Skiing Near Tokyo: Gala Yuzawa
Trains make Tokyo skiing a possibility for a day trip
Yuzawa is easy to access from Tokyo
Tokyo ski day trip: only 75-80 mins to Yuzawa
Gala Yuzawa has its own Shinkansen station
It takes as little as 75 mins to get to Gala Ski Resort from Tokyo
Gala train station: makes day skiing from Tokyo easy
Kandatsu Kogen
Joetsu Kokusai: 12 min train trip from Yuzawa
Ishiuchi Maruyama is connected to Gala Yuzawa


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Tokyo is a common gateway to skiing in Japan. You may have to stay overnight in a Narita airport hotel before a flight to Sapporo Hokkaido the next day, or if you’re visiting one of the ski resorts near Tokyo or other Honshu ski resorts, it’s definitely worthwhile doing a stop-over in Tokyo Japan.

Tokyo is a massive buzzing metropolis that offers a sensory overload. The frenetic pace can be a little daunting at first, but then the energy of the city becomes rather intoxicating. Tokyo is amassed with colourful neon signs, aromas from exotic foods, blaring sounds, and more Hello Kitties than you could ever desire!

Tokyo is a fantastic city of contradictions. On one hand Tokyo has an abundance of new technological whizz bang gadgets, futuristic ideas, and strange fashions that change every month. Meanwhile Tokyo is still steeped in tradition with an emphasis on cultural etiquette and time-honored old customs.

Skiing Near Tokyo

Tokyo is the hub of the Japan railways, and considering the speed of the bullet trains (Shinkansen), it’s pretty quick and easy to get to many of the ski resorts near Tokyo.

Karuizawa Prince Hotel Ski Resort is only 60-75 minutes from Tokyo on the bullet train, but with way too much fake snow, it's definitely not the quintessential Japan skiing experience. You'd be better off heading to Yuzawa instead. 

Particularly convenient skiing near Tokyo can be found at Gala Yuzawa in Niigata that has its own Shinkansen station at the base area. It takes about 75-80 minutes from Tokyo Station on the Joetsu Shinkansen Line. For day trippers this is a great spot if you’re in need of a snow fix and you love mellow slopes and weekend crowds, and it's interconnected with Ishiuchi Maruyama Ski Resort.

Joetsu Kokusai is also very close to Echigo-Yuzawa station. The ski resort has its own train station and it only takes 12 minutes to get there from Echigo Yuzawa.

Kandatsu Kogen is another Yuzawa ski resort that's easy to access for skiing from Tokyo. To get there from Tokyo, catch the bullet train to Echigo Yuzawa (about 80 minutes) and then a complimentary bus to the resort (about 10 minutes). Or Kagura (interconnected with Naeba) is only a 25 minute bus trip from Echigo Yuzawa station.

There are also other Yuzawa ski resorts that are easy to access and make Tokyo skiing a possibility for a day trip. 

Or if you have your own wheels, it's easy to get to Minakami Houdaigi which is only 190km northwest of Tokyo.

Other Ski Resorts Near Tokyo

Here are the road distances of some decent Japan ski resorts near Tokyo:
  • Alts Bandai - 290km north of Tokyo: train (80-105 minutes) then bus (90 minutes)
  • Inawashiro - 280km north of Tokyo; train (90 minutes), train (40 minutes) then bus (15 minutes)
  • Nozawa Onsen - 263km northwest of Tokyo; train (100 minutes) then bus (20 mins) 
  • Hakuba - 270km northwest of Tokyo; train (90-100 minutes) then bus (1 hour) 
  • Myoko Kogen - 270km northwest of Tokyo; train (90-100 minutes) then bus (1:20 hours) 
  • Shiga Kogen - 250km northwest of Tokyo; train (90-100 minutes) then bus (70 minutes) 
  • Madarao – 274km northwest of Tokyo; train (100 minutes) then bus or taxi (30 mins) 
NB the total travel time will depend on the timing of connection between the train and bus

Tokyo Hotels

Blokes looking for a really cheap Tokyo hotel who want to get the full taste of the Japanese culture could stay in a capsule hotel, but it’s a pretty impractical option when you’ve got ski gear in tow!

The trickiest thing when deciding on a Tokyo hotel is to choose which part of Tokyo to stay in. Tokyo is so big that it’s like a collection of cities! Check out our Tokyo hotels page for information on the different districts of central Tokyo and to book a hotel.

Or if you just need a hotel near the airport, you can search and book a Narita airport hotel or Haneda airport hotel here.

If you’re just doing a quick pit-stop in Tokyo and want to stay close to the Tokyo train station, here are listings of hotels near Tokyo station.

If the primary purpose of your visit to Tokyo is to head to Disneyland, here are Tokyo Disneyland hotel listings. 

Tokyo Activities

Tokyo has an abundance of attractions, but Tokyo is huge so don’t try to tick off all the sightseeing activities. It’s enough fun if you just stroll around one of the Tokyo districts and absorb the buzz of the city. Wander around one of the many shopping districts, sample some of the intriguing food, or take in a sumo tournament (rather than watching it on TV in between all the Japanese game shows!).

Many visitors head to Tokyo Disneyland or Tokyo Disney Sea next door. Unsurprisingly this Disneyland bears some resemblance to other Disneylands, but the difference is that you get to watch the mania as the Japanese absorb the brilliant kitsch-ness of the theme park! The Tokyo Disney Resort is located in Chiba. From the Tokyo Station, take the Keiyo train line to Maihama Station, which is next to Disneyland. The trip is inexpensive and takes about 15 minutes if the train is express.

Key Tokyo sightseeing activities include the Asakusa temples, the Meiji Shrine, and the gardens of the Imperial Palace. The early morning action at the Tsukiji Fish Market, the Tokyo Tower, Tokyo Dome, Yoyogi Park, and Akihabara (all the electronics you could ever dream of) are other popular Tokyo attractions.
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