The “GALA Yuzawa Snow Resort” has excellent accessibility! It’s only 1 hour 15 minutes from Tokyo, with direct access to the station!

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Written by Editorial department

As autumn’s colorful leaves fall and fade, next up on the highlights of traveling Japan is snow! In particular, skiing is a popular snow activity among tourists. Each ski resort offers rental ski equipment as well as beginner skiing lessons. Among all of the available ski resorts in Japan, we would like to recommend “GALA Yuzawa Snow Resort,” an exceptionally easy-to-access ski resort that is only 1 hour and 15 minutes from Tokyo.

The facility is, of course, a great place to ski or snowboard, but it also offers attractions that anyone can enjoy, such as beginner-friendly snow parks and snow-play corners, as well as sledding slopes. As the resort is not near any large city centers, once guests arrive by train or Shinkansen, the primary mode of travel is by bus. However, the GALA Yuzawa Snow Resort has direct access to a Shinkansen station, which makes it a very convenient access point for travelers!

The resort’s Northern Area
The resort’s Northern Area

Of course, the resort has rental skiwear and ski equipment available to guests. You can choose from a wide variety of equipment, including the newest models, so even guests who are dedicated to skiing should be able to find what they need!

The resort has rental skiwear and ski equipment available to guests.
The resort has rental skiwear and ski equipment available to guests.

GALA Yuzawa Snow Resort is divided into several different areas, each offering different courses and features. The sledding slopes are recommended for groups with small children. The area is spacious as well as sled-exclusive, so parents can have fun with their children without worrying about collisions.

The sledding slopes are recommended for groups with small children.
The sledding slopes are recommended for groups with small children.

The resort’s Southern Area is built for intermediate and advanced guests. The Southern Area’s Wild Zone is full of powdered snow, and its 5 different courses are sure to be an exciting challenge for skiers with confidence in their skills. The Northern Area contains a wide range of courses, from beginner to advanced, so skiers of any level can enjoy it.

The resort’s Southern Area
The resort’s Southern Area

For foreign visitors who have never skied before but want to challenge themselves while in Japan, GALA Yuzawa Snow Resort offers lessons exclusive to foreign guests. The lessons, a permanent facet of the resort, are taught by native English speakers. The lessons range from beginner to advanced, so anyone should be able to relax and enjoy learning how to ski or snowboard. In addition to the available group lessons, private one-on-one lessons tailored to the student are available as well. Also, starting this year, the facility now provides Taiwanese and Chinese interpreters for lessons, making the resort even more convenient for guests from around the world.

GALA Yuzawa Snow Resort offers lessons exclusive to foreign guests.
GALA Yuzawa Snow Resort offers lessons exclusive to foreign guests.

Walking tours using traditional snowshoes (“Kanjiki”) are also available. These tours make great memories, and you can eventake commemorative photographs during the tour while wearing traditional snow gear!

Walking tours using traditional snowshoes (“Kanjiki”) are also available.
Walking tours using traditional snowshoes (“Kanjiki”) are also available.

After spending the day having lots of fun, why not refresh yourself in the facility’s hot springs! “SPA GALA-NO-YU” is attached to the main facility, so feel free to drop by on your way off the slopes. The spa area contains a fitness pool and open-air jacuzzi as well as the hot springs, so there are many ways to enjoy yourself.

“SPA GALA-NO-YU”
“SPA GALA-NO-YU”

Basic Information on “GALA Yuzawa Snow Resort”

■GALA Yuzawa Snow Resort

Address
1039-2 Ooaza Yuzawa, Aza Kayabira Yuzawa-machi, Minamiuonuma-gun, Niigata Prefecture
Business Hours
December 17, 2016 through May 7, 2017 8:00-17:00※Until 16:30 April 3 through May 7, until 16:00 weekdays from April 3 through April 28
TEL
025-785-6543
URL(English)
https://gala.co.jp/winter/english/

Also, if you have any extra time, why not stop by the nearby Echigo Yuzawa area (3 minutes by Shinkansen from Gala Yuzawa Station to Echigo Yuzawa Station)? With its variety of things to try and see, from hegi soba (soba noodles that use seaweed as a bonding agent) to hot springs, as well as rice and sake that make great souvenirs, a visit to Echigo Yuzawa can make your ski trip even more exciting and fulfilling!

hegi soba (soba noodles that use seaweed as a bonding agent)
hegi soba (soba noodles that use seaweed as a bonding agent)

◆The “JR TOKYO Wide Pass”!

Lastly, for those visiting GALA Yuzawa Snow Resort from the Tokyo area, we are introducing a convenient and reasonably-priced pass! The “JR TOKYO Wide Pass” allows you to freely ride on the limited express Shinkansen for three days!

Going from Tokyo Station to Gala Yuzawa Station, regular one-way seats on the Joetsu Shinkansen cost around 7,000 yen for one adult. At that rate, a round trip costs 14,000 yen. At 10,000 yen, the JR TOKYO Wide Pass is cheaper, and can be used freely within the Tokyo area for 3 days. It is a very convenient and economical ticket! As the ticket has a variety of benefits, the details will be listed below.

■JR TOKYO Wide Pass

Price
Adults (12 years and older) 10,000 yen, Children (6-11 years) 5,000 yen
Valid For
3 consecutive days
Place of Sale
◯JR EAST Travel Service Centers: Narita Airport Station, Narita Airport Terminal 2-3 Station, Tokyo Monorail Haneda Airport International Terminal Station, Tokyo Station, Shinjuku Station, Ikebukuro Station
○Stations: Narita Airport Station, Narita Airport Terminal 2-3 Station
○View Plaza: Shinagawa Station, Shibuya Station, Ueno Station, Yokohama Station, Mito Station
Terms of Purchase and Use
Must be a foreign national with a foreign passport (passport will be checked upon purchase)
Sale Period
All year
Period of Use
All year
URL(English)
https://www.jreast.co.jp/e/tokyowidepass/

◆Presenting the JR TOKYO Wide Pass at Gala Yuzawa can get you a variety of benefits!

About benefits:

[Benefit 1]
Gondola ticket and sledding set (Round-trip gondola ticket, plus sled, boots, and gloves set)
Adults 2,900 yen⇒2,000 yen, Children 1,950 yen⇒1,400 yen
[Benefit 2]
Gala lift ticket and locker set (1-day lift ticket, locker ticket, ski rentals 10% discount, lessons 10% discount)
※Private lessons are not eligible for the discount.
Adults 5,600 yen⇒3,100 yen, Children 3,300 yen⇒1,550 yen
[Benefit 3]
SPA GALA-NO-YU Entry
Adults 1,300 yen⇒1,000 yen, Children 800 yen⇒600 yen
※Benefits are available to guests with a JR TOKYO Wide Pass, as well as guests with a JR EAST PASS (Tohoku Area), JR EAST PASS (Nagano,Niigata Area), and JR East-South Hokkaido Rail PASS.