4 Ski Resorts That You Can Go to on a Day Trip From Tokyo! Plus Information on Bus Routes!

Skiing and snowboarding are two of the most popular winter sports. As winter approaches, many people are excited about the prospect of choosing which ski resorts to go to this year. In this article, we'll introduce four ski resorts that are easily accessible on a day trip from Tokyo. If you're looking for a place to go skiing or snowboarding but don't have a license, we've got you covered. If you're tired and don't want to drive on snowy roads, we've carefully selected places that can be reached by bus or train! We hope this information will be useful for those trying to choose a ski resort.

Fun for everyone! 【Karuizawa Prince Hotel Ski Resort】

A wide variety of courses that everyone can enjoy and early opening!

The Karuizawa Prince Hotel Ski Resort is famous for its early opening. In fact, they have been operating artificial snow-making machines at full-power since October to make the ski slopes. It’s great to be able to enjoy skiing and snowboarding so early! Next year, the resort is scheduled to open on November 3rd.

The slopes are made of artificial snow, so the weather is never a problem and there is no need to worry about a lack of snow. There are 16 different courses aimed at all levels from beginners to advanced skiers. What’s more, the Snowman Park is also a great place for families to play in the snow, with a dedicated area for sledding and tubing.

A must for university students & children under primary school age! Great ski-lift ticket campaign!

The Karuizawa Prince Hotel Ski Resort offers a number of special campaigns, such as the ‘free ski-lift tickets for 20-year-olds’ offer, which allows 20 year olds to ride on the ski-lift for free on weekdays, and the ‘kids-go-free programme’, which means that children of primary school age and under can ride the ski-lift for free at any time. Take advantage of this great deal and enjoy skiing/snowboarding! If you have a special IC card ski-lift ticket for the Prince Snow Resort, you can purchase regular tickets in advance via the internet, meaning you can go directly to the ski-lift on the day. You won’t have to wait in line at the ticket office, so you can make the most of your time.

To purchase ski-lift tickets, click here → https://www.princehotels.com/en/ski/karuizawa/index.html

Access & Basic Information

This ski resort is about a 10 minute walk from JR Karuizawa Station, making it very accessible. There is also a free shuttle bus service.

Here is a summary of how to get to JR Karuizawa Station from Tokyo:

Transport Time Fare (one way)
Shinkansen About 1 hour ¥5,490 (unreserved seat)
Bus About 3 hours ¥1,300~2,200 (discount price)

There is a difference both in time and price between the Shinkansen and the bus, so it’s best to consider this when planning.

If you’re planning on getting the bus, we recommend you make a reservation via Japan Bus Online to get a discount.

Click here for the booking website -> https://japanbusonline.com/en

Karuizawa Prince Hotel Ski Resort

Opening period 3 November 2021 – 3 April 2022
Opening hours 8:00-17:00 *Between 3 Nov-7 Dec: 8:30-16:30
Address Karuizawa, Karuizawa-machi, Kitasaku-gun, Nagano-ken
TEL 0267-42-8771
Ski-lift one day pass <First skii of the season>
Adults ¥5,000 / Junior & High School Students, Seniors ¥4,000
<Season ticket>
Adults ¥5,700 / Junior & High School Students, Seniors ¥4,700
<New Year’s Eve>
Adults ¥7,000 / Junior & High school students, Seniors ¥6,000
<Spring Skiing>
Adults ¥5,000 / Junior & High School Students, Seniors ¥4,000 *Prices vary depending on the season and the conditions. Please check our website for details
Convenient services changing rooms, lockers, parcel delivery service, luggage storage, rest rooms, nursing rooms.
URL https://www.princehotels.com/en/ski/karuizawa/index.html

The Most Popular Ski Resort in Japan!【 Naeba Ski Resort】

One of the world’s leading ski resorts

Naeba Ski Resort attracts over 1 million visitors every year, making it the number one ski resort in Japan in terms of visitor numbers. In fact, it is one of the best ski resorts in the world, having been voted one of the top three ski resorts in the “World’s Best Ski Resort Company 2018” category of the WORLD SKI AWARDS 2018.

