is a large scale ski and snowboard resort located to the south-west of central Yuzawa town in Niigata Prefecture. Kagura was originally known as two separate ski resorts - Kagura Mitsumata and Kagura Tashiro. Since 2006, the whole area has been operating and is known simply as 'Kagura'. It is made up of three official areas - the Mitsumata Area, the Tashiro Area and the central Kagura Area. The courses at both Mitsumata and Tashiro are reached from their respective car parks by large Ropeway cable cars. The Mitsumata Ropeway (about 10km from central Yuzawa town) holds up to 121 people, while the Tashiro Ropeway (about 17km from central Yuzawa town) holds up to 101 people. The slopes of the central Kagura Area are accessed via the slopes and lifts of the Mitsumata or Tashiro Areas.
The Tashiro Area is connected to the Naeba
resort via the 'Dragondola' (gondola cable car) during the main season. The whole of Kagura and connecting Naeba
resort are together known as 'Mt Naeba' and a joint lift ticket is available.
Kagura is famous for it's 6 month-long season, backcountry access and usually some of the best snow conditions in the region. Artificial 'snow mats' have been laid on the 1,100m Family course in the Mitsumata area which is open during the summer and on weekends in the autumn.
Due to damage caused by the powerful typhoon in October 2019, the downhill course at Mitsumata (from the base of the ski course down to the Mitsumata car park) was closed last season but it appears to be opening for 2020-2021 winter season.
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.