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Tazawako: Insider Ski & Snowboard Tips
Despite being a relatively small resort there is something for every skill level and interest at Tazawako. For beginners you’ll find gentle runs at the base of the resort and further up the mountain at Kamoshika Quad Lift, along with the children’s play area. For something a little harder you’ll find a range of intermediate runs stretched across the resort. Tazawako even features a private area for ski biking/ski bobbing.
If you’ve come to Northern Honshu you’ll no doubt also be on the hunt for powder which you can find on several of their dedicated un-groomed runs as well as the tree skiing in the dedicated Tree Run Course.
If you’re looking for more Tazawako also offers you access to the extensive backcountry terrain of Mt. Kuromoriyama from the top of the resort or Alpa Komakusa. The resort offers guided backcountry tours for both hiking and CAT skiing which are very affordable and the best and safest way to experience this amazing terrain. You can also venture into the backcountry yourself but you must have the appropriate gear and experience and of course must respect the local rules.
The best way to access Tazawako Ski Resort is via the Akita Shinkansen from Tokyo Station which will get you to Tazawako Station in under 3 hours. From here you’ll need to take the fixed-route bus which will get you to the resort in approximately 30 minutes.
Alternatively if you have a car it’s a 1 hour drive from Morioka along Route 46 on the Tohoku Expressway or it’s a 1.5 hour drive from Iwate Hanamaki Airport.
From large scale tourist hotels and traditional hot spring inns to lodges and hot spring guest houses, there are many options for accommodation scattered around the Tazawako Ski Resort area. Some of these include; the famous rural hot spring resort of Nyuto Onsen Village, the Tazawako Plateau Hot Spring Village which offers a sweeping view of Mount Akita- Komagatake and Lake Tazawa, as well as the Mizusawa Hot Springs Village famously known for their healing hot springs.
Tazawako: Restaurants & Apres
Within the ski centre you’ll find the restaurant “Shikaraba” where you can can enjoy an array of carefully selected ramen, barbecued beef bowls, spicy curries, Yokote fried noodles made on a piping hot griddle, and their own Lake Tazawa born, locally brewed beer. At the cafe-style “Lounge Kuromori”, original lunches and local Akita spirits can be enjoyed in a large, open space. You’ll also find restaurants “Kamoshika” and “Ginrei”, which are both exclusively open on weekends and holidays for lunch.
Like a lot of Japanese resorts that aren’t full of westerners, you’re not going to find the same apres atmosphere you’d find at the likes of Niseko and Hakuba, but instead a more traditional Japanese dining experience.
Tazawako: Non-Skiing Activities
If you’re in Tazawako and wanting to give the ski legs a rest there are a range of other activities to keep you busy for the day. A few suggestions include taking a bus that goes around Lake Tazawa, visiting the largest Kannon statue in all of Japan called the Kon-jiki Daikannon, visiting the Kakunodate Samurai Residences, visiting some of the locally sourced hot springs, and trying locally brewed beer and spirits.
For on snow activities you have Guided Tazawako Outdoor Tours which offer backcountry tours, snowshoe trekking tours and more.