Gala Yuzawa

Closed
Save up to 37% when you book a Gala Yuzawa package! View Gala Yuzawa packages
Pros
  • Perfect day trip from Tokyo, easy access via bullet train
  • Variety of trails
  • Advanced runs hold lots of powder
  • Close to Yuzawa Kogen ski area
Cons
  • Small resort
  • Large crowds, especially heavy and potentially dangerous on beginner slopes
  • Limited off-piste terrain
  • Terrain park is mostly for beginners
Overall
4.2

A ski resort with its own bullet train station? It doesn’t get any easier to get on the slopes than that! That’s what Gala Yuzawa offers you. After a 70-minute ride from Tokyo, you step off your train and head right for the gondola that takes you to the snow (and when you’re done, they’ll even pack it up for you). It’s linked to two other ski resorts – Yuzawa Kogen and Ishiuchi Maruyama – and you can get a pass good for all three. It might not be Japan’s biggest or steepest place to shred, but you can’t beat the convenience!

17/18 Historical Snowfall

Best month to go

March

March offers the best combination of snow conditions and nice weather in Gala Yuzawa, and it's quieter than January or February.

FLY TO

Narita International Airport

TRAIN TO

Tokyo Station (1.5 hours)

TRAIN TO

Gala Yuzawa Station (75 minutes)

Yuzawa (1-2 mi)

  • Town offers wide range of lodging, restaurants and bars
  • Complimentary bus to the resort
  • Authentic Japanese town

Find accommodations around here

For beginners

Beginners will have quite a few runs to choose from with the Central Area being the best spot to start. Our favorite run here is Edelweiss, a nice and long run that is serviced by a high-speed lift. Just beware beginner slopes are generally crowded, so its best for never-evers to learn at another resort.

For intermediates

Intermediates will want to stick to the Northern Area where they will find a number of suitable trails. Our top pick for intermediates has to be Swan. While rated as an easier run, the wide and long slope offers the perfect pitch for cruising and has nice sidelines.

For experts

The Southern Area sits away from the crowds and is where advanced skiers and snowboarders will want to base themselves. Here you'll find a range of fun mogully lines with tons of off-piste and sidecountry terrain. Our favorite run here is Bronco, a steep and choppy line packed with moguls.

Find freshies

After a snowstorm, Gala Yuzawa isn't the most ideal place for skiers to visit, with many opting for other resorts with more powder instead. If you do happen to be here after a powder dump, the best spot to find freshies is in the Southern Area, specifically the ungroomed Bronco Course.

Ditch the crowds

Crowds can be a nightmare at Gala Yuzawa as it is easily accessible from Tokyo. Avoid the weekend warriors by visiting on a weekday. The beginner slopes are especially bad to the point of sometimes being considered as dangerous. Avoid the crowds and head to the quieter Southern Area and the Swan course in the Northern Area.

Non skiers

For those coming for a day trip from Tokyo, there is a range of activities for non-skiers including snowshoeing, sightseeing on a snowmobile sleigh tour or even taking a dip in the indoor swimming pool and soaking in the hot spring at the base center. The resort also holds a number of events including the Gala Kamakura Festival.

Families

The Central Area is best for families with mellow slopes, a sledding hill and snowmobile sleigh rides. Kids will also love the snow playground and beginner's terrain park. Just beware, the beginner areas can get quite crowded so it's not suitable for never-evers.

Gala Yuzawa vs
Gala YuzawaAkakura Kanko
beginner35 %40 %
intermediate45 %30 %
advanced20 %30 %
expert--
total runs17 10
ski area126ac -
summit elevation3,875ft 4,921ft
total lifts11 7
child lift ticketFree ¥3,000 JPY ($26 USD)
adult lift ticket¥4,600 JPY ($40 USD) ¥4,300 JPY ($38 USD)
uncrowded
snow
back country
value for money
average total snowfall317″ -
Save up to 37% when you book a Gala Yuzawa package! View Gala Yuzawa packages

Gala Yuzawa Reviews

Good 3.9 / 5
based on 8 reviews

How well the resort caters for beginner skiers / boarders

Beginners

How well the resort caters for intermediate skiers / boarders?

