Ishiuchi Maruyama is a popular resort located in Minamiuonuma city, just to the north of the central area of Yuzawa town. It has been operating since 1949. This resort is connected with the Northern Area of GALA Yuzawa resort in Yuzawa town at the top of the mountain, which in turn is also connected with Yuzawa Kogen. A joint lift ticket that covers the three resorts is available in the peak season. There are three base areas to Ishiuchi Maruyama - the Hatsukaishi Entrance (just off Route 17 and just outside Yuzawa town), the main Chuo Entrance and the Kanko Entrance. Nighta at Ishiuchi Maruyama is popular.
For the 2018-2019 season, Ishiuchi Maruyama unveiled three brand new major facilities. Close to the Chuo Entrance base was a brand new Resort Center building that includes the various facilities you might expect at the ski resort base (changing rooms, rental, shop, rest area, etc). The new ‘Sunrise Express’ lift that goes up to the central area of Ishiuchi Maruyama combines 10 people Gondola cabins for and ski lifts that seat 6 people... all on the same cable line. This new lift features brand new specs and a very comfortable and quiet ride experience. Luxurious too - heated gondola cabins and heated ski lift seats! If that wasn’t enough, there was also a new triple lift called ‘Tyrol’ in the central area. Impressive! (To make way for the new Gondola lift, the old Chuo Number 1 quad lift and central triple lifts were removed).
Minamiuonuma city and neighbouring Yuzawa town - located just over 200km to the north north-west of the Tokyo region in Niigata Prefecture - are together home to over 20 individual ski and snowboard resorts, including some of the most well-known ski resorts in Japan. With easy and quick access by both train and road and a wide choice in a relatively compact area, this region is one of the most popular ski destinations in Japan. The region usually enjoys very heavy and consistent snowfall each winter and with Yuzawa town also being the inspiration and setting of the famous Nobel prize-winning novel Yukiguni (Snow Country), it can certainly lay claim to being the original 'Snow Country'.
Niigata Prefecture is located in the central region of Honshu to the north of Tokyo and has a 250km long coastline facing the Sea of Japan. Convenient transportation links make Niigata very easy to get to from Tokyo and other surrounding regions. Most of the larger ski and snowboard resorts in Niigata Prefecture are concentrated in the southern regions around Yuzawa town, Minamiuonuma city and Myoko city.
Ski and snowboard lessons are available at Ishiuchi Maruyama. There are a number of independent ski and snowboard schools that cover the Yuzawa area and offer lessons in English - please check the Lessons in English section for current listings on SnowJapan.
Ski and snowboard equipment rental is available. Ski and snowboard wear rental is also available.
The 'Snow Land' area is located close to the top Gondola Station and open from 10:00am until 4:00pm from late December until late March. A Free Pass for the area is 1,000 yen. Special return tickets for the new 'Sunrise Express' Gondola lift are available for non-skiers: 1,500 yen adults; 1,000 yen children.
There is also a 'Kodomo Hiroba' play area for children close to the Kanko Entrance base area and a 'Chibikko' area close to the Hatsukaishi Entrance base.
There are a number of park areas at Ishiuchi Maruyama - the 'Main Park' and the 'Beginner Park'.
The 'Gungho Monster Pipe' (actually operated by Minamiuonuma city rather than the ski resort itself) is located in the central area of the resort. Specs: 6.7m high, 22m wide, 170 long! Charges apply.
Ishiuchi Maruyama Season & Opening Times
Typical season is from Mid December until Early April
Weekends and holidays
Normally open from 8:30am until 5:00pm
Normally open from 8:30am until 5:00pm
'Nighta' (night skiing)
Weekends and holidays
Ishiuchi Maruyama is open from 8:30am until 5:00pm every day in the daytime.
Night skiing is scheduled for every day from Saturday 26th December 2020 until Sunday 28th February 2021; also on 6th-7th March 2021 and 13th-14th March 2021. On those dates Ishiuchi Maruyama will be open until 8:30pm. The Sunrise Express, Tyrol Triple and Kanko Number 3 Express lifts will operate for night skiing during the 2020-2021 season.
