Readers Ratings

Geto Kogen

Geto Kogen 4/511
Geto Kogen 4 out of 5 based on 11 reviews
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    100%
  • Would Revisit
    100%
Powder Odyssey - chase the powder in Northern Honshu
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Geto Kogen Ski Resort

Getō Kōgen Ski Resort (sometimes also written as Getou Kogen) can be absolute ecstasy for a powder hound when the weather gods are being “kind” ie “brutal”! Geto Kogen commonly gets dumped on with insane amounts of snow; an estimated 15 metres per season! The snow base is generally 4-5 metres and it sometimes gets up to 7m; more than enough snow to get a powder hound smacking their chops! Even more awesome is that the “gaijinometer” is set close to zero and on weekdays Geto Kogen is pretty much deserted. Perfect!

Geto Kogen is not a true destination resort and best visited for just a day or two. There’s really only enough terrain to warrant a one to two day visit, and you wouldn’t want to pre-book a multi-day trip here because the weather can be viciously temperamental. Geto Kogen is best visited on a guided multi-day tour because the tour itinerary can be flexible and the guides keep an eye on the weather. One of the many other benefits of a tour is that they can drive you to the resort.

Pros and Cons of Geto Kogen

Pros
  • Getou Kogen is a powder magnet!
  • This resort is well and truly off the beaten path of Japanese ski resorts that foreigners usually visit so you can experience the “real” Japan and you don’t have much competition for the freshies, especially on weekdays.
  • For such a quiet resort, it has surprisingly well developed amenities for day trippers and good lifts which are a godsend on bad weather days.
  • Geto has some amazing off-piste terrain although the steeps are a little short.
Cons
  • Not enough terrain variety for more than a couple of days.
  • On deep days there are lots of off-piste gullies and run-outs for snowboarders to get bogged.
  • This resort is hard to get to (unless you’re on a tour), which has the associated pro of the lack of crowds.
  • It is not likely to appeal to most families and beginners unless they speak fluent Japanese.
Pro or Con Depending on Your Perspective
  • The Geto Kogen Lodge is very basic yet inexpensive and very unique.
  • Geto can get slammed with harsh weather.

Getou Kogen Ski and Snowboard Terrain

Getou Kogen is a medium sized ski resort by Japanese standards (so it’s reasonably small) with 14 courses and 430 metres of vertical (640 - 1,070m). It only has 5 lifts but this is definitely not an impoverished ghetto when it comes to the infrastructure! In addition to a hooded quad chair, there are two gondolas (the second one sometimes only operates on weekends and holidays). They even have night skiing, which seems a little over the top.

The official trail stats are 40% beginners, 40% intermediate with several groomed red runs, and 20% advanced with a few black trails.

The steepest on-piste pitch is 36 degrees, whilst some of the off-piste drop-offs into the gullies are a little steeper. Unfortunately the steep sections in the upper parts of the mountain are very short before mellowing out, and near the base it’s almost flat.

For us powder hounds, the off-piste skiing and snowboarding is the main attraction. Getou Kogen has some fantastic tree runs down a series of short ridges, and with that much snow there’s minimal shrubbery! There aren’t major restrictions to off-piste skiing, but you’ll probably need to be a little delicate around ski patrol.

Geto Kogen Snow

Getō Kōgen gets ridiculous amounts of snow. Like elsewhere in Tohoku, the quality of the powder can vary from rather dry to a little heavy.

Where is Geto Kogen?

Geto Kogen (translated to Geto Heights or the Summer Oil Plateau Ski Area!) is located in the Iwate Prefecture of northern Honshu (Tohoku region). Geto is located 25km southwest of Kitakami which is 53km south of the city of Morioka.

Lodging

There’s no village at Geto Kogen, just the ski resort facilities buildings and very simple Geto Kogen Lodge. The accommodation is dormitory style and consists of one big room sleeping up to 88 people in 2 storey bunk beds. It sounds primitive but it is really cool! A highlight is the beautiful onsen that includes an outdoor area that overlooks the snowy surrounds.

