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The Resort 

Owned and operated by the Prince Hotel Group, Naeba Ski Resort is centred around the magnificent Prince Hotel that sits at the base of the Naeba Ski Resort. It’s also worth noting that the Naeba Ski Resort is a relatively new resort in Japan, having been founded during the bubble period of Japan in the late 1980’s. Given this fact, Naeba has excellent, modern infrastructure that has seen Naeba become a tempting option for a family ski holiday. It also boasts an excellent split of beginner (30%), intermediate (40%) and advanced (30%) runs that can engage and excited most skiers and snowboarders! The 22 courses are serviced by 13 lifts, giving you the greatest opportunity to avoid lines and spend more time shredding the long groomers or more time in the epic terrain parks.

Naeba also has a really unique option for powderhounds to experience, the Dragondola. This enormous gondola stretches 5.5km and connects the Naeba Ski Resort to Kagura Ski Resort, it’s closest neighbor. Kagura Ski Resort is really a haven for expert skiers and snowboarders who want to experience a slightly higher altitude and some backcountry skiing. Unfortunately, the Naeba ski area is still heavily patrolled in regards to off piste skiing. If you engage in off piste skiing at Naeba, prepare to have a wrathful voice reprimand you over the extremely loud speakers and, if you repeatedly offend, expect a possible revocation of your lift pass!!

Resort Facts

  • Start Season: Mid December
  • Season End: End of Mar
  • Night Skiing: Yes, 8:30pm
  • Max Elevation (m): 1,789
  • Vertical Rise (m): 889
  • Difficulty (beg/int/adv): 30% / 40% / 30%
  • Longest Course (m): 4,000
  • No. of Courses/Runs: 22
  • No. of Lifts  & Gondolas: 13
  • Max Gradient: 45 degrees

Getting there

Naeba is one of the most accessible ski resorts from Tokyo, located roughly 180km outside of Tokyo CBD. Through its proximity to the capital, Naeba has benefitted from the immense Japanese transportation infrastructure. There are various options for travelers to get to Naeba, these include train, bus and car. The fastest route is catching a combination of train and bus, that would see you get to Naeba in under 2hrs. This gives you the fantastic experience of traveling on the Shinkansen bullet train, a must do whilst in Japan. The alternate route is by catching the Naeba White Snow Shuttle. This service departs from Narita or Haneda airports and is the most direct option, albeit slightly more expensive and requires more time, roughly 3.5hrs. Aside from Tokyo, there are also plenty of options for continuing your journey to the other regions of Japan.

For the brave soul who wishes to rent a car and tackle the conditions to make their own way to Naeba, the weather is extremely unpredictable and can produce adverse road conditions, thus we categorically do not recommend guests drive to Naeba.

Tokyo to Naeba $52 adult / $26 child one way (Naeba White Snow Shuttle, 3hrs 30mins)
Tokyo to Echigo Yuzawa $228 per adult (bullet train, 70mins 5 day flexi JR East pass)
Echigo Yuzawa to Naeba (free shuttle bus, 30mins)

The Snow

Japan’s immense snow quality and quantity are thanks to its location, namely the fact that Japan is a huge archipelago and it is blessed with the ‘Ocean Snow Effect’. Some may know of the ‘Lake Snow Effect’ and for all intents and purposes, Ocean Snow Effect is very similar, wherein a body of cold air comes in contact with a warmer source of moisture. In Japan’s case, a freezing cold air mass forms over Siberia and traverses the, relatively warmer, Sea of Japan. As it moves inexorably toward the western peninsula of Japan, it picks up a bunch of moisture from the Sea of Japan and once it reaches the coastline, it becomes unstable and creates a snow band.

This unstable weather system blankets the mountains with the famed powder of Japan. Naeba’s location is not ideal for this weather system, geographically it sits behind the massive peaks of Myoko Ski Resort and Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort. This see’s an average snowfall of roughly 7m bless the slopes of Naeba, down on the national average of 11m. However, a benefit of this is that by the time that the weather system reaches Naeba, most of the moisture has been purged and the snow that falls is delicate and light, excellent for shredding.

The Resort Life

The Naeba Ski Resort is owned and operated by one of Japan’s largest hoteliers, Prince Hotel Group. The Naeba Prince Hotel is the best option for a ski holiday to Naeba, this is largely due to the facilities available to guests who stay at the hotel. Given the size of Naeba Prince Hotel, there is plenty of variety when it comes to eating, in fact there are more than 20 options for you to explore during your stay. These include anything formal French dining to a pizza parlor, giving you ultimate choice every day of your stay! There are also several lounge bars, gear rental outlets and a retail shop, however one of the greatest benefits is that the Prince Hotel holds a prime location on Naeba Ski Resort and is a true ski in/ski out location.

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    4 nights from $414* per person

    Early Bird Special Stay 4 pay 3
    Includes daily breakfast + 3 day lift pass

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