Tangram3.5 out of 5 based on 5 reviews
  • Recommend
    100%
  • Would Revisit
    80%
Japan Ski Tour Tohoku Area

Tangram Japan
Tangram Japan
Tangram Ski Circus
Tangram Ski Circus
Not all tree skiing at Tangram is permissible
Not all tree skiing at Tangram is permissible
The day lodge at Tangram Ski Resort
The day lodge at Tangram Ski Resort
Only a couple of black runs at Tangram Japan
Only a couple of black runs at Tangram Japan
Tangram Ski Circus
Tangram Ski Circus
Lots of low intermediate runs
Lots of low intermediate runs
Tangram Ski Resort Japan
Tangram Ski Resort Japan
Hotel Tangram is perfectly ski-in ski-out
Hotel Tangram is perfectly ski-in ski-out
Tangram is inter-connected with Madarao
Tangram is inter-connected with Madarao
Tangram Ski Resort
Tangram Ski Resort
Kids' park near the base area
Kids' park near the base area
Tangram is family friendly (for Japanese families)
Tangram is family friendly (for Japanese families)
Snowboarding at Tangram
Snowboarding at Tangram
Tangram Ski Circus
Tangram Ski Circus
Tree skiing Tangram
Tree skiing Tangram
Lots of mellow slopes
Lots of mellow slopes
Powder riding at Tangram
Powder riding at Tangram
Hotel Tangram sits at the base of the ski resort
Hotel Tangram sits at the base of the ski resort
Tangram Ski Resort
Tangram Ski Resort

Tangram

Tangram Ski Circus is a ski resort that is interconnected with Madarao Ski Resort. Firstly you make ask what a “ski circus” is, but like a Tangram puzzle what’s more puzzling is that the Tangram Ski Resort is very slow to let go of its conservative approach to tree skiing relative to the very liberal Madarao Kogen, which is a mecca for powder skiing fiends.

Summary of Pros and Cons of Tangram Ski Resort

Pros
  • Tangram Ski Circus is a great adjunct to Madarao Kogen and the two ski resorts combined are a decent size (by Japanese standards).
  • The terrain is well suited to low end to mid level intermediate riders.
  • The Tangram ski resort is not crowded and it doesn’t get hit incredibly hard on a powder day because it’s mostly frequented by beginner and intermediate skiers and snowboarders.
  • Even though it’s not a high elevation ski resort, the Tangram snow quality is generally fantastic thanks to its northerly aspect.
  • The ski area affords great views of Mt Myoko and Lake Noriji on fine days.
  • Like Madarao, Tangram Ski Resort is close to various other Nagano and Niigata ski resorts, so it can make a good base to explore the area.
Cons
  • As a stand-alone ski resort, the terrain is rather small.
  • Whilst very family friendly, the ski resort doesn’t cater particularly well to English speaking families.
Pro or Con Depending On Your Perspective
  • The patrollers (aka pow police) are super strict and anal about off-piste riding, except in the new gladed tree zones. In the other tree areas, for those who can appear invisible, there are fresh tracks galore.

Tangram Ski and Snowboard Terrain

The ski resort sits on the northwestern flank of Mt Madarao which is not a particularly high mountain, so there’s no big top (nor are there any clowns!) at the Tangram Ski Circus. It’s a fairly small ski resort with 520 vertical metres (800 – 1,320 metres), only 15 trails, and 5 lifts (2 quad chairs, 3 double chairs).

Tangram is inter-connected with the Madarao Kogen Ski Resort towards the top of the mountain, and a handful of extra yen will score you a dual resort lift pass.

Tangram Ski Circus has various trails for confident beginners (that are closer to intermediate trails). There are a few short red (intermediate) courses, and a handful of short black runs that won’t entertain advanced riders for very long.

Off-Piste Skiing Tangram

Thanks to some gentle encouragement from Madarao, Tangram has opened up a couple of special tree skiing zones that are either side of the black run on the lookers’ left of the ski area. The trees have been gladed and off-piste skiing is permitted in this area.

Elsewhere around the resort, despite the scarcity of roped off terrain and “do not enter” signs, the ban on off-piste riding definitely exists. Tangram has some very tasty looking off-piste terrain including some widely spaced trees with rocks to launch off, and these treats are there to taunt you because it’s a little difficult to hide in these areas. However there are other areas with tighter trees, and those with the technical skills who can be very very quiet will be rewarded with untracked north-facing powder.

Where is Tangram Japan?

The Tangram Ski Resort is located on the border of the Nagano and Niigata Prefectures, 14km southeast of Akakura Onsen (the main village of the Myoko Kogen ski resorts). Whilst it is possible to travel to Tangram via train and bus, or there are a couple of shuttle bus schedules per day between Haneda and Narita Airport and Tangram with Nagano Snow Shuttle.

Or it's very easy to get there if you have a rental car or are on a tour with a guide to drive you.

Of course it’s also easy to get to Tangram via Madarao. Whilst inter-connected with Madarao via the upper slopes, the two base areas are about 5.5km away via road.

Tangram Accommodation

There is no real village at Tangram, with the base area primarily consisting of the large ski-in ski-out Hotel Tangram. The hotel provides western style hotel rooms, restaurants, an indoor swimming pool, and open air onsen. There are also a few other Tangram hotels near the base of the ski resort.

