Kijimadaira0 out of 5 based on 0 reviews
  • Recommend
    0%
  • Would Revisit
    0%

Kijimadaira Ski Resort Nagano
Kijimadaira Ski Resort Nagano
Is this slope calling to you?
Is this slope calling to you?
The slopes are lined with little pensions and restaurants
The slopes are lined with little pensions and restaurants
Kijimadaira Ski Resort Japan
Kijimadaira Ski Resort Japan
A main beginner run down to the base
A main beginner run down to the base
Kita Shinshū Kijimadaira Ski Area
Kita Shinshū Kijimadaira Ski Area
One of the Mt Kosha ski resorts
One of the Mt Kosha ski resorts
Kijimadaira is great to visit on a multi-resort tour
Kijimadaira is great to visit on a multi-resort tour
Kijimadaira is not a particularly large ski resort
Kijimadaira is not a particularly large ski resort
The Chuo area
The Chuo area
Kijimadaira Ski Area Japan
Kijimadaira Ski Area Japan
Kijimadaira is 43km NE of Nagano City
Kijimadaira is 43km NE of Nagano City

Kijimadaira

Kijimadaira Ski Resort

The Kijimadaira Ski Resort (with the full name of Kita Shinshū Kijimadaira Ski Area) is the one that you might have salivated over on the way to Nozawa Onsen. It’s got a gloriously steep face at the top of the hill, and when I first looked at it from afar I wondered if the trees had been cleared due to an avalanche path, but when I put my glasses on I realised that it was a ski resort – this top piste is one of the steepest in Japan and it was calling to me!!

Kijimadaira is also renowned for being the first Japanese resort to allow snowboarders, so it’s considered by some to be the birthplace of snowboarding.

Kijimadaira Ski Resort in the Nagano Prefecture is a small ski area, but it’s worth visiting for a day trip from Nozawa Onsen or for a short multi-day trip with overnight stays if you want to get away from the gaijin hordes at some of the bigger resorts.

Mt Kosha Ski Resorts

Kijimadaira is one of the four interconnected Mt Kosha ski resorts along with Yomase Onsen, Yamabiko no Oka, and X-Jam Takaifuji. Makinoiri Snowpark also used to be part of the group, but operations at the ski area have ceased. For a handful of additional yen you can purchase a joint ticket for all four ski areas.

Yomase Onsen is nothing that exciting in its own right, X-Jam TakaiFuji is renowned for its terrain parks, whilst Yamabiko is just a tiny link ski area, but as a collection they provide decent terrain size and the 4-area pass enhances the sidecountry opportunities. The Mt Kosha resorts combined have 18 lifts and 39 courses.

Kijimadaira Ski and Snowboard Terrain

Kijimadaira ski area is the largest of the Mt Kosha resorts, although in isolation it is reasonably small with only 7 lifts and 10 courses (ie piste). With 796 metres of vertical (475 – 1,271m), it’s a long and skinny ski area except for a slight flaring in the middle.

Official trail stats are 40% beginner, 40% intermediate and 20% advanced. The terrain is ideal for beginners and OK for intermediates with a small number of groomed red runs. Kijimadaira has a couple of black piste, one of which is the famous top slope that has a maximum gradient of 45 degrees. For those not used to such pitch, it’s enough to get the pits very sweaty, although of course when it’s covered in 2 feet of fresh snow, it doesn’t feel steep at all! The top lift is only open on weekends and holidays (or when they feel like opening it - probably best to ring before you go).

The upper lift also services some epic off-piste and sidecountry terrain for those with avalanche safety gear, including some gnarly lines that drop into Yomase.

Kijimadaira Snow

Like many Japanese ski resorts, no one bothers to keep snowfall statistics at Kijimadaira but the snow volumes are thought to be a little lower than nearby resorts such as Nozwa Onsen and Shiga Kogen. The top elevation isn’t particularly high relative to its neighbours, but it has a north facing aspect so the Kijimadaira snow often stays in great condition.

Where is Kijimadaira Ski Resort?

One of the Mt Kosha ski resorts, Kita Shinshu Kijimadaira Ski Resort is located in the Nagano Prefecture. The resort sits above Kijimadaira Village, which is 9km southeast of the town of Iiyama and about 10km from the Iiyama Shinkansen station.

