Tomamu - Reviews

Amazing family destination

Andrew
24/02/2017
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Snowboarder
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    18-35
  • Month Visited:
    February
It depends why you are going to the snow, but for Advanced rider/skiers with children, looking for value for money, amazing powder days, all round ease it is very very hard to go past this place. I could go on for hours about the pros of this place, and the few cons, but I highly highly recommend it. I have boarded and skied in Austria, Switzerland, New Zealand, Australia, USA and Canada and this is hands down the best place for families I have been to so far.

Tomamu resort and Cat Skiing

Greg Kuriata
16/02/2017
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Snowboarder
  • Rider Level
    Intermediate
  • Rider Age
    51-70
  • Month Visited:
    January
Best 4 lift ski resort ever!(disregarding the romance access chair and the baby chair)
At Tomamu they are shutting down lifts Left Right and Centre, literally.
Tower Peak seen with its 4 towers in no longer lifted (study map closely) to the top, being only serviced by a lift that goes 3/4 of the way up. The chair on the other side of the resort is also not open. The top high speed quad chair compensates for the other chair decommissioned.
Despite this we had a great family holiday at Tomamu.
Snow quality in Jan was excellent , no crowds, excellent terrain, great food options, fun apres ski activities for the kids,(skating and ice village). Registering for the powder area was no major issue and such as a relief to be able to enjoy the pow without feeling like a truant school boy.

The other downside of the resort is their very low threshold to shut down the 3 main lifts due to "high winds" . This happened a lot , leaving us only the tower peak chair to ski.
Now that Club Med have bought the place it will be interesting to watch developments.

TOMAMU CAT SKIING
I saddled up for my first taste of CAT skiing at Tomamu.
Unfortunately sat 28 jan was marred by 90 to 100km/h gusts of wind. Consequently the pow was wind blown and by the afternoon on the exposed runs, blown away.
The operation is more geared towards selling you the video of the days skiing at the end. Every run was filmed by the cameraman , one boarder at a time, necessitating lots of standing around.
The runs were short, terrain intermediate, and ending in the gully leading back to the road.
Lunch was served in a sturdy permanent tent and was outstanding.
The guides were very generous and helpful , loaning me a powder board when mine proved woefully inadequate for the snow conditions, and the day was overall a good experience .
We did 8 to 10 runs, most short, two being next to cat track for various reasons .
For mine, more boarding , less filming , standing would have made it a lot better .

Strange place but well worth a day/side trip

Matt Lawson
19/01/2017
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Snowboarder
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Month Visited:
    January
When I was doing research for Tomamu I struggled to find out a lot of information about the resort (especially the terrain) and had no real idea what I was in for. I have just returned from a 10 day family trip and thought I would try to put my thoughts into writing in the hope that it might help out someone deciding if this place is right for them?

Terrain:
The overall terrain is not super steep but the inbound skiable terrain does have a reasonably good mix of runs that can accomodate beginner skiers/riders through to fairly advanced. There are a lot of wide open perfectly groomed piste runs that suit beginners and intermediates as well as open runs that are left ungroomed for powder riding enthusiasts (aren't we all?). It is very flat at the bottom base lifts so this could be a problem for young skiers unable to maintain their speed across the flat.

The hardcore skier may become quite tiresome or bored of the inbound runs after only a couple of days, especially if there isn't consistent fresh snow falls to keep it interesting. The 'jewel in the crown' would have to be the gladed tree skiing in the so called 'experts only' powder skiing areas where there is a system in place for powder riders to obtain a daily permit to be allowed to ski these designated areas, but once again this is very dependant on fresh snow falls

The resort itself is predominantly marketed to the Chinese tourist and the family ski holiday maker so when there is a powder day there's a good chance there won't be too many people chasing the POW through the trees like Niseko or one of the more Westernised resorts. I found that there was more people in the breakfast line than at the lift line so that is definitely a plus!

Lodging/accomodation:
There was no real prexisting town or city at Tomamu before the ski resort was built meaning that all facilities and infrastructure have been purpose built for the ski resort and this is where it gets weird. Lodging is in true 'resort' style accomodation and whilst it is ski-in/ski-out the focus doesn't seem to be on skiing but giving a 'resortafied' experience for the guest. Whilst the large tower style accomodation buildings at the base of the hill are striking, the set up design can only be described as extremely strange. We stayed in the Risonaire towers and the total liveable area is absolutely huge including 2 queen size beds in the master room with ensuite, 2 beds in the second room, spa, sauna (yes sauna), 2 bathrooms, 2 showers and a very good size lounge room.

Whoever designed this place was clearly on acid as there is no real flow to the infrastructure and each lodging area appears to run separately to to each other even though they are all interconnected and running from the same resort. There is a covered walkway (or fridge as we liked to call it) that runs between all the accomodation options, restaurants and amenities but take a jacket as it's not heated!

I found that most of the Chinese resort staff were not keen skiers/boarders and that there isn't much understanding of basic skiers requirements and preferences. There are no ski tuning facilities available at all and there isn't even a shop that can professionally tune, edge or wax so make sure you are self sufficient if you are a serious skier. What was most baffling to me was that there wasn't a real drying room to leave boots or wet gear. There was a ski locker available on the ground floor but the room was not heated or closed up to dry overnight?

In saying all of the above the 'Resort Style' accomodation definitely would appeal to some people want ski hire ski facilities and easy access to the runs. Families and the not so hardcore skiers may actually really enjoy that style of accomodation.

