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Madarao Kogen: Insider Ski & Snowboard Tips
Madarao is broken down into 30% beginner – 40% intermediate – 30% advanced, meaning it’s suitable for the whole family – with lift tickets for those under 12 being comparatively cheap. Madarao features 60% ungroomed runs, so there’s a good chance you’ll be able to enjoy some deep pow skiing right on top of the piste. Those who fancy a bit of ‘madapow’ tree skiing, will be pleased to hear of the nicely gladed tree runs and the resorts more recently lax approach to off-piste riding.
Madarao Kogen: Access
Madarao is located 38km to the northeast of Nagano, on the border of the Niigata Prefecture.
Getting there is now speedier than ever thanks to the opening of Iiyama Station. A 110-minute Bullet Train ride from Tokyo to Iiyama, and a 30 minute bus/car ride to Madarao.The Shinkansen also makes visiting Kyoto via Kanazawa pretty quick and easy!
Madarao Kogen: Accommodation
Madarao Kogen Hotel is the resorts primary accommodation. A ski-in-ski-out hotel located at the base of Mt. Madarao above the beginner slopes, Madarao Kogen Hotel has both Japanese an Western-style rooms and multiple facilities, not least an indoor and outdoor set of onsens.
Other options include hotels lower down in the village, a number of pensions an even a few self-contained lodges.
Madarao Kogen: Restaurants & Apres
The village of Madarao is growing on account of increasing tourism, meaning there are more and more options on places to eat and après than in the past, where guests typically dined within the confines of their hotel or accommodation.
That said, the Madarao Kogen Hotel offers up a variety of dishes with most foods locally produced in the Shinshu area. Those after more western style cuisine will be pleased to hear about the buffet style restaurant as well (one that includes a chocolate fountain…)
Madarao Kogen: Non-Skiing Activities
Madarao comes with all typical Japanese non-skiing conveniences like a number of Onsens and a dedicated kids’ park below the hotel which services tubing and sledding with a small magic carpet and a wide enough space for snowball fights and snowman building. Like many Japanese resorts now, one can pursue more extreme activities such as ziplining or snowmobiling too.
Last but not least, we seriously recommend a visit to see the Japanese snow monkeys at the Jigokudani hot springs.