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Iizuna2 out of 5 based on 1 reviews
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Iizuna Resort Nagano

Iizuna Resort is a ski area that we’ve looked at from Yudanaka or when driving to Togakushi, and it looks impressive from afar with a couple of steep slopes and nice treed areas. It lured us in and it was only when we got closer that we saw the lack of snow and some idle lifts. Iizuna is overshadowed by Myoko and some of the big name Nagano ski resorts nearby, both in terms of profile and quality, and it also sits in the snow shadow of Mt Myoko.

Very close to Iizuna Resort was the former Iizuna Kogen Ski Resort which had an even lower elevation (despite having “kogen” in its name) and a less favourable aspect, and it closed for good in 2020. Iizuna Resort also looks like it has a tough road ahead to achieve financial viability and operate at full capacity.

Pros and Cons of Iizuna Resort

  • Iizuna is the closest ski area to Nagano City.
  • It has a nice locals vibe, especially when families turn up for night skiing.
  • Lift passes are cheap, especially if you buy a discounted pass or a 3 hour or 4 hour pass. Lunch is cheap too.
  • Iizuna Resort is a good spot for beginners to learn in relative peace, especially on weekdays when the place is almost deserted.
  • It’s a small ski area that has become smaller at times by operating at reduced capacity, for reasons that may not seem clear to anyone.
  • Relative to some nearby ski areas such as Myoko and Madarao, it doesn’t get much snowfall.
  • Iizuna Ski Resort has ageing infrastructure.

Iizuna Ski and Snowboard Terrain

Iizuna Resort is little and it has 12 courses with a skiable vertical of 600 metres from 900 metres to 1500 metres; that’s of course when the top lift is actually open. It has 3 chair lifts (1 quad, 2 doubles) plus a magic carpet that is ideal for novices.

Beginners can progress onto the #2 chair where there are a few decent width trails. The quad chair provides access to a fall-line intermediate run and a few more intermediate trails require the top lift to be running. Two courses (which the resort counts as 3) at the top of the ski area are for advanced riders, and whilst they’re short, they’ve got some pitch and one hits a gradient of 40 degrees.

There are various small park features that are haphazardly scattered around the ski area, rather than making a zone for a terrain park.

The Iizuna Ski Resort has various slopes roped off and has quite a conservative approach to off-piste skiing, in part because they’re not used to people doing it and no one is agitating for a change in mindset. The terrain itself in the off-piste and backcountry zones is nice, it’s more often the lack of snow that’s the deterrent from tree skiing.

Iizuna Snow

Iizuna isn’t as blessed in the snow stakes compared to other ski resorts just to the north and northeast, in part because the slopes that are just on the leeward side of big mountains such as Mt Myoko hog most of the precipitation. And storms with more west in them tend to lose lots of moisture over the Hakuba ski resorts. On average, Iizuna Resort has a snow base of just over 1 metre. Compare that to the Myoko ski areas where Akakura has about 3 times as much and Seki Onsen about 4 times.

The elevation of Iizuna is about middle of the road for a Nagano ski resort (see the Nagano snow statistics for elevation comparisons) and the aspect of the ski area is not particularly favourable for the retention of quality snow considering that most of the slopes face ESE.

Where is Iizuna Ski Resort?

Iizuna Resort is located on the eastern flank of Mount Iizuna, 17km north of Nagano City. Close to the prefectural border with Niigata, Iizuna is just to the south of Myoko.

Driving is the best way to get there and the telephone number for GPS navigation is 026-253-3911 or it’s on google maps. Parking is free.

Other ski resorts nearby:
  • Kurohime is 15km to the north 
  • Suginohara of Myoko is 19km to the north
  • Togakushi (round the other side of Mount Iizuna) is 18km by road to the west
  • Madarao is 23km to the northeast and the inter-connected Tangram is 21km away


There is no accommodation right at the base of the slopes, yet there is a collection of lodges and pensions that are about 10 minutes walk away. If you are heading to Iizuna, chances are that you’ll be commuting from a Nagano hotel, Madarao accommodation or Myoko accommodation.

Ski Resort Facilities

The base building is showing its age but is adequate considering that it’s only the occasional weekend that it becomes really busy. The big Polar Bear cafeteria has a big polar bear, although it’s only open for a short window for lunch. There are basic ski and snowboard equipment rentals and snowsports lessons if you speak Japanese.

The kids’ park attracts a charge for use of the play equipment such as toboggans.
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