Shizukuishi Lifts & Terrain

Shizukuishi 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)
    429 – 1,150 (721)
  • Average Snow Fall
    6.6  metres
  • Lifts (6)
    1 tram
    1 fast quad
  • Ski Hours
    8:30am - 3:30pm
    mid Dec - late Mar
  • Terrain Summary
    Runs – 20
    Longest run – 2.6 km
    Beginner - 30%
    Intermediate - 25%
    Advanced - 45%

Shizukuishi Ski and Snowboard Terrain

Despite now only officially having 20 courses (runs), Shizukuishi ski resort is medium sized by Japanese standards. One component of the burst bubble era is the unfortunate closure of an upper cable car, which has reduced the vertical from 791 metres to 721 metres. Other parts of the ski resort that have closed include far skiers left (now Shizukuishi cat skiing terrain) and far skiers’ right, which you can still access using existing lifts and a traverse.

There are two sides to the Shizukuishi ski resort. The small Tatakura side that has the Shizukuishi Prince Hotel at the base is mostly for beginner and intermediate riders, whilst the larger side (Mt Kotakakura) has intermediate runs and a few black runs.

Shizukuishi Lifts

The Shizukuishi lift fleet is rather small with only 6 lifts. The retro cable car that rises up from the Prince Hotel to the Alyeska Restaurant only departs every 15 minutes and it looks like it might be retired soon (like its counterpart). The other lift infrastructure consists of a fast hooded quad chair and four double chairs that thankfully chug along at a decent pace. There’s also a magic carpet out the front of the Prince Hotel for the little tackers.

The old gondola is now defunct, which extended the terrain up to 1,275 metres elevation (similar to the top of the cat skiing terrain). And even though the lift no longer works, there’s still a loudspeaker up the top that does function, blasting out horrid music in true Japanese ski resort style!

Shizukuishi Snow

The quality of the Shizukuishi snow is generally superb. Plenty of moisture is dropped on the mountains around Hakkoda, and by the time the storms travel south the powder has dried out somewhat.

As the Appi Kogen people would say, the snow is like “aspirin” – whatever the hell that means! Perhaps if you’ve got a headache, powder skiing in the aspirin snow will cure it?

The only downside is that as the snow storms descend south, they not only lose “moisture” but general precipitation as well. The average annual snowfall at Shizukuishi is possibly only 6.6 metres, which is significantly less than other nearby ski resorts such as Geto Kogen and Appi Kogen.

Beginner Skiing Shizukuishi

The official terrain stats outline that 30% of the trails are dedicated to beginners. The main beginner runs are located mid-mountain, necessitating a download on the cable car to return to the base.

Shizukuishi Skiing and Snowboarding for Intermediates

Shizukuishi is an intermediate cruising paradise and one of the runs is aptly named “joyful”! 25% of the trails are dedicated to intermediate riders and the black runs are also easily achievable.

Terrain Park

Shizukuishi has a small terrain park which is mostly targeted at beginner park riders.

Advanced On-Piste Terrain

The black runs are not very steep (maximum gradient of only 33 degrees) and are often groomed, making them the equivalent of a blue (red) run in many parts of the world.

Off-Piste & Sidecountry Skiing Shizukuishi

Well we could rate Shizukuishi Resort as one of the best ski resorts in Japan for tree skiing, but it's officially not allowed so there goes that idea! In classic Prince Resort style, off-piste skiing is considered taboo although the patrollers seem to have been relaxing a little in recent years.

There’s some fun tree skiing on the non-Prince side of the resort, and the sidecountry out to the skiers’ left (aka the magic trees) is fantastic four-fold! The “magic trees” have a NE aspect, so the snow stays pristine. The trees are ideal for skiers because some of the vegetation is reasonably tight and a long long traverse is required to get back into the resort, or with plenty of snow base you could go down the gully all the way. We’ve previously got stuck with an open river and cliffs on either side and had to skin back out.

Many of the other trees of the resort are on very solar aspects, such as those above the Alyeska Restaurant. Lines out to the skiers’ right of the resort present some lovely mellow tree skiing that drops onto a former run.

And those willing to hike up to the top of the old gondola (150m vertical climb) will also receive their just rewards. Or you can keep heading up to the sub-alpine where the terrain gets steeper, and drop in either side of the resort.

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