is famous for being the only ski and snowboard resort 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 resort 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 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.
A new IC card lift ticket system has been installed at GALA Yuzawa for the 2020-2021 winter season.
GALA Yuzawa is lift-connected to the Yuzawa Kogen
resort (from the Southern Area) and also to the Ishiuchi Maruyama
resort (from the Northern Area). A joint lift ticket that is valid at all three resorts is available - it is called 'Yuzawa Snow Link'. A new simple course that connects the North Area with the base of the Central Area opened for the 2017-2018 season and last season the ‘play in the snow’ area near the Central base - called 'Snow Enjoyment Park' - has been expanded.
Yuzawa town and neighbouring Minamiuonuma city - located around 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.