Yamaboku Ski Resort 


Yamaboku Ski Resort 

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Myoko Kogen Powder Packages
Keep the Yamaboku Ski Resort in Nagano under your hat. Formerly Yamada Bokujo (Yamada Ranch), the Yamaboku Wild Snow Park is a little ski area with decent elevation that’s reasonably deserted relative to many other Nagano ski resorts. It’s not that wild as the name would suggest, but it’s also not just mellow slopes either. Yamaboku is good for a day trip from Yudanaka or other nearby destinations, or for a couple of days if you want to get away from it all and enjoy tranquil onsen soaking.

Pros and Cons of Yamaboku Ski Resort

  • There is barely anyone there so it’s easy to get fresh mellow powder lines.
  • Yamaboku is in close proximity to various onsen. 
  • Lift passes are cheap.
  • Yamaboku has snowcat tours to access additional terrain.
  • It’s a very small ski area so it’s unlikely to capture the attention of powder hounds for very long.
  • The lift infrastructure is rather primitive.
Pro or Con Depending On Your Perspective
  • It’s a bit clunky to get there by public transport so you’ll need a car, which is part of the reason it’s not patronised by many gaijin.
  • Yamaboku Nagano offers a slice of the real Japan and a delightful opportunity to get away from the busy westernised ski resorts, but don’t expect much in the way of spoken English or cuisine that doesn’t involve fish at some point.

Yamaboku Ski and Snowboard Terrain

The main part of the Yamaboku Wild Snow Park is called 1st stage which is diminutive and has only 3 lifts (2 double chairs, 1 pizza box single chair), 16 trails and 274 metres of vertical (1,500 - 1,774m).

As is common with Japanese ski resorts, the beginner and intermediate trails are in the lower half of the Yamaboku ski area, whilst the steeper trails are serviced by the single chair at the top. The courses are mostly wide, and there aren’t many trees relative to most Japanese ski resorts. There’s an unofficial trail (Takochi Course) that runs a ridiculous 13km from the top of the 3rd chairlift down to Yamada Onsen.

The 2nd stage of Yamaboku is considered a private area for guiding for a small number of pre-booked people on the weekends. The terrain is reasonably low angle and is accessed via snowcat from the top of the 3rd chair lift.

The 3rd stage is above the lifts and spreads from 1,774m up to 2,075m to the summit of Kasaga-dake, which is for ski touring, splitboarding or a cat tour.

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Yamaboku Snow

The snow at the Yamaboku Ski Resort is similar to that of Shiga Kogen and the elevation of the resort is reasonably high. The slopes are mostly west facing.

Where is Yamaboku Wild Snow Park?

Yamaboku Ski Resort is located on the south west flank of Kasagadake in Takayama Village, and 8.5km from Yamada Onsen village. It’s 32km east of Nagano City in the Nagano Prefecture. Yamaboku is located near Shiga Kogen and it’s only 11km by road from the Kumanoyu ski area of Shiga Kogen in summer, but the road’s not open in winter. Yamaboku is 28km southeast of the town of Yudanaka when you drive in via Yamada Onsen.

If you don’t have wheels, you can catch a train from Nagano to Suzaka train station (takes 17-27 minutes), and then a bus to Yamada Onsen (about 30 mins), and on weekends there’s a shuttle bus from Yamada Onsen to Yamaboku Wild Snow Park (about 30 mins). If you’re staying in Yamada Onsen, some of the ryokan and hotels offer shuttles to the ski resort.

It's much easier just to drive there and the phone number for GPS navigation is 026-242-2505. Come in from the Obuse region on Prefecture Road 66, and as you get closer, the access road is somewhat narrow and steep.

Yamaboku Accommodation

There are several lodging options within 5 minutes walk of the ski area, and the Redwood Inn is right at the base of the ski area.

Or you could stay in the lovely Yamada Onsen village which is 8.5km from the ski area (about 15 minutes drive). For a bit of a splurge, Fukeikan is a beautiful historic ryokan with stunning onsen baths and exquisite meals.

Yamada Onsen Accommodation Listings


The ski resort has the usual gamut of facilities and services available for a non-westernised Japanese ski resort, along with a specific telemark ski school, backcountry guiding and snowshoe tours.

The area also provides plenty of opportunities for onsen soaking.
No listings were found for Yamaboku.