Iwappara (Yuzawa Town, Niigata)

(新潟県 湯沢町)
Planned season: Saturday 21st December 2019 until Sunday 29th March 2020
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Latest report posted at 7:27am on Saturday 18th April 2020
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Iwappara enjoys a commanding position on the southern slopes of the Mt Iiji close to the central area of Yuzawa town in Niigata Prefecture and is clearly visible for people approaching on the Kanetsu Expressway. It first opened in 1931 and has a long history. The central part of the resort has long, wide and gentle slopes making that area particularly suitable for beginners. More advanced skiers and boarders will want to head up to the top for more of a challenge. A joint lift ticket and season pass that is valid at Iwappara and Joetsu Kokusai in Minamiuonuma is available.

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.

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 2 0 7 0 0

Iwappara Course Map

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

Iwappara Snow Depth Statistics

Official snow depth numbers from the current season and previous season
December January February March
1st - - 1st 30cm 165cm 1st 60cm 245cm 1st 85cm 195cm
2nd - - 2nd 30cm 150cm 2nd 60cm 250cm 2nd 80cm 190cm
3rd - - 3rd 30cm 175cm 3rd 50cm 230cm 3rd 75cm 190cm
4th - - 4th 30cm 175cm 4th 50cm 220cm 4th 70cm 185cm
5th - - 5th 50cm 160cm 5th 50cm 215cm 5th 60cm 185cm
6th - - 6th 50cm 165cm 6th 80cm 210cm 6th 70cm 180cm
7th - - 7th 45cm 175cm 7th 80cm 210cm 7th 60cm 175cm
8th - - 8th 40cm 180cm 8th 80cm 210cm 8th 50cm 180cm
9th - - 9th 40cm 195cm 9th 120cm 215cm 9th - 175cm
10th - - 10th 40cm 185cm 10th 120cm 225cm 10th - 170cm
11th - - 11th 40cm 175cm 11th 140cm 225cm 11th - 165cm
12th - 10cm 12th 40cm 170cm 12th 130cm 225cm 12th - 160cm
13th - 10cm 13th 40cm 165cm 13th 120cm 230cm 13th - 155cm
14th - 10cm 14th 40cm 160cm 14th 120cm 240cm 14th - 170cm
15th - 40cm 15th 40cm 155cm 15th 110cm 240cm 15th - 165cm
16th - 40cm 16th 40cm 155cm 16th 100cm 230cm 16th - 160cm
17th - - 17th 40cm 160cm 17th 90cm 245cm 17th - 155cm
18th - - 18th 40cm 160cm 18th 105cm 235cm 18th - 155cm
19th - - 19th 40cm 195cm 19th 120cm 225cm 19th - 150cm
20th - 30cm 20th 40cm 175cm 20th 105cm 220cm 20th - 145cm
21st 0cm 30cm 21st 50cm 190cm 21st 100cm 215cm 21st - 140cm
22nd 0cm 30cm 22nd 50cm 210cm 22nd 95cm 215cm 22nd - 135cm
23rd 0cm 30cm 23rd 45cm 205cm 23rd 90cm 210cm 23rd - 130cm
24th 5cm 30cm 24th 45cm 205cm 24th 95cm 210cm 24th - 130cm
25th 10cm 30cm 25th 40cm 230cm 25th 90cm 205cm 25th - 130cm
26th - 30cm 26th 45cm 215cm 26th 85cm 200cm 26th - 125cm
27th 5cm 30cm 27th 45cm 255cm 27th 85cm 200cm 27th - 120cm
28th 20cm 70cm 28th 40cm 250cm 28th 95cm 195cm 28th - 115cm
29th 25cm 120cm 29th 40cm 255cm 29th 90cm - 29th - 110cm
30th 20cm 150cm 30th 35cm 245cm 30th 30th - 105cm
31st 15cm 165cm 31st 40cm 225cm 31st 31st - 100cm

Previous Statistics

Iwappara Facilities

Ski School: Available Snowboard School: Available
Ski and snowboard lessons are available at Iwappara. 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 large 'Kids Paradise' area is located near to the base of the central quad lift - it is free to those with valid day tickets, 500 yen entry otherwise. A ticket that is sold at the base Resort Center 1 and includes a 1 time ride on the base Number 1 pair lift (which goes up to the Kids Paradise area) is available for 700 yen. (The ride back down is free).

