For those venturing to Madarao Kogen Ski Resort (a.k.a. Madarao Mountain Resort) next season there will be a new tree run in place. At the time of writing we believe the name for it will be ‘Powder Line’
New Madarao Kogen tree run
Here’s a pic of the recent tree thinning that’s been going on, thanks to the Madarao Mountain Resort facebook page.
New Powder Line tree run at Madarao Kogen Ski Resort
They’ve also put out a video. Unfortunately it’s not terribly clear though.
This video has a run through of the area during last winter. Watch for the trees marked with red – they are the ones that are disappearing over summer.
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. – See more at: http://myokokogen.net/resorts/madarao-kogen/
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.
There’s a lot to see and do on the mountain, but you’ll easily be able to explore all it’s runs in a full day. Despite typical Japanese lift infrastructure geared to on-piste skiers accessing the lower slopes, you can still access most areas without too much traversing and upload reasonably efficiently. From season 2016/17 there are English-language Madarao ski school lessons available.
Mt. Madarao reaches a height of 1,382 meters tall and has 16 lifts, all of which are free for overseas 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.
Breathtaking views from the top of Madarao Kogen Ski Resort
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 was 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.For those wanting to step outside the resort, backcountry access is available through the top gate. There are also plenty of options to ski back into the resort for lift-accessed sidecountry fun. Backcountry ski tours in Madarao Kogen can be booked via Nagano Outdoor Sports.
Scoping Powderwave II
The Ninja log jam
Crystal Bowl turns
Launching in the Ninja trees
Riding the ‘pizza box’ chair
Carving in the Crystal Bowl.
Madarao Kogen Ski Resort: More info
Lift and food prices are reasonable, plus there are discounts for seniors over 58 yrs old.
Like many Japanese resorts, Madarao offers night skiing on weekends. They also host New Year’s Eve nightskiing and fireworks, and a Dondoyaki Fire Festival in early January.
There are various food options on the mountain including a large cafeteria offering moderately-priced food from ramen to hotdogs and tap beer, a convenience store and several small eateries.
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.
Starting in December 2017 visitors will be able to utilise the Nagano Snow Shuttle service from Tokyo aiports or other certain local resort areas. 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.
Pension Ringo Jam in Madarao Kogen has been introduced on Japanese TV and in magazines for its hospitality, original cooking and unique facilities. The pension is famous for the original apple jam that the owner chef has been making over 26 years. 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. The owner might be able to take you out to other snow resorts or sightseeing spots such as the Snow Monkey Park (subject to availability). Contact us for more details and/or a quote.
Bergland Madarao is run by the friendly Yamada-san (former head of the local tourist association) and his lovely wife. It is only 8-10 minutes walk from Madarao Kogen Ski Resort but free pick up and drop off is available. Bergland features free wi-fi throughout and the western style rooms have heating/air conditioning facilities, carpeted floors and a TV. Each room comes with a private toilet but bathrooms facilities are shared. See reviews. Contact us for more details and/or a quote.
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!”