Intermediates

How well the resort caters for advanced skiers / boarders

Advanced

How accessible and convenient it is to get to this resort from a major destination

Accessibility

Quality of the off-piste terrain

Side/Backcountry

Overall value for money of the resort

Value for money

Quality of lifts, lift speed and lift layout in the resort

Lifts

Quantity and quality of the snow

Snow

How uncrowded is the resort

Uncrowded

Après ski and dining options

Town

Services and facilities e.g. child care, tubing, health care, equipment hire

Facilities

How family friendly is this resort?

Family Friendliness
Good!3.8 / 5May 01, 2018
Lachlan R. Lachlan R.
beginner snowboarder
Incredibly convenient for those people who aren't able to make the trek down to Hakuba or Nagano. The easy access from the JR line is fantastic. Great Hire facilities and some friendly instructors too that helped me find my feet. Excellent snow early in the season given how close to Tokyo it is.... More
Very Good!3.9 / 5Dec 29, 2017
JSJessi S.
intermediate snowboarder
There is a lot of snow at Gala Yukawa. Not only is it a phenomenal place to ski or snowboard, but it has other options for the whole family. It is inexpensive and convenient from Tokyo- less than a 1.5 hour train ride.... More
Superb!4.7 / 5Dec 16, 2017
APAbhishek P.
intermediate snowboarder
Visited the Gala Yuzawa snow resort in the month of Feb 2017. The resort is open from the winter season from Dev to the second week of May.GALA Yuzawa is a ski and snow resort located in Niigata Prefecture. Form Tokyo, the resort is best accessed using Joetsu Shinkansen. The Shinkansen from Tokyo to JR Gala Yuzawa station using the Joetsu... More
Average!3.4 / 5Dec 06, 2017
JOJavi O.
intermediate snowboarder
Probably the most convenient ski resort for Tokyo visitors and residents! I was able to catch first train out and was on the mountain well before breakfast time! It's also really nice to get off the train and walk right up to the ticket booth without ever leaving the building! I did a full day of boarding and was back in Tokyo with enough time to... More
Superb!4.9 / 5Dec 06, 2017
TKTodd K.
advanced snowboarder
I recommend heading to the Gala Yuzawa Snow Resort, with its easy and quick direct connection by bullet train from Tokyo Station. Only under 2 hours you can be on the slopes. You can easily make a day trip, or spend a few days enjoying the amenities at the resort, which includes hot springs and plenty of food options. Great slopes for the... More
Average!2.6 / 5Dec 04, 2017
JCJoel C.
advanced snowboarder
Really dislike this place. Busy to the point of dangerous. Feels more like a location for high school students to have a date rather than ski/snowboard. It is of course very convenient from Tokyo which is mainly what leads to the crowds problem. Straight off the Shinkansen and onto the rope way. I recommend that you avoid weekends and holiday... More
Very Good!4.2 / 5Dec 04, 2017
AHAndreas H.
expert snowboarder
Gala Yuazwa is one of my favorite spots to board in Japan and has easy access. The area is quite large and ensures that you can carve through the snow a whole day without being bored. Staff is also really friendly!!... More
Good!3.6 / 5Dec 03, 2017
MCMisael C.
expert snowboarder
Incredibly convenient resort. It has its own bullet train station! Great powder days to be had and close enough for a day trip from Tokyo. You will also find a lot of great bus tour deals from Tokyo to this resort. ... More

Other ski resorts in Japan

Akakura Kanko
40% 30% 30%
Akakura Onsen
50% 30% 20%
Appi Kogen
30% 40% 30%
Asahidake Ropeway
20% 50% 30%
Cortina
40% 30% 30%
Furano
40% 40% 20%
Gala Yuzawa
35% 45% 20%
Hakkoda
20% 60% 20%
Hakuba 47 & Goryu
30% 40% 30%
Happo One
30% 50% 20%
Ikenotaira Onsen
35% 45% 20%
Iwatake
30% 50% 20%
Kagura
35% 35% 30%
Kiroro
31% 34% 35%
Madarao Kogen
35% 40% 25%
Moiwa
30% 40% 30%
Myoko Suginohara
40% 40% 20%
Naeba
30% 40% 30%
Niseko
38% 32% 30%
Nozawa Onsen
40% 30% 30%
Rusutsu
30% 40% 30%
Sahoro
35% 45% 20%
Sapporo Kokusai
30% 50% 20%
Sapporo Teine
35% 40% 25%
Seki Onsen
20% 50% 30%
Shiga Kogen
45% 40% 15%
Tomamu
30% 40% 30%
Tsugaike
50% 30% 20%
Yamagata Zao Onsen
40% 40% 20%