Naeba ski resort is connected to the neighbouring Kagura Ski Resort by a gondola called the “Dora Gondola”, and these two ski resorts are collectively known as Mt. Naeba. There are a total of 22 courses on the vast slopes, with the slopes being split 30% for beginners, 40% for intermediate level skiers and 30% for advanced skiers. The views from the summit are spectacular, but beginners should be aware that they will need to descend via an intermediate or advanced course.

Lots of fun events for kids and adults alike!

There are many events held at the Naeba ski resort every year. We’ve chosen a few that you may enjoy:

DESCENTE First Track

The DESCENTE First Track event is a great way to enjoy the freshly fallen, untouched and ungroomed snow. What a luxury to be the first to step on Naeba’s fluffy, high quality snow! This event is a must for all ski/snowboard enthusiasts.

Fee: 1,200 yen

Event URL: https://www.princehotels.com/en/ski/naeba/index.html

Christmas ski-lift cosplay discount ticket (24-25 December 2021)

In this event, if you wear a Christmas costume to the ski-lift ticket office, you can get a discount on ski-lift tickets for the Naeba area! It may take a bit of courage to wear a costume, but why not take the plunge with your friends and family?

Event URL: https://www.princehotels.com/en/ski/naeba/index.html

Fireworks on the slopes

There are probably some who may be thinking ‘fireworks in winter?’, but setting off fireworks on the white slopes of the ski resort is part of what makes it Naeba Ski Resort. For the 2020-2021 season, fireworks were set off in the name of the “Naeba Light of Hope” in the hope of overcoming COVID-19 as soon as possible.

Access & basic information

As the Naeba ski resort is a bit of a distance from the Shinkansen stop at Echigo Yuzawa Station, you will need to take a bus or taxi.

Transport Time Fare (one way)
Shinkansen → local bus About 2.5 hours ¥6,260 (unreserved seat) + ¥670 (bus)
Shinkansen → Taxi About 2 hours ¥7,920 (subject to change)
Highway bus About 3 hours ¥3,600

It may take a little longer, but for the price and the fact that you don’t have to change trains, the highway bus is highly recommended. The express bus from Tokyo to Naeba is the “Naeba White Snow Shuttle” operated by the Seibu Kanko Bus company.

White Snow Shuttle website -> https://www.seibubus.co.jp/kousoku/whitesnow/

Booking website -> https://japanbusonline.com/en/RouteMap

【Naeba Ski Resort】

Opening period 18 Dec 2021- 10 April 2022 *Mt.Naeba: 18 Dec 2021- 27 March 2022
Opening hours 8:00-17:00 (night skiing: 16:00-20:30)
Address Mikuni, Yuzawa-cho, Minami-uonuma-gun, Niigata, 949-6292
TEL 025-789-4117
Ski-lift one day pass <Mt. Naeba>
Adults ¥6,000 / Seniors ¥5,300 / Junior & High School Students ¥4,600
<Naeba Area>
Adults ¥5,200 / Seniors ¥4,700 / Junior & High School Students ¥4,200
<Naeba Area Afternoon & Night Ticket>
Adults ¥5,200 / Seniors ¥4,700 / Junior & High School Students ¥4,200   

*As with the Karuizawa Prince Hotel, there is a “20 year olds ride free” campaign.
*Prices may vary depending on the season and conditions. Please check our website for details:https://www.princehotels.com/en/ski/naeba/

Convenient services changing rooms, lockers, parcel delivery, luggage storage, rest room, nursing room, kid’s play room.
URL https://www.princehotels.com/en/ski/naeba/index.html

Amazingly close to Tokyo! 【Sayama Indoor Ski Park】

[Great access] The closest ski park to Tokyo!

Sayama Ski Park is located next to MetLife Dome in Tokorozawa City, Saitama Prefecture. It is only 40 minutes from Ikebukuro by train which means it is easily accessible. The ski park, which is covered by a roof for all-weather skiing, reopened on 12 November 2020 after a renewal. This is a great place to get used to skiing again before heading to the mountains. There is also a new beginners’ course, so if you are new to skiing or snowboarding, this is a good place to try it out. Also, there are a wide range of lessons and badge tests available for those who want to improve their skiing or snowboarding. On Fridays and Saturdays the ski park opens at midnight on some days, so it’s easy to get there after work.

Great for families! Kid’s slopes and event information

In addition to the beginner’s course, a new kid’s slope has also been opened. In this area, children can enjoy sledging and playing in the snow. Sledges, shovels and snowball making tools can be borrowed free of charge. There are also many events including photoshoots involving snow throwing and snowmobiles, making this a great place to make memories with your children.