There is also an indoor area for children to play in. 
Park Information
Park information
The 'Snow Park' is located near Resort Centre 2 in the main area and features a number of items. 

Iwappara Season & Opening Times

Typical season is from Mid December until Late March
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
Iwappara is normally open from 8:00am until 5:00pm every day in the daytime.

Nighta is open every day from Saturday 21st December 2019 until Sunday 22nd March 2020; nighta times are 5:00pm until 7:00pm on weekdays and until 9:00pm on Saturdays and over New Year.

Iwappara Lift Ticket Charges

Adults Child
Kids (3+)
Older Child
Junior (Elementary School)
55 years & over
6 Hours 3,300 yen 1,000 yen 2,000 yen 2,500 yen
Long 1 Day (8am-closing) 4,300 yen 1,000 yen 2,500 yen 3,300 yen
2 Days 7,500 yen 2,000 yen 3,500 yen 5,500 yen
3 Days 10,500 yen 3,000 yen 4,500 yen 7,500 yen
1 Lift Coupon 500 yen 500 yen 500 yen 500 yen
Nighta (5pm until close) 1,500 yen 1,000 yen 1,000 yen 1,000 yen
Season Ticket (Iwappara) 30,000 yen 23,000 yen 25,000 yen
Season Ticket (I + JK) 55,000 yen 23,000 yen 25,000 yen
Lift Ticket Information 2019-2020 season lift tickets

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

The season ticket noted as 'I+JK' is valid for the season at both Iwappara and the Joetsu Kokusai resorts. With the joint Iwappara and Joetsu Kokusai season ticket, one day lift tickets at GALA Yuzawa can be bought for 1,000 yen.

With the Iwappara-only season ticket, one day lift tickets for Joetsu Kokusai or GALA Yuzawa resorts can be bought for 1,500 yen.

Special spring season (23rd March until 29th March 2019) tickets are available as follows:

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

Getting to Iwappara

By public transport
3.3km from Echigo Yuzawa Station on the Joetsu Shinkansen line
3.3km from Echigo Yuzawa Station on the Joetsu Line
3.3km from Echigo Yuzawa Station on the Hokuhoku Line
Transport Information
The nearest train station is Iwappara Ski Jo Mae (named after the resort and about 1km from the base), but it is a very small local Joetsu line station. Most people use Echigo Yuzawa Station which is serviced by the Joetsu local line and Joetsu Shinkansen lines.

>> More information on getting to Yuzawa by public transport
A free shuttle bus is available from the East Exit of Echigo Yuzawa Station. The journey from Echigo Yuzawa Station to Iwappara takes about 12 minutes.

A taxi journey from Echigo Yuzawa Station to Iwappara base costs around 1,500 yen.
By Car
2.9km from the Yuzawa IC on the Kanetsu Expressway
10.5km from the Shiozawa Ishiuchi IC on the Kanetsu Expressway
Nearest national route: Route 17 (2.3km away)
Nearest prefecture road: Prefecture Road 268
The base area of Iwappara (Resort Center 1) is just over 3km away from the Yuzawa IC of the Kanetsu Expressway. Resort Center 2 is located at a higher location and can be accessed by car. It is a further 1.5km along the same road.

From the Yuzawa IC exit, turn left onto Route 17 and go about 600m to the traffic lights at the 7-11 convenience store. Turn left at the traffic lights and continue for about 650m until you reach another set of traffic lights by a Save On convenience store. Turn right at these traffic lights and continue for 850m - through one set of traffic lights until you arrive at the second set of traffic lights. At this junction there are signs for Iwappara. Turn left here and head towards Resort Center 1 which is around 800m from the traffic lights.

>> More information on getting to Yuzawa by car
A number of car parks are available both at base (near Resort Center 1) and further up the mountain. There is parking for about 1500 vehicles. Parking is free on every day of the season.

More Information

Visit official website
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Tsuchitaru 731-79
Course Map Small
Resort Spotlight
Resort Spotlight
2020-2021 UPDATES
Important information about our 20-21 season updates

(Updated 24th September)

If you are interested in ski areas from Japan's past, check out SnowJapanHistory
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Snow conditions 66
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Lift system 58
Apres ski 50
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