Madarao Kogen / Tangram Ski Circus
Madarao Mountain Resort is an excellent medium sized resort located in the northern part of Nagano Prefecture, between Nozawa Onsen and Myoko Kogen.
In Madarao, 60% of the courses are ungroomed, so there’s a good chance that you’ll be able to enjoy that fluffy, deep powder we all want to conquer.
Mt. Madarao stands 1382 meters tall and has 30 separate courses and there are 15 lifts. The ski area features a unique bowl-shape and very family friendly.
Since Madarao was host to Japan’s first Freestyle Skiing Competition, there are many unique courses to choose from.
There are groomed courses, ungroomed courses, the Tree Run course, Free Ride Park, Kid’s Park, and wave courses- Madarao can be enjoyed by everyone from first timers to advanced skiers!
Accommodation: Madarao Kogan Hotel and Mon Aile are the feature hotels, however there are many other comfy pensions available.
Connected at the top of Mt Madarao, Madarao Mountian Resort & Tangram Ski Circus form an impressive ski area and is accessible in just 2.5 hours by train from Tokyo. Iiyama city now has the new Shinkansen station, which was opened in October 2015 and is located just a 20 minute bus ride up to Madarao, which is close to the traditional Japanese townships of Myoko Kogen (aka the ‘Zermatt’ of Japan), Nagano City and Nozawa Onsen, there are plenty of accommodation and sightseeing options if you choose Madarao Mountain Resort as your next snow destination.
Madarao Kogen & Tangram Ski Circus are adjoining resorts, which can be accessed on an all mountain lift pass for 500 yen extra, which then opens up 21 lifts and 37 runs across the two areas. Thanks to their very small or non-existent lift queues, these resorts are the pick for many Japanese powder hounds who don’t want to fight for freshies or lifts.
Tangram Ski Circus, renowned as a family resort, offers 5 lifts, 15 trails and 520 metres of vertical. For the junior snow lovers, the resort has a playground, ‘Snow Kindergarten’ and a nursery. More advanced skiers and snowboarders will appreciate the higher slopes which deliver Japan’s famed powder snow combined with beautiful views over Lake Nojiri (Nojiroko).
On the other side of Mt Madarao, Madarao Kogen (Madarao) is a distinctive bowl shaped resort with 16 lifts and 22 runs. With most runs remaining ungroomed and boasting an impressive 14 metre average annual snowfall, Madarao is a haven for powder fanatics. Being the first resort in Japan to run a freestyle skiing competition and remaining one of the few resorts in Japan to allow off-piste riding, Madarao has particular appeal for the young and fearless. It offers a range of terrain options including bumps, tree runs, a freeride park and the new ‘Ninja run’ – a ski jump over a fallen tree incorporated into the run. Madarao also has decent side-country and backcountry terrain if you’re keen to explore.