Part 3 of our travelogue of a 2-day, 1-night stay in Shiga Kogen: Terakoya Skiing Area, a place where you can get a taste of some really excellent powder snow

08 April, 2021
Part 3 of our Shiga Kogen ski travelogue! To wrap up, we would like to share our experience at Terakoya Skiing Area, with powder snow slopes that boast some of the best snow quality in Shiga Kogen. The compact slopes of this ski resort, which you can go to from Ichinose Family Skiing Area, are in a low-temperature area near the summit, where the extremely low humidity allows you to experience light powder snow. As a ski resort with plenty of thrilling slopes that are used for ski camps and so on, it’s a very satisfying resort to visit.

For an experience of the highest-class snow, Ichinose Area!

Hotels in the Ichinose Area
⇒Click here for the previous article.
Terakoya Skiing Area is located in the upper part of the Ichinose Area. Coming from the Ichinose Family Skiing Area, where we just enjoyed nighttime skiing yesterday, all you have to do is go around to the back side of the summit area, and you’ve arrived. In order to get to the slopes, you have to go through the narrow beginner/intermediate course.

The width of the path is extremely narrow, making it a frightening area where if you try to push your way through forcefully, you might go out of the course over a cliff. Most of the skiers there were making their way down slowly while braking. Well, for me to say this is the pot calling the kettle black; since I can’t control my direction very well, I took off my board and walked down. By the way, on the way back there is a bypass ski lift, so returning is easy.

Finest-quality snow that never clumps

Powder slopes
Finally, we arrived at Terakoya Skiing Area. On that day there had been heavy snowfall, so slopes covered with powder snow spread out expansively, just like the resort’s reputation. It’s hard to tell by looking at a photograph, but if you try squeezing it in your hands, the difference is clear. No matter how hard you squeeze it, it doesn’t clump together. With snow like this that has so little moisture, even if I threw myself down in the snow, it hardly hurt at all. There are a lot of steep slopes, but with this soft, fluffy snow, it’s so fun that it makes you want to keep going down the slopes over and over again.

The weather gets colder in the afternoon, so be sure to dress warmly!

The slopes with bad weather
The slopes near the mountain summit are famous for how quickly their weather changes. I guess this is the fate of the powder slopes. If there are too many sunny days, the snow melts and there isn’t any powder snow, but on days with good snow quality, the snowfall is so heavy that the weather turns bad.

Complaints like, “Even though the weather was good in the morning and I could see an incredible view, in the afternoon the ski lifts stopped due to strong wind” are incessant. It’s a lucky day for you if the weather is clear, so if that happens, please take a picture with that scenery in the background as a souvenir of your trip!

An afternoon lunch in Rest House Terakoya

The outside of Rest House
We were running low on stamina due to the low temperatures, so we took a break in Rest House Terakoya, a rest facility near the ski lift. The first floor has restrooms and the rest area, and the second floor is a restaurant. It’s not a very large facility, so the restaurant was full. Even though seats are available during peak times, it tends to get extremely crowded. We recommend either getting a seat early or going during a time after the lunch rush.

The menu
The atmosphere of the dining hall is full of liveliness. Staff who were serving customers were able to understand simple English. The menu was full of choices, from a cutlet curry that’s sure to fill you up to light meals and items like hot chocolate. I was hungry, so I ordered the cutlet curry. During this trip, this was the first time that we had a meal on the slopes.

The cutlet curry, which comes in a generous portion
The generous-portion cutlet curry appears! It seems this is the specialty of Rest House Terakoya. The portion is rather large, so it’s better to only order it if you are really hungry. The thick-cut cutlet was juicy and delicious.

Hot chocolate
After the meal, I ordered a popular item from their lighter offerings, hot chocolate. There’s nothing like this drink to warm up your body when you’re cold! I drank mine in front of the fireplace in the rest area, where I was able to take a break and get warm in a relaxed atmosphere. I couldn’t wait and drank a little, but they actually pour so much into the cup that it’s overflowing.

On the way back, we wrap up our trip by stopping to a day-trip onsen!

We didn’t want to get caught in traffic delays, so in the afternoon we wrapped up our skiing and went back to the inn. We returned our rental equipment and checked out with no problems. On our way driving back, we stopped by a day-trip onsen to melt away the fatigue of our trip. There are so many famous onsen in Shiga Kogen that it was hard to decide, but we stopped by Kumanoyu Onsen, which was on the way back. This kind of onsen, which is operated by a ryokan with a long history, is steeped in a nostalgic, old-fashioned feel. We relaxed to our hearts’ content in the famous onsen, warming up our bodies to prepare for the drive home.

The end of our 1-night, 2-day ski trip!

Main slope of Ichinose Family Skiing Area
So that concludes this 3-part report on our experiences during our Shiga Kogen ski trip.

Although it’s not possible to see everything in the Shiga Kogen Area in just one day, we found out that if you use your time efficiently in going around to different places, you can really have a satisfying ski experience on a 1-night, 2-day trip. One really great advantage is that with a Shared Pass for the area, you can ski as much as you want at any ski resort. In contrast to the Hakuba Area, there are quite a few adjoining ski resorts, so you can get around to other places rather easily. For people who want to really get their fill of enjoying snow resorts on a trip of 3 nights or longer, definitely consider going to Shiga Kogen!

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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