Overall Rating

Tenjindaira

Tenjindaira3.5/59
Tenjindaira3.5 out of 5 based on 9 reviews
  • Recommend
    89%
  • Would Revisit
    89%

Tenjindaira - Reviews

Tenjindaira - Reviews

For the advanced rider

Joe
01/03/2020
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Snowboarder
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Month Visited:
    February
  • Admin Rating
    4

For the advanced rider

Joe
01/03/2020
Tenjin is definitely a place only for the advanced rider with avalanche knowledge.
One day I saw a group of six without any avalanche gear in the backcountry, these two guys were showing some others who were staying at the same lodge the way out, seriously wtf! the blind leading the blind.
Tenjin has some really fantastic backcountry if the snow base is there, if it’s a poor season it is definitely a mission to exit the backcountry area, we all got a few scratches and dings on our boards.
In my experience it’s still a relatively quite resort, however on some days there can be a decent line up for tickets after a fresh dump of snow.
There is nothing interesting in town and food options are very limited, nightlife is no existent.
Most days we had to ride near by resorts because of the poor season and high winds, unfortunately the surrounding resorts don’t have a whole lot to offer so pray for snow if you go.

No snow no go.

Jason
16/02/2020
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Snowboarder
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    18-35
  • Month Visited:
    January
  • Admin Rating
    3

No snow no go.

Jason
16/02/2020
I was unlucky enough to be here for a very lean year of snow, which is becoming a common theme on the island of Honshu. While receiving unusually high temps we were also lucky enough to get the dreaded rain.
As for the resort I can definitely see the potential and got shown the ropes by a guide on day two. The problem with this excellent backcountry terrain is that if you haven’t had a bumper year for snow bushwhacking to exit this terrain is not nice at all. It involves boot packing up and down hill in waist deep, multiple river crossings and a lot of bushwhacking( jungle knife recommended) A really keen and fit rider will probably get 4 or 5 runs per day with more than half your day in the bush.
Another downside is the lack of options for food and entertainment when not on the mountain. There are 3 options for food in Minakami and one brewery which closes doors at 8.00pm. Accomodation options on weekends become very limited due to the hordes of locals coming to town. Pray for snow midweek as it is very quiet.
In my opinion the way the snow has been trending in recent years your best bet to score snow in japan lies on the island of Hokkaido. If you go to Honshu for a couple of weeks or less you really run the risk of leaving very unsatisfied.

Tenjin

Adam Bergstraser
01/07/2019
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Month Visited:
    February
  • Admin Rating
    3

Tenjin

Adam Bergstraser
01/07/2019
Tenjin is a back country riders dream. You can ride great lines all day. I do not recommend this resort to beginners as they will be confined to one lower slope. There are also a lot of people that like to snow shoe up the mountain to the right of the base at Tenjin. Tenjin is not the largest resort in the area but is one of the most technical in the area and is one of the best kept secrets in Gunma. If you are not an intermediate to advanced rider I would skip this resort and try Hodagi instead. Hodaigi is larger than Tenjin and has a lot more beginner and intermediate terrain. Every time I have rode in Gunma I have syayed at Canyons. Nice little hotel that has english speakers and can get you to the lifts fairly quickly. The bar is stocked and lots of fun to be had.

LOCAL GEM - near Tokyo

Tom Gowing
01/07/2019
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Snowboarder
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Month Visited:
    January
  • Admin Rating
    3

LOCAL GEM - near Tokyo

Tom Gowing
01/07/2019
Last visited this Gem of a hill in January 2018. Stayed at the brilliant Tenjin Lodge and were lucky enough to meet the creators of POWERHOUNDS in the lodge after our dinner on the first night. The snow on this trip was not the best we had caught it in a very rare powder free few days. In saying that though I had been several times for day trips by car with a friend from Tokyo and when its on it is most certainly ON ! A metre over night is not unheard of. It is probably the most beautiful and picturesque of the resorts near Tokyo or anywhere for that matter. Truly located in the alps you can see amazing views for the gondola and lunch restaurant at the top which is a very wide and comfortable facility with delicious and reasonable curry rice. Great off piste , excellent and long gondola to rest those legs after each run ! The other lifts are in good position too and I like the fact that it feels small and you can easily get a good feel for layout, runs and terrain all within a day easily ! Enjoy TENJIN !

