Wednesday, January 17, 2018

In Search of Powder Snow in Japan, Ryuoo Ski Park in Yamanouchi Town

       Ryuoo Ski Park is conveniently located in Yamanouchi Town and it is also the closest ski resort from Yudanaka and Shibu Onsen!
Ryuoo Ski Park

       During the bus ride from Yudanaka station to the Snow Monkey Park, you look out the window and marvel at the mesmerizing snow-capped mountain in the distance… and you start to daydream about the magical snowy scenery. Don’t just shake that idea off, the reality is, good quality powder snow is not too far away… and you may not realize… that the transportation to it will cost you nothing (absolutely free)!

Free transportation? How?

       A 25-minutes free shuttle bus will bring you from Yudanaka station to Katashiga (Ryuoo Bus Terminal). No booking required (on first come first served basis) and it is available from 16 December to March 25, as long as powder snow is present! There are 7 departing times per day (9:10, 10:15, 11:30, 13:00, 14:30, 15:30, 16:30).
       Now, do you want to build a snowman? coz you all are invited!
Ryuoo Ski Park

What to do here? 

       There are 3 main activity in the park to choose from, or, if you have the time, do all of them! All of the activity below needed to be registered at the Ryuoo Information Center, so remember to make it your first stop!

Snow Landscape Plan (last entry at 3.15pm)
Suitable for: Those interested in photography/ who do not wish to ski/ family with elderly or toddler.
Ryuoo Ski Park
Ryuoo Ski Park
Ryuoo Ski Park
Ryuoo Ski Park

       A fun ride on a "snow cat” will bring you right to the foot of the ropeway station. Then, take the world biggest ropeway up to the SORA terrace at 1770m above sea level, where you can enjoy the unobstructed view of the whole Nagano basin.
       Depending on the time of the year (autumn-winter), you might be able to catch a glimpse of "sea of clouds” standing literally on cloud9!    
Ryuoo Ski Park
Sora Terrace
Sora Terrace
Sora Terrace

3000 Yen, including road trip rope-way and snow-cat ride.
Hungry visitors should not hesitate to try some dishes at the cafe. We’ve tried most of the dishes on the menu and our absolute favorite is the creamy sea of cloud pie soup and the flavorful apple pie!
Sora cafe
Sora cafe
Sora cafe
Sora cafe
Sora cafe

Adventure Park (last entry at 3.30pm)
suitable for: Family with kids, anyone who enjoy snow activities
       There are a variety of activities to choose from including snow-tubing, snow-sledding, and snow scotting. You need no special skills or equipment to enjoy all of the mentioned activities!
800 Yen for unlimited access to all activities listed, except snow buggy and snow rafting (1000 Yen additional each. )
Ryuoo Ski Park

Snow Academy
suitable for: visitors wanting to ski or snowboard
       The park caters to all levels of skiing and snowboarding abilities, with 25% advanced ski route, 40% intermediate ski route and 35% beginner slopes.
      First-time skier can’rent a trainer’ for 2 hours. The ski school offer lessons in English and Chinese, starting from 10.30am or 1.30pm. The trainers at the snow academy are highly experienced, previously instructed in Canada (Mr. Satoshi from Japan) and Hokkaido (Miss Liu from Taiwan).
Ryuoo Ski Park


  • 8000 Yen for a trainer (2 hours), up to 5 guests in a group.  
  • A 1-day ski pass (Lift and ropeway) for adults cost 4600 Yen while a 2-days ski pass is a bargain at 8200 Yen. Children and elderly pay less. If you are short on time, half day (3400 Yen) and night (2000 Yen) ski passes are also available.  
  • Rental fee (for the whole day):
    - Set of ski/ snowboard 4000 Yen
    - Waterproof Jacket and pats 4000 Yen
    - Goggles, gloves, and beanie 1500 Yen
    - Helmet 800 Yen
    ***You can also rent for half a day, 2 days or 3 days!


  • Pick up a free Nagano Japan Information Guide Book at the information center and use the tear-off coupon on the right upper corner to get a 10% off at the ski school! 
  • Day Pass is available from 8 am to 5 pm while night pass holder can only enter the night ski area (3 chair lifts and a freestyle ski park) from 5 pm to 9 pm. 
  • Ski lessons and rental can be reserved at the Yudanaka Information Center (just opposite Yudanaka Station) and Ryuoo Information Center

Powder snow Japan

Any "day pass" to recommend? 

       Yes! If you do plan to do all the above activities during your trip, I recommend a "combined plan”, which is a plan that includes the adventure park, snow buggy, snow rafting in the park and the snow landscape plan. You will get to enjoy the best of both worlds for only 5000 Yen in comparison to 5800 Yen if you were to do things separately.
Ryuoo Ski Park

Where to stay? 

       I still recommend staying in Yudanaka-Shibu to position yourself nearer to both Snow Monkey Park and Ryuoo Ski Park. But, those buying a 2 days ski pass could benefit by staying as close to the ski park as possible. If that's the case:

  • Hotel Tagawa 
  • Hotel Ryuo Park
  • Ryuo Village
    Staying in either hotels above, you’ll have the sheer advantage of having the ski slope right in front of your doorstep. 
  • Hotel Selan
    Note that the hotel is further away from the slopes but offers the view of Zenkeuji area from its open-air bath.

Follow me on Instagram if you would like to see more photos! 
πŸ“ŒFor more travel tips, like Eat Love Travel Breathe with Miss HappyFeet. 
πŸ“ŒSubscribe to the monthly newsletter for exclusive travel deals, tips, free E-books, monthly giveaway and travel coupons! 

Thank You for Reading! 
This post is made possible by the Yamanouchi Town Tourism Association
As always, it is based solely on my honest opinion or personal experience. 
 Feel free to share your thoughts with me by commenting below!

No comments: