Muikamachi Hakkaisan is located on the western slopes of Mt Hakkai in the northern region of Minamiuonuma city in Niigata Prefecture. This resort is popular for long and challenging mogul courses and also some smoother intermediate cruising style courses. Beginners will prefer to stay near base, though there is also a winding course down from the peak for those wanting to avoid the steeper top areas. The main 81 person capacity Ropeway (which regularly goes from close-to base to the top of the resort) moves at quite some speed! In the green season mountain biking is possible on the slopes and in autumn the Ropeway is busy with people enjoying the beautiful autumn colours and views of Hakkai-san mountain.
Muikamachi Hakkaisan celebrated its 35th Anniversary for the 2018-2019 season and they operated the Number 2 lift daily - in recent seasons before that it had only opened on weekends and holidays. Unfortunately, it looks like that lift will again only be open on weekends and holidays from opening through the end of February. In addition, the pair lift towards the top of the mountain is also only going to be operating on weekends and holidays until February (though open every day in March). If that top pair lift is closed, you need to take the Ropeway to access the top half of the resort.
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.
Buses are available from the East Exit of Muikamachi Station direct to Muikamachi Hakkaisan and the journey takes about 30 minutes. The bus charge from Muikamachi Station is 430 yen for adults and 220 yen for children, with skis/boards costing an additional 100 yen.
A bus from the East Exit of Echigo Yuzawa Station is also available on weekends and holidays between 21st December 2019 and 15th March 2020. The bus leaves at 9:00am and is free - it is limited to 40 people. The journey takes about 1 hour.
12.4km from the Muikamachi IC on the Kanetsu Expressway
16.9km from the Yamato Smart IC on the Kanetsu Expressway
22.9km from the Koide IC on the Kanetsu Expressway
Nearest national route: Route 291 (6.8km away)
Nearest prefecture road: Prefecture Road 214
The nearest IC exit on the Kanetsu Expressway is Muikamachi IC.
From the Muikamachi IC exit, turn left at the traffic lights onto Route 253 for about 700m until reaching the traffic lights on Route 17. Turn left onto Route 17 heading north towards Nagaoka for about 2.5km. Turn right into Prefecture Road 214 and follow the road straight on to the resort. Muikamachi Hakkaisan is about 9km from Route 17.
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