Geto Kogen 4 out of 5 based on 3 reviews
  • Recommend
    100%
  • Would Revisit
    100%
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Japan Ski Tour Tohoku Area

Geto Kogen Ski Resort Japan
Geto Kogen Ski Resort Japan
Getou Kogen is a powder magnet
Getou Kogen is a powder magnet
A playground for powder hounds
A playground for powder hounds
The tree skiing is short but sweet
The tree skiing is short but sweet
Deep enough?
Deep enough?
Geto Kogen has well developed lift infrastructure
Geto Kogen has well developed lift infrastructure
Geto Kogen Japan
Geto Kogen Japan
Deep powder
Deep powder
With a super deep base there's minimal shrubbery
With a super deep base there's minimal shrubbery
A powder hound fiesta
A powder hound fiesta
Geto Kogen Ski Resort Japan
Geto Kogen Ski Resort Japan
The space station!
The space station!
A rare fine day
A rare fine day
Geto Kogen Japan
Geto Kogen Japan
Powder skiing at the ghetto!
Powder skiing at the ghetto!
Geto has enough terrain for a day or two
Geto has enough terrain for a day or two
Geto is located near Morioka
Geto is located near Morioka
With this much snow it's no surprise that the road there can be a little gnarly
With this much snow it's no surprise that the road there can be a little gnarly
More powder....
More powder....
Amazing fun on a powder day
Amazing fun on a powder day

Geto Kogen

Geto Kogen Ski Resort

Getō Kōgen Ski Resort (sometimes also written as Getou Kogen) can be absolute ecstasy for a powder hound when the weather gods are being “kind” ie “brutal”! Geto Kogen commonly gets dumped on with insane amounts of snow; an estimated 15 metres per season! The snow base is generally 4-5 metres and it sometimes gets up to 7m; more than enough snow to get a powder hound smacking their chops! Even more awesome is that the “gaijinometer” is set close to zero and on weekdays Geto Kogen is pretty much deserted. Perfect!

Geto Kogen is not a true destination resort and best visited for just a day or two. There’s really only enough terrain to warrant a one to two day visit, and you wouldn’t want to pre-book a multi-day trip here because the weather can be viciously temperamental. Geto Kogen is best visited on a guided multi-day tour (see below) because the tour itinerary can be flexible and the guides keep an eye on the weather. One of the many other benefits of a tour is that they can drive you to the resort.

Getou Kogen Ski and Snowboard Terrain

Getou Kogen is a medium sized ski resort by Japanese standards (so it’s reasonably small) with 14 courses and 430 metres of vertical (640 - 1,070m). It only has 5 lifts but this is definitely not an impoverished ghetto when it comes to the infrastructure! In addition to a hooded quad chair, there are two gondolas. They even have night skiing, which seems a little over the top.

The official trail stats are 40% beginners, 40% intermediate with several groomed red runs, and 20% advanced with a few black trails.

The steepest on-piste pitch is 36 degrees, whilst some of the off-piste drop-offs into the gullies are a little steeper. Unfortunately the steep sections in the upper parts of the mountain are very short before mellowing out, and near the base it’s almost flat.

For us powder hounds, the off-piste skiing and snowboarding is the main attraction. Getou Kogen has some fantastic tree runs down a series of short ridges, and with that much snow there’s minimal shrubbery! There aren’t major restrictions to off-piste skiing, but you’ll probably need to be a little delicate around ski patrol.

Geto Kogen Snow

Getō Kōgen gets ridiculous amounts of snow. Like elsewhere in Tohoku, the quality of the powder can vary from rather dry to a little heavy.



Where is Geto Kogen?

Geto Kogen (translated to Geto Heights or the Summer Oil Plateau Ski Area!) is located in the Iwate Prefecture of northern Honshu (Tohoku region). Geto is located 25km southwest of Kitakami which is 53km south of the city of Morioka.

Lodging

There’s no village at Geto Kogen, just the ski resort facilities buildings and very simple lodging. The accommodation is dormitory style and consists of one big room sleeping up to 88 people in 2 storey bunk beds. It sounds primitive but it is really cool! A highlight is the beautiful onsen that includes an outdoor area that overlooks the snowy surrounds.

Facilities

Many of the ski resort facilities are housed in a cold massive building that looks like it’s a space station! Amenities and services include rather pricey ski and snowboard rentals, lessons (Japanese only), childcare by appointment (Japanese only), a huge self-service cafeteria, and a little café. There are also a few retail shops with the standard Japanese food gifts and tacky souvenirs.

Pros and Cons of Geto Kogen

Pros

  • Getou Kogen is a powder magnet!
  • This resort is well and truly off the beaten path of Japanese ski resorts that foreigners usually visit so you can experience the “real” Japan and you don’t have much competition for the freshies, especially on weekdays.
  • For such a quiet resort, it has surprisingly well developed amenities for day trippers and good lifts which are a godsend on bad weather days.
  • Geto has some amazing off-piste terrain although the steeps are a little short.

Cons

  • Not enough terrain variety for more than a couple of days.
  • On deep days there are lots of off-piste gullies and run-outs for snowboarders to get bogged.
  • This resort is hard to get to (unless you’re on a tour), which has the associated pro of the lack of crowds.
  • It is not likely to appeal to most families and beginners unless they speak fluent Japanese.

Pro or Con Depending on Your Perspective

  • The accommodation is very basic yet inexpensive and very unique.
  • Geto can get slammed with harsh weather.

Tours That May Include Geto Kogen

Safari (Road Trip) Tours
Powder Odyssey DETAILS
GUIDED SAFARI - TOHOKU
7 Nights | 6 Days Guided Skiing
From price based on twin/double-share option.
Base/invoice currency is in AUD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 1,649
Ability: Strong Intermediate, Advanced, Expert
If you are looking to go off-the-beaten track in Tohoku (northeastern Honshu) where there are abundant lines of fresh powder and no foreigners, this tour is perfect! Visit Tohoku ski areas you've probably never heard of before and immerse yourself in the Japanese culture.
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Frontier Explorer DETAILS
GUIDED SAFARI - NORTHERN HONSHU
8 Days | 7 Nights | 6 Ski Areas + Cat Skiing
From price based on twin-share room occupancy.
Base/invoice currency is in yen not including consumption tax.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 2,168
Book and pay deposit prior to COB August 30 2016 and get 10% off the advertised price.
Ability: Strong Intermediate, Advanced, Expert
If you are looking for an adventure away from the masses where you will experience Japanese culture, food & unlimited powder then this tour could be the one you are looking for. Chase the best snow on the day in the far northern parts of Honshu.
More
Hokkaido - Honshu Expedition DETAILS
HOKKAIDO & HONSHU GUIDED BC TOUR
12 Nights | 11 Guided Ski Days
From price based on twin/triple-share.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 3,817
10% off advertised price. Must book via Powderhounds.com booking form by midnight Oct 11, 2016 to qualify. Payment of deposit required by Oct 20, 2016 to retain discounted rate.
Ability: Advanced, Expert
This ADVANCED+ ski and snowboard tour starts with 4 days in the Southwest of Hokkaido and then heads south to Honshu where you will ski or ride some of Tohoku's epic hidden gems. The tour includes some ski touring / split boarding (or snow shoeing) but you don't necessarily need to have any experience in this area.
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See all Safari (Road Trip) tours that visit Geto Kogen here