Overall Rating

Oze Iwakura

Oze Iwakura4/51
Oze Iwakura4 out of 5 based on 1 reviews
  • Recommend
    100%
  • Would Revisit
    100%

Oze Iwakura - Reviews

Oze Iwakura - Reviews

A Delightful Surprise Package

POWDERHOUNDS.COM10/10/2018
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Month Visited:
    January

A Delightful Surprise Package

POWDERHOUNDS.COM10/10/2018
Very dry powder
Oze Iwakura isn't shy on pitch
A little sidecountry
Lots of sunny aspects so fresh is best
A former piste
Oze Iwakura stood out as the best surprise package for off-piste powder skiing on our last recon trip to Japan. Oze Iwakura is a traditional Japanese ski resort in a few respects. It was a Sunday and the front face of the ski resort was teeming with snowboarders and there was a big line to the gondola in the morning. Meanwhile there was barely anyone in the Nishiyama area except for some skiers smashing their knees on the steep moguls, and absolutely no one was riding off-piste.

The off-piste and sidecountry terrain was amazing. You didn’t have to be Einstein to find it or get back to the piste, and it was easy enough to do it without being in view of folks on the lifts. The tree skiing was very varied across lots of different aspects, but of course the best part was that it belonged to only us.

The snow quality was a major surprise. A few days prior the temps had warmed up across Honshu and the skiing at other Gunma ski resorts was not ideal, so we thought the snow would be complete rubbish. Thankfully it had snowed overnight, and it was very dry blower powder although you could feel the crust underneath at times. If you have one of those T-shirts “I Love Big Dumps” then you might not love Oze Iwakura relative to other Honshu ski resorts because it doesn’t receive monumental amounts of snow, but the snow quality was much better than what you’d find closer to the coast.

We stayed at a simple hotel near the base of Oze Tokura. It was far from flash but it was really enjoyable because no one spoke English and we knew we’d really gotten off the beaten track of ski resorts. We headed into Katashina one night for dinner (which looks like it needs your tourist dollars) and that too was an amazing experience of the true Japan.

You can see our thoughts on the pros and cons on the Oze Iwakura overview page how we rated Oze Iwakura against other ski resorts on the Japan ski resort ratings.