Thanks to another year of SJ giveaways, my buddy 'Neck' and I won lift tickets to Yakebitayama, one of the bigger and more popular resorts in the Shiga Kogen area.
Now, I go up to Shiga Kogen fairly often each season, but never to Yakebitai. Mainly due to the fact I can count on awesome off-piste terrain at other areas, and it's such a mission to drive up there sometimes I'd rather have a guaranteed good day than search out
I've ridden at Suginohara off and on for the last 13yrs, and it is one of my favourite mid-winter resorts. I've written mid-winter powder reviews of the place from a snowboarders perspective, but seeing as (as my buddy puts it,) I've gone to the dark-side during the spring, aka skiing, I'll write about my experiences with that.
First off, Suginohara is big! There are pistes everywhere so you have a huge choice of slopes from super mellow greens, to crazy steep
Great potential, just need the right conditions...
I like Akakura Kanko, but I'd like it a lot more if I could hit it with the right conditions... Being a weekend warrior, that seems to have eluded me so far... But still, it's a great resort!
Akakura Kanko is a large resort with plenty of slopes, and lots of fun terrain out in the designated 'off-piste' section. The cool thing about Kanko is that even if the conditions aren't the best (like when I went), there's plenty of
Last year my buddy and I both won tickets to visit White World, and this year thanks to another SJ Giveaway we were lucky enough to snaffle some more...
This place is a gem.
It's like how Hakuba Cortina used to be before the word got out. Great out-of-bounds terrain, easily accessed, straight forward exits back to piste. Nobody else going anywhere near the trees... Coming from riding in Nagano & Niigata, this is completely unheard of.
Madarao seems to just be getting better and better. What with all the tree runs they've cut through the forests, mellow glade runs, plus all the features they've built -log rides, jumps etc. out in the trees, you can't but not have a fun time at Madarao. There are also a whole bunch of pistes that are left ungroomed, which make for the perfect warm-up before hitting the trees.
The lifts are decent and speedy, all except the one that actually
Sugadaira is one of my local resorts and so I usually get in at least 10 days here a season. Like I mentioned in the title, it's not the biggest area, and I personally wouldn't make a day of riding there, but for a morning or afternoon I can have a ton of fun!
The resorts themselves are small (compared to Hakuba sized resorts), but they do interconnect so the one pass is good for at least 20 pistes. It's
Thanks again to another SJ giveaway, I was able to go with my fellow SJ lurker, Neck, to one of our favorite resorts...
Suginohara is pretty big, with some of the longest pistes in Nagano/Niigata. And surrounding these pistes are exceptional areas of slackcountry! Very easy access, very easy exits. Plus, it get's some fantastic snow! The downer is that the whole resort faces south, so if the sun comes out for any prolonged period of time, this can seriously affect your
I'd never been to Akakura Kanko before, but thanks to a SJ giveaway I decided to give it a whirl with my fellow SJ Forums lurker, Neck.
Kanko was always somewhere I'd wanted to go after reading the entry for it in The World Snowboarding Guide. Their description made it sound epic, with pillow lines and steep trees... Yet, in all my +10yrs of riding in and around Nagano Prefecture, I'd never heard whisper of the place...
Having spent the last 10+ years riding your typical big/popular resorts in Nagano/Niigata/Hokkaido, this season I fancied a change... Pre-season I'd spent a good long while looking at Google Earth, and topographical maps searching for the kind of resort I like... Something a long the lines of Hakuba Cortina.
For any of you that have ridden at Cortina, you'll know that the whole resort centers around a large bowl with everything (pretty much) funneling down to one run in the middle.