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The Resorts

Madarao Ski Resort is located in the central Japanese alps and is sandwiched by some of Japan’s all time favourites like Myoko, Nozawa and Hakuba. This has meant that Madarao has largely flown under the radar of international winter sports enthusiasts, though in recent years it has begun to gain some traction. Given some of the conditions that Madarao offers it’s a miracle that its taken this long! 13 meters per season, great tree skiing, reasonably steep bowls and off-piste skiing is permitted? Yes please!

Whilst gaining in popularity, it is still largely untouched and with 21 courses, 8 lifts and a 2.5km run, you can really express yourself out on the snow. It also provides an extremely diverse environment that caters for all shapes and sizes, with 30% beginner, 35% intermediate and 35% advanced runs. It’s also well noting that the off-piste and tree skiing scene at Madarao is top notch, with plenty of wide set trees and a reasonable drop pitch that is enough to excite, but not scare expert powder hounds.

Resort Facts

  • Start Season: Mid December
  • Season End: Early May
  • Night Skiing: Yes, until 7pm
  • Max Elevation (m): 1,180
  • Vertical Rise (m): 610
  • Difficulty (beg/int/adv): 35% / 35% / 30%   
  • Longest Course (m): 4,050
  • No. of Courses/Runs: 21
  • No. of Lifts  & Gondolas: 8
  • Max Gradient: 37 degrees

Getting there

There are a fantastic range of options for getting to and from Madarao. As ski continues to be an important part of Japanese tourism for both local and international guests, the range and efficiency of transport in Japan continues to improve. In Madarao’s case this includes options such as shuttle bus, train and car. The most popular method is a shuttle bus from Narita or Haneda Airport that takes roughly 5 hours. Another preference of travelers is the use of the JR east pass, which gives you access to the train network. However, this train system will only take you as far as Iiyama station, where you will need to catch a local shuttle bus. This journey on the train and bus takes around 4 hours and requires a few changes. There is also the option to rent a car and battle the conditions to make your own way to Madarao, however the weather are unpredictable and can produce adverse conditions, thus we do not recommend guests drive to Madarao.

Narita/Haneda Airport to Madarao - From $139 per person one way (coach, 5 hrs)
Tokyo to Iiyama by train + Iiyama to Madarao by bus (3.5 hrs)

The Snow

Given the fact that Madarao Kogen is very close to Myoko and Nozawa, its quality and quantity of snow are very similar.

The areas prestigious snowfall is thanks to the eastern siberian air mass that crosses the sea of Japan during winter, as this moisture rich air mass hits the massive mountains, it is forced to dump everything it has picked up on its voyage. Whilst Myoko gets is first in line for a fresh dumping of snow, Madarao is a close second! Another factor that leads to some fantastic snow quality is that many of the runs are north facing, meaning they don't receive as much heat and UV as south facing slopes. There are several south facing slopes at Madarao and often these can get a little dense and icy, so we recommend that you check the conditions everyday before deciding which runs you are going to tackle!

The Quiet Life

Madarao is still budding as an international ski destination, meaning that the resort is still holds a strong Japanese heritage and, for lack of a better word, charm. It offers a really friendly and down to earth environment that caters for anyone and everyone, however there isn’t a lot in the way of facilities available in Madarao that are outside the main hotels, pensions or ryokans. This lack of facilities such as bars and restaurants gives the resort a really quaint and quiet vibe, which is actually pretty refreshing. Make sure to pack a set of cards or a few board games and enjoy quality down time with friends and family!

Book / Enquire

We can tailor make your trip according to your requests

    Accommodation Standard

    FlightsLessonsLift PassInsuranceStopoverGear HireTransfersRail PassSnow Monkey Tour



    4 nights from $547* per person

    Includes daily breakfast + 3 day lift pass

    Located right in Madarao village, this condominium style ski in/out property is in a prime location to the slopes.

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    4 nights from $605* per person

    Includes daily breakfast + 3 day lift pass

    A well located ski in/out property with Western/Japanese style combination rooms accommodating up to 4 people.

    Book / enquire

    More info