The Kandatsu Kogen Ski Resort in Yuzawa has the steepest terrain in Niigata, however before experts get too excited and conjure up thoughts of Corbet’s Couloir in Jackson Hole, remember that Kandatsu Kogen is in Japan, so of course there’s no in-bounds terrain that’s particularly challenging! Kandatsu ski resort has a handful of black runs, one of which hits a gradient of 45 degrees for a quick moment. The black marked trails are mostly very short and sweet, and the degree of challenge really depends on the size of the egg carton shaped moguls. Meanwhile in the off-piste zones, the steep tree skiing will definitely keep advanced riders on their toes.
Kandatsu Kogen (formerly Pine Ridge Resorts Kandatsu) is good for a day trip from Tokyo
, or for a day as part of a multi-day trip to the various Yuzawa ski resorts
. With low elevation and relative protection from the elements, Kandatsu Kogen Ski Resort is ideal for a powder day when some of the higher resorts such as Naeba
have lifts closed. Kandatsu is also great for insomniacs considering there is night skiing on Saturday nights until 4am!
Kandatsu Kogen Ski and Snowboard Terrain
Like many other Japanese ski resorts, Kandatsu Kogen is rather small with just 13 courses and 5 lifts (if they have all the lifts running). The resort officially has 540 metres of vertical drop (460-1,000m), although most of the runs are much shorter than this because they terminate at a mid-mountain hub, and below this is just one beginner trail. So the plus is you can easily keep track of your family and friends, whilst the downside is that déjà vu may ensue.
The ski area is contained within a snow-catching half bowl. The valley features a long green run, which would be considered a little steep for novices. Intermediates have only a few runs, and some of the black runs could be categorised as “red” depending on the size of the bumps.
Kandatsu has some great tree skiing, although the trees are steep and pretty tight in places so you’ll need a tight turning radius. Sometimes the ski patrollers are lenient and at others they enjoy blowing their whistle, so it always pays to be discrete.
Where is Kandatsu Kogen?
Kandatsu Kogen is one of the Yuzawa ski resorts
, located 4.3km by road south of the centre of Yuzawa town and the Echigo-Yuzawa train station.
The town of Yuzawa has a good range of hotels, ryokans and inns. There are very regular buses between Yuzawa and Kandatsu Kogen, and some of the local hotels and inns provide additional shuttle services. Staying near the train station is the most ideal to catch the Kandatsu Kogen bus. See the Yuzawa accommodation
page for more information on hotels near the station.
Yuzawa Hotel Listings
The Resort Hall is an over-the-top day lodge at the base that houses most of the resort amenities, including equipment rentals, a retail shop, ski school, cafeteria, and even a huge events area where parties are hosted. There is a proper nap facility (does this mean the Japanese won’t just have a sleep at the table in the cafeteria!) and a large public bath on the 5th floor as well as a Rotenburo (outdoor onsen) on the balcony overlooking the slopes; perfect for a relaxing soak after skiing or snowboarding.
Mid-mountain is a large day lodge with a cafeteria that has a large range of food offerings.
In their marketing spiel, Kandatsu claims to have the nicest ski resort toilets in Japan. You’d think the resort would focus on the steeps or some other claim to fame! The toilets are nice enough, with hairdryers and beauty products and the usual fancy bidets etc, but I don’t think they’d win any awards!
Summary of Pros and Cons of Kandatsu Kogen
- The terrain is particularly good for confident beginners to low level intermediates.
- Kandatsu Ski Resort has some fantastic steep tree skiing for experts.
- The slopes are mostly north facing so even though the ski area is not very high, the snow is generally very good.
- The ski area is more protected than some of the higher resorts nearby, so it can be a good pick for storm riding.
- On a fine day, the views from the top are very nice.
- It’s very easy to get to Kandatsu Kogen from Tokyo.
- The ski area is not very big, but at least there are plenty of other ski resorts in the region if you need lots of variety.
- The operation of the Musawa quad chair, the lift that provides access to some of the most amazing tree skiing, is rather hit and miss and possibly only open on weekends.
- Mid level intermediates would be much better placed at other Yuzawa ski resorts such as Gala Yuzawa or Ishiuchi Maruyama.
Tours & Packages That May Include Kandatsu
Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area Tours
See all Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area tours that visit Kandatsu Kogen here
GUIDED PROGRESSION PACKAGES
2 Nights | 2 Days Guided Instruction
From price based on twin/double-share room mid-week (Sunday night through to Thursday night) and is based on a 2-day/night package.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Ability: Intermediate, Strong Intermediate
Improve your skiing & snowboarding skills with a qualified instructor whilst visiting some of Japan's fabulous ski areas (11 to choose from) in the Echigo-Yuzawa region. This package is ideally suited to low intermediate and above skiers and boarders who want to improve skills on the piste & in powder.