A must-go for students! Special discount tickets

Every Monday and Wednesday is Ladies Day and every first and third Thursday is Men’s Day at Sayama Ski Resort, with a special discount on one-day tickets. However, all of these days are weekdays, so it may be difficult for those who work full-time to get there, but if you are a student, why not go during one of these days with your friends?

Access & basic information

The best way to get to Sayama Ski Resort is by train.  If you are driving, there is a parking fee of  ¥1,800 (standard car) or  ¥5,000 (large car).

【Sayama Ski Resort】

Opening period 3 November 2021 – 3 April 2022
Opening hours 8:00-17:00 *Between 3 Nov-7 Dec: 8:30-16:30
Address Karuizawa, Karuizawa-machi, Kitasaku-gun, Nagano-ken
TEL 0267-42-8771
Ski-lift one day pass <First skii of the season>
Adults ¥5,000 / Junior & High School Students, Seniors ¥4,000
<Season ticket>
Adults ¥5,700 / Junior & High School Students, Seniors ¥4,700
<New Year’s Eve>
Adults ¥7,000 / Junior & High school students, Seniors ¥6,000
<Spring Skiing>
Adults ¥5,000 / Junior & High School Students, Seniors ¥4,000 *Prices vary depending on the season and the conditions. Please check our website for details
Convenient services changing rooms, lockers, parcel delivery service, luggage storage, rest rooms, nursing rooms.
URL https://www.princehotels.com/en/ski/karuizawa/index.html

Conclusion

Popular for its unique courses and setting

Oze Togura Snow Park, located in Gunma Prefecture, offers a total of 10 courses, some of which are unique in their use of the natural terrain. Many competitions are held here and the “Dynamic Course” is an official SAJ race course. On this course you can enjoy a speedrun of over 1,000 metres.

For those who want to improve their skiing or snowboarding

Oze Togura Snow Park offers a wide range of courses for intermediate and advanced skiers and snowboarders. The “Arayama Course”, a bumpy slope with unpressurised powder snow, jumps, rails and a half-pipe are sure to appeal to all intermediate and advanced skiers. In addition, this ski resort is one of the few in Japan to have a dedicated snowboard park and school to learn freestyle tricks to support those who want to improve their skiing and snowboarding skills. There is also a ‘ski slope powder guide’ (GPG) tour that will take you into the backcountry where you can learn how to ski on natural terrain. It’s a unique experience that you won’t find in most ski resorts.

Access & Basic Information

Transport Time Fare (one way)
Shinkansen → local bus About 3 hours ¥5,280 (unreserved seat) + ¥2,620 (bus)
Highway bus → Shuttle bus About 4 hours ¥3,500

If you go to Oze Togura Snow Park by Shinkansen, you will have to take a bus afterwards, so we recommend you use the ‘Katashina Snow Express’, a direct bus from the Shinjuku Bus Terminal to Michi no Eki Katashina. It is also much cheaper.

【Oze Tokura Snow Park】

Opening period December to April
Opening hours 8:00-17:00 
Address 329 Togura, Katashina Village, Tone County, Gunma Prefecture, 378-0411
TEL  0278-58-7511
Ski-lift one day pass <One day ticket>
Weekdays: Adult ¥3,800 / Child ¥2,700
Weekends, public holidays and New Year holidays: Adult ¥4,500 / Child ¥2,700
<Morning ticket (8:00~12:00)>
Weekdays: Adult ¥3,300 / Child ¥2,500
Weekends, public holidays and New Year holidays: Adult ¥4,000 / Child ¥2,600
<Afternoon ticket (12:00~17:00)>
Weekdays: Adult ¥3,300 / Child, unavailable
Weekends, public holidays and New Year holidays: Adult ¥4,000 / Child, unavailable
<One day ticket (repeat visitor)>
Weekdays: Adult ¥3,300 / Child, unavailable
Weekends, holidays and year-end/new-year holidays: Adult ¥3,800 / Child unavailable  

Prices vary depending on the season and conditions. Please check our website for details.

Convenient services changing rooms, lockers, rest rooms, nursing rooms and kid’s play room
URL https://ozetokura.co.jp/snowpark/

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