Sports Spots in Niigata Area

  • GALA Yuzawa Ski Resort
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Minamiuonumagunyuzawamachi Yuzawa Chihira 1039-2
    This ski resort is directly linked to the GALA Yuzawa Station. The Cheers gondola rises up to the ski slope’s central area, from which point skiers can choose from any of 17 courses. The snow is of high quality, perfect for everyone from beginners to advanced level skiers, and the ski resort is directly linked to the Shinkansen train line, making it even convenient. In addition, a skiing and snowboarding school officially recognized by SAJ/JSBA has been opened, and instructors with a wealth of experience carefully construct lessons according to their students’ levels. The resort also has a full range of facilities, including hot springs, a lounge and a day-care center.
  • Naeba Ski Resort
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Minamiuonumagunyuzawamachi Mikuni 202
    This resort has close to 20 runs served by 13 gondolas and lifts including Dragondola the world’s longest gondola at 5481 meters. Mt. Naeba is a large ski complex that also includes the Kagura Tashiro Ski Resorts that are connected by gondola. The Naeba Prince Hotel is directly adjacent to the resort grounds. It sees many visitors for the ski resort in the winter and the FUJI ROCK FESTIVAL that is held in the summer.
  • Okutadami Maruyama Ski Resort
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Uonumashi Yunotanimogawa Ootori 1317-3
    This springtime ski paradise is located on the other side of the Okutadami Silver Line tunnel. Because this area sees heavy snowfall, visitors can enjoy skiing and snowboarding from the start of winter until around Golden Week in spring. (Although the ski area does temporarily close in the case of very heavy snowfall.) The gentle slope from the mountain peak is popular with beginners to intermediate level skiers. The course, which goes through a natural beech forest, is used by cross country runners as well. Visitors can enjoy gliding over the powder snow in the first skiing season of each winter. Ski lessons are by reservation only.
  • Denka Big Swan Stadium
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Niigata Niigata-shi Chuo-ku Seigoro 67-12
    This stadium is the central facility in Niigata Prefectural Sports Park and is also a certified first class track-and-field event ground. Maximum capacity is around 42,300 spectators. The renowned comprehensive stadium facility is fully capable of hosting international-level events. It also served as the stadium for the opening game in Japan during the 200 FIFA World Cup, even event watched by the world. Also used as the home stadium of the Albirex Niigata J1 League professional soccer team. During Albirex games, the facility is filled with fans.
  • Yuzawa Nakazato Snow Resort
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Minamiuonumagunyuzawamachi Tsuchidaru 5044-1
    This ski area is a five-minute drive from Yuzawa Interchange. The slopes, located 1,000 meters above sea level, are accessed by one of the world’s largest ropeways. The ski area has a great variety of courses for all ability levels. These include the expert-level Aoikeshi Course with its maximum slope of 28 degrees, the wide intermediate-level Kisuge Course, the beginner-level Panorama Course that lets people glide down Mt. Omine at a relaxed pace, and Snow Land. The ski area connects directly to Gala Yuzawa Snow Resort and Ishiuchi Maruyama Ski Resort at the peak, giving guests even more course options. Visitors can also take a bath Komakusa no Yu, the natural hot springs spa located in the cable car’s lower end station.
  • AKAKURA Kanko Resort Ski Resort
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Myoukoushi Tagiri 216
    This ski resort adjacent to Akakura Onsen is a mere eight minutes from Myoko-Kogen Interchange. Besides being easily accessible, its free parking lot with room for 1,000 cars right next to the slopes means guests can start skiing immediately upon arrival. The resort, Japan’s first officially-designated international ski area, has courses for all ability levels, but an especially good selection of intermediate and expert courses. The Hotel Number 5 lift offers guests a long course around 4,000 meters in length. A free ride park is also located along each course. For small children, we recommend the Chibikko Hiroba (Kid’s Square) located by the parking lot.
  • Akakura Onsen Ski Area
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Myoukoushi Akakura Hot spring
    This ski resort offers a complete set of courses that includes beginner runs and a kids area. It has wide slopes and 17 runs spreading out over Mt. Myoko. Guests can ride a lift and moving belt from Akakura Onsen at the base of the mountain to quickly access the slopes. This resort is also popular for its additional night-time business hours and location that is only about 10 minutes away from Myoko Kogen I.C. on the Joshin-etsu Expressway.
  • CharMant Hiuchi Ski Resort
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Itoigawashi Nishihiyama 1821
