I skied at six resorts in Japan in 2019

I skied at six different resorts in Japan over eight days. We were based at Hotel Central (up the hill from Myoko Snowsports shop). This is my guide to each resort with a sit ski.

Akukura Kanko

Location: Akukura Kanko is conveniently located close to Hotel Central. We crossed the road, got in the sit ski and skied to and from the resort.

Ticket office: The ticket office is across from the first chairlift. Buy your tickets before riding for the day. Discounts can be available from your hotel or ski school.

Chairlifts: There are hooded quad chairlifts. The hoods don’t have to stay down. I quite like the hoods down when its heavy snowing because it provides some warmth.

Runs: There are runs for all abilities. I enjoy the groomed runs with fresh powder. We begin on the beginner slopes to get a feel for the sit ski and the conditions. We then ski further up the mountain. It’s fun to both bucket and tether.

Break facilities: There is bathrooms and a restaurant at the top of the Myoko Snowsports store. We skied to the top entrance. There are a few steps depending how much snow has fallen. I am top and tail lifted into my wheelchair and can easily access inside. The bathrooms are split into male and female with no specific disability facilities or large cubicles.

Arai

I was the first sit skier with Myoko Snowsports to ski at Arai! It’s fancy and new. I have only ever skied here once. It wasn’t the best conditions as it was very windy with poor visibility. I would suggest it’s best for more experience sit skiers on bluebird days.

Location: Lotte Arai is just under an hours drive away.

We were driven by Myoko Snowsports.

Ticket Office: The ticket office is across some snow. I sent my bro Michael to buy the tickets.

Chairlifts/Gondola: There is a gondola to get up. We rode quad chairlifts.

Runs: Runs are long but aren’t wide.

Break facilities: It’s very fancy and new. The restaurant is huge and warm with plenty of space to get around. The bathrooms are split into male and female with no specific disability facilities or large cubicles.

Ikenatara

Sheltered with beautiful trees either side of groomed runs.

Location: A short drive from Myoko Snowsports.

Ticket Office: Is across snow located at the bottom of the first chairlift.

Chairlifts: There are some two-man chairlifts. Sam, in Japanese, would ask for the chairlift to be slowed. On some the staff would assist but on others Michael would assist then jump off to the side and catch the next chair.

Runs: There are many trees along the side that it’s possible to pop in and out of. We got stuck when there was a lot of powder. The trees can make it feel a bit colder. The runs are long and wide.

Break Facilities: There is a restaurant on the upper level with a few stairs that I was lifted into. Inside it’s all level with space to get around. The chicken burgers are delicious! There are bathroom facilities on the lower level. It’s easier to get too in a sit ski. Michael carried my wheelchair down the stairs and we met him at the entrance. The bathrooms are split into male and female with no specific disability facilities or large cubicles.

IKE
Sam & Kate at the bottom of Ike PHOTO: Michael

Madarao & Tangrem 

These resorts are connected and it’s possible to buy a lift ticket and ski both.

Location: It’s a short drive of about 30 minutes

Ticket Office: It’s in the main building in Tangrem which is easily accessible. It’s across snow at Madarao.

Chairlifts: There are three and four person chairlifts.

We were headed on our first run at Madarao when Charlie was approached and told to go to information. We skied down and he went into information. No progress so he was sent to the top to speak with the other information. He explained the sit ski and showed pictures. No problems at all. We were allowed to ride. Some lifties panicked but were fine after we rode a few times with ease.

Runs: The runs vary. So many beautiful groomed runs. We found a few that we liked and practiced on these.

Break facilities: There are a few options at both resorts to eat. Both can ski into and are spacious inside. The bathrooms are split into male and female with no specific disability facilities or large cubicles.

Suginohara

This is my favourite resort because it has long and wide runs!

Location: About 30 minute drive

Ticket Office: The ticket office is across snow

Chairlifts/Gondola: There is a gondola up and then chairlifts will take you further up.

It can be a bit tricky to get into the gondola. I am carried in the sit ski up a few stairs and into the building. I am pulled on a sticky black mat around to where we can load. I am loaded into the sit ski with help from gondola staff. My instructor can sit in with me. We do the same but in reverse at the top. If the sit ski is too wide then I am top and tail lifted into the gondola and then out and into the sit ski at the top.

Runs: The groomed runs are very long and very wide. It’s wonderful to tether and work towards independent skiing. It’s also fun to bucket in the powder and trees on the sides of the groomed runs.

Break facilities: I’ve only eaten at one place because it’s easy to access and get my wheelchair from the car. It is upstairs. I am carried up and down the stairs. It can be crowded but there’s enough space to get around and order.

There are a few steps into the bathroom (depending how much snow has fallen). The bathrooms are split into male and female with no specific disability facilities. It’s a bit squishy.

 

 

 

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