GALA Yuzawa is famous for being the only ski area in Japan with its own Shinkansen bullet train station - the train station and ski gondola which goes up to the base of the main courses are actually in the same base building. Such convenience makes GALA Yuzawa extremely popular for day-trips from Tokyo and the ski area increasingly caters for the growing number of international visitors. GALA Yuzawa has been operating since 1990.
There are four main areas to GALA - Central Area, Southern Area, Northern Area and the Falcon downhill course. With a relatively high altitude, GALA Yuzawa enjoys a long season and generally some of the best snow conditions in the region. Much of the Southern Area is left ungroomed and is usually relatively quiet. There is also an ungroomed course (Super Swan) in the Northern Area.
GALA Yuzawa is lift-connected to Yuzawa Kogen (from the Southern Area) and also to Ishiuchi Maruyama (from the Northern Area). A joint lift ticket that is valid at all three ski areas is available.
Yuzawa town and neighbouring Minamiuonuma city are home to over 20 individual ski areas, including some of the most well-known in Japan. With easy and quick access by train and road and a wide choice in a relatively compact area, this region is one of Japan's most popular ski destinations. The region usually enjoys very heavy and consistent snowfall each winter. Yuzawa town is known as being the inspiration for the famous Nobel prize-winning novel Yukiguni (Snow Country).
Ski and snowboard lessons are available at GALA Yuzawa - lessons in English and other languages are available directly with the ski area There are also a number of independent ski and snowboard schools that cover the Yuzawa area, please check the Lessons in English section for current listings on SnowJapan.
Ski and snowboard equipment & wear rental is available.
The Snow Enjoyment Park (Yuki Asobi Park) area with a moving walkway is near the base of the ski runs in the Central Area of GALA Yuzawa. It is free to use (though you need to get up there via the Gondola which is charged). Usually open from 8:15am until 4:00pm during the main season and until 3:00pm during the spring season.
A Kids Room child-care facility is available on the 2nd Floor of the Resthouse 'Cheers' and is for children ages 2-6 years old. The charge for two hours is 2,400 yen. Open from 10:00am until 12:00pm and from 1:30pm until 3:30pm, between 11th December 2021 and 3rd April 2022.
The Snow Park is in the Northern Area comprising of a Step Up Park, Free Ride Park and Kicker Zone.
There is also a Free Ride Park Eliza area in the Southern Area.
GALA Yuzawa Season & Opening Times
Typical season is from Mid December until Early May
Weekends and holidays
Normally open from 8:00am until 5:00pm
Normally open from 8:00am until 5:00pm
'Nighta' (night skiing)
Weekends and holidays
The Gondola lift at GALA Yuzawa is normally open from 8:00am until 5:00pm.
It is open until 4:00pm from 1st April 2022.
The base Ski Center building is normally open from 7:00am until 7:15pm.
There is no night skiing at GALA Yuzawa.
GALA Yuzawa Lift Ticket Charges
Elementary School age
55 years & over
Gondola (1 day)
2021-2022 Season Lift Tickets
Pre school age children can ride the lifts for free at GALA Yuzawa (up to 2 children).
The above ticket charges are valid from 18th December 2021 until 31st March 2022.
Cheaper tickets are available online and also for the early and late seasons (until 17th December 2021 and from 1st April 2022).
Getting to GALA Yuzawa
By public transport
0km from Gala Yuzawa Station on the Joetsu Shinkansen line
1.9km from Echigo Yuzawa Station on the Joetsu Line
1.9km from Echigo Yuzawa Station on the Hokuhoku Line
GALA Yuzawa is unique in that it has it's own Shinkansen bullet train station. As an extension to the main Joetsu Shinkansen line and just 2km further on from the main Echigo Yuzawa Station, the GALA Yuzawa building houses both the train platform and the ski resort gondola. Not all Joetsu Shinkansen train services stop at Gala Yuzawa Station and so be sure before choosing which train. If you do get on a train that stops only at Echigo Yuzawa Station, there are free shuttle buses from there to GALA Yuzawa and they only take around five minutes.
Connections to the Hokuhoku line are also available at Echigo Yuzawa Station.
Excellent value day trip return tickets that include the Joetsu Shinkansen train and ski lift tickets are available.
On arriving at GALA Yuzawa Station there is no need for a shuttle bus because the gondola to the ski slopes is within the same building.
A free shuttle bus is available from the West Exit of Echigo Yuzawa Station. Another free shuttle bus connects GALA Yuzawa with the nearby Yuzawa Kogen and NASPA Ski Garden ski areas and there are also bus connections to nearby Ishiuchi Maruyama.
A taxi journey from Echigo Yuzawa Station to GALA Yuzawa takes less than 5 minutes and costs around 900 yen.
4.1km from the Yuzawa IC on the Kanetsu Expressway
6.3km from the Shiozawa Ishiuchi IC on the Kanetsu Expressway
Nearest national route: Route 17 (0.8km away)
Nearest prefecture road: Prefecture Road 462
From the Yuzawa IC exit, turn right onto Route 17 and continue north towards Minamiuonuma for 3.4km after which there is a large sign for GALA Yuzawa on the left hand side. Turn left at the sign and follow the road for about 700m to the car parks at GALA Yuzawa. There is a small car park right in front of the GALA Yuzawa building, and once that is full staff will direct you to the other nearby car parks.
GALA Yuzawa is about 4km from the Yuzawa IC of the Kanetsu Expressway. Parking at GALA Yuzawa is free every day of the season.
The car parks are open 24 hours a day with space for about 400 cars.
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