Oze Iwakura

Oze Iwakura blower powder
White World Oze Iwakura
Base area of Oze Iwakura
Oze Iwakura Ski Resort has plenty of pitch
Many of the aspects are rather sunny
A former part of the Oze Iwakura Ski Resort
Oze Iwakura village is a step back in time
Lots of mellow and steep trees
Short skins open up lots of terrain
No competition for powder in the trees
Views across to Marunuma Kogen
Oze Iwakura Katashina
A former piste
Sidecountry at Oze Iwakura Gunma
Oze Iwakura Japan
Oze Iwakura is near Katashina village
Oze Iwakura Gunma
Negligible ropes on the side of the runs
Lovely snow quality
A former part of the ski resort

Oze Iwakura

Readers Ratings

Oze Iwakura

Oze Iwakura4/52
Oze Iwakura4 out of 5 based on 2 reviews
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Tenjindaira Backcountry Tours

White World Oze Iwakura

The White World Oze Iwakura Ski Resort near Katashina in Gunma Prefecture is a little gem for powder hounds, with fun and easily accessed off-piste terrain that isn’t shy when it comes to pitch. Oze Iwakura hasn’t been discovered by the overseas masses yet, so there’s little competition for the powder that’s often sublimely dry.

Pros and Cons of Oze Iwakura

  • Oze Iwakura Ski Resort is a decent sized ski area by Japanese ski resort standards.
  • Midweek crowds are non-existent and there are generally plenty of freshies on offer, even on the weekends, because the Japanese visitors just ride on-piste.
  • The terrain lay-out is ideal to allow an abundance of off-piste powder lines with easy exits back to the lifts.
  • Whilst not super steep, Oze is certainly not a flat hill so there are adequate challenges for advanced and expert riders.
  • Oze Iwakura is also very well geared to intermediate skiers and snowboarders who like to carve plenty of turns in a row.
  • You can also sample nearby ski resorts such as Oze Tokura, Ogna Hotaka and Kawaba.
  • This is not the best spot for park riders.
  • There are much better places to head if you’re on a Japan family ski holiday.
  • There’s little to do in Katashina besides chasing powder or onsen soaking.
Pro or Con Depending On Your Perspective
  • Oze Iwakura and the nearby villages such as Katashina and Oze Tokura Onsen are delightful spots to get away from the Nagano gaijin hordes, but don’t expect too much English to be spoken.
  • It’s somewhat difficult to get there (unless you have a car or are on a tour) compared to many other Honshu ski resorts, but that equates to more freshies for you and I!
  • The Katashina ski resorts don’t receive the same massive snow dumps as the Niigata and Nagano ski resorts, but being further inland, the snow is delightfully dry and Oze Iwakura has good elevation.

Oze Iwakura Ski and Snowboard Terrain

White World Oze Iwakura is the biggest Katashina ski resort, but don’t have expectations of something similar sized to Shiga Kogen because it isn’t really that large. Oze Iwakura Ski Resort has 18 courses, 10 lifts (including a gondola), and 697 metres of vertical (1,006-1,703m).

Beginners only have a couple of runs near the base, whilst intermediates have several courses to choose from. For advanced riders, there are 5 runs including one that hits a pitch of 40 degrees. Unusually for a Japanese ski resort, a couple of the black runs are often groomed for speedy fun, whilst the others are typically covered in moguls.

The real attraction for advanced and expert skiers and snowboarders is the off-piste and sidecountry terrain in amongst the pine and white birch trees. Some of it is steep and tasty, most of it is a no-brainer to find, and generally the egress is super easy due to the bowl layout of the ski area. Ski patrol typically doesn’t get too antsy, but of course it depends on who you see (or who sees you!) on the day.

Where is White World Oze Iwakura?

The Oze Iwakura Ski Resort is situated between Mt Hotaka and the Oze National Park, in the north east corner of Gunma Prefecture. White World Oze Iwakura is 7km north of Katashina and 41km northeast of Minakami. There are various other Katashina ski resorts, including Katashina Kogen next door (but they’re not interconnected). It’s easiest to get to the ski resort via car.


Iwakura Resort Hotel is the main accommodation at White World Oze Iwakura, located right at the base of the ski area. The hotel has western rooms, Japanese style rooms, or combo rooms, as well as a café lounge, restaurant and onsen.

There is also a bit of a ski-in village at Oze Iwakura that looks like it’s stuck in a time warp, with some dinky hotels and pensions providing very simple lodging.

Or there is other Katashina accommodation in the region, which is ideal if you’re also sampling some of the other Katashina ski resorts.

Katashina Hotel Listings

Ski Resort Facilities

The ski resort has well developed facilities and services. There are a few dining options that cope well with the weekend crowds, a rental shop with equipment and clothing, a basic retail shop, and an onsen in the Iwakura Resort Hotel which is open to non-guests (you can purchase a lift and onsen combo pass).

Oze Iwakura is very child friendly and has a kids’ park and a creche, but it’s not particularly geared to foreigners. For example, there are no ski or snowboard lessons in English.

Safari (Road Trip) Tours

Central Odyssey
7 Nights | 6 Days Guided Skiing
Ability: Advanced to Expert
The ultimate pilgrimage to the Aizu Region & Gunma Prefecture to satisfy your appetite for powder, Japanese cuisine & genuine Japanese culture, far away from the sheep that go to the mainstream ski resorts. Gunma is the new frontier of powder gem ski resorts in Japan.
Price p/p From price based on twin/double-share option for 2021 season.
Base/invoice currency is in AUD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 2,063
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See all Safari (Road Trip) tours that visit Oze Iwakura here