Resort Reviews by Metabo Oyaji

Reviews of ski resorts submitted by Metabo Oyaji. Currently 24 reviews.
Kita Nikko Takahata
Minamiaizu Town, Fukushima
Submitted by Metabo Oyaji on 7th May 2015
Twin planks
Paid a visit to Aizu Kogen Takahata, a skier-only resort in Fukushima. I was curious about what a skier-only place would be like. What kind of secret goodies would be on tap?

Slinging my two planks over my shoulder, I employed bipedal locomotion over the squirrel-encrusted bridge from the parking lot to the base area.

There are 4 lifts, all fixed pair lifts, with one up from the base and the other three reachable from up there. There was a
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Tengendai Kogen
Yonezawa City, Yamagata
Submitted by Metabo Oyaji on 13th February 2015
Return to Tengendai
I first visited Tengendai Kogen at the end of last season, during Golden Week. The weather was terrible then, but the place looked intriguing, so I wanted to go back some time. Which I did.

I hoped to hit during peak snow monster season, but suspect one week later (or maybe a couple of weeks earlier) would have been better, since I got there after some warm spells. As a result, while I could see some snow monsters looming above
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Yonezawa City, Yamagata
Submitted by Metabo Oyaji on 9th February 2015
Planning to hit somewhere else the next day, I hit the nighter at Yonezawa on the way.

It is a fairly small hill, though most of it is open for the nighter. There was one lift around the back (north side) that was not running, serving a beginner/intermediate slope. The two lifts on the front side were running, both fixed pair lifts. Between the two, almost all of the front-side terrain was available and lit up, including the
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Inawashiro Resort
Inawashiro Town, Fukushima
Submitted by Metabo Oyaji on 27th January 2015
Best view in town
Grand Sunpia Inawashiro Resort, Fukushima

This is a place that I have been meaning to check out for years. It is not terribly big, but can boast of occupying probably the best spot on Mt. Bandai for views, facing directly onto Lake Inawashiro. I really wanted to go on a clear day – which can be a rare thing around Mt. Bandai. But with the forecast for at least partly-clear weather finally coinciding with a day we were
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GALA Yuzawa
Yuzawa Town, Niigata
Submitted by Metabo Oyaji on 24th January 2015
Go South, young man (and others)
4th and final day in Niigata. I decided to make it a GALA day.

I was debating whether to drive to GALA or take the lifts up from where I was staying at the base of Ishiuchi Maruyama. Looking into it, I was happy to see that parking at GALA is free (yay!) and plentiful. So driving past the famous phone booth, I made my way to the GALA parking lot near the base station. Which was
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Muikamachi Hakkaisan
Minamiuonuma City, Niigata
Submitted by Metabo Oyaji on 24th January 2015
Fresh moguls, come and get 'em!
Weather forecast was not the greatest: rain. I hoped it would be snow at the top. As it turned out, while most of the day it was raining at lower elevations, at upper elevations it was indeed occasional, wettish flurries. So that was good. Looking up from the lower base station after parking in the first parking lot, clouds hid the top of the resort.

I didn't realize that the ropeway station is actually up the hill from there. One should
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Maiko Snow Resort
Minamiuonuma City, Niigata
Submitted by Metabo Oyaji on 24th January 2015
Get thee to the back bowl -- and get there early
Day 2 of the Niigata road trip. And what a beautiful day it was! Clear blue skies, fresh snow from the day before.

I knew I wanted to head to the back bowl, and was advised to head to the gondola base, not the Maiko hotel base. Good thing, too, because all the signs seemed to want to point me to the Maiko hotel base area, and had I not known there were two different base areas, I'd probably have ended
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Ishiuchi Maruyama
Minamiuonuma City, Niigata
Submitted by Metabo Oyaji on 2nd January 2015
Big, classic-style resort
While the kid was attending snowboard camp at Ishiuchi Maruyama, I took the opportunity to get in 4 days skiing at some places in the area I'd always wanted to visit, braving the drive up the Kan-Etsu -- which actually went surprisingly smoothly. After getting the kid checked in at the camp, I decided to spend the first day on snow at Ishiuchi Maruyama itself.

It had been snowing, and continued snowing lightly for much of that day, so skiing conditions
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Inawashiro Town, Fukushima
Submitted by Metabo Oyaji on 9th December 2014
Start of season with baby snow monsters
I had been planning to save Minowa for later in the season after their snow monsters have developed, but they had two of their three lifts running and the kid was up for trying somewhere new, so that is where we started our season.

The first real snowfall of the season was just winding down when we arrived, and visibility up top was not great at first, but what could be seen was nice and white.

Clear spells highlighted the nascent snow
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Nishikawa Town, Yamagata
Submitted by Metabo Oyaji on 2nd June 2014
Spring gathering of snow fans
Visited Gassan twice: April 29, and May 25.

First visit:

Tuesday April 29 was a holiday, weather forecast looked reasonable for Gassan, so we made the early morning road trip, planning to get afternoon tickets (11:30-16:30).

The drive up was relatively uncrowded for a holiday, and we got to the parking lot around 10:30. 500 yen parking fee, which goes towards conservation efforts, and in return for which one gets a Gassan sticker, which went straight onto the kid's snowboard.

The map near the
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Tengendai Kogen
Yonezawa City, Yamagata
Submitted by Metabo Oyaji on 27th May 2014
Intriguing. Want to visit again under better conditions.
The second (and final) stop after Gassan on our Golden Week tour was Tengendai Kogen, in Yonezawa, Yamagata. The weather forecast for that day was... not so great. Wind and rain setting in. Was tempted to take in some historical sites instead, but the kid was adamant about trying somewhere new, even if the weather sucked. Doesn't take much to convince me, so off we went.

Went through Shirabu Onsen, to the base of the Tengendai Ropeway. Surprisingly small parking lot.

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Hachimantai City, Iwate
Submitted by Metabo Oyaji on 27th May 2014
Well-managed, big bubble-era resort
Visited Appi Kogen for the first time. Late March, following a snowfall; the weather changed during our stay from from winter to pure spring conditions.

The ski area is mostly arrayed around the peak of Maemoriyama. The main base area is at the bottom of the Central Gelaende, with the Sailer Gelaende to looker's left of that, and the Second Gelaende to the left of Sailer. To looker's right of the Central Gelaende is a single lift going up the adjacent
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