Kijimadaira Accommodation

Kijimadaira-mura is a tiny village at the base of the resort that has various pensions, a few of which provide ski-in convenience.

Pension Junk House is located a 5 minute walk from the ski resort and provides simple western or Japanese style rooms with shared bathroom.

Kijimadaira Accommodation Listings

Otherwise you could stay in the small towns of Yamanouchi, Nakano, Yudanaka or Shibu Onsen, all of which provide a quiet and culturally rich experience. These towns have ryokans (Japanese inns) and onsens that add to the Japanese flavour.

Summary of Pros and Cons of Kita Shinshū Kijimadaira

Pros

  • Kijimadaira is close to many other resorts, so it’s easy to include Kijimadaira on a multi-resort trip.
  • The ski area is generally very uncrowded relative to nearby high profile ski resorts.
  • Whilst the resort isn’t particularly big, it’s interconnected with other ski areas to add to the terrain variety.
  • Steep terrain is somewhat of a rarity in Japan, yet Kijimadaira is blessed with some sweet pitches.
  • In case the snow conditions aren’t to your liking, you can go paragliding!

Cons

  • Kijimadaira has simple amenities with minimal frills, so if you’re looking for fast lifts, glamorous ski shops, ski lessons in English, or the latest rental equipment, you’ve picked the wrong spot.

Pro or Con Depending On Your Perspective

  • If you stay at Kijimadaira (or the surrounding towns), it offers a quiet Japanese experience away from the hubbub of the big high profile resorts.
  • Oh joy if the top lift is open! The top lift is generally only open on weekends, but the plus is that the powder builds up on weekdays and is ready for you to savour on a Saturday.

Tours That May Include Kijimadaira

Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area Tours
Epic Honshu Buffet (Skiers Only) DETAILS
GUIDED SKI ADVENTURE
10 Days | 9 Night | 8 Skiing | Up to 8 Ski Areas
From price based on twin/double-share option.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 2,542
Book before Sept 30 and get free avi gear rental & 5% off displayed price
Ability: Advanced, Expert
Combine deep untracked powder skiing where few foreigners go, with a rich Japanese cultural experience, a traditional ryokan (Japanese hotel) and food, and you have the perfect Japanese ski adventure!
More
Epic Honshu Ski & Snowboard Progression DETAILS
SKI & SNOWBOARD GUIDED INSTRUCTION
10 Days | 9 Night | 8 Skiing | Up to 8 Ski Areas
From price based on twin/double-share option.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 2,542
EARLY BIRD: Book before Sept 30 and get 5% off displayed price
Ability: Intermediate, Strong Intermediate, Advanced
Learn to ski and ride deep powder with more confidence whilst checking out some of Honshu's ski areas away from the masses of foreigners. Outside the skiing and snowboarding, experience an area rich in culture and history.
More
Epic Honshu Buffet (Snowboarders Only) DETAILS
GUIDED SNOWBOARDING ADVENTURE
10 Days | 9 Night | 8 Riding | Up to 8 Ski Areas
From price based on twin/double-share option.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 2,542
Book before Sept 30 and get free avi gear rental & 5% off displayed price
Ability: Advanced, Expert
Combine deep untracked powder riding where few foreigners go, with a rich Japanese cultural experience, a traditional hotel and food, and you have the perfect Japanese snowboarding adventure!
More
See all Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area tours that visit Kijimadaira here
Backcountry Skiing Tours
Hakuba Guided Day Tours DETAILS
GUIDED DAY TOURS from HAKUBA
For PRIVATE GROUPS of up to 5 people
From price based on Hakuba day tour, group of 5 (price displayed is per person however full tour price is 5 X that price).
Base/invoice currency is in JPY inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 117
Ability: Intermediate, Strong Intermediate, Advanced, Expert
If you are in the HAKUBA area, you can't go past a day or more of a guided ski or snowboarding adventure. The area (and also other nearby resorts) is huge and the best skiing is actually outside of the resort boundaries which should only be accesses with a guide. Tours are for PRIVATE GROUPS ONLY of up to 5 guests.
More
See all Backcountry Skiing tours that visit Kijimadaira here

Ski lodging & accommodations
Hosted Ski Tours & Multi-Resort Safaris