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Manza Onsen: Insider Ski & Snowboard Tips
The terrain is pretty small but being inland on the main island of Honshu and at such a high elevation, what skiing it does offer tends to be in pretty high-quality powder and annual snowfalls still lie in the realms of seven to eight metres.
The runs are mostly suited to beginner and intermediate skiers, but there are a number of interesting features for the more adventurous including a terrain park and designated backcountry zone.
Manza Onsen: Access
By public transport – Starting at Tokyo Station, take a train toManza Kazawaguchi station (about 2 hours and 30 minutes). From there, hop onto a local bus that will take you onto Manza Onsen (45 minutes.) You can also hop on a bullet train to Karuizawa and then take a bus during the rest of the way.
By car – Manza Onsen from the south is fairly straightforward and comes with a few road tolls of around $10AUD. However, access from the North is a lot more difficult/not possible during winter due to road closures around Mount Shirane.
Manza Onsen: Accommodation
With ski-in-ski-out accommodation from two Prince Hotels at the foot of the resort, and some 20+ Onsen pools right there and next door, it’s a tough place to beat in terms of stress free accommodation.
Manza Onsen: Restaurant & Après
Manza Onsen is more of a spa retreat than an après scene, so there’s no nightlife really to speak of. Nor is there much of a village and most of the restaurant offerings are either found on the mountain while riding or exist in either of the Prince Hotels.
Manza Onsen: Non-skiing Activities
Chances are, if you’re visiting Manza you’re just as excited by the onsen situation as you are the skiing. Multiple temperatures, mineral compositions and multi-coloured pools, from milky white, bright yellow to turquoise and deep blue, Manza has all your bathing bases covered. There are also options for indoor and outdoor ‘mixed bathing’ i.e. both men and women, which can be a lot harder to come across than you’d think.
Long story short, if you’re not on the hill… you’re going to be in an onsen.