Tenjin

Ben
05/01/2019
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    18-35
  • Month Visited:
    January
  • Admin Rating
    4

Tenjin

Ben
05/01/2019
We are a group of backcountry skiers in Honshu for a couple of weeks and went to Tenjin for the day. All of the previous reviews on this website are accurate. The only thing I would add is that you have to make sure that the one ski run that goes to the bottom of the Ropeway is open before you go. When we were there, only the chairlifts at the top were open, meaning guests are supposed to ride up the ropeway, ski inside the tiny ski resort all day and then ride the ropeway back down. Little did we know when we bought our day pass that only got us one ride up the ropeway, and unlimited rides on the two little lifts at the top. So we rode up the ropeway, immediately went and skied the sidecountry back to the bottom of the ropeway and were informed we cannot keep riding the gondola. We gathered from patrol that once the catwalk from the top to the bottom is open, the passes include unlimited ropeway rides and you would have no problem doing sidecountry laps all day for 4000 Yen. You can find out if the catwalk is open before going on their website. If the catwalk is closed you can still do ropeway laps all day, but each additional ride up the ropeway after your first one will cost you another 1200 Yen on top of the day pass. We were able to sneak three ropeway rides out of our one ride pass simply by claiming ignorance, the lack of english speaking liftys at tenjin, and wiping all of the snow off of your skis and gear before trying to get back on the ropeway. Recommend checking this spot out, major big mountain skiing potential just outside the resort.

Perfect Ingredients for a Powder Hound Destination

09/08/2018

POWDERHOUNDS.COM

Powderhounds Ambassador
Powderhounds Ambassador

POWDERHOUNDS.COM

Powderhounds Ambassador
Powderhounds Ambassador
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Month Visited:
    January
  • Admin Rating
    5

Perfect Ingredients for a Powder Hound Destination

09/08/2018
She's a beauty!
Skinning up the ridge
Plenty of tasty terrain
Nearby onsen
Lucky from Tenjin Lodge is one lucky dog!
The avalanche of positive hype about Tanigawadake Tenjindaira in Gunma is well justified. Tenjin has all the perfect ingredients for the ideal powder hound destination: huge amounts of snow; great quality snow; steeps with plenty of variety from trees to big mountain alpine terrain, some of which is ridiculously gnarly and only for demi-gods; a fast ropeway; hike to terrain; and freshies and face shots galore. It almost sounds too good to be true! Tenjindaira is superb for experienced skiers and snowboarders who love plenty of powder and challenging terrain. Steep and deep is somewhat of a rarity in Japan, but Tenjin has it in spades.

As to be expected for such amazing attributes, the mountain also has some limitations and you have to be lucky to hit it just right. Massive snowfalls usually only come from big weather, and Tanigawadake is no exception. During the peak of winter, disgusting blizzards arrive in full force. It snows, it blows, and the lifts are often closed because it’s exposed. There are nearby ski resorts that may provide an alternative, but otherwise you’ll just have to be patient and wait for all the elements to line up for the perfect day.

Also to be expected for such steep terrain and abundant snowfall, avalanches are a problem. As an example, Avalanche Gully aka Tenjin Bowling Alley, is called that for good reason.

If you don’t want to head into the backcountry or sidecountry of Tenjindaira, the ski resort can be fun especially when there’s no one around, but it will probably only provide entertainment for advanced riders for a few hours.

Tenjin currently receives the perfect amount of visitors - enough to keep the resort/ropeway open (and not go bankrupt like some of those former “secret” ski areas) but not too many that you can’t easily get fresh powder.

You can see our Japanese ski resort ratings to see how we rate Tenjin versus other Japan ski areas.

I think I'm turning Japanese!

BC Powderhound
08/03/2018
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Month Visited:
    February
  • Admin Rating
    4

I think I'm turning Japanese!

BC Powderhound
08/03/2018
Wow, just amazing. Tenjindaira met my very high expectations as a Powderhounds top 5 favorite!

It's not easy to get to, and you should avoid it at all costs if you're into nightlife or base village amenities like hotels, shopping and amenities (ramen and beer is possible though). However, if you're looking for POW, surprisingly great steeps, and are willing earn your turns - look no further. This place is absolutely incredible.

You'll spend your entire day riding the ropeway - aka the one and only gondola. On paper, the gondola is technically intended to take passengers up to a very small and limited area serviced by two-seat chairs that I'm guessing were sold off by Midwest "resorts".

