Iwappara

Iwappara Ski Resort Yuzawa
Mostly very mellow slopes
Gorgeous views from Iwappara
Iwappara Ski Resort is ideal for beginners
Iwappara is good for snow play
Views from Iwappara Yuzawa

Iwappara

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Iwappara

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Iwappara Ski Resort in Yuzawa is not a ski area for powder hounds. With highway-wide slopes that are delightfully mellow, Iwappara is particularly ideal for beginners. It’s also rather family friendly and good for snow play, so families may choose to visit Iwappara for a day or use it as a base to also explore other Yuzawa ski resorts.

Summary of Pros and Cons of Iwappara

Pros
  • Iwappara is a great ski resort to learn to ski or snowboard.
  • Iwappara Ski Resort offers a good range of ski-in ski-out accommodation.
  • Small children are well catered for with a magic carpet, tobogganing area and other snow play equipment.
  • The ski area and some of the Iwappara hotels offer amazing views, including vistas across to Tanigawa.
  • Lessons are available in English from SnowCountry Instructors.
  • There are lots of nearby Yuzawa ski resorts if you want plenty of terrain variety.
Cons
  • The ski area is rather dull for anyone other than beginners and low end intermediates. 
  • The snow quality at Iwappara Ski Resort isn’t as good as other Yuzawa ski resorts, but this is unlikely to bother the beginners that frequent Iwappara.
  • Après ski activities and festivities are negligible (as is rather common at a lot of Japanese ski resorts).
Pro or Con Depending On Your Perspective
  • Like the other Yuzawa ski resorts, it’s very easily accessible from Tokyo which means it can be heaving on the weekends, whilst weekdays are typically very quiet.

Iwappara Ski and Snowboard Terrain

Iwappara Ski Resort is reasonably compact with only 10 courses and 8 lifts, which consist of 2 quad chairs and 6 pair lifts which are rather sluggish. The lifts feel particularly slow on cold nights when night skiing is on! It’s a reasonably long, narrow resort with 585 metres of vertical (400 – 985m).

The official trail statistics are 40% beginner, 40% intermediate and 20% advanced, which over-inflates the challenge of the ski resort. Most skiers and snowboarders concentrate around the central part of the ski area, where there are long mellow slopes that are well suited to novices.

Up the top it’s a little bit steeper and one of the runs usually has good moguls (if you consider moguls as “good”!). Otherwise there’s nothing much to challenge experience skiers and boarders, and off-piste opportunities are close to zilch! Advanced riders should be bored after about one run.

Sometimes the resort has a small terrain park set up which is good for learning.

Iwappara has a joint lift ticket with Joetsu Kokusai, which is 15km away, so ideally you’d want private transport to get between the two ski areas.

Iwappara Snow

Being in the thick of Snow Country, Iwappara Ski Resort typically receives very good amounts of snowfall. However the slopes are fully south facing which is ideal for beginners on sunny days, but not so good for maintaining nice snow quality.

Where is Iwappara Ski Resort?

Iwappara is only 3.5km by road to the east of Echigo Yuzawa train station in Yuzawa town. Iwappara backs onto the Maiko Ski Resort, although they are not inter-connected via the lifts and slopes.

There is a little train station 1km from the ski area (Iwappara Skijomae), but to get to Iwappara, most people just catch a free shuttle bus from the east exit of the Echigo Yuzawa Station.

Some of the Iwappara facilities are at Resort Centre 1 at the base of the ski area, and about 2km further up the road is Resort Centre 2 where there is more parking and amenities.

Iwappara Accommodation

There isn’t really much of a village at Iwappara, rather just a collection of slopeside hotels and condos.

Sierra Resort Yuzawa Hotel is reasonably popular, which is perfectly ski-in ski-out and offers panoramic views across the surrounding mountains. The hotel has indoor and outdoor hot springs (onsens) and some of the staff speak English.

Iwappara Hotels Listings

Facilities

The ski resort is well set up with respect to facilities and services. Equipment rentals are available through the resort or at some of the hotels, and there is a decent choice of eateries for lunch. Ski and snowboard lessons can be provided by SnowCountry Instructors as part of a package.

There is no child care available but there are good opportunities for snow play including tobogganing slopes and play equipment.
Tours That May Include Iwappara

Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area Tours

Snowcountry Progression Packages
GUIDED PROGRESSION PACKAGES
2 Nights | 2 Days Guided Instruction
Ability: Intermediate to Strong Intermediate
Improve your skiing & snowboarding skills with a qualified instructor whilst visiting some of Japan's fabulous ski areas (11 to choose from) in the Echigo-Yuzawa region. This package is ideally suited to low intermediate and above skiers and boarders who want to improve skills on the piste & in powder.
Price p/p From price based on twin/double-share room mid-week (Sunday night through to Thursday night) and is based on a 2-day/night package.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 525
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See all Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area tours that visit Iwappara here

Cat Skiing Tours

Mikuni Cat Skiing
DAY CAT SKIING NEAR NAEBA
5 - 8 runs
Ability: Intermediate to Advanced
Mikuni Cat Skiing is located next to Naeba Ski Resort and offers emerging powder hounds a day of powder runs without the pressure of trying to keep up with experts. Transport from your Naeba accom included.
Price p/p Price is per person per day
Base/invoice currency is Japanese Yen
Displayed price may vary slightly due to currency fluctuations
USD 312
View Details
 
See all Cat Skiing tours that visit Iwappara here
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