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Yuzawa (Niigata)

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Especially popular for outdoor sports like skiing and hiking, this hot spring resort area is surrounded by mountains.

Yuzawa (湯沢) * [1] is in Niigata prefecture and the most convenient ski resort town in Japan.

Understand[edit]

The canonical backwoods hot spring and skiing resort, Nobel prize winner Yasunari Kawabata's classic novel Snow Country (雪国 Yukiguni, see box) takes place in Yuzawa. Or so the Yuzawans claim; to be quite strict, the novel never mentions the name of its setting, but Kawabata wrote the novel while staying in Yuzawa so perhaps it's not too big a leap to make.

  • Snow Country

国境の長いトンネルを抜けると、雪国であった。Kokkyō no nagai tonneru wo nukeru to, yukiguni de atta. The sentence loses more than a little in the translation, but "the train came out of the long tunnel into the snow country" is among the best-known opening lines in Japan. Written in Yuzawa, which has one of the highest snowfall rates in the world — up to 5 meters per year — and was all but cut off from the rest of the country in winter, the novel tells the sad story of a hopeless love between a rich Tokyo playboy and a poor hot-spring geisha, a species quite apart from those in Kyoto and essentially a euphemism for prostitute.

Get in[edit]

By Plane[edit]

From Niigata Airport, take the airport bus direct to Niigata Station - this journey takes approximately 25 minutes, Then from Niigata Station you can take the Joetsu Shinkansen train direct to Echityo Yuzawa Station - this journey takes approximately 45 minutes.

By train[edit]

Yuzawa is easily reached via the Echigo-Yuzawa (越後湯沢) station of the Joetsu Shinkansen line. Trains run 2-4 times per hour from Tokyo station, taking 75-90 minutes at a cost of ¥6490 (no cost with the Japan Rail Pass). Toki trains generally make fewer stops and continue on to Niigata, while Tanigawa trains terminate at Echigo-Yuzawa after stopping at all stations on the route.

In the wintertime, most Tanigawa trains continue on to the Gala Yuzawa ski resort (see Do).

Get around[edit]

See[edit][add listing]

Do[edit][add listing]

Yuzawa-Kogen Ski resort

Ski and Snowboard[edit]

  • Gala Yuzawa Snow Resort (ガーラ湯沢), (GALA Yuzawa has its own bullet train station), +81 (0)25-785-6543, [2]. Gala Yuwaza is a ski resort with 15 runs and nine lifts.Gala Yuwaza has a respectable dining area and a spa (Onsen & unisex swimming pool, so take your bathing suit) for soaking after skiing. One-day lift ticket, ¥4300 adults/¥2100 children; one-day rental of skis, poles and boots, ¥4800 adults/¥1500 children. JR East actively promotes Gala Yuzawa: The Gala One-Day Ticket includes a round-trip on the bullet train between Tokyo and Gala Yuzawa, round-trip lift ticket and a 20% discount off of ski equipment rentals. This ticket permits departure from/return to any JR station within the 23 wards of Tokyo, connecting to the bullet train enroute. Adults ¥11900/Child ¥6500 for ordinary class travel on weekdays; the price is higher on weekends and during the New Year's Holiday, and lower during the off-peak. Foreigners who purchase this ticket will receive gifts at the Gala Yuzawa resort as part of a tourism promotion campaign. Holders of the JR East Rail Pass can purchase a special Snow Play Set Ticket for ¥1000, which includes a round-trip lift ticket, and rental of a cap, gloves, boots and a sled for one day. The trip on the bullet train is, of course, fully covered by the rail pass.  edit
  • Ipponsugi (一本杉スキー場), 2511-1 Yuzawa Yuzawa-machi, Minamiuonuma-gun Niigata-ken.  edit
  • Iwa-ppara Ski Resort (岩原スキー場), 731-79 Tsuchitaru Yuzawa-machi Minamiuonuma-gun Niigata (Shuttle services are available for transportation from Echigo-Yuzawa Station.), [3]. One-day lift ticket:¥4000 Adults(over12)/¥3000 Senior(over55)/¥2500 Junior/¥1000 Child.  edit
  • Kagura Ski Resort (かぐらスキー場), [4].  edit
  • Kandatsu Kogen Ski Resorts (神立高原スキー場), 4121-1 Kandatsu Yuzawa-machi Minamiuonuma-gun (Free shuttle services are available from Echigo-Yuzawa Station), (), [5]. One-day lift ticket:¥4200 Adults(over12)/¥3500 Senior(over55)/¥3200 Junior.  edit
  • Naeba Ski Resort (苗場スキー場), Mikuni Yuzawa-machi Minamiuonuma-gun Niigata (50 minutes by bus from Echigo Yuzawa Station), +81 (0)25-789-2211, [6].  edit
  • NASPA Ski Garden (ナスパスキーガーデン), Yuzawa 2117-9 Yuzawa-machi, Minamiuonuma-gun Niigata-ken (Regular shuttle buses run from Echigo Yuzawa Station), [7]. The resorts courses range from very easy gentle slopes - suitable for small children and beginners - to the very steep and difficult, complete with three steep mogul courses. One-day lift ticket and lunch, ¥4300 Adults(over12)/¥3300 children/¥14400 Family(2 Adults and 2 Children).  edit
  • Yuzawa Nakazato Ski Resort (湯沢中里スキー場), Tsuchitaru Yuzawa-machi Minamiuonuma-gun Niigata, [8].  edit
  • Yuzawa Kogen (湯沢高原スキー場), [9].  edit
  • Yuzawa Park Ski Resort (湯沢パークスキー場), [10].  edit
  • Ishiuchi is a ski resort area adjacent to Echigo-Yuzawa, easily accessible by Shinkansen (Bullet Train) from Tokyo.

Golf[edit]

Buy[edit][add listing]

  • Sake Museum Ponshu-kan, (Inside Echigo-Yuzawa station). Ponshu-kan, enjoy different varieties of sake tasting. In the storeroom more than 100 varieties of sake are on display at a temperature of 15 degrees. You can also take a dip in a bath of sake next-door  edit

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • There is a great food court at the base station of the central ski resort. Lunch at Yuzawa Gogen is one of the good choice. Taking the Ropeway at Yen 1200.

Drink[edit][add listing]

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Japan's only fully foreign owned and operated Austrian-style ski lodge, STI Ski Lodge in Isiuchi

Cope[edit]

Information[edit]

  • Yuzawa Town Tourist Association, Kandatsu 300,Yuzawa Town,Niigata,Japan, +81-25-785-5505 (, fax: +81-25-785-5833), [11].  edit

Get out[edit]

Routes through Yuzawa
NiigataUrasa  N noframe S  Jomo-KogenTokyo
NagaokaMuikamachi  N noframe S  MinakamiMaebashi




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