Tangram Accommodation Listings

Other options are to stay in Myoko Kogen accommodation or “next door” at one of the Madarao hotels or pensions. The towns of Yudanaka and Shibu Onsen near the snow monkeys could also be used as a base to visit Tangram.

Ski Resort Facilities

The base area has a large cafeteria, a lounge, ski and snowboard rentals, a small ski shop selling accessories, and a large souvenir store.

Tangram is very family friendly (for Japanese speaking children) with a kids’ park, child care facilities, and ski school with Japanese speaking instructors only. Tangram also offers snowmobiling for both little kids and big kids.

Tours That May Include Tangram

Safari (Road Trip) Tours
Alps to Coast Tour DETAILS
HAKUBA & MYOKO BC TOUR
9 Nights | Option of 1 Day Cat Skiing | Deluxe Option
From price based on a twin share room for group tour (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 2,772
Ability: Advanced to Expert
This backcountry tour includes the HAKUBA region with its steep alpine terrain and the MYOKO area which receives big snow falls. Choose from either a side country tour (lift accessed backcountry) or ski touring/skinning backcountry. Option to include a day of cat skiing & option for deluxe accommodation.
More
Pow Pow Japan Tour DETAILS
HOSTED (UNGUIDED) PRIVATE GROUP TOUR
Cultural Ski & Snowboard Adventure
From price based on 8-day sample itinerary, twin-share room (group of 6).
Base/invoice currency is in Japanese Yen inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 1,454
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 Expert
Ski Japan's famous powder in conjunction with a rich cultural experience on this hosted tour. The tour is hosted by a local Japanese person who speaks fluent English; whilst the focus of the tours is primarily snow sports, you will experience the culture, food & festivities beyond the normal ski/snowboard adventure.
More
The Legendary Roadie DETAILS
HOSTED & GUIDED ROAD TRIP
11 Days | 10 Nights | 8 Days Skiing
From price based on twin-share, standard package.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 2,719
To be eligible for any advertised specials you must book & pay the required deposit by the last day of the promotion...no exceptions.
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Experience Japan powder like no other on this legendary road trip where you will visit up to 8 resorts in 3 prefectures; Nagano, Gunma & Niigata! Join a tour as a solo traveler, couple or small group. Max 6 spots per tour so get in quickly!
More
See all Safari (Road Trip) tours that visit Tangram here
Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area Tours
Nagano Ski Buffet DETAILS
GUIDED SKI ADVENTURE (SKIERS ONLY)
10 Days | 9 Nights | 8 Skiing | Up to 8 Ski Areas
From price based on quad-share room at Hostel Aibiya with shared bathroom.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 2,279 USD 2,279
To be eligible for any advertised specials you must book & pay the required deposit by the last day of the promotion...no exceptions.
5% discount off advertised price for bookings made during Nov for 3 Jan tour
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Combine deep untracked powder skiing where few foreigners go, with a rich Japanese cultural experience, traditional Japanese accommodation and authentic Japanese food, and you have the perfect Japanese ski adventure!
More
Nagano Ski/Board Progression DETAILS
SKI / SNOWBOARD GUIDED INSTRUCTION
10 Days | 9 Nights | 8 Skiing | Up to 8 Ski Areas
From price based on quad-share dorm room with shared bathroom.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 2,279 USD 2,279
Book & pay deposit by June 30 & get 5% off advertised prices
5% discount off advertised price for bookings made during Nov for 19 Dec & 3 Jan tours
Ability: Intermediate to Strong Intermediate
Learn to ski and ride deep powder with more confidence or improve your on-piste technique whilst checking out some of Nagano's fabulous ski areas away from the masses of foreigners. In addition to the skiing and snowboarding, experience an area rich in culture and history.
More
Nagano Snowboarders Buffet DETAILS
GUIDED SNOWBOARD ADVENTURE
10 Days | 9 Nights | 8 Riding | Up to 8 Ski Areas
From price based on quad-share dorm room with shared bathroom.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 2,279
To be eligible for any advertised specials you must book & pay the required deposit by the last day of the promotion...no exceptions.
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Combine deep untracked powder riding where few foreigners go, with a rich Japanese cultural experience, a traditional hotel and food, & you have the perfect Japanese snowboarding adventure!
More
See all Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area tours that visit Tangram here
Backcountry Skiing Tours
Myoko Deep Tour DETAILS
MYOKO BC ADVENTURE
9 Nights | 8 Days Guided Skiing / Riding
From price based on a twin share room for fixed date group tour (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 2,772
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
The MYOKO KOGEN area receives some of the highest snow falls in Japan. On this Myoko tour you can head deep into the backcountry or just score the powder in the sidecountry (lift accessed) terrain of Myoko and surrounding ski areas.
More
Hakuba Guided Day Tours DETAILS
GUIDED DAY TOURS from HAKUBA
For PRIVATE & MIXED GROUPS of up to 5 people
From price based on a group touring (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 158
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 or MIXED GROUPS of up to 5 guests. So get a group together or join a group as a solo traveler, couple or small group.
More
See all Backcountry Skiing tours that visit Tangram here