Nekoma Snow Park Terrain

Nekoma Snow Park 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)
    1,027 – 1,338 (311)
  • Average Snow Fall
    ?  metres
  • Lifts (5)
    5 doubles
  • Ski Season
    late Dec - early May
  • Terrain Summary
    Runs – 11
    Longest run – 2.1 km
    Beginner - 30%
    Intermediate - 30%
    Advanced - 40%
Nekoma Snow Park and Resort is small and has only 11 courses, 5 lifts, and a total run length of 9km. Not too long ago it had 8 chair lifts: 1 hooded fast quad; 1 fast triple hooded chair (which provided easy access to some great trees); 5 doubles; and 1 single chair. Now only the 5 pair lifts remain, which along with the base facilities, are ageing and dilapidated.

Nekoma Snow Park can get busy on weekends and the limited lift capacity doesn’t always handle the crowds particularly well. Conversely on weekdays if the resort is open, you feel like you have your own private resort. There’s no competition for freshies in the trees, and unless there are school groups present, you’ll probably score fresh ‘roys at lunchtime too.

Nekoma Snow Park and Resort is adjacent to Alts Bandai. Those with backcountry gear can easily head between the two ski resorts, whilst in spring an official walking route is sometimes open in the middle of the day. The walk takes about 10-20 minutes.

Lift Tickets

Sometimes there are Aizu lift pass deals for foreigners, although like other Japan ski resorts, the lift pass rates are low anyhow. Hoshino Resorts owns both Alts Snow Park and Nekoma, and you can purchase a lift ticket just for Nekoma or a dual pass for a little more.

Nekoma Snow

The Bandai ski resorts are not particularly high, so whilst the snow quantity and quality are generally very good, it’s usually not the super amazing powder that Japan is famous for. Pros for the Nekoma snow quality are that the elevation is a fraction higher than Alts Bandai and Inawashiro, and many of the slopes are north to northeast facing. As with its neighbours, the season starts pretty late, but it tends to stay open longer into early May.

Beginner Skiing Nekoma

Nekoma has a couple of trails for beginners, however sometimes the Nekoma Snow Resort closes the lower chair lift (the Friendly Cat) that services one of these runs.

Nekoma Skiing & Riding - Intermediates

Nekoma only has a handful of intermediate runs and one of these has largely been taken over with the terrain park. The black runs are not particularly steep and could be tackled by intermediates if the moguls aren’t too big. Usually Nekoma has a couple of steep groomers that are a bit of fun.

Terrain Park

Other than the trees, the terrain park is probably the highlight of the Nekoma ski and snowboard terrain. There is usually a good terrain park set up that includes some medium to large sized jumps.

Advanced Skiing Nekoma

Forty percent of the trails are classified as advanced, however there’s no need to start plans to make an extreme skiing video, because the 4 black runs are not super steep and the two “steepest” black runs have a maximum gradient of only 33 degrees. What’s scary about these runs is that they are typically a mess of moguls, and the “Deep 1” run is definitely not aptly named.

Unfortunately like some other Japanese ski resorts, you may find a black run or two closed due to the presence of a crack. Rather than using other techniques to control avalanche risk, they just close the run. The mind boggles.

Off Piste Skiing and Riding

Urabandai Nekoma offers a good range lines in the off-piste areas (ie within resort boundaries) that are sweet but short before they mellow out, as well as some nice lines in the sidecountry (ie just outside the resort boundaries). Short hikes up to the peak (about 15 minutes) open up even better and longer fall-line tree skiing. Officially off-piste skiing is banned, so major discretion is required.