Honoki Daira

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Honoki Daira

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Honoki Daira

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Honoki Daira Ski Resort is a small ski area in Gifu. It’s so small that you can pretty much see most of the ski resort from the base area. Skiing at Honoki Daira (sometimes spelled Hounokidaira) is worthwhile on a powder day because you won’t have much rivalry for the powder, but only if you’re in the area because it’s not rave worthy to warrant a specific trip.

Pros and Cons of Honoki Daira

  • Hounokidaira is off the beaten path for gaijin chasing powder, so powder days will be a relaxed affair.
  • The snow quality is enhanced by primarily north facing slopes.
  • The ski area is small and is unlikely to capture your attention for too long.
  • Honoki Daira Ski Resort doesn’t usually receive large amounts of snow compared to the well known Nagano and Niigata ski resorts.
  • The base area is stuck in a time warp, with a series of daggy old buildings with basic cafeterias, run down lodging, and equipment rentals from the dark ages.

Honoki Daira Ski and Snowboard Terrain

The Hounokidaira ski area is pretty small with 350 metres of vertical (1,200 – 1,550m), 16 courses, and 4 lifts (3 pairs and 1 quad). Sadly, the number 8 chair lift that services the best steep terrain is no longer operational, and this terrain is now just accessible via a snow taxi service which goes from the quad lift across to the top of the ski resort on the looker’s right.

The slopes are mostly suitable for beginners and low-end intermediates. Honoki Daira has some steep piste, one of which reaches 42 degrees, although the runs are reasonably short. Summer grooming no longer seems to be a priority and a couple of the piste are being reclaimed by vegetation. An old lift line provides a nice steep line, and to skiers’ left of this are wide trees for some enjoyable tree skiing. Meanwhile trees in the main part of the ski resort are a bit tight to be deemed skiable.

There is a bit of steep sidecountry to the skier’s right of the resort, although egress requires careful consideration because if you drop too low you’ll get caught in a death trap gully. The region has some really steep mountains, and the nearby no. 5 road is popular for ski touring access.

Where is Honokidaira?

Honoki Daira Ski Resort is located in the north eastern corner of Gifu Prefecture just 700 metres off Highway 158, 27km east of Takayama City. The ski resort is located about 4km from the summer no. 5 route that winds over the mountains between the Gifu and Nagano prefectures.

Hounokidaira is 9km from Hirayu Onsen Ski Resort whilst Mt Norikura Ski Resort in the Nagano Prefecture is 39km by road to the southeast.

There’s a daily bus from Takayama train station that drops off at Honoki Daira. Most people just drive to get to Honoki Daira. The phone number for GPS navigation is 0577-79-2244.


There are a few dodgy looking lodgings at the base of the Honoki Daira Ski Resort, and a few hotels out on Highway 158. Another option is to stay in nearby Hirayu Onsen in a ryokan and enjoy soaking in a lovely onsen.

Hirayu Onsen Accommodation Listings

Ski Resort Facilities

The base area has a line of ramshackle buildings that house various eateries and other facilities. Rental equipment is very basic and old, so hopefully you’ll have your own gear with you. Private ski and snowboard lessons are available with an English speaking instructor with a reservation.

As with most Japanese ski resorts, the base area has a kids play zone. This includes a tubing area that is serviced by a magic carpet.
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