Joetsu Kokusai (Minamiuonuma City, Niigata)

Joetsu Kokusai
(新潟県 南魚沼市)
Planned season: Saturday 7th December 2019 until Sunday 5th April 2020
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Latest report posted at 7:27am on Saturday 18th April 2020
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Joetsu Kokusai (often known as 'Jo-koku') is located in the south western area of Minamiuonuma city in Niigata Prefecture. Despite the name it is actually in the Chuetsu region of Niigata (rather than the Joetsu region). The resort covers an extremely wide area and has four main interconnected 'areas'. The main area close to the train station and by the Hotel Green Plaza Joetsu is known as East. There are three other areas - the South 'Active Zone' (often known as Osawa), the North 'Panorama Zone' (often known at Atema) and the West 'Forest Zone'. Due to the scale of Joetsu Kokusai, it is a probably a good idea to concentrate on one or two of the areas rather than try to cover it all in one day. Joetsu Kokusai has been operating since 1968 and so the resort is now into it's 51st year for 2018-2019

Joetsu Kokusai and Iwappara resort in neighbouring Yuzawa town offer joint lift tickets and season tickets.

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.

The Mountain

ropeways Ropeways gondolas Gondolas quad lifts Quad lifts triple lifts Triple lifts pair lifts Pair lifts single lifts Single lifts other lifts Other
0 0 3 4 18 0 0

Joetsu Kokusai Course Map

Click on the below image for a larger map
Course Map Small

Joetsu Kokusai Snow Depth Statistics

Official snow depth numbers from the current season and previous season
December January February March
1st - - 1st 40cm 210cm 1st 70cm 320cm 1st 120cm 240cm
2nd - - 2nd 40cm 200cm 2nd 80cm 330cm 2nd 110cm 240cm
3rd - - 3rd 40cm 220cm 3rd 80cm 320cm 3rd 110cm 240cm
4th - - 4th 50cm 220cm 4th 80cm 310cm 4th 100cm 230cm
5th - - 5th 70cm 200cm 5th 70cm 300cm 5th 100cm 230cm
6th - - 6th 70cm 200cm 6th 100cm 290cm 6th 110cm 220cm
7th 15cm - 7th 70cm 220cm 7th 120cm 290cm 7th 110cm 220cm
8th 10cm - 8th 70cm 220cm 8th 130cm 290cm 8th 100cm 230cm
9th 10cm 20cm 9th 70cm 230cm 9th 150cm 300cm 9th 100cm 230cm
10th 10cm 60cm 10th 60cm 220cm 10th 160cm 310cm 10th 80cm 220cm
11th 10cm 40cm 11th 60cm 210cm 11th 170cm 310cm 11th 70cm 210cm
12th 10cm 30cm 12th 60cm 210cm 12th 170cm 310cm 12th 70cm 210cm
13th 15cm 30cm 13th 60cm 210cm 13th 160cm 310cm 13th 60cm 200cm
14th 10cm 30cm 14th 50cm 200cm 14th 150cm 310cm 14th 60cm 230cm
15th 10cm 50cm 15th 50cm 200cm 15th 140cm 310cm 15th 60cm 220cm
16th 10cm 50cm 16th 60cm 200cm 16th 130cm 310cm 16th 60cm 210cm
17th 5cm 40cm 17th 60cm 210cm 17th 120cm 320cm 17th 60cm 210cm
18th 5cm 40cm 18th 60cm 210cm 18th 140cm 320cm 18th 60cm 200cm
19th 5cm 40cm 19th 60cm 230cm 19th 160cm 310cm 19th 50cm 200cm
20th 5cm 40cm 20th 60cm 220cm 20th 150cm 300cm 20th 50cm 190cm
21st 5cm 40cm 21st 60cm 240cm 21st 140cm 290cm 21st 40cm 180cm
22nd 5cm 40cm 22nd 70cm 270cm 22nd 130cm 290cm 22nd 40cm 170cm
23rd 5cm 40cm 23rd 70cm 270cm 23rd 120cm 280cm 23rd - 170cm
24th 5cm 40cm 24th 60cm 270cm 24th 120cm 270cm 24th - 180cm
25th 10cm 40cm 25th 60cm 280cm 25th 110cm 260cm 25th - 180cm
26th 10cm 40cm 26th 60cm 300cm 26th 110cm 260cm 26th - 180cm
27th 10cm 40cm 27th 50cm 310cm 27th 120cm 250cm 27th - 170cm
28th 20cm 90cm 28th 50cm 310cm 28th 130cm 250cm 28th - 170cm
29th 30cm 140cm 29th 50cm 320cm 29th 120cm - 29th - 160cm
30th 30cm 180cm 30th 50cm 320cm 30th 30th - 160cm
31st 30cm 210cm 31st 50cm 310cm 31st 31st - 150cm

Previous Statistics

Joetsu Kokusai Facilities

Ski School: Available Snowboard School: Available
Ski and snowboard lessons are available at Joetsu Kokusai. 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. 
Equipment Rental
Ski Rental: Available Snowboard Rental: Available
Ski and snowboard equipment rental is available.
Ski and snowboard wear rental is also available. 
Children Facilities
Children's facilities
The 'Yuki-no-yuenchi Kids Paradise' area is found in the area in front of the main resort hotel - 500 yen entry charge. 'Spongebob Snow Camp' and children lessons are available.

