Located in Niigata prefecture, Akakura Onsen is a popular hot spring resort and skiing area with powdery snow perfect for winter sports. First-time skiers to advanced hobbyists can enjoy the variety of courses offered, from intimidating hills to unguided backcountry terrain. Akakura onsen covers two different areas, and visitors can choose their ideal terrain and level.
Tickets and Rental Gear at the Yodel Information Center
First, grab gear at the Yodel Information center.
The Yodel center provides rental equipment, ticket purchase and locker rooms for a ski journey. Visitors have a choice of seven tickets, ranging from 500 yen to 4,800 yen for a full day (8:30AM to 10PM) pass.
The ticket prices depend on the time of day the skier would like to hit the slopes. The daytime slopes open from 8:30AM to 5PM and the nighttime skiing is from 5PM to 10PM.
Visitors can begin renting gear from 6AM.
Snow Sports Rental and Lessons at Myoko
Akakura offers lessons for both adults and children.
Myoko Snow Sports offers private and group lessons in both English and Japanese.
The lessons range from two and a half hours to full day packages.
Visitors can take lessons in either skiing or snowboarding and can choose their level, from a true beginner to a black terrain expert.
There are a variety of lesson options, including the “Super 4 Ski” group class.
The group class is limited to four people and participants can choose four or more days to take the lessons.
The staff introduces appropriate skiing routes, and students learn the basics.
The intermediate and advanced group classes offer difficult courses and help the students build confidence to try new techniques.
Myoko Snow Sports also offers equipment rental for ages three and up.
Visitors can choose from a line up of the latest skis and snowboards.
Clothing, accessories and other equipment are also available for rent or purchase.
First timers can ask the staff for recommendations.
The shop also offers free equipment pick up from nearby resorts.
Night Skiing on the Kumado Slope
One unique part of skiing in Akakura Onsen is the option of night skiing.
Nighttime skiing is cheaper, with tickets for 2,500 yen for 5PM-10PM skiing, weather permitting.
The slopes are shorter than the daytime courses but not as crowded so that skiers can have more space.
Most accommodations will offer complimentary drives to the night skiing area, but double check to make sure.
Ski rentals are available just for night skiing, but for those staying overnight, keeping the skis is advisable. The paths are wide and well lit, making the slope easy for beginners.
Akakura Kanko Resort--The Highest Resort
Even if skiers are not staying at the European style Akakura Kanko resort, they should still check out their slopes.
The Kumado slopes are the highest in the Akakura onsen area.
Both beginner and advanced courses are offered, and even backcountry terrains can be accessed with the proper gear.
Akakura Kanko receives about 13 meters of snow a year, creating strong ski conditions from December to April.
Sky Cable Terminal
Access to the Kanko slopes are through the Sky Cable Terminal.
A one day ticket costs 4,300 yen and prices get cheaper through family and multi-day packs. There are ten trails for all levels, including the Championship trail for advanced skiers and a kids park for those too young to ski.