Overall Rating

AIZU Region

AIZU Region3/52
AIZU Region3 out of 5 based on 2 reviews
  • Recommend
    100%
  • Would Revisit
    100%
Powder Odyssey - chase the powder in Northern Honshu

AIZU Region - Reviews

AIZU Region - Reviews

Mt Bandai Roadie

17/02/2019

Tony Macpherson

Powderhounds Ambassador
Powderhounds Ambassador

Tony Macpherson

Powderhounds Ambassador
Powderhounds Ambassador
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Visitor Type
    Couple
  • Visitor Age
    51-70
  • Admin Rating
    5

Mt Bandai Roadie

17/02/2019
Mt Bandai
Peak Lift Alts
Following on from a week in Shiga Kogen on a "Powder Progression Tour" my wife and I decided we wanted to put our newly developed powder skills to the test, but also wanted a better "local experience" than we had got when last skiing at Niseko. Aizu seemed to fit the requirement nicely.
We hired a 4wd Corolla wagon from Toyota Rentals in Nagano and drove to Inawashiro by way of Niigata (as we wanted to check out the amazing aquarium and sample some of the freshest seafood and best sake Japan has to offer!) Easy way to get around. Booked into the Royal Hotel (Active Resorts Urabandai) following Powderhounds' recommendation and it is a must...fairly priced and with a great onsen for the end of the day soak. At the end of the week, dropped the car at Koriyama and jumped on the Shinkansen for a short ride back to Tokyo.
Skied several fields as we chased the best powder available that week. Our thoughts
GranDeco; can be very crowded on the weekends...short runs, some nice tree skiing but they don't like you being off piste.
Minowa; great tree skiing, happy lifties, who smile, knowing you are going to head into the trees. Good level of slope progression for developing your tree skiing. Smaller field.
Nekoma; overpriced for what it offers, short runs (top tow not working)
Alts Bandai; probably our pick...well developed (for this region), great tree skiing and (if you can be discrete) lift line skiing in the back basin and decent length piste runs too. Excellent ramen for lunch!!
Inawashiro Ski; a close second to Alts. not very busy especially on the Minaro side, nice trees in places too.
Cons; Aizu doesn't do night life in the winter with many of the local restaurants closed. Many more Japanese use the area in the summer for outdoor activities.
Otherwise a fun week; our only regret...that we didn't get down to Aizu Kogen Taketsue some 120km south of Urabandai as that may be the crown jewel of the area??

Delightfully Unwesternised

25/05/2018

POWDERHOUNDS.COM

Powderhounds Ambassador
Powderhounds Ambassador

POWDERHOUNDS.COM

Powderhounds Ambassador
Powderhounds Ambassador
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Visitor Type
    Couple
  • Visitor Age
    36-50
  • Admin Rating
    5

Delightfully Unwesternised

25/05/2018
View from the 4th floor: gives you an idea of how much snow the area gets
Gorgeous onsen
Lots of onsen in the area
Plenty of opportunities for sleeping on the tatami
This was our third trip to the Aizu/ Bandai area and we’ve enjoyed it each time because we’ve typically come from the busy international touristy areas around Nagano and Niigata, and it’s been refreshing to get away and reacquaint ourselves with the real Japan.

Road tripping around and exploring lots of little ski areas is a favourite pastime of ours, but Aizu won’t suit the typical international skier/snowboarder who want to park themselves at one ski resort for 10 days and wander around the many bars and restaurants (and potentially use the services of an international ski school). Aizu isn’t like that because each ski area doesn’t provide much terrain variety in itself, and nightlife is non-existent. And there are plenty of options to sleep on futons on the tatami mat if you wish, lots of onsen, and all the Japanese food you could hope for.

The snow quality has varied somewhat during our visits. The first trip the snow was absolutely primo, the second trip we had to be mindful of the elevation and aspects of the ski resorts, and on the third trip the snow was pretty bad because all of Honshu had experienced some uncharacteristic warm temperatures for mid January. Typically Aizu is renowned for having abundant and very good snow (without being Hokkaido or Iwate type snow).

On our last visit we stayed at Active Resorts Urabandai (previously called Urabandai Royal Hotel) and you can see our Active Resorts Urabandai review here.