Akakura - Reviews

We Love Big Dumps

POWDERHOUNDS.COM
14/04/2016
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Month Visited:
    February
Lovely powder! Face shot! Shhhhh.... Dusk...we gave night skiing a skip Plenty of pow
This was the 3rd time over a 5 year period that we have visited the Akakura Onsen village and its associated ski resorts. The essence of Akakura Onsen was still pretty much the same (and the village didn’t look as run down as it used to), but there has been a significant influx of foreigners visiting the town and the ski areas.

Akakura still has plenty of strengths (see the overview page for our thoughts on the pros and cons), but it was much busier (especially on weekends) and fresh powder wasn’t quite as easy to score as it once was. Ski patrol were much stricter which lead to the con of potentially losing the lift pass (we saw this happen to a few people), but the pro of getting freshies if you can be super discrete. It was a bit tricky to figure out what ski patrol were cool with, but it seemed that heading outside the resort boundaries was OK – just not crossing under a lift.

On this visit, Akakura showed its true colours by providing us with a 50cm dump from a storm from the NW. The powder was very light and decidedly delicious, and whilst we had to fossick around a little bit, we scored plenty of freshies!

Plenty of Pow

POWDERHOUNDS.COM
04/01/2011
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Month Visited:
    January
Getting to the two ski resorts was incredibly easy from our little ryokan in the upper Akakura village. Not having to catch a shuttle bus to go skiing was the first bonus of this ski area.

Akakura is a great spot for powder hounds considering the abundant snowfall and lack of crowds. We visited over the New Year holidays, the busiest time of the season, and there were still very few punters fighting for the freshies.

Akakura has some nice mellow trees but it has a few terrain limitations for powder chasers. The only steep terrain doesn’t follow the fall line and quickly dips into gullies, and at Akakan the top lift is way too low. In some respects it’s a shame that some of the fantastic backcountry terrain isn’t lift serviced, but for those who want to hike (you’ll absolutely need snowshoes or skins), the rewards are sweet.

The lack of “resortification” of Akakura is a huge plus, as is the lack of gaijin. The little village still feels like the “real Japan” (albeit very run down in places), the locals are incredibly friendly, and the restaurants and izakaya vibe adds to the whole experience.