Welcome to "Snow Country"
The town of Yuzawa was where Yasunari Kawabata penned his award-winning novel “Snow Country” (Yukiguni). It is also Niigata’s most popular of winter sports areas, due to the easy access from Tokyo (77 minutes) and the variety of ski resorts a snowball’s throw from the station.
Mt. Naeba calls itself "The Station Moritz of the East" and is a popular choice for Kanto trendsetters wishing to get away for a convenient ski weekend. The crescent-shaped Prince Hotel cuts an imposing figure at the base of this classic ski-in/ski-out resort and features all the trappings you would expect from a Prince-managed resort hotel. Off the mountain, there are children’s services, hot springs and other amenities and, on the mountain, a terrain park, kids park, family snow park and more. Naeba is connected to Kagura, Tashiro, and Mitsumata ski areas via the "Dragondola," which travels 5.5 kilometers in just 15 minutes, so there are 44 trails explore if you have the time.
These three connecting ski areas form one big resort. If you count Naeba, the total rideable area is 368 hectares. From Naeba, you’ll be lifted above Lake Tashiro to wider and less crowded slopes and better snow quality, but the area closes at 4 p.m. and the lift line back to Naeba can be long, so beware. A better option is to access the Tashiro Ropeway on Route 17. You can then traverse across Tashiro in about 40 minutes to Kagura, a popular backcountry zone and a great option for early and late season skiing. The Mitsumata area has a small boarder's park, a few jumps and two good slopes for learning. Accessible by the Mitsumata Ropeway on Route 17.