    This ski resort is located in Itoigawa City, Niigata Prefecture. Its distinguishing feature is that it has many non-compact snow courses with abundant snowfall, allowing skiing to continue until May. Visitors can enjoy powder snow here, which is unusual for a ski resort on the coast of the Sea of Japan, making it very attractive. The vast slopes have approximately 16 different courses, with options for people of all ability levels from beginners to advanced level skiers to enjoy. The ski resort has a full range of facilities, including the Salut restaurant, which primarily serves local seafood, and the cafeteria, Levant, which overlooks the ski slopes.
  • Myoko Suginohara Ski Resort
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Myoukoushi Suginosawa
    This ski resort is located approximately ten minutes by car from the Joshin-etsu Expressway’s Myoko-kogen Interchange. It boasts one of the longest ski slopes in the country, approximately 8.5 kilometers. Since 80% of the slopes are suitable for beginner and intermediate level skiers, anyone, from children to adults can enjoy the winter sports here. In addition to the fun-filled snow park, with its various pipes, jumps and rails, advanced level skiers can enjoy the Super Giant Course, which include the Tengu Drop with its 27 degree gradient and the Hell’s Valley with its 38 degree gradient. The Kids’ Free Program is also highly rated, whereby children up to elementary school age can use the lift and gondola for free all day.
  • Maiko Snow Resort
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Minamiuonumashi Maigo 2056-108 Maiko Snow Resort
    This all-season resort is just off the Kita-Kanto Expressway’s Shiozawa Ishiuchi Interchange. The ski slope consists of 26 courses in total, the longest of which, is approximately 6,000 meters. There are three different areas, catering to all levels, from children and beginners to advanced level skiers. Visitors can also enjoy using the Snow Scoots and Snow Motos to explore, or to walk around using snow shoes. There are outdoor leisure facilities for auto camping, glamping and barbequing in the summer. Additionally, visitors can enjoy playing with their dogs at the Dog Field. There is a free shuttle bus from Echigo-Yuzawa Station.
  • Yuzawa Kogen Ski Area
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Minamiuonumagunyuzawamachi Yuzawa 490
    This ski resort is located approximately five kilometers from the Kan-etsu Expressway’s Yuzawa Interchange. Forest Adventure activities and kayaking can be enjoyed here in the summer. The slopes’ difference in height is 244 meters, with the highest gradient being 32 degrees and the longest skiing distance 2,000 meters, there are courses suitable for everyone from beginners to advanced level skiers. There are also “mock” courses such as the Mogul course, where you can just glide at your own pace to learn the required actions and new skiers can enjoy learning how to ski before they know it. There is a free shuttle bus from the JR Echigo-Yuzawa Station’s west exit.
  • Ishiuchi Maruyama Ski Resort
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Minamiuonumashi Ishiuchi 1782-2
    This ski resort is a five-minute drive from the Yuzawa Interchange on the Kan-Etsu Expressway or a six-minute drive from the Shiozawa-Ishiuchi Interchange. There is also a shuttle bus from the JR Echigoyuzawa Station that takes around 10-minutes. The first rope-tow started operating at this long-standing ski resort in 1949. Now the ski resort covers 236 hectares with 15 lifts, boasting a difference in elevation of 664 meters, and 4,000 meters in length. With two half-pipes and a snow-park suitable for everyone from beginners to experts this ski-resort is also very popular with snowboarders. They also hold various classes and night time activities.
  • Ikenotaira Hot Spring & Ski Area
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Niigata Prefecture Myoko City Ikenohei Onsen 2457-1
    This ski resort is located about five minutes by car from the Joshin-etsu Expressway’s Myoko-kogen Interchange. It has one of the biggest straight runs in the country at the bottom of Mount Myoko, and with its fun-filled park, is a popular ski resort. There are 10 courses on the two slopes, Alpine Brick and the 400 meters wide Kayaba slope, which continue down the mountain side for approximately three kilometers, so even beginners can enjoy gently sliding down them. So intermediate and advanced level skiers can improve their skills, snowboarding is permitted throughout the whole area. Skiers can see a superb view of the Sin-etsu mountain range and Lake Nojiri.
  • Iwappara Ski Area
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Minamiuonumagunyuzawamachi Tsuchidaru 731-79
    This long-established ski area was built in 1931, and covers the southeast slopes of Echigo-Yuzawa’s most famous mountain, Mt. Iijisan. The single slope, which then spreads out part-way down the mountain, is one of its main characteristics. Beginners can relax and ski with confidence on the gentlest Wide Burn slope of just six degrees. For advanced skiers, there are other courses that require higher level skills, such as the Giant Course with its slopes with a highest gradient of 35 degrees. There are many facilities and programs which can be enjoyed by parents and children, such as lessons which cater to children of all ages from three years and above, and Kids Paradise with its snow games.
