Ishiuchi Lifts & Terrain

Ishiuchi Lifts & Terrain

Our Terrain Ratings

Powderhound rating = advanced/expert terrain + powder + freshies + uncrowded

Our Terrain Ratings

Powderhound rating = advanced/expert terrain + powder + freshies + uncrowded

  • Vertical (m)
    256 – 920 (664)
  • Average Snow Fall
    approx 10  metres
  • Lifts (15)
  • 4 quad chairs
  • Ski Hours
    8am- 5pm
    mid Dec - early Apr
  • Terrain Summary
    Runs – 24
    Longest run – 4km
    Advanced - 40%
    Intermediate - 40%
    Beginner - 20%
  • Lift Prices (Day 17/18)
    Adult - 4,500 yen
In its own right, the Ishiuchi Maruyama ski resort is reasonably large by Japanese standards, and of course its inter-connection with Gala Yuzawa and Yuzawa Kogen makes it a decent sized ski area. However the size of the Ishiuchi Ski Resort is somewhat dependent on the snow quality because the bottom elevation of the resort is only 256 metres, so some of the lower runs might be closed or undesirable.

The official trail stats of the Ishiuchi Ski Resort are 40% beginners, 40% intermediate and 20% advanced, but in reality it’s really only good for beginners and intermediates. However other than the complete novice trails, Ishiuchi Ski Resort can be a little challenging for international beginners because most of the lifts service both green and red runs, and the signage isn’t that obvious as to the degree of challenge you’re about to hit. On the plus side, there are various big wide trails where there’s less chance that beginners will crash into each other.

The supposed “advanced” runs won’t challenge most advanced riders, although there is some steep tree skiing in the lower parts of the resort if the snow quality is good.

Lifts

The lift layout isn’t a strength of Ishiuchi Ski Resort, which is probably a byproduct of the way in which the ski areas grew and interconnected. Some of the lifts crisscross each other, you have to skate a bit to get between some lifts, and the lifts are all rather short so you have to catch multiple chairs just to get in a decent length run. On the plus side, some of the lifts operate in the evening, providing good night skiing 7 days a week.

When we visited the only real lift queues were at the top quad chair lift near Gala. The staff seemed very inept at organising people to load 4 to a chair and just let the lift queues grow.

Lift Tickets

You can purchase lift passes for just Ichiuchi Maruyama, or for a handful more yen, you can purchase a tri-area ski pass to access all three resorts.

Make sure you have a lift pass holder because they have lift attendant checkers on every lift and you’ll be pulling your pass out a lot otherwise. They wouldn’t think to only have a checker for skiers coming in from Gala and at the bottom lifts! Or god forbid, they wouldn’t think to put in an electronic system to save a fortune on staff wages!

Ishiuchi Maruyama Snow and Weather

This is snow country where it dumps a lot. Many of the Yuzawa ski resorts receive about 11 metres of snow per season, and Ishiuchi is no exception. The slopes have a mostly north easterly orientation which aids the snow quality, but Ishiuchi doesn’t have elevation on its side which plays out when the temps are a little warmer than normal.

Some of the higher trails are very wide and treeless and the visibility can be difficult when the fog rolls in.