Kagura

Open
Kagura

Pros

  • Incredible crowd-free off-piste and backcountry
  • Abundance of groomed trails for intermediate skiers
  • Consistent light and fluffy snowfall makes finding freshies easy on weekdays
  • Authentic Japanese ski vacation
  • Gondola links to Naeba ski resort

Cons

  • Terrain Parks could be better
  • Can get bitterly cold and windy thanks to high altitude
  • Lack of facilities or activities for families and never-evers
  • No nightlife

Overall

3.7

Relatively unknown to the international ski world, Kagura is a hidden gem offering up an authentic Japanese ski vacation without the overseas crowds. There is a variety of terrain spread across the three ski areas; Kagura, Mitsumata and Tashiro and plenty of powder-filled off-piste and backcountry to keep powderhounds entertained. If that's not enough, skiers and riders can access a whole other ski area at Naeba ski resort. Simply hop aboard the Dragondola, one of the longest lift lines in the world, to explore more!

Best month to go

January to March

January to March is the ultimate time to visit for the best powder. Temperatures tend to warm up quickly after March.
Airplane

FLY TO

Narita International Airport

Train

TRAIN TO

Tokyo (40 minutes)

Train

BULLET TRAIN TO

Echiogo-Yuzawa (1 hour 10 minutes)

Car

DRIVE/TAXI/SHUTTLE TO

Kagura (20-30 minutes)

Yuzawa (5-7 mi)

  • Most popular town to stay in
  • Has a variety of dining options
  • Offers an authentic Japanese experience

Find accommodations around here

Mitsumata (walk)

  • One of the two base areas in Kagura
  • A small number of accommodation including lodges and inns has closer lodgings to the lifts than Tashiro
  • No nightlife

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Tashiro (walk)

  • One of the two base areas in Kagura
  • Limited accommodation but within walking distance to lifts
  • No nightlife

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Wadagoya Lodge (Walk)

  • On-slope accommodation
  • Requires riding a tram, a lift, and a gondola to reach the lodge
  • Perfect for first tracks

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For beginners

Beginners are spoilt for choice at Kagura with tons of greens to choose from especially in the Tashiro Area. Our pick for beginners, however, is in the Mitsumata Area. The Family Trail near the off the Mitsumata High-Speed Lift No.1 is a gentle green slope while The Gondola course off the Kagura Gondola is a great progression trail that's also nice and long.

For intermediates

Intermediates should start off in the Tashiro area. While it's covered in beginner slopes, these trails are more like challenging greens which are great for intermediates plus they offer sweeping views as you cruise! Those looking to take it to the next level can test their skills on the slopes in the Kagura area.

For experts

While Kagura's slopes aren't the gnarliest, the Kagura Area has powder, moguls and steep trails worth exploring with the upper section best for the ultimate off-piste adventure. Our favorite piste would have to be the Expert Trail in the Forest course off the Kagura Pair Lift No. 5. Or for some off-piste fun, head into the trees off the Kagura High-Speed Lift No.1, you're bound to find some interesting rocks to jump off!

Find freshies

Kagura is still quite unknown internationally which means the lack of crowds (especially during the weekdays) sees powder stay fresher for longer. Plus there's fresh snowfall on most days during the peak season. Go off-piste to find the best stuff!

Ditch the crowds

Besides weekends, there aren't many crowds here. At the end of the day, weekend queues coming down the Mitsumata Ropeway can easily be 30 minutes long. The Easy Trail above the Tashiro Ropeway also gets busy with beginners trying to get down.

Non skiers

Kagura is all about the skiing and riding the fresh powder and with no ski town, there is little in the way of entertaining non-skiers. If anything, the nearby town of Yuzawa will provide access to onsens (hot springs) and a range of dining options.

Families

Despite having tons of beginner runs, Kagura lacks the activities and facilities to be a great family-friendly resort. There are also no childcare services or nurseries in Kagura, which is quite inconvenient for those with little ones.

Kagura vs
KaguraAkakura Kanko
beginner35 %40 %
intermediate35 %30 %
advanced30 %30 %
expert--
total runs23 10
ski area418ac -
summit elevation6,053ft 4,921ft
total lifts22 7
child lift ticketFree ¥3,000 JPY ($27 USD)
adult lift ticket¥4,700 JPY ($43 USD) ¥4,300 JPY ($39 USD)
uncrowded
snow
back country
value for money
average total snowfall--

Kagura Reviews

Very Good

4 / 5

based on 4 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
Have your say on Kagura
Very Good!

4.1 / 5

Jan 01, 2018
GMGio M.
expert snowboarder
Bottomless powder and fantastic trees! Experience of lifetime. Japanese culture is very welcoming, and it's great to see snowboarding cultures from different countries. Did iention bottomless powder? Go get you some.... More
Fabulous!

4.5 / 5

Dec 07, 2017
MSMaddison S.
beginner skier
Only 90 minutes from Tokyo, the Kagura resort offers a luxe skiing experience for both the novice and advanced athlete, and all within an arms reach of the city! Perfect to take the Shinkansen for a day trip or extend your stay and enjoy the lavish facilities with your loved ones.... More
Good!

3.8 / 5

Dec 06, 2017
JOJavi O.
intermediate snowboarder
I visited Kagura by car but I know there are bus tours available as well. The best thing about this resort was how quiet and uncrowded it was! 80% of the time we were riding, me and my group were literally the only ones we had to look out for lol!... More
Good!

3.8 / 5

Dec 03, 2017
ACAmos C.
advanced skier
Had a great time there. There were a variety of off-piste options from the summit lift, but it’s a bummer they only have it open in the mornings. My biggest disappointment was the rentals, as they tend to be geared toward beginners, and the equipment felt old. Suggestion for newcomers: unless you are a beginner, DO NOT go to the Tashiro side of the... More
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