Chuo Entrance planned opening dates: 18th December 2020 until 4th April 2021.
Hatsukaishi Entrance planned opening dates: 24th December 2020 until 21st March 2021.
Kita Entrance planned opening dates: 26th December 2020 until 3rd January 2021; 9th January until 11th January 2021; 16th January until 7th March 2021; 13th-14th March 2021
Ishiuchi Maruyama Lift Ticket Charges
Elementary School age
60 years & over
1 Day (8:30am-5pm)
PM + Nighta (12pm-8:30pm)
Sunrise Express return
2020-2021 Season lift tickets
The 2 Day ticket is valid for nighta on the first night and until 5:00pm on the second day. The 3 Day ticket is valid for nighta on the first and second nights and until 5:00pm on the third day..
A Family Ticket is available: * 1 adult + 1 child: 7,200 yen * Additional adult: add 4,300 yen * Additional child: add 2,900 yen
A ticket that includes lunch is 5,400 yen.
Cheaper tickets are available if booked online in advance.
Yuzawa Snow Link 2020-2021
The 'Yuzawa Snow Link' ticket is valid at Ishiuchi Maruyama and the connecting GALA Yuzawa and Yuzawa Kogen ski areas. This ticket is available from Saturday 19th December 2020 until Sunday 28th March 2021 and allows unlimited access across all three ski areas.
19th December until 1st January 2021: 5,700 yen adults; 4,200 yen children; 5,000 yen seniors
2nd January until 14th March 2021: 6,200 yen adults; 4,700 yen children; 5,500 yen seniors
15th March until 28th March 2021: 5,700 yen adults; 4,200 yen children; 5,000 yen seniors
2 day ticket: 10,000 yen adults; 7,600 yen children; 8,900 yen seniors
The Landau Ropeway connecting Yuzawa Kogen with GALA Yuzawa will be operating between 2nd January and 14th March 2021. The Buggy ski lift connecting GALA Yuzawa with Ishiuchi Maruyama will also be operating between 2nd January and 14th March 2021. A shuttle bus between the base areas operates every day from 19th December 2020 until 28th March 2021.
Getting to Ishiuchi Maruyama
By public transport
3.7km from Echigo Yuzawa Station on the Joetsu Shinkansen line
1.3km from Ishiuchi Station on the Joetsu Line
The Hatsukaishi Entrance is the closest to central Yuzawa and less than 4km from Echigo Yuzawa Station on the Joetsu line and Joetsu Shinkansen line.
The Kanko Entrance is about 2km from the small local train line Ishiuchi Station on the Joetsu line but this is a station and there is no bus service to the resort.
Most people visiting Ishiuchi Maruyama by train use Echigo Yuzawa Station and the shuttle bus from there.
There is a shuttle bus service between the East Exit of Echigo Yuzawa Station and the Chuo Entrance of Ishiuchi Maruyama for day return visitors. This is a free service and takes 10-15 minutes, the first bus is at 5:40pm.
A taxi journey from Echigo Yuzawa Station to Ishiuchi Maruyama costs from around 2,000 yen. The Hatsukaishi Entrance is the closest to Yuzawa.
2.7km from the Shiozawa Ishiuchi IC on the Kanetsu Expressway
4.6km from the Yuzawa IC on the Kanetsu Expressway
14.3km from the Muikamachi IC on the Kanetsu Expressway
Nearest national route: Route 17 (0.1km away)
The closest exit of the Kanetsu Expressway is Shiozawa Ishiuchi IC (2.7km) but the Yuzawa IC (4.6km) is also convenient (and a little cheaper if you are approaching from the south). From the Shiozawa Ishiuchi IC, turn right onto Prefecture Road 28 for about 1km until reaching the traffic lights on Route 17. Turn left onto Route 17 and about 1km later turn right at the signposts for Ishiuchi Maruyama. The main car park is a few hundred metres further along that road on the left hand side.
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