The Yuzawa Kogen Ski Resort is very aptly named considering that “Kogen” means “highlands” and that the ski resort sits just above the town of Yuzawa Japan
. If you forget the tiny little pathetic slope of Ipponsugi, Yuzawa Kogen is the closest of the Yuzawa ski resorts to the Echigo-Yuzawa train station and the various central Yuzawa hotels
Yuzawa Kogen Ski Resort is fabulous for beginners and for snow play, otherwise it best serves as a very convenient access point to get to the interconnected ski resorts of Gala Yuzawa
and Ishiuchi Maruyama
, which provide a large number of slopes to choose from.
Yuzawa Kogen Ski and Snowboard Terrain
Yuzawa Kogen Ski Resort in its own right is not very big. It’s reasonably long with a vertical drop of 840 metres (330-1,170m) but it’s not wide and only has 8 courses (ie runs) and 6 lifts. The lift infrastructure consists of 1 triple and 4 pair lifts, as well as the historic and famous Yuzawa Kogen Ropeway that rises up from town. It’s a really fast ropeway (cable car) and it carries up to 166 people, but it’s not an efficient means of lift access considering it only runs every 20 minutes.
The lower part of the Yuzawa Kogen Ski Resort is known as Nunoba, which consists of two very mellow beginner areas that will not intimidate even the most scaredy-cat of novices. The beginner zone adjacent to the Yuzawa Kogen Ropeway (Nunoba Family area) is for skiers only. Crash test dummy snowboarders will need to head over to the other beginner area.
More confident beginners can head up to the top to check out the views on the Panorama Course. Up in the Kogen area, there are also a couple of intermediate runs and one black run that someone over zealously rated. There is also a black run that zig-zags down to the base if you can be bothered doing laps off the Yuzawa Kogen Ropeway.
This zone has some tasty looking off-piste and the sidecountry at the top to the skiers’ left also looks very attractive, but the problem is that off-piste skiing is strongly discouraged and both areas are incredibly visible to pests that might want to watch you lose your lift pass.
Interconnected With Gala Yuzawa and Ishiuchi Maruyama
A short (and slow) ropeway in the Kogen area connects with the Gala Yuzawa Ski Resort
, which in turn connects via the slopes to Ishiuchi Maruyama
. For a few more yen you can purchase a tri-area lift pass that provides access to all 3 ski areas and 48 courses and 33 lifts.
Where is Yuzawa Kogen?
The Yuzawa Kogen Ropeway is about 0.5km northwest of the Echigo-Yuzawa train station. The town of Yuzawa
is about 200km NW of Tokyo
and you can get from Tokyo to Yuzawa on the bullet train in only 75-80 minutes.
There is a free and frequent bus service between Yuzawa Kogen, the train station, Gala Yuzawa and a few of the Yuzawa hotels.
Yuzawa Kogen Hotels
One of the huge advantages of Yuzawa Kogen is that it is so easy to get to from the central Yuzawa hotels. Here are a handful of hotels/ryokans that are close to Yuzawa Kogen.
Yuzawa Ski House
is located right opposite the ropeway station.
The Yuzawa Toei Hotel
is only 100 metres from the Yuzawa Kogen Ropeway and it’s also on the shuttle bus route to Yuzawa Kogen.
Yuzawa New Otani Hotel
is only 350 metres to the Yuzawa Kogen Ropeway.
is 500 metres to the ski resort.
And located right near the Echigo Yuzawa train station are Echigo Yuzawa Hatago Isen
and the Yuzawa Grand Hotel
is also a good pick. It’s 950 metres to Yuzawa Kogen and complimentary shuttles are provided to and from the ski resort.
Yuzawa Hotel Listings
Ski Resort Facilities
The Yuzawa Kogen Ropeway houses a few facilities and services such as the all important massage chairs, a few little retail shops, and ski and snowboard rental. There are also a couple of ski rental shops opposite the ropeway station. There are a couple of restaurants in the upper reaches of the ski resort that make the most of the grandiose views.
The highlight of the facilities is the kids’ fun parks for snow play: Nunoba Snowland (at the base); and Kogen Snowland (at the top as the name would suggest). The snow parks offer a myriad of things for kids to do in the snow.
Summary of Pros and Cons of Yuzawa Kogen
- Yuzawa Kogen is very easily accessed from the Echigo-Yuzawa train station and the central Yuzawa hotels/ryokans.
- Yuzawa Kogen is interconnected with Gala Yuzawa and Ishiuchi Maruyama, providing large terrain choice for intermediates.
- The ski resort is fantastic for beginners.
- The upper ski slopes can be less crowded than Gala Yuzawa on weekends.
- Yuzawa Kogen is ideal for snow play.
- Great views are afforded from the top of the ski area.
- Unless you’re a beginner or using it as an access point to get to Gala and Ishiuchi, skiing at Yuzawa Kogen is not really much chop.
- The Yuzawa Kogen Ropeway only goes every 20 minutes (as does the ropeway across to Gala). If you try and do laps of Yuzawa Kogen you’ll spend a lot of time waiting for the ropeway.
No listings were found for Yuzawa Kogen.