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The Naeba Ski Resort, one of the top quality ski resorts in Japan, is comprised of two separate ski areas—the Naeba area and the Kagura area. The Naeba Ski Resort is accessible via a 70-minute Shinkansen ride to Echigo-Yuzawa Station followed by a 40-minute shuttle bus ride from the East Exit of the station (free for those staying the night at the Prince Hotel) to the Naeba Prince Hotel.

Enjoy Skiing at Kagura, A Ski Resort Surrounded by Nature Right Near Naeba

Rent your gear at the multiple rental shops in the Naeba Prince Hotel. While you can, of course, rent ski and snowboard boots, as well as skis and snowboards, you can also rent ski wear! Note however that you must bring your own googles, hat/helmet, shirt and gloves, or purchase them at the ski wear stores located inside the hotel.

Ski rental at Naeba Prince Hotel.

Ski rental.

Ski wear for rent at Naeba Prince Hotel.

Cute ski wear for rent.

Ski wear stores are located within the Naeba Prince Hotel.

Ski wear stores are located within the hotel.

Once you get your gear, purchase your lift ticket or exchange for ski lift ticket voucher for a lift ticket. From there, take the Prince Gondola No.2 (for intermediate skiers) or the High Speed Lift No.3 (for beginner level skiers). From there, follow the convenient signs for the DRAGONDOLA and make your way over to the Naeba-Tashiro Gondola Stop.

Signs to the Dragondola at Naeba.

Signs to the DRAGONDOLA help you find your way easily.

From there, hop onto the DRAGONDOLA, the world’s longest gondola, and Japan’s fastest gondola, to get to the remote and beautiful Kagura ski area in a mere twenty minutes. You will travel 5,418 meters during that time!

Naeba-Tashiro Gondola at Naeba.

Entrance to the Naeba-Tashiro Gondola, AKA DRAGONDOLA.

Enjoy Skiing at Kagura, A Ski Resort Surrounded by Nature Right Near Naeba

Enjoying the view from the Dragondola at Naeba.

Enjoying the view from the DRAGONDOLA!

The Kagura ski area is made up of three sections: Tashiro, Kagura and, Mitsumata. The DRAGONDOLA will take you to Tashiro, a ski area aimed at beginners and intermediate skiers with a beautiful lake at the bottom of the mountain. Even though this area is accessible from Naeba, there are far fewer people here, so you can enjoy the natural vistas and quiet slopes in peace. Have lunch at the Restaurant Alm, located right next to the DRAGONDOLA station. You can take your skis off and leave them right at the entrance to the restaurant.

Restaurant Alm at Tashiro, Kagura.

Restaurant Alm: Ski-on, ski-off.

From Tashiro you can ski over to Kagura and Mitsumata. Though it is possible to go to Kagura and Mitsumata and return to Naeba in one day, it takes about 110 minutes from Naeba to Mitsumata one way. To return from Mitsumata, you need to take a bus back from the bottom of the mountain, so make sure to check the schedule before you depart for the day. In addition, even if you stay within Tashiro, remember to check when the DRAGONDOLA service ends, as the schedule changes daily based on weather conditions.

Kagura ski run with easy signs makes it easy to find your way around.

Signs around Kagura make it easy to find your way, though the area is large.

Tashiro, and Kagura in general, is a must-visit for those who love powder snow. And, because there are far fewer people at Kagura, it’s easy to feel like you are in the remote wilderness while you are skiing through the beautiful powder snow. You may have to stop often and take pictures of the snowy mountains or the frozen turquoise lake at the base of the mountain! The slopes in Tashiro may not be black diamond, but they allow you to enjoy the mountain air as you meander around and the gorgeous mountains. It’s a relaxing place to enjoy skiing and nature at the same time—complete with wonderful snow!

Enjoy Skiing at Kagura, A Ski Resort Surrounded by Nature Right Near Naeba

Enjoy Skiing at Kagura, A Ski Resort Surrounded by Nature Right Near Naeba

Tashiro ski run.

The frozen lake at Tashiro in Kagura ski resort.

The frozen lake at Tashiro in the Kagura ski resort.

Take the DRAGONDOLA Snowcat Shuttle Back to Naeba Prince Hotel

Afterwards, you can return from Tashiro on the DRAGONDOLA and enjoy the beautiful scenery on your way back as well.

Then, enjoy taking the Snowcat snow bus back from the DRAGONDOLA stop to the Naeba Prince Hotel. After a hard day of skiing, it’ll feel good to rest in the bus cabin. Feeling the bus crunch through snow is a one of a kind experience. Make sure to make a reservation and check the schedule so you can make sure to make your bus.

DRAGONDOLA Snowcat At Naeba!

DRAGONDOLA Snowcat Shuttle At Naeba.

The snowcat and the DRAGONDOLA at Naeba.

The Snowcat and the DRAGONDOLA.

Then, you can return to the Naeba Prince Hotel and relax after your long day of skiing at Tashiro and Kagura.

Naeba Prince Hotel.

Naeba Prince Hotel.

For more information, take a look at the Naeba Prince Hotel homepage, and the Kagura Ski Resort home page.

Katherine Whatley

Katherine Whatley

I am a freelance writer and translator. My work can be seen in the Japan Times, Metropolis Magazine and in various projects for NHK. Other than that, I am training to be a koto musician, and I love traditional Japanese art, music and architecture. Even though I grew up in Tokyo, I'm constantly finding new and exciting places here!

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