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
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
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
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
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