Seki Onsen3.5 out of 5 based on 4 reviews
  • Recommend
    100%
  • Would Revisit
    100%
Wagner Custome Skis
Nagano Niigata Guided Ski & Snowboard Tour

Seki Onsen Myoko Japan
Seki Onsen Myoko Japan
Deep Seki powder
Deep Seki powder
The main street of Seki Onsen
The main street of Seki Onsen
Seki Japan: plentiful powder
Seki Japan: plentiful powder
A weekend powder day lift line
A weekend powder day lift line
Looking down to the village
Looking down to the village
Seki has some nice steep terrain
Seki has some nice steep terrain
Off-piste skiing Seki Japan
Off-piste skiing Seki Japan
The lower lift
The lower lift
The top chair lift
The top chair lift
One of the piste runs
One of the piste runs
Early season conditions
Early season conditions
The mid-mountain restaurant
The mid-mountain restaurant
Seki Onsen village
Seki Onsen village
Seki Onsen Myoko
Seki Onsen Myoko
Seki Onsen Japan
Seki Onsen Japan
Waiting for the lift to open at 9am
Waiting for the lift to open at 9am
Nice powder!
Nice powder!
The deluxe Uguisu no Hatsune Ryokan
The deluxe Uguisu no Hatsune Ryokan
The walkway between the main street and the slopes
The walkway between the main street and the slopes

Seki Onsen

Seki Onsen Ski Resort

Seki Onsen is one of the Myoko ski resorts, and an off-piste haven for powder hounds. Seki Onsen Ski Resort attracts a lot of hype for its steep tree skiing and the masses of snow that bestow the ski area; somewhere in the realm of 14.5 to 16 metres on average per season! In some respects Seki lives up to the hype, but in others it just doesn’t stack up. It’s definitely steep and deep, but it's also rather petite!

Seki Onsen is an ideal spot to visit for a powder day or two from Akakura Onsen (the main village of Myoko Kogen), or you can stay in the Seki Onsen village for a few days if you want to experience the real Japan and stay off the well beaten tourist path. Otherwise Seki is ideal as part of a multi-day tour.

Seki Onsen isn’t really a “resort”. It’s a little ski area that is family owned and has only a handful of staff, very limited infrastructure, and no bells or whistles (or ski patrollers with a whistle for that matter).

Seki Ski and Snowboard Terrain

The Seki Onsen ski area is just a wee little thing and it doesn’t take long for the handful of locals to rip up the in-bounds powder. To give you an idea of the size, it officially has 4 runs (courses), 310 metres of vertical (900 – 1,210 metres), and 2 little lifts. The top lift is a single chair (fondly known as a suicide or pizza box chair) and it's not always open. And on a big powder day it can take them a while to open the bottom chair considering the massive snow depths and the lack of sophisticated machinery to dig the chairs out.

With official trail stats of 20% beginner, 50% intermediate and 30% advanced, you could be sucked into thinking this is a good place to bring the family or some learners, but think again! There’s really only one intermediate run, and it may or may not be groomed. It may depend on whether the grooming man is working or not, and whether the grooming machine is working or not!

The terrain is characterised as being rather steep and it has a mixture of small open areas, tight trees and open glades.

Unlike many Honshu ski resorts, there’s no ban on off-piste skiing and snowboarding (lucky considering there are only 4 piste runs!) and you can venture a fair way from the lifts in search of freshies.

Seki Snow

Seki Onsen reputably gets 16 metres per season, and another source cites 14.5 metres (they probably don’t have a staff member who heads out after a dump to measure the snowfall). Either way, it scores a lot of snow!

Where is Seki Onsen Japan?

Seki Onsen is considered one of the Myoko Kogen ski resorts, and is located north of Nagano in the Niigata Prefecture. Sekiyama is a 30 minute drive northwest of Akakura (the main village of Myoko), and about 12km from the town of Myokokogen.

Seki Onsen Accommodation

The small Seki Onsen village is very cute and traditional and has ryokans and other Japanese style accommodation. And it’s not called Seki “Onsen” for nothing with various onsen hot springs in the ryokan.

Seki Onsen Accommodation Listings

Facilities

The facilities and services at Seki are reasonably simplistic. There is a ski rental shop but don’t have your heart set on renting equipment from this century. The ski area also has a restaurant and eatery.

Most of the Seki Onsen ryokan and pensions have onsen, which can be used by day trippers for a small fee.

Summary of Pros and Cons of Seki Onsen Myoko

Pros

  • Colossal amounts of snow fall from the heavens at Seki.
  • Much of the terrain is steep and the treed areas are varied.
  • Lift tickets are very inexpensive (although you don’t get much for your handful of yen).
  • The resort has a liberal off-piste policy so you won’t have a ski patroller chasing you.

Cons

  • Seki is fabulous; shame it’s so tiny.
  • The ski area is rather boring if it hasn’t snowed recently.
  • The main parts can get tracked out pretty quickly.
  • On a weekend powder day, the lift queues can be very tiresome.

