Madarao Kogen Ski Resort (斑尾高原スキー場 or a.k.a. Madarao Mountain Resort) is a unique bowl shape resort with 22 separate courses best suited to intermediate skiers and snowboarders, but there is some terrain for beginners and some fairly steep runs for advanced skiers and snowboarders.
Madarao Kogen Ski Resort, Myoko Kogen
Madarao Ski Resort: About
Mt. Madarao reaches a height of 1,382 meters tall and has 16 lifts, all of which are free for children 12 and under. The common consensus is that this resort is usually uncrowded during weekdays with a good selection of runs, some nicely groomed trails (although 60% of the courses are ungroomed), and there are also very impressive views of Mt Myoko on a clear day. Madarao Kogen Ski Resort is quite near to Nagano City as well as the resorts in Myoko and Nozawa Onsen.
Two new courses were built at Madarao Kogen in 2009. Specifically constructed more for advanced skiers and snowboarders, the ‘Air Wave’ and ‘Usagi’ (rabbit) courses are ungroomed courses. Air Wave boasts moguls, opportunities for ‘air’ and tree runs – a powder snow paradise. The Usagi is bit easier so more suited to those looking to try out ungroomed areas without getting into too much difficulty. There will be yet another new tree course for the 2013/14 season (see video) known as Powder Line. For more details see this Madarao ski page. Madarao-Kogen is connected to Tangram Ski Circus Resort at the top of the mountain and a joint ticket is available to let you ski or snowboard both. Backcountry ski tours in Madarao Kogen can be booked via Nagano Outdoor Sports.
For anyone wanting to ski with young families, there is also childcare and a kids park available. Next to the kids park, Restaurant Tyrol has a kids room and other child services available. Lift and food prices are reasonable, plus there are discounts for seniors over 58 yrs old.
Longest Run: 2,500 metres
Half Pipes: Yes
Child Care and/or Kids Park: Yes
Cross-country available: Yes
Elevation: 1,350 metres
Vertical Drop: 440 metres
Terrain Parks: Yes
– Giant Course (Freeride Park) – table top, 1/4 pipe, hip spine, rail, box, kicker, hip
Lifts: 16 Trails: 22 (Beg:30% Int:45% Adv:25%)
Madarao Lift tickets 2013/14:*
Average Snow Depth – Madarao
|One Day Ticket:||¥4,200||Dec||25 cm|
|Half Day Ticket:||¥3,600||Jan||200 cm|
|Two Day Ticket:||¥7,600||Feb||270 cm|
|Three Day Ticket:||¥11,100||Mar||260 cm|
|Night Ticket (nighta)||¥1,800||Apr||200 cm|
|Afternoon + Nighta||¥4,500|
|Season Pass (6 day)||¥18,000|
|Resort Course Maps Here (Japanese) (.pdf) (English)|
|* Senior discounts available (over 55)|
Madarao and Tangram Joint Resort Ticket 2013/14
|One Day Ticket:||¥5,700||¥5,300||8:30am-5pm|
|Two Day Ticket:||¥11,200||¥10,100||(excluding nighta as above)|
|Three Day Ticket:||¥15,600||¥15,000|
Phone: 0269-64-3214 | Website
Madarao Kogen Ski Resort: Access
Nearest station: Thirty minutes by bus, car or taxi from Iiyama Station on the JR Iiyama line. Check train directions to Nagano and Iiyama from Tokyo and Osaka here.
Catch a Dentetsu bus from Nagano Station: Nagaden Bus runs two express buses to Madarao Kogen from JR Nagano Station each day and return during winter from the East (Higashi) exit of Nagano Station (Bus stop 3 or 4 – check map). Adult fare is 1,400 yen and child over 5 is 700 yen (reservations are needed). Nagaden also run services from Nagano to Nozawa Onsen via Iiyama. Check here for timetables. Costs per person on this service is also 1,400 yen one way. Travelling time is approximately 80-90 minutes, no reservation is needed.
Direct bus to Madarao Kogen Ski Resort from Narita Airport: Japan Ski Bus now runs a direct shuttle from Tokyo Narita Airport to Madarao ski area, as well as Hakuba, Nozawa Onsen and Shiga Kogen. One way is 8,500 yen and return 15,000 yen. See the Japan Ski Bus site for more details and online bookings.
There is a Nozawa Onsen – Togari Onsen – Madarao Kogen shuttle for those staying in or visiting Nozawa Onsen.
Tokyo Ski Buses to Madarao Kogen Ski Resort
Between December and April Travex runs a ski bus service direct between Shinjuku (Tokyo) to the Madarao ski areas. The cost for both services is also 4,000 yen one way or 7,500 yen return.
Cool Madarao Powder video – Courtesy of Fujio Pension
Madarao Kogen & Tangram Accommodation Map
View a larger Madarao, Tangram & Iiyama Hotel and Accommodation Map
Madarao Kogen Ski Resort: Accommodation
|Pension Ringo Jam has been introduced on Japanese TV and in magazines for its hospitality, original cooking and unique facilities. Dinner is available with a mix of Japanese and Western style dishes. Family members are former ski champions and the lodge offers both equipment rental and ski / snowboard lessons. Discounted lift passes are available at reception.|
|Guests at Fujio Pension in Madarao Kogen enjoy great scenery from their room at a 1,000 meter elevation in Madarao Kogen. The pension boasts connecting family rooms something not common in Madarao-kogen pensions. There are also choices of twin room with bath and toilet or a combination of bed and tatami-floored rooms. A popular choice for visitors seeking Nagano accommodation. Map to Fujio Pension in Madarao|
|Click here to see TEN more places to stay near Madarao Kogen Ski Resort|
Madarao Kogen photo gallery – Click here
While skiing don’t forget to visit the ski-jump toilet in the Heidi restaurant. This attention-grabbing toilet, which include a pair of skis printed on the floor, are designed to provide their target customers an ‘extra thrill’ as they take care of personal ablutions.
Ski jump toilet at Madarao Kogen Ski Resort
Georgia Max Coffee chose to redesign the toilets of a number of key ski resorts in Japan. The cubicles were fully wrapped on all sides, so that the person caught short would have a ski jumper’s view when they were sitting on the loo. The person could look down at their skis (simply printed on the floor of the cubicle) and see the steep ski jump slope ahead of them. The toilet paper holder carried the only brand messaging in the cubicle, reading: “Seriously kick-ass intensely sweet for the real coffee super zinging unstoppable Max! Taste-explosion!”