Facilities & Services
Madarao Mountain Resort has reasonably good ski resort facilities and services. Many of these are housed within the Madarao Kogen Hotel or nearby.
Facilities for Children
The Madarao Kogen Hotel offers child care for ages 1 to 6 with staff that generally speak a little English. The child care is open from 9am-12 noon and 1:30-4:30pm so you need to pick the children up for lunchtime. Day care is very inexpensive and needs to be booked in advance.
Just below the hotel is a kids’ play area with a small slope for tubing and tobogganing, and it has a magic carpet. Use of the park attracts a small fee.
Madarao Ski and Snowboard School
There are a few Madarao ski schools including the Japanese Madarao Snowsports School which is located opposite the Madarao Kogen Hotel and Star Pro Ski School. Group lessons with an English speaking instructor are not officially available and are only conducted in a private format and should be pre-booked. Private lessons cost more than group lessons unless you pull together your own group of the same ability level.
An outside English ski school is also now available in Madarao offering private ski & snowboard lessons called Action Snow Sports
. If they have smaller groups wanting to join classes with other students of the same level, they will try and mix groups to keep the individual costs down. Action Snow Sports also offer fixed date ski & snowboard clinics for intermediate to advanced skiers and boarders wanting to take their skiing & riding to the next level.
Ski and Snowboard Rental
The resort has two equipment rental shops located within the Madarao Kogen Hotel: one close to the hotel reception; and the other at the end of the building within the day cafeteria and closest to the slopes. Both ski rental shops have basic equipment for adults and kids, as well as a range of fat skis and performance gear.
There is also a simple ski rental shop next to the Madarao Snow Academy, and various pensions rent out gear.
Eating On Mountain
Madarao Ski Resort has a few on-mountain options to get a feed or drink during the day. At the base area below the Madarao Kogen Hotel is Restaurant Heidi, which has a couple of take-away outlets as well as a massive cafeteria. It lacks any charm but is very family friendly and it even has a shoes-off area where you can have an afternoon nap. Or of course when in Japan you can just do as the Japanese do and have a sleep at the table!
Opposite Heidi is the smaller Towasank Restaurant which has a little more ambience. Another option is the Banff Canada at the base of the Crystal run, a typical Japanese ski resort cafeteria which in typical Japanese style doesn’t accept credit cards. This place does amazing cutlet curries that are huge!
Also easily accessible from the slopes is the cafeteria in the Madarao Kogen Hotel which serves up Japanese cafeteria fare. Thankfully for new Anglophone visitors to the country, the menu signage is in English as well as Japanese. Better yet, they’ve realised that cash isn’t king, just a pain in the arse, and they accept credit cards!
If you venture outside of the Madarao Kogen Hotel there are various facilities where you’ll need to pay cash, but as is somewhat common with Japanese ski resorts, there is no ATM at Madarao.
Either arrive at Madarao armed with yen (there are ATMs at Narita Airport), or you’ll need to take the night bus down to the town of Iiyama to visit the ATM at the 7-Eleven.
Restaurant Heidi and a few of the Madarao hotels have ski-osks, selling a small range of ski and snowboard accessories. If you need to make a substantial purchase such as outerwear (jackets, pants), hardwear (skis, snowboard, boots) or backcountry gear, you’ll need to do your shopping at home (or in Tokyo).
The Madarao Kogen Hotel has a medium sized store selling a few ski and snowboard accessories, souvenirs, snacks, sundries, and delightfully cheap alcohol. High five for the Chu-Hi!
There are a few other shops in the Madarao village. Wills Souvenirs sells T-shirts and a few other Madarao souvenirs, and also doubles as a convenience store with a range of alcohol and snacks (oooh how I love Japanese snacks!!). There is another small souvenir/gift shop as well as a full-on convenience store in the village.
If you need to make major grocery purchases you’ll need to head down to Iiyama, and there are also a couple of specialty shops in town too.