If you’re planning a ski holiday in Japan and looking for a ski resort near Tokyo, why not book yourself a ski package at Yuzawa in Niigata Prefecture. Yuzawa ski resort about an hour and a half train ride form Tokyo. The ski resort offers a selection of hotel accommodation and ski slopes from beginner to advanced levels.
I visited Yuzawa ski resort last winter and thoroughly enjoyed myself. Besides offering ski packages at affordable rates, Yuzawa town is also popular for its onsen (hot springs). Along the Yuzawa high street, there is the Kannakuri foot-spa where you soak you tired feet and it’s free.
Getting to Yuzawa
The main station of Yuzawa Town is called Echigo Yuzawa Station. The Joetsu Shinkasen (bullet train) stops at the station. It takes between 75 to 85 minutes from Tokyo. The town is conveniently located from central Tokyo, and that means a day skiing trip is absolutely possible!
However, if you plan to stay overnight at Yuzawa Ski Resort, hotel reservations should be made in advance as most hotels would offer free transfer between the train station and hotel. Otherwise, finding and getting to your hotel may be time consuming and costly.
Choosing a Hotel in Yuzawa
Without any doubt, most service staff from the various hotels are well trained in English. Hence, communications should not be a major issue. However, choosing the right hotel may be challenging for someone new to the ski resort.
At Yuzawa, the resort hotels offer exclusive ski and snowboarding packages. When you book accommodation and skiing as a package, you could enjoy up to 70% discount! For me, I was pleasantly surprised when I was told that my entrance fee was half-price, SGD35 compared to the usual price of SGD70.
Skiing for Beginners
For a novice like me, Ipponsugi Ski Resort was an excellent choice as 80% of the skiing ground are meant for beginners. As I learned the hard way, beginner skiers should not go to the intermediate skiing facilities. Easy as it may seem, I had experienced countless falls and bruises while making an ardent attempt at the intermediate skiing ground.
Over at Yuzawa, I was shocked to discover that the hotel rates are significantly lower than in Tokyo. The hotel rates in Yuzawa are about SGD100 compared with more than SGD300 a night in Shinjuku, Tokyo. In addition, the hotel rooms are enormous (by Tokyo standard). For instance, my room at Hotel Yuzawa Yuzawa Denkiya could easily accommodate up to 8-10 people.
Good Food, Excellent Service
Much to my delight, two sumptuous meals (breakfast and dinner) were served daily. At Hotel Yuzawa Yuzawa Denkiya, the chef specially prepared a different menu for me because I was not used to their traditional cuisine. I was indeed impressed by their service attitude.
Contrary to what many people think, skiing in Japan is affordable and accessible, especially for young adventurous Singaporeans. With a huge variety of hotels and resorts to choose from, Yuzawa will make an excellent destination for your next ski holiday in Japan!
Money Saving Tips: Rent your ski wears from your hotel as rentals at the ski resorts may cost up to 60% more!