Halfway up towards the famous Nozawa Onsen ski area from Nagano city is this small but charming ski area. From wide groomed slopes ideal to carve to challenging ungroomed runs, there is a good mix of slopes of different charactors, with which you never get bored for the whole day. There are several cafeterias mostly located at the bases, which offer food well above the average in quality for such places at ski areas. Some hot, spicy dishes make you warm from the inside on a chilly day. Families with small children should be pleased that primary school pupils can ski free here. However, the real charm of this little ski area is its relaxed yet well-managed off-piste policy. Thanks to the north-facing slopes and a relatively high altitude, there is a good chance to be able to enjoy fine, light powder in January and February. One of a few downsides is its slow and ineffecient lift system. Except for twin quad lifts along the main slope, all the lifts are a bit dated short fixed chair lifts obviously opearated slower than usual. You sometimes have to take two or three lifts to ski down a slope and going back to the top often takes time.
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