Maiko Lifts & Terrain

Maiko 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)
    260 – 920 (660)
  • Average Snow Fall
    ?  metres
  • Lifts (11)
    1 gondola
    4 quad lifts
  • Ski Hours
    8:30am - 5:00pm
    mid Dec -mid Apr
  • Terrain Summary
    Runs – 26
    Longest run – 6 km
    Beginner - 40%
    Intermediate - 40%
    Advanced - 20% 

Maiko Resort Ski and Snowboard Terrain

The Maiko Snow Resort is made up of two completely separate ski areas that are linked only via a chair lift (so don’t miss the last lift!).

The “Maiko” side features the Maiko Kogen Hotel and the Maiko Kogen Lodge near the base, and the lower half is exclusively made up of beginner runs, some that are so mellow that you might need to pole on a powder day. Further up the hill are some easy intermediate runs.

The other side (Nagamine) has the Day Ski Centre at the base and the gondola. This side features weaving beginner runs, a handful of intermediate runs, and a few advanced runs in the Okusoechi area.

Like the other Yuzawa ski resorts, there are two faces to Maiko. Weekdays are quiet and serene, whilst weekends can be manic.


Maiko has 11 lifts including one gondola, 4 quad chairs, and a mix of slow double chair lifts. Gondola queues can be very long on weekends and the Maiko Center Quad can also be overly popular. 

Maiko Snow

The powder tap is often turned on full bore at Maiko Ski Resort in snow country where it dumps about 10-12 metres of snow per winter. The elevation isn’t particularly high relative to some other major Niigata ski resorts (see the Niigata snow stats for comparisons), so the powder can be a little on the heavy side. On the plus side for Maiko snow maintenance is that the gondola is almost north facing, and the back bowl is really more of a “side bowl” so it doesn’t bear the full brunt of the sun.

Beginner Skiing Maiko

Officially Maiko has 40% beginner trails, which for those learning the art of the snow-plough or falling leaf, is more than enough. The Maiko Kogen Hotel side of the hill is perfect for learning. The slopes are very mellow, nice and wide, and more experienced skiers and snowboarders don’t tend to ride there.

More confident beginners can head over to the other side of the Maiko ski area and play on the narrower weaving green trails.

Maiko Skiing for the Intermediate

Maiko has some nice groomed trails of varying pitches that are OK for intermediates. The supposed “advanced” runs are not particularly steep (the steepest on-piste gradient is only 32 degrees), and whilst they may not be groomed, confident intermediates should also be able to practise on these runs.

Advanced Skiing On-Piste

Like many Japanese ski resorts, advanced piste runs are not the forte of Maiko Ski Resort. There are only 3-4 black runs and a couple of them are very short, and none of them precipitous or challenging. 

Off Piste Skiing and Riding

Powder hounds often overlook the Maiko Resort because it has such nice beginner terrain, so competition for the powder can be minimal on weekdays. Maiko has several good spots for tree skiing. There are 3 designated tree zones on either side of the top Okusoechi course.

You need to register online for this and wear an armband and helmet. The areas are small and not steep, so they’re ideal for those relatively new to powder skiing.

There are also some nice trees off the quad D chair, but stay skiers’ left towards the bottom unless you want to be jumping dam fences into ponds.