Pro or Con Depending On Your Perspective

  • The village of Seki Onsen doesn’t cater particularly well to gaijin, so it’s a fabulous place to get away from the gaijin.
  • Seki is a no frills ski resort with limited infrastructure and negligible grooming. This is awesome in some respects, but when they can’t get the lifts running first thing in the morning, it’s not so great.

Tours That May Include Seki Onsen

Safari (Road Trip) Tours
Nagano Niigata Explorer DETAILS
HOSTED & GUIDED ROAD TRIP
10 Nights | 8 Days Skiing/Riding | Up to 8 Ski Areas
From price based on twin/double-share option for a group of 6.
Base/invoice currency is in AUD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 3,239
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Based in Myoko Kogen, enjoy Honshu's rich culture and visit up to 8 ski areas including Myoko (5 ski areas), Nozawa Onsen, Kurohime, Shiga Kogen (18 inter-connected ski areas), Madarao, Tangram & a few other secret spots
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Myoko & Madarao Tour DETAILS
HOSTED & GUIDED TOUR
9 Days | 8 Nights | 6 Days Riding
From price based on twin/double-share option.
Base/invoice currency is in AUD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 2,015
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Advanced
Ideal for snowboarders getting used to riding deeper powder. Experience the rich Japanese culture of Myoko Kogen and its famous deep, deep powder. Also head to Madarao where you will ride the renowned trees.
More
Myoko Powder Tour DETAILS
HOSTED & GUIDED TOUR
8 Days | 7 Nights | 5 Days Riding
From price based on twin/double-share option.
Base/invoice currency is in AUD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 1,699
Ability: Intermediate to Advanced
Make the most of the Myoko region which is renowned for receiving huge snowfalls. Experience the rich Japanese culture of Myoko Kogen and its famous deep, deep powder.
More
See all Safari (Road Trip) tours that visit Seki Onsen here
Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area Tours
Myoko Powder Packages DETAILS
HOSTED & SEMI-GUIDED PACKAGES
7 Nights | 6 Days Lifts | 5 Days Guiding
Sample price based on twin/double-share option based on 7-night sample package
Base/invoice currency is in AUD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 1,493
To be eligible for any advertised specials you must book & pay the required deposit by the last day of the promotion...no exceptions.
Ability: Beginner to Advanced
Get the best out of Myoko Kogen and nearby ski areas and chase the powder with a Powder Recon Myoko Kogen ski package. This hosted package includes accommodation at a quality Japanese hotel/ryokan. Great for families as well! The sample price is for 7 nights, but you can choose your length of stay.
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Nagano-Niigata Local Secrets Tour DETAILS
GUIDED POWDER ADVENTURE
6 Nights | 5 Days Riding / Skiing | Nagano Niigata
From price based on twin/double-share room.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 2,184
Book & pay full amount of tour by Aug 31, 2016 and receive a 10% discount on the advertised price.
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Ski/ride with local guides who have grown up in the Nagano Niigata region & experience the "Local Secret Stashes" (at up to 3 ski areas) that the average tourists don't know about. This 7 day tour is based in Madarao includes accommodation, breakfast, most dinners, guiding, lift tickets & transport to other ski areas.
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See all Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area tours that visit Seki Onsen here
Backcountry Skiing Tours
Alps to Coast Tour DETAILS
HAKUBA & MYOKO BC ADVENTURE
9 Nights | 8 Days Guided Skiing / Riding
From price based on a twin share room (price displayed is per person).
Base/invoice currency is in JPY inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 2,721
5% discount off advertised price if you book before July 15
Ability: Advanced to Expert
The HAKUBA ALPS are the ultimate when it comes to steep alpine terrain in Japan and the MYOKO KOGEN area receives some of the highest snow falls in Japan. This backcountry tour takes in the steep & deep alpine terrain of the Hakuba Valley and the deep POW around Myoko.
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Myoko Deep Tour DETAILS
MYOKO BC ADVENTURE
9 Nights | 8 Days Guided Skiing / Riding
From price based on a twin share room (price displayed is per person).
Base/invoice currency is in JPY inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 2,721
5% discount off advertised price if you book before July 15 2017
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
The MYOKO KOGEN area receives some of the highest snow falls in Japan. This tour takes you to the deep backcountry and sidecountry terrain of Myoko and surrounding ski areas.
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Hakuba Guided Day Tours DETAILS
GUIDED DAY TOURS from HAKUBA
For PRIVATE GROUPS of up to 5 people
From price based on Hakuba day tour, group of 5 (price displayed is per person however full tour price is 5 X that price).
Base/invoice currency is in JPY inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 126
5% discount off advertised price if you book before July 15 2017
Ability: Intermediate to Expert
If you are in the HAKUBA area you can't go past a day or more of guided skiing or snowboarding in the backcountry or sidecountry. Tours are for PRIVATE GROUPS ONLY of up to 5 guests.
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See all Backcountry Skiing tours that visit Seki Onsen here