Summary: I would definitely recommend a stay at Tomamu for family's or for the not so hardcore cruiser looking for a resort style experience. For the hardcore skier I would see this as a day or side trip from another resort. For novelty value alone it is worth checking out for a short trip but anything more than a few days might be a bit much for the serious skier.

The Birthplace of Powderhounds.com

POWDERHOUNDS.COM
29/06/2016
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Month Visited:
    February
Love this place!! Little competition for the powder! More powder! Good lift infrastructure Powder on tap...
We have a soft spot for Tomamu because Powderhounds.com was born at Tomamu on the single suicide chair (the top lift) many years ago. It seemed ludicrous that there was this amazing ski resort for powder hounds, and barely anyone there to enjoy it, so we started a website to tell people about great powder skiing destinations.

These days some things haven’t changed at Tomamu. The resort has had a major facelift and new chair lifts (the suicide aka pizza box chair lift has been replaced by a high speed quad chair), yet surprisingly there is still very little competition for the powder. We are a little baffled as to why a lot more foreigners don’t visit this resort considering the many many pros: lots of family activities, kids ski lessons in English, good value ski-in ski-out accommodation, lots of dining options, easy access, good lifts etc etc. The only potential downside is for those looking for a traditional Japanese village or vibrant nightlife.

And for powder hounds it’s definitely worthy of a few days visit (or at least a day trip from Furano). Off-piste riding is permitted and thankfully you don’t have to wear the silly vests anymore. The snow quality on the backside is usually superb and the terrain lots of fun (more so for skiers than snowboarders due to the amount of traversing) and if you’ve got skins or snowshoes then there’s powder galore on offer.

See the Tomamu overview page for more on the pros and cons, and also see the Japanese ski resorts ratings to see how it compares.

1 week in tower block X

Jase
29/10/2015
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    18-35
  • Month Visited:
    March
Tomamu was pretty good in early 2014.

We came via Rusutsu, where the snow was far deeper and drier, so Tomamu came off looking worse, but these things can change week to week. The terrain was pretty amazing, lifting capacity good. Wearing the silly powder vests to go off piste was easy but got old very quickly.

Maybe we were tired by week 3 of smashing Hokkaido pow but the three highlights were
1. the great proximity of the hotel to the slope (ride the elevator down from your hotel room, exit hotel, one flight of stairs and you get on the chair.)
2. the breakfast buffets. magnifique.
3. the mascots. I had never before paid attention to ski area mascots but we fell in love with snow-eating Nepo and her evil nemesis. (again did I mention the fatigue)

Overall good but maybe not good enough to revisit.

Great Powder but a couple of days is plenty

Mike Banks
21/03/2012
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Telemarker
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    36-50
Skied some great waist deep powder here on my first foray to skiing in Central Hokkaido. Very few people around skiing off piste so we pretty much had it to ourselves.

The off piste skiing policy here is a strange one - you must register at the base where they give you a fluoro bib and a helmet. Quite bizarre, but at least it was at no extra cost.

Terrain was not super steep but nice skiing through glades of trees. Once you ski the top part of the mountain off the gondola there is a very flat run out which was frustrating enough on skis - can't imagine what it would be like on a snowboard.

Didn't stay here, commuted from Furano for the day but the accommodation looks nice, although the towers are a bit of an eyesore. The indoor pool and entertainment area looks great, especially for families.

We didn't venture into the back bowls but I would imagine you could get some great skiing in there. I don't think it would be worth staying here for any extended time - two days at the most would be enough. Overall recommended for a look.

The previous review is spot on

Crunky
15/02/2012
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Snowboarder
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    36-50
Having read the previous review all I can say is it is pretty spot on.

The open trees are great, the backcountry policy is great perhaps because there doesn't seem to be anything steep enough to get you in too much trouble. Top level riders may find it a bit tame with no cliff bands or 40 degree slopes to smash, but for the average punter there is a lot on offer in a small package.

Not having kids I'm amazed the amount of effort the hill put into entertaining them.

On a snowboard some of the run outs were horrendous, wax your board.

One area (last chair skiers right) was on the map but when we got there after we paid our ticket we discovered it was closed and could be rented for private functions. WTF??? Also an old ski lift (last chair skiers left) has been de-comissioned. Instead you can hike up 15 minutes and drop this "Powder Zone". A bit of hard work and it would be nicer if it was open but it was always a good run down.

Go Off …..Piste

POWDERHOUNDS.COM
15/07/2010
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    36-50
Advanced riders will enjoy the ability to ski and board off-piste at Tomamu. Thankfully tree skiing is permitted at Tomamu, and whilst it’s discouraged, there are also good slackcountry options with delightful powder stashes. Experts may be disappointed with the lack of steeps and challenging terrain features, but beginners and intermediates will have a ball on the groomed runs, and the young ‘uns will enjoy the terrain parks.

Tomamu feels very “resortified” and Japanese kitsch, including a 50 metre wave pool that comes complete with Hawaiian music. The towering hotels seem somewhat out of place at the base of a ski resort, but the accommodation is of a high standard and conveniently ski-in ski-out. The Tomamu restaurants are fantastic, but if you want nightlife, this is not the place for you.

Tomamu is reasonably good as a powderhound resort. The terrain isn’t particularly steep but it has the famous dry Hokkaido powder, tree skiing and no crowds. Woo hoo!