Hi, this is Fe@NJ, who has passed Second Grade of Timetable Test in Japan.
Winter sports are in the midst of the season!
General speaking, the transportation to the snow resort for skiing and/or snowboarding might be by car or chartered direct bus service to the site. Nevertheless, I, a railway fan, would like to introduce “Go to ski and snowboard by train (plus hot springs and Pokémon)“. As a suggestion, for two snow resorts that can be reached from the metropolitan area on a one-way 3-hour basis, let me introduce “Manza Onsen Ski Area” and “Kazawa Snow Area“. Both of them can enjoy not only the greatest snow quality on season but also spa after the sports, although they are medium to small scale. In addition, note that they are not crowded because of inconvenient location in terms of public transportation.
1. The advantage of going by train is as follows:
(1) Easy, their seats are wider than buses’, no seat belts.
(2) Fast, time accuracy, no traffic jam.
(3) You can play with Pokémon in the train.
2. The disadvantage going by train is as follows:
(1) Transfer is tough.
(2) Traveling luggage is troublesome.
(3) Transportation between the nearest station and the resort must be considered separately.
3. The nearest station of each snow resort is JR East’s “Manza Kazawaguchi” station; which I mentioned on past topics.
①A green bold line shows JR East’s Line from Ueno to Manza Kazawaguchi.
②Limited Express Kusatsu
③The Green Car (First Class) of Kusatsu
Take the limited express “Kusatsu No.1″ from Ueno Station of JR East. (Departs at 10:00)
At Naganohara Kusatsuguchi station, the final stop of Kusatsu, the passengers shall change to the local train. This transfer is untroubled since they can transfer on the same platform.
(Arrives at 12:18 -> Departs at 12:24)
Get off at the fourth station, Manza Kagasawaguchi Station. (Arrives at 12:42)
Its plathome of the station is built on the embankment, and descend the stairs to change to the ground transportation system (bus, taxi etc.).
Don’t forget! There is a Pokémon gym.
In addition, please check the schedule of trains and buses in the latest timetable.
Manza Onsen Ski Area
Take Seibu Group’s bus. (Departs at 13:01)
On arrival at Manza Bus Terminal (Arrives at 13:44), the minibus of each accommodation shall come to pick up.
A shuttle bus service is available between each accommodation facility and Manza Onsen Ski Area.
④Shuttle Bus Stop
Whereas it is the moving day, after arrival, I would consider that it is good to ride for two to three hours in order to break in, or to accept and appreciate the open-air spa above the clouds.
(1) The snow quality is truly excellent boasting a top altitude of about 6,500 ft.
(2) The main area is directly connected with Manza Prince Hotel, which I feel glamorous.
⑤The Top of main area
⑥The sign indicates the prefectural boundary between Gunma and Nagano
(3) The second area, along Manzayama Chair Lift, for intermediates, is a great place.
(4) The extensive scenery! When it is fine weather, we could observe Mt. Fuji beyond Mt. Asama.
⑦Zooming up, therein, Mt. Fuji beyond Mt. Asama.
⑧Through the forest
(1) As of this writing, the regular bus service between Manza Kazawaguchi Station and Manza Bus Terminal is only four round-trip a day.
(2) If you really want to slide in the afternoon in full, get the 09:35 bus from Karuizawa Station of Hokuriku Shinkansen. You arrive at Manza Bus Terminal at 11:19.
Kazawa Snow Area
The other option, from Manza Kazawaguchi Station, is Kazawa Snow Area.
There is no regular bus route connecting this station and the ski resort.
When booking an accommodation, you may either ask for a plan with picking up by minibus or reserve a taxi from the station. It takes approximately 25 minutes to go.
(1) The altitude of the top is about 6,000 ft., so that the snow quality is great.
(2) We find many high-speed skiers, categorized into expert class in the main area, Highland area. If the clear sky continues, its upper part tends to be ice burn and more challenged. It opens from late November to early May.
In 2018, the National High School Ski Games as Tokyo Preliminaries and the Tokyo Metropolitan High School Spring Skiing Games will be held.
⑨The base of Highland area
(3) The second area, Come-on Area, only open on weekends and holidays in the high season, is a great place for families and couples.
⑩The top of Come-on area
In addition, during the season, I often deposit my complete set of the equipment at the resort, then, I return home and come back by train and with less packages.
Thank you and have a nice skiing and/or snowboarding in Japan!