The Inawashiro Ski Resort is one of various resorts located around Mt Bandai (Bandai-san). Officially known as Inawashiro Snow Paradise, it shouldn’t be confused with the nearby Inawashiro Resort which is now known as the Grand Sunpia Inawashiro Resort. To further confuse matters, the Inawashiro Ski Resort is actually made up of two interconnected resorts that can be accessed off the one lift pass: Inawashiro Minero and the Chuo (Centre) area.
The Inawashiro Snow Paradise (aka Paradiso) tree skiing can be rather heavenly for powder hounds and there’s enough terrain variety for a day or two. One major limitation is that the ski patrollers are very whistle happy if you head off-piste, but there’s a major advantage if you can be discrete because there are lots of fresh tracks on offer.
Inawashiro Ski and Snowboard Terrain
The Inawashiro Ski Resort is made up of two sides that are interconnected via the slopes and lifts for intermediate riders and above. The Center Area (Chuo) is the slightly larger side which has green trails at the base and red (intermediate) trails towards the top, whilst Minero has green trails at the bottom, red in the middle, and a couple of black piste at the top. See the Inawashiro ski
terrain page for more information.
Inawashiro Japan is blessed with plenty of snowfall, but the quality of the powder isn’t the sublime type that Japan skiing
is typically renowned for. Akin to nearby Alts Bandai
, the elevation of the Inawashiro Ski Resort is a little low relative to other Honshu resorts, and the aspect is not particularly favourable so it’s best ridden when the snow is fresh.
Where is Inawashiro Japan?
The Inawashiro Ski Resort is located in the Fukushima Prefecture, about 280km north of Tokyo and only 5km from the little town of Inawashiro and the associated train station. Inawashiro is located near the other Bandai ski resorts.
There is a little accommodation below the Centre Area of Inawashiro Ski Resort, and the lodges tend to run shuttle buses up to the ski area. One example is Inawashiro Shikinosato
in Inawashiro is an upscale ryokan that offers very large Japanese style rooms with their own open-air onsen bath. The accommodation includes breakfast and dinner (half board).
The Bandai area also has various hotels and ryokans such as the Urabandai Royal Hotel
Inawashiro Hotel Listings
Inawashiro has ski resort amenities at both base areas. The Centre area has two day lodges, whilst Minero has one day lodge (Minero Center House) which is relatively modern. The latter houses two large cafeterias and even though the smokers have been banished to special smoking rooms off the dining areas, the stinky smoke wafts into the cafeteria (it’s sort of like the old days of people smoking in restaurants everywhere in Japan!). In addition to the base area cafeterias, there are two mid-mountain restaurants.
Other ski resort facilities include ski school (no lessons in English), snowboard and ski rentals (including some rear entry ski boots!), day care facilities (no English speaking staff), a kids’ room, a Sponge Bob Kids Park, and lounges with massage chairs.
The town of Inawashiro has various restaurants (don’t expect English to be spoken), a large supermarket, convenience stores, and a post office with an ATM.
Summary of Pros and Cons
- Inawashiro Ski Resort has very good terrain for beginners and low-end intermediates.
- The ski resort is generally very uncrowded on weekdays.
- On clear days the resort provides amazing views across the really large Lake Inawashiro.
- Inawashiro is definitely off the beaten track of foreigners, so you’ll find the “real Japan” and there won’t be (m)any gaijin to steal your freshies.
- The region has some nice ryokans with hot springs for an enjoyable soak after a day of skiing or snowboarding.
Pro or Con Depending on Your Perspective
- With the exception of beginner terrain, the ski resort is not large enough to provide variety for more than a day or two of riding. However in combination with other Bandai ski resorts, there’s plenty of variety for a week long trip.
- There is minimal piste terrain for advanced riders and it’s not particularly challenging.
- If the sun comes out and/or the temps rise a little, the aspect of the ski field is not as favourable as some of the other Bandai ski resorts for snow quality.
- For powder hounds this is only a great resort if you can ride the trees, and it’s difficult to do this unless you can be appear reasonably invisible. If you can’t head off-piste you may be relegated to moguls and boring slopes.
- Inawashiro Ski Resort is rather family friendly but it’s not geared up for non-Japanese speaking guests.
Tours That Might Include Inawashiro