Geto Kogen Accommodation Listings

Facilities

Many of the ski resort facilities are housed in a cold massive building that looks like it’s a space station! Amenities and services include rather pricey ski and snowboard rentals, lessons (Japanese only), childcare by appointment (Japanese only), a huge self-service cafeteria, and a little café. There are also a few retail shops with the standard Japanese food gifts and tacky souvenirs.
Tours That May Include Geto Kogen

Safari (Road Trip) Tours

Frontier Explorer
GUIDED SAFARI - NORTHERN HONSHU
8 Days | 7 Nights | 6 Ski Areas + Cat Skiing
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
Get away from the crowds & the tracked out snow, and also experience Japanese culture, food & unlimited powder on this Tohoku tour. Chase the best snow on the day in the far northern parts of Honshu. Share
Price p/p From price based on twin-share room occupancy for 2021 season.
Base/invoice currency is in yen not including consumption tax.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 2,967
View Details
 Early bird special: 10% discount off listed price until Aug 31
Tohoku Yuki
GUIDED ROAD TRIP NORTHERN TOHOKU
8 Nights | 7 Days Skiing | Up to 7 Ski Areas
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
This hosted & guided road trip travels to the northern reaches of Tohoku and includes off the beaten track powder areas such as Zao Onsen, Tazawako, Appi Kogen, Geto Kogen, Aomori Spring & Hakkoda.
Price p/p From price is per person based twin/-share for 2021 group tour
Base/invoice currency is in Japanese Yen inclusive of tax
*Display price may vary slightly due to fluctuation in exchange rates.
USD 3,432
View Details
 
Northern Powder Odyssey
GUIDED SAFARI - NORTHERN TOHOKU
7 Nights | 6 Days Guided Skiing
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Get off-the-beaten track in Northern Tohoku where there are abundant lines of fresh powder and negligible foreigners! Visit Northern Tohoku ski areas you've probably never heard of before and immerse yourself in the Japanese culture.
Price p/p From price based on twin/double-share option for 2021 season.
Base/invoice currency is in AUD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 2,063
View Details
 
See all Safari (Road Trip) tours that visit Geto Kogen here

Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area Tours

Central Iwate looking at Amihari & Iwate Kogen from Shizukuishi
IWATE SKI & SNOWBOARDING TRIPS
PRIVATE GROUPS ONLY
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
If you are heading to the Iwate & Akita regions these PRIVATE guiding trips will maximise your Tohoku powder experience. Minimal 4 days. In-resort powder hunting, lift-access sidecountry & backcountry touring options. Resorts include Shizukuishi, Geto Kogen, Tazawako, Ani, Hachimantai, Amihari & Appi Kogen.
Price p/p Displayed based on 4 days per person if 3 in a group 1-3 People: ¥55,000JPY flat rate per day plus tax 4-5 People: ¥65,000JPY flat rate per day plus tax 4-6 People: ¥55,000JPY flat rate per day plus tax
Base/invoice currency is Japanese Yen
*Displayed price may vary slightly due to currency fluctuations
USD 682
View Details
 
See all Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area tours that visit Geto Kogen here

Backcountry Skiing Tours

Tohoku Backcountry Tour
LIFTS + TOURING BACKCOUNTRY
8 Nights | 7 Days Skiing/Riding
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Head to Northern Tohoku on this lift accessed backcountry tour where you'll use the lifts as well as touring gear to score the best powder. This region provides an authentic Japanese cultural experience & lots of historic onsen. Share
Price p/p From price based on twin/double-share mixed-group tour for 2021.
Base/invoice currency is in Japanese yen inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 3,488
View Details
 Super early bird special: 10% off listed prices if you book before July 31. Full refund if travel ban or quarantine is in-force*. See T&Cs.
See all Backcountry Skiing tours that visit Geto Kogen here
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