snow hasn't been all that in Nozawa. Not yet anyway (writing this on
Muikamachi Hakkaisan is a Prince resort. But don't let that put you off!
But seriously. Hakkaisan has it's fans and I can see why. It's basically one bit long resort with a few options on coming down. There's some groomed intermediate slopes, the ungroomed quite to form mogul runs and the winding road course down the side. The latter is surprisingly fun as there are lots of 'short cuts' through the untouched snow which is a
I often visit Joetsu Kokusai each season, so this is a general review rather than for this one time.
It's a sprawling kind of resort, meaning the opposite of compact. The lift system isn't particularly fast either and so you can spend a long time getting from one area to the other. But with planning and knowing what you are doing, you can minimise any of that.
The main base is down by the Joetsu Green Plaza hotel. That's