A child-care facility 'Pou-kun-no-uchi' in front of the hotel is also available. 
Park Information
Park information
The 'Snow Park' can be found by the side of one of the main central courses in front of the hotel and features various items including a half pipe. 

Joetsu Kokusai Season & Opening Times

Typical season is from Early December until Early April
October November December January February March April May June July
Weekends and holidays Normally open from 8:00am until 5:00pm
Weekdays Normally open from 8:00am until 5:00pm
'Nighta' (night skiing)
Weekends and holidays Yes
Weekdays Yes
Opening information
Opening information
Joetsu Kokusai is open from 8:00am until 5:00pm every day in the daytime.

Nighta in the main area in front of the base hotel is scheduled for every day from 14th December 2019 until 22nd March 2020 and is open until 9:00pm.

Nighta in the Osawa and Atema areas of the resort is from 28th December 2019 through 3rd January 2020 and Saturdays between 4th January and 21st March 2020. Also on 12th January and 23rd February 2020.

Joetsu Kokusai Lift Ticket Charges

Adults Child
3 years to Elementary School age
55 years & over
Long 1 Day (8am-9pm) 4,300 yen 2,500 yen 3,300 yen
6 Hours 3,300 yen 2,000 yen 2,500 yen
2 Days 7,500 yen 3,500 yen 5,500 yen
3 Days 10,500 yen 4,500 yen 7,500 yen
Nighta (5pm-9pm) 1,500 yen 1,000 yen 1,000 yen
Season Ticket 35,000 yen 25,000 yen 28,000 yen
Season Ticket (JK + I) 55,000 yen 35,000 yen 45,000 yen
Lift Ticket Information 2019-2020 season lift tickets

The 5 Hour ticket is valid for 5 hours from the time of purchase.

Special early (7th Dec - 13th Dec) and spring season (23rd-29th March 2019) tickets are available as follows:

Adults: 2,000 yen
Junior: 1,500 yen
Senior: 1,500 yen

The Season Ticket noted as 'JK+I' is valid for the season at both Joetsu Kokusai and the Iwappara resorts. With the joint Joetsu Kokusai and Iwappara season ticket, one day lift tickets at GALA Yuzawa can be bought for 1,500 yen.
With the Joetsu Kokusai-only season ticket, one day lift tickets for Iwappara or GALA Yuzawa resorts can be bought for 1,500 yen.
Parking is also free for season ticket holders along with other special discounts.

Getting to Joetsu Kokusai

By public transport
12.5km from Echigo Yuzawa Station on the Joetsu Shinkansen line
0.1km from Joetsu Kokusai Ski Jo Mae Station on the Joetsu Line
12.5km from Echigo Yuzawa Station on the Joetsu Line
Transport Information
The Joetsu Kokusai Ski Jo Mae Station is a small train station on the Joetsu line and is located right at the base of Joetsu Kokusai - the closest ski lift is about 100m from the station exit. Local trains from the major Echigo Yuzawa Station are available - the train journey from Echigo Yuzawa Station to Joetsu Kokusai Ski Jo Mae Station takes about 14 minutes. There are shuttle buses available from Echigo Yuzawa Station to the main base of Joetsu Kokusai.

>> More information on getting to Minamiuonuma by public transport
A free shuttle bus is available from the East Exit of Echigo Yuzawa Station to the main base of Joetsu Kokusai. The journey takes about 20 minutes. If connections are convenient, it's quicker and recommended to take the local train to the Joetsu Kokusai Ski Jo Mae Station near the base lifts of Joetsu Kokusai.

A taxi journey from Echigo Yuzawa Station to the main base of Joetsu Kokusai costs around 4,800 yen.
By Car
5.7km from the Shiozawa Ishiuchi IC on the Kanetsu Expressway
9.4km from the Muikamachi IC on the Kanetsu Expressway
13.3km from the Yuzawa IC on the Kanetsu Expressway
Nearest national route: Route 17 (1.1km away)
Nearest prefecture road: Prefecture Road 451
The main base of Joetsu Kokusai is about 6km from the Shiozawa Ishiuchi IC and just over 9km from the Muikamachi IC of the Kanetsu Expressway.

From the Shiozawa Ishiuchi IC turn right onto Prefecture Road 28 for about 1km until reaching the traffic lights on Route 17. Turn right onto Route 17 for about 4.5km until reaching a set of traffic lights with a large Joetsu Kokusai sign on the left hand side and a 7-11 on the far right side. Turn left at these traffic lights and go straight ahead for about 1km to arrive at the resort and main base car park.

From the Tsunan town and Tokamachi city areas to the west side using Route 117, turn east off that road onto Prefecture Road 76 at the Atema Iriguchi traffic lights. Follow the road for about 6.5km to the Atema car parks.

>> More information on getting to Minamiuonuma by car
There are 4 main parking areas available at base areas of Joetsu Kokusai. At the main base in the East area there is parking for 1500 vehicles. An additional nearby parking area for up to 2000 vehicles called Mina is usually open only on weekends and holidays. At the South area (Osawa) there is parking for 1000 vehicles at the South area. There is also parking for 500 vehicles at the base of the West area (Atema) which allows good access from Route 117, Tsunan town and Tokamachi city. There is no parking available at the North 'Panorama Zone'.

Parking is free on every day of the season at the Mina, Osawa and Atema car parks. Parking is free at the main base parking on weekdays; and 1,000 yen on weekends and holidays.

More Information

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2020-2021 UPDATES
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(Updated 24th September)

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