Are you in or going to Tokyo with a JR Pass and fancy some snow time on the mountain slopes? Maybe you just want to spend some time in the snowy peaks but don’t want to walk :)? During the Japanese ski season of 22 Dec – 6 May you can use the JR Pass from Tokyo to travel direct by bullet train to the well equipped ski resort Gala Yuzawa in the Japanese alps in under 1.5hrs.
A medium sized resort with access onto further nearby mountains, Gala Yuzawa has a variety of runs from 1,181m down to 358m, including powder runs after fresh snow, and also runs a well equipped terrain park. You can see the full course map here.
Perfect for JR Pass: Rent all your gear once you arrive!
One of the great things about Gala Yuzawa is that you can rent all your equipment on site for ¥7000/day. If you have bad memories of poorly maintained rental gear, you’re in for a shock in Japan with all rental items new for the seasons and freshly laundered for use.
How to get there by Japan Rail Pass
Perhaps the best thing about Gala though is that it’s incredibly JR Pass freindly, with a Bullet Train terminal right in the base gondola station where you can also rent your gear, you can simply get off the train, rent equipment and be whisked up the mountain all within 1.5hrs direct from Tokyo station by Joetsu Shinkansen. See the official Gala Yuzawa site for more information on access by bullet train.
Gala Yuzawa has a well maintained english website with more details on the slopes, rental options and directions. The site also has up to date snow reports so you can decide on the day if there’s enough snow for you.
Have fun on the slopes!