Overall Rating

Tsugaike

Tsugaike3.5/54
Tsugaike3.5 out of 5 based on 4 reviews
  • Recommend
    100%
  • Would Revisit
    100%

Tsugaike - Reviews

Tsugaike - Reviews

Instructor's View of Tsugaike - A Little Bit of Everything

Big Red17/06/2019
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    N/A
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    36-50

Instructor's View of Tsugaike - A Little Bit of Everything

Big Red17/06/2019
Students at Tsugaike enjoying the soft pow around the base
Tsugaike Kogen Ski Area has a bit of everything, absolutely fantastic for beginners, some intermediate terrain and when Tsuga Pow is open, incredible tree skiing for advanced/experts. Back country also easily accessible through the beacon gate and after March a rope way is also available.

While the lifts may be terribly slow and long above mid-station. Tsugaike is very much a beginners dream with literally miles of flat beginner terrain at the bottom, relatively short lift lines and value to be had all around, with lift passes, restaurants and accommodation coming in much cheaper than other parts of the valley. For beginners, the south end of the resort may be the ideal place to learn to ski in all of Asia. The north is just as good but is a bit busier as this is where the gondola station is, but nonetheless is fantastic. The north end is also where the English ski school is, as well as most of the restaurants and accommodation.

For intermediates, there is quite a bit of terrain just above the mid-station to hone their skills. Parkrats will find some features riders' extreme right on the map, you will find two different levels of terrain parks, both spacious with well cared for kickers, there could be more boxes and rails but this is Japan and a park this size is definitely a gift. At least there is a dedicated high speed quad for the park.

Highly recommended tree riding. Advanced and expert riders will need to take the 20 min gondola to the top, turn right off the gondola, ride down to a little pair and then take that to the top of the resort where they will find endless tree lines through what is dubbed Tsugapow. It is really quite dreamy -- gladed tree runs of varying steepness as far as the eye can see. Beware of avalanche fences, flowing streams in the Springtime, and of course the cat track that winds through the Tsugapow area. A rider's safety course is required above the restaurant at the top of the gondola.

Although the lifts are fairly slow and the gondola ride is long and can have quite a lift line in the morning. Tsugaike is still a great resort for all riding levels and budgets.

Primo Tree Skiing

POWDERHOUNDS.COM11/07/2018
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    36-50

Primo Tree Skiing

POWDERHOUNDS.COM11/07/2018
It was nice to have a guide to show us the goods
Tsugaike gondola
Lovely tree skiing
Shady aspect trees
Our trusty guide
The last time we skied at Tsugaike, off-piste skiing wasn’t permitted and with some sublime discretion we had an abundance of fresh lines in the trees. Tsugaike has become rather progressive these days, and off-piste skiing is now allowed when the gates are open, but the downside on this trip was that fresh lines in the TsugaPow areas disappeared rather quickly, but this may have been a product of us being there in absolute peak season.

We were fortunate to be on a guided lift access tour with GoodGuides and in addition to efficiently navigating TsugaPow membership, the guides were able to find plenty of fresh lines away from the punters. The terrain was delightfully steep in places and it had a variety of tree spacings. It was pretty divine! You can see our GoodGuides review here.

The large Tsugaike village hasn’t changed much. The village would have been vibrant and phenomenal in its heyday when pink and lemon were trendy colours, but now it just looks rather old and dumpy, although this is sort of part of its Japanese charm.

Hakuba Tsugaike is up there as one of our favourite Hakuba ski resorts, along with the other northern valley ski areas of Norikura and Cortina. You can see our Japanese ski resort ratings to see how we compare Tsugaike to other ski areas.

Great flats at the bottom, brilliant cat trails

Damian05/04/2015
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Snowboarder
  • Rider Level
    Intermediate
  • Rider Age
    18-35

Great flats at the bottom, brilliant cat trails

Damian05/04/2015
OVERALL: Another great mountain in the Hakuba region with fantastic cat trails, a mellow flat area, and runs that I loved going over again and again.

PROS: Fantastic cat trails that seem to run on for ages (for me anyway). Decent lift system that doesn't keep you waiting long and gets you to a decent height. Interestingly, the really mellow flat area towards the bottom (Karamatsu slope) is great with a few rollers, small/medium kickers and enough steepness to try out ground based tricks, especially because it's so wide. Plus the banks of snow on the side make for some interesting jumps and heaps of fun when the snow is soft/slushy. This area is also terrific for beginners because it is indeed really mellow and very wide open. Moderate crowds.

CONS: Snow was quite slushy when we went (March 2015).

Pro or Con: Some restaurants allow smokers inside.

RECOMMENDATIONS: Course through the forest, Kane-no-naru-oka courses

The Queen of Green

POWDERHOUNDS.COM22/04/2014
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    36-50

The Queen of Green

POWDERHOUNDS.COM22/04/2014
Our thoughts on the pros and cons of this area are outlined on the Tsugaike overview page.

We had some fun playing in the trees in the upper parts of the resort where the snow quality was good. We also really enjoyed a couple of intermediate runs off to the skiers’ left near the base that had no traffic on them relative to the red runs in the upper reaches of the resort.

Many parts of the village look like they’re stuck back in the bubble era. So long as you keep your expectation low regarding modern amenities, this sort of adds to the charm of Tsugaike.