The real way to use the gondola - and roughly half its riders do - is to lap the amazing side country at Tenjindaira. The only negative about the gondola is the monster walk required once you exit the off-piste dump out near the road. It's about a 5 brisk minute walk back to the ropeway station plus another 5 minute walk once inside through the myriad ramps and hallways of the decrepit ropeway station. I was literally jogging in my ski boots in order to maximize my rides though because the POW was THAT GOOD!! After maybe 10 runs, you'll grow tired of this routine though.

There's a huge area on the trail map called the "Forbidden Zone". It's basically side country directly next to the resort boundary that they'd rather not have an avalanche incident in, so they decided to just call it forbidden. Despite the scary name, it's all very poachable. Just be somewhat discrete. I never saw a patroller. Even better, however, is the terrain to the far right (looking up the mountain) between the resort boundary and Tenjindaira peak. It's a playground full of steep trees, a few fun roll-overs, and unbelievably pristine POW.

Lift tickets are a whopping $35, laughable when you think that Vail robs people of $200 to wait in 30 minute lines to ski rocky groomers. The base takes credit cards, which is nice. There's a bus you can take from Minakami station up to the ropeway for ~$5.

To clarify the scary comments about Doai station. Doai has two platforms. One is at ground level, and the other is near the center of the earth. The one you get off at depends on your direction of travel. If coming from Minakami (most likely), dress in shorts because you're headed deep underground. Frankly, don't do it. Just take the bus from Minakami. If by some strange chance you are travelling in from the Korea-side of Japan, feel free to get off at Doai. You will still need to walk up a hill for 15 minutes to reach the ropeway though.

Interestingly, you'll probably see more mountain climbers than skiers or boarders at Tenjindaira. Climbing Tenjindaira peak is very popular. Chances are, you won't even see the peak due to the perpetual snow storms. But if you do, it is climbable AND even skiable. Care should be taken as the mid-section narrows into some very slideable and narrow chutes. Avy gear is an absolute must in all the side country here. I didn't realize this until it was too late to try, but there's a wide open powder field near the top of Tenjindaira that is very doable where I saw a few tracks that angled back down to the ridge in order to avoid the more dire-looking avy-prone chutes. If you're up for the climb to the top, this looked like an amazing option and I wish I had noticed it earlier.

Japanese Alpine

21/09/2017

Olivier

Powder Puppy
Powder Puppy

Olivier

Powder Puppy
Powder Puppy
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Month Visited:
    February
  • Admin Rating
    5

Japanese Alpine

21/09/2017
So my brother and I went to Tenjindaira (aka Tenjin) for 3 days of skiing. We had looked at the reviews from PowderHounds and it looked like Tenjin had steeper and more alpine terrain than the rest of the region, which is what we wanted. To be safe, we took the guided backcountry tour package and boy did we NOT regret that decision. Having an expert guide with us (Kieren, who also owns the only lodge closest to the slopes) to show us the best spots and more importantly point out the dangerous areas was really invaluable. And seriously, the comments were right, it is an alpine terrain, you don't want to go venture around in that huge bowl without expert advice. Temperatures go up and down quickly in that area, and some of these super smooth, untouched spots can slide in no time...
I think it's important to stretch that to enjoy that tour, you need to be an expert skier, very confident with deep pow, tight trees and fast pace.
Kieren is on snowboard but really that makes no difference if you're only skiing. He is a pro, and such a nice guy, passionate, and always laid back...
The lodge is pretty comfy too, and you'll definitely meet good people there.
My reco is to go there if you're a hard core powder hound, with no kids, because frankly the whole point of going there is the backcountry. Be prepared to go to a nearby resort (Hodaigi) if conditions are too windy up Tenjin, which is nice too. (video if you're interested)

Powder Hound Paradise

William Demarest
19/02/2017
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    18-35
  • Month Visited:
    February
  • Admin Rating
    2

Powder Hound Paradise

William Demarest
19/02/2017
Wow. Powder houd paradise, that is if you are a true powder hound. If you are looking for a 4 star lodge with deluxe accommodations then you are not a true powder seeking warrior and this is not for you! This lodge (Tenjin Lodge) and guiding exceeded my exceptions. Food is great, beer is even better at the lodge. Tenjin skiing is amazing, deep and steep! The owners will go above and beyond to make your experience unique and amazing.