Kawaba is located on the southern slopes of Mt Hotaka in the north eastern region of Gunma Prefecture. The multi-storey building at the end of the road acts as both the main multi-story car park and also the resort base - the resort base being on the top floor with direct access to the slopes Positioned at a high altitude, this region often enjoys favourable snow conditions and a long season. Kawaba is also popular for its parks and also offers a 'first tracks' tour service, park lessons and snowshoe tours. Kawaba has been operating since 1989.
The region to the east of Minakami town and to the north east of Numata city in northern Gunma Prefecture is made up of Kawaba village and Katashina village. There are a number of ski and snowboard resorts dotted around the mountains of this region, all of which are accessed off the main Route 120 road from central Numata. This road is otherwise known as the Nihon Romantic Highway and continues through to Nikko in Tochigi Prefecture, though the prefecture border section of the road is closed during the winter months.
Gunma Prefecture is located in the north west area of Kanto region on the main island of Honshu and shares borders with Niigata Prefecture to the north and Nagano Prefecture to the west. There are over 20 ski and snowboard resorts in Gunma Prefecture and they are mainly concentrated in the northern regions of Minakami and Katashina and the western region of the Prefecture.
Ski and snowboard lessons are available at Kawaba.
Ski and snowboard equipment rental is available. Ski and snowboard wear rental is also available.
The free 'First Step Gelaende' is located at the base of the resort, where the covered snow escalator is. Entry to just this area is 1,500 yen - or free with a valid ski lift ticket.
There is a selection of park areas at Kawaba - 'Murasaki Banked Slalom Park', 'Flux Park' and the 'Max Easy Park'.
Kawaba offers a 'First Tracks' service where you ride up to top on grooming machines before lift opening time to get in early tracks. 2,000 yen for just the first tracks, 6,700 yen for a 1 day lift ticket and First Tracks. Optional tours are also available.
Snow Trecking tours are also available for the 2018-2019 season.
Kawaba Season & Opening Times
Typical season is from Early December until Mid April
Weekends and holidays
Normally open from 8:00am until 4:00pm
Normally open from 8:30am until 4:00pm
'Nighta' (night skiing)
Weekends and holidays
Kawaba is open from 8:30am until 4:00pm on weekdays and from 8:00am on Saturdays, Sundays and national holidays after 15th December 2018.
From 25th March 2019, Kawaba is open from 8:30am until 4:00pm every day.
There is no nighta at this resort. There are special 'Night Tour' experiences available (see above).
Kawaba Lift Ticket Charges
3 years pre-school age
Elementary & Junior High School age
50 years & over
1 Lift Coupon
Season Ticket (all)
Season Ticket (weekdays)
1 day ticket for children aged 3 years to 11 years: 2,000 yen.
Entry to 'First Step' is 1,500 yen for 1 day (free with a valid 1 day, half day or hour ticket).
Getting to Kawaba
By public transport
27.7km from Jomo Kogen Station on the Joetsu Shinkansen line
21.4km from Numata Station on the Joetsu Line
The resort is just over 21km from Numata Station on the local Joetsu line and just under 28km from Jomo Kogen Station on the Joetsu Shinkansen line.
There are a number of shuttle buses available that go to Kawaba.
Between 8th December 2018 and 31st March 2019, a free shuttle bus leaves the 'Michi-no-eki Kawaba Denen Plaza' to Kawaba. This is particularly handy for those not wanting to drive on the snowy mountain roads that lead up to the resort. Times for leaving the Michi-no-eki are as below:
Buses also leaving from Jomo Kogen Station (Joetsu Shinkansen line) and also Numata Station (Joetsu local line) are also available.
Various tour buses also leave from Tokyo.
16.6km from the Numata IC on the Kanetsu Expressway
24.1km from the Tsukiyono IC on the Kanetsu Expressway
24.9km from the Showa IC on the Kanetsu Expressway
Nearest national route: Route 120 (14.7km away)
Nearest prefecture road: Prefecture Road 263
Kawaba is under 17km from the Numata IC exit on the Kanetsu Expressway. About 25 minutes drive.
There are a number of road options around the Numata IC, some a little closer than others, but the below route is the one that the resort themselves recommend.
From the Numata IC exit traffic lights, turn left onto Route 120. After about 500m on Route 120, turn left onto Prefecture Road 64 and continue along that road for just over 6km (passing the Michi-no-eki Kawaba Denen Plaza on the left side after about 5km). Turn right at the traffic lights and then 900m later turn left. After about another 500m, at the next junction turn right onto Prefecture Road 263. Follow this road for about 9km right up to the Kawaba resort base car parks.
You should find that Kawaba is well signposted on the route.
If you are not keen driving up to the base in icy and snowy conditions, you can park at the Michi-no-eki and use the free shuttle bus that goes up to the resort.
As of Sunday 9th December, we still need to update the information for about 50 ski hills around Japan. They are mostly very small ones and the information can be very hard to find. We are working to get them all updated as quickly as possible... hopefully within the next week!
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