Okunakayama Kogen

Okunakayama Kogen

Overall Rating

Okunakayama Kogen

Okunakayama Kogen3.5/51
Okunakayama Kogen3.5 out of 5 based on 1 reviews
  • Recommend
    100%
  • Would Revisit
    100%
Powder Odyssey - chase the powder in Northern Honshu

Okunakayama Kogen - Reviews

Okunakayama Kogen - Reviews

Frothworthy

03/07/2020

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  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Month Visited:
    January
  • Admin Rating
    1

Frothworthy

03/07/2020
Not many cars in the car park
Lovely powder!
We knew we were in for a brilliant day because it had snowed overnight, we could see the small but tasty terrain above us, and best of all, there was only a handful of cars in the car park. By the end of the day we knew we’d found a little secret gem of a ski resort where you can score freshies without even trying. It wasn’t a big ski resort, and it would only take one group to trash the powder. So we toyed with the idea of not letting any other hounds know about this little treasure trove of powder, but when we met the operations manager and he begged us to tell others to help keep the ski resort afloat, we were guilted into spreading the word. But maybe we’ll just downplay it a bit and leave you wondering whether it’s really worth visiting or not!!

Only 3 of the 5 lifts were operating which was all we needed because they were well placed, but they were pretty slow. Thankfully we were relaxed sitting on the chair lifts knowing that the powder wasn’t going anywhere because there was hardly another soul there (it was a weekday). Even a few of the groomers had fresh powder on them, and after we’d trashed them we moved onto the trees. The terrain had adequate pitch, the trees were adequately spaced, and there were more than adequate fresh lines. It was just that the snow wasn’t adequate because Japan was having a shocker of a season (2020) and even during the best of seasons, Okunakayama Kogen has a snow bias towards quality powder rather than quantity.

There was a lot of sasa, which can be fun to ride unless you get hooked up in a bent over stem that doesn’t release. Thankfully the resort now has a permit to be able to cut down a lot of the sasa for next season (hopefully they’ll do the sidecountry too!). We’d love to return in a usual snow year with some of the sasa removed to get the full benefit of the fun terrain.

Off-snow highlights included the really delectable ice-cream and the relaxing end to the day in the onsen. I’d read about the special electro-therapeutic effects of the onsen, but I still got a major shock when I got zapped before retreating to a relaxing zone away from the zappers.

Our thoughts on the pros and cons are outlined on the Okunakoyama Kogen overview and also see how we score it on the Japanese ski resort ratings.