The center of Shiga Kogen! "Ichinose Family Ski Resort" has a range of wide courses for beginners

08 April, 2021
"Ichinose Family Ski Resort" is one of the ski resorts for beginners in the center of Shiga Kogen. It’s an area with large ryokan and hotels, and it’s famous for having good access to the surrounding ski resorts. From the small bridge at the foot of the slope, it’s possible to get to "Ichinose Diamond Ski Resort" in about one minute on foot, and go from the beginner course in the upper area of the slope to "Terakoya Ski Resort." Because it has good access to the surrounding ski resorts, it can be said that it’s a perfect base from which to enjoy various slopes. This time, I would like to introduce the charm and features of "Ichinose Family Ski Resort."

The wide course area that spreads out to the bottom of the slope is unlike any other!

A wide course
One of the main attractions of Ichinose Family Ski Resort is the wide course in the "front slope," where the ski center and lifts are clustered together. It’s a course for beginners with a long running distance and a gentle gradient.

Although there are places here and there where the gradient is a little tougher, if you’re a skier capable of braking and turning properly, you can reach the lifts at the foot of the mountain going only on the flat areas. There are three lifts from the front slope, but they all end up in roughly the same place. Because there are many types of lifts that diverge from the front slope, congestion is alleviated even when there are many people.

Various courses spread out from the middle of the slope

Skiers riding the lifts
When you climb up to the middle of the mountain via the lifts from the front slope, you’ll have more choices of courses for medium and advanced skiers. You can enjoy a wide variety of courses such as the "Panorama Course," which passes through a narrow space between the trees, and the "Tengu Course," where the path is narrow with twists and turns.

The official course designation is beginner / intermediate, but since the path is narrow, it’s dangerous for a complete beginner. I recommend those who lack the experience to hold off on attempting those courses until you’ve sufficiently practiced on the front slope.

In addition, it’s possible to access "Terakoya Ski Resort" via the beginner course that connects from the middle of the mountain to the backside. Although this is a slope with many intermediate and advanced courses with tough gradients, there are many courses where you can enjoy fluffy powder snow. If you’re confident in your ability, please give them a try.

Slope during nighttime operation
At Shiga Kogen, the ski resorts that are open at night vary depending on the season. The Ichinose Family Ski Resort is well-known among the many slopes for being open for a long period and having a well-balanced, easy-to-ski nighttime slope.

The wide front slope which is open at night is easy even for beginners to ski. It is also well lit, making the undulations of the course very easy to notice. Because it’s in an area of high elevation, it gets quite chilly at night. It's probably a good idea to put some effort into taking measures against the cold weather.

Since nighttime operation is irregular, it’s recommended that you ask the staff of your hotel beforehand. If you look at Shiga Kogen as a whole, somewhere a ski resort will be open at night.

A ski center with a full range of facilities

Exterior of the ski center
The ski center at the front slope is a comprehensive base with facilities like free rest areas, restaurants, toilets, changing rooms, and lift ticket booths. Although it’s at the end point of the lifts and is therefore a place that easily becomes crowded, access to the surrounding ski resorts is good, so people disperse and the congestion is not so bad.

There’s also a place where you can have a meal break at the Terakoya Ski Resort halfway up the mountain, so if you’re skiing on a course near the middle of the mountain, you can also make use of it. With a little creativity, you can avoid the crowds and get the most out of your trip.

A base with exceptional access, where accommodation facilities are concentrated

The Ichinose Family Ski Resort is in a place where the hotels and ryokan are particularly concentrated in Shiga Kogen. Although it’s virtually impossible to go there on a day trip since it’s located in the mountains, it’s the perfect location to enjoy skiing if you’re looking to stay overnight and take your time.

Shiga Kogen is also famous for its potent, naturally occurring sulfur onsen. You can lounge back and enjoy the onsen at the ryokan, or take a little drive for a day-trip onsen tour. Since business hours are irregular everywhere, it’s best to ask directly at the ryokan where you plan to stay. It should be noted that the smell of sulfur is very strong whichever onsen you visit- for those who take a dislike, it’s recommended that you wash yourself well with shampoo and body soap before you leave.

The ski resort flourished during the bubble period, so the facilities and interior of the accommodation facilities are old at spots, but, for better or for worse, it’s a ski resort where you can get a taste of the old-fashioned atmosphere.

Access is somewhat poor, but it’s the perfect resort if you’re staying consecutive nights

The view from the slopes
It takes 70 to 80 minutes from Nagano Station via express bus Because the bus travel time is long, it’s impossible to go there on a day-trip from the Tokyo metropolitan area. However, since the connection between ski resorts is very good, it’s a great snow resort for those who want to ski at various ski resorts. Lift tickets are valid for use at all shared ski resorts as well.

Although access is good, it’s still a vast area, so it’s impossible to go around all of the slopes if you’re only staying for a short time. I recommended that you stay for two nights at least, and three or four nights if you want to fully experience it all.

One of the most famous family-oriented ski resorts in Shiga Kogen

View of the whole ski resort
Since the front slope has a reputation for being easy to ski, it’s a snow resort where beginners can enjoy themselves as much as they like. As the courses are quite varied, you won't get bored and you’ll be satisfied even if you ski all day long. Since the upper area is for advanced skiers, you can have plenty of fun trying out the different level courses according to the skills you acquire during your trip.

Pricing information and schedule may not be up to date and are subject to change without notice. Please check before your trip.

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