I liked this little hill off the beaten track; it's mellow, laid back and has good tree skiing.
Pros: Small local hill feel, different than the commercialized resorts. Excellent tree skiing if you are creative enough to find it. Loads of snow. Good lift layout. A little cheaper than the big hills.
Cons: Snow is heavier than it is inland. Lots of patrol roaming about. Spent some time on a broken lift.
This is one of the few resorts in Niigata that is very far from the highway (40-50 mins from Joetsu IC). However, it's well worth the drive as there are no crowds. This proved to be just what I needed after visits to GALA and Hakuba where the amount of time spent in various queues drove me slightly crazy. And even though there's just two main sections here, the runs are really long, minimising time on the lifts. Also, there's
"Just completed another great weekend at Cupid Valley"...
and I am telling everyone that they should try this place if they are into long, enjoyable snowboarding weekends. Located about one hour from Echigo Yuzawa Station, lies a well kept secret in Niigata-ken.
A nice ride from the top of the mountain (via gondola) and the well groomed half-pipe, and board park are the rave. There are several jumps, a half-make, waves, and bowls to enjoy. A stay includes breakfast and dinner buffets