  • NASPA Ski Garden
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Minamiuonumagunyuzawamachi Yuzawa 2117-9
    Snowboarding is not allowed at this pure ski resort located a five-minute drive from Yuzawa Interchange. The resort is popular with families with children looking to enjoy skiing at a relaxed paced. Eight well-balanced courses suited for all ability levels are available. Powder lovers are sure to love the ungroomed expert courses. Small children not yet used to snow can play in the snow at the resort’s Kids Garden. A hotel, NASPA New Otani, is located at the base of the resort.
  • Joetsu Kokusai Ski Area
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Minamiuonumashi Kabanosawa 112-1
    This ski area is located on the slopes just outside the JR Joetsu Line’s Joetsu International Skiing Ground Station. The various ski slopes, spanning an area into which 214 Tokyo Domes would fit, range from advanced level courses with a highest gradient of 38 degrees, to slopes which beginners can happily enjoy. There are also two types of half pipes for both skiers and snowboarders to use. Because the ski slope is on the northern side of the mountain, it has abundant snowfall, and skiers can also enjoy the powder snow. Additionally, there are sled-only courses and snow games slopes exclusively for children, so the whole family can have fun.
  • Muikamachi Hakkaisan Ski Resort
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Minamiuonumashi Yamaguchi 1610
    This ski resort is located alongside the JR Joetsu line, on Minamiuonuma’s Mt. Hakkai. Placed on a gently sloping mountain ridge, the courses run from the peak to part-way down the mountain, with steep gradients. The ski resort is best known for its intermediate and advanced level slopes, but it does also have courses for beginners. The Mt. Hakkai Ropeway extends from the ridge to the summit of the mountain, at an altitude of 1,147 meters, and on a clear winter’s day, there is a breathtaking panorama all the way from the North Japan Alps to the Sea of Japan. Additionally, a ski school officially recognized by the Ski Association of Japan is held here, with beginners to intermediate skiing and snowboarding lessons.
  • Koshikogen Ski Resort
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Nagaokashi Yamakoshitakezawa A 910
    This ski resort is found in Nagano Yamakoshi, one of Niigata’s best locations for snowfall. Both experts and beginners share the same lift with two runs descending from it, everything is also open to snowboarders. The expert run, or Hibuse Course, descends dramatically straight down from the summit. Meanwhile the Onigiri Mountain Course for beginners and intermediate guests takes a more leisurely route allowing you to enjoy the scenery while skiing. There’s also the Children’s Gelande aimed towards families allowing you to take your children on the slopes without worry.
  • Wakabuna Kogen Ski Resort
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Iwafunegunsekikawamura Numa 132-2
    This ski area is nestled in the foothills of Mt. Wakanade in Iwafune County, Niigata Prefecture. It features nine well-balanced courses suited to all skill levels, from beginner to expert. Its Chibikko Hiroba slope for small children makes it a great destination for family outings. Skiing and snowboarding classes for all age groups and physical ability levels are also available. The restaurant offers a number of popular exclusive items. Their Original Wakabuna-don, which interestingly combines fried chicken cutlets and negitoro (minced tuna and Welsh onion) on top of a bowl of rice, has been on the menu for more than 20 years. Their Asahibuta no Shogayaki Gozen, a ginger pork set meal made with the area’s Asahibuta brand of pork.
  • Suhara Ski Area
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nigata Pref. Uonumashi Suhara 1846-13
    This ski area located a 30 minute drive from either Koide Interchange or Horinouchi Interchange in Uonuma City is known its great views. You can overlook the peaks of Mt. Sumondake, Mt. Asakusadake, and the Echigo Sanzan (three mountains of Echigo). Its diverse slopes, which can be enjoyed by both skiers and snowboarders, alternate between steep slopes suited for experts and gentle ones suited for beginners. The slopes can also be rented out at night (from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.) by individuals or groups for events, competitions, or even dates (reservation required).

Niigata Areas


Found along the northwestern coast of Japan, Niigata prefecture is celebrated for its high-quality rice and breathtaking nature, most notably its spectacular mountains, whose white peaks draw in snow sports lovers from far and wide over the winter months. Hit the slopes at Yuzawa, pick out your favourite modern artist at Echigo Tsumari, or take a ferry over to Sado Island for an extra adventure.

Niigata Photo Album

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