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
    Advanced - 20%
    Intermediate - 40%
    Beginner - 40%
  • Lift Prices (Day 17/18)
    Adult - 4,700 yen
    Child - 2,900 yen

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 a little manic.

Lifts

Maiko has 11 lifts including one gondola, 4 quad chairs, and a mix of slow double chair lifts.

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, 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 “blue” runs and a couple of them are very short, and none of them precipitous or challenging. There is a new powder run to the skiers’ right of the quad chair on the right side of the creek, but it doesn’t tend to stay powdery for very long.

Off Piste Skiing and Riding

Powder hounds often overlook the Maiko Resort because it has such nice beginner terrain, but this is a plus for those who venture to Maiko because competition for the powder can be minimal, especially on weekdays.

Maiko has several good spots for tree skiing. Either side of the Gan Gan Run there is a mix of tree skiing, although it flattens out towards the bottom so keep your speed up. 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.

The patrollers don’t seem to mind off-piste skiing and snowboarding, but this is Honshu so stay discrete because you just never know.