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Powder Perfect

January 30, 2014
Skiing Daytrip
Snow bunnies and bombers alike will agree that Japan’s slopes – muffled as they are by tons of dry, fresh and fluffy snow blowing in from Siberia between December and May – offer some of the finest powder in the world for carving showy clean turns. But in case you thought you were resolutely ensconced in the neverending Tokyo cityscape... s’now problem! A bullet train from Tokyo Station will have you gazing up the snowy foothills of the Japanese Alps in just under 1.5 hours.

As little as 80 minutes will get you to Gala Yuzawa, which offers spic-and-span rental gear (from goggles to suits), English-speaking instructors and a gondola that zips 800m directly up the mountain from the station. A tad further still up the tracks (after an additional 50-minute bus ride) sits Kawaba, a lesser-known spot popular with locals and novice snowboarders for its gentle but moderately challenging slopes. Alternatively, hop off at the easy-breezy Echigo-Yuzawa station and a 20-minute shuttle will bring you to the impressive Naeba resort which boasts off-piste fun for adventurous skiers (the gondola reaches as far as 3,000 ft above the valley floor), state-of-the-art equipment (from the South Gate or Day Trip Ski Centre), a number of excellent guides for finding first-rate untracked lines, as well as hot springs and a fancy array of dining options for the all-important après-ski!

For further info and weather conditions check

Gala Yuzawa / Gala-Yuzawa Station / +81 25 785 6543 /
Kawaba / Jomokogen Station / +81 27 852 3345 /
Naeba / Echigo-Yuzawa Station / +81 25 789 2211 /