Facilities & Services
The ski resort facilities at Kurodake are somewhat basic, possibly because it’s not really a ski resort in the usual sense of defining a “resort”.
Kurodake Ski Rental
The Kurodake ski rental shop is primarily geared towards beginners that may ski on the groomed trail under the chair lift. The ski rental outlet is located inside the top ropeway station, featuring basic skis, rear entry boots from another century, gumboots, and clothing for snow play so the tourists can throw snowballs at each other whilst simultaneously taking selfies! They also rent out snow shoes, but not particularly good ones, and they don’t rent out snowboard gear. And in line with the old fashioned Japanese tradition of being a cash society, they don’t accept credit cards.
If you need backcountry gear such as touring skis, a split board, beacon, shovel, probe etc etc, you’ll need to BYO. These can be rented in Furano or bought at the Asahikawa backcountry ski shop
Kurodake Ski School
If you don’t know how to ski or snowboard already, what the hell are you thinking of visiting Kurodake for?!
Facilities for Children
You’re not seriously thinking of bringing your young children to Kurodake are you?!
Eating On Mountain
The top ropeway station has a cute little cafeteria that affords nice views on fine days. In addition to the usual Japanese ski resort cafeteria fare such as ramen and katsu curry, they serve up gyoza and yummy pancakes.
Brown baggers can buy snacks and/or lunch at one of the Sounkyo convenience stores.
Most of the evening dining in Sounkyo takes place in the hotels, ryokans and pensions. The latter serve up simple Japanese dishes whilst some of the hotels have gourmet kaiseki dinners that are included as part of half board.
In the Canyon Mall (keep your expectations low when you see the word “mall”!) in the middle of town is the Beer Grill Canyon. This Italian restaurant and bar is quite an institution for skiers and snowboarders, with everyone gathering here in the evenings to swap tales (so it should be pretty quiet considering how uncrowded the ski area is!). The Italian food is amazing, especially considering it’s in Japan, and you can score well priced multi-course gourmet meals (the sort you’d get at an Italian wedding). I can’t say the same for the wine they have there….perhaps just stick to the beer. The Beer Grill Canyon also has free wifi.
Most of the Sounkyo hotels have gift shops that sell snacks, drinks, souvenir trinkets and an abundance of that gift confectionary that is customary for the Japanese to buy to take back for their work colleagues.
For other sundries, snacks and beverages, there are two convenience stores in town: Seicomart; and 7-Eleven.
The base of the Kurodake ropeway station has a small shop selling some souvenirs including some hand carved owls and other animals, and you can watch the man painstakingly making the carvings to fully appreciate the work that goes into them.
You might be able to withdraw cash at 7-Eleven or the Sounkyo post office, but your best bet is to arrive cashed up. Credit cards are not accepted for lift tickets, ski rentals, or the cafeteria, and other places in Sounkyo only accept cash.