Maiko Snow Resort
A Maiko is an apprentice geisha or geiko in Kyoto Japan, and in a similar vein the Maiko Ski Resort is ideal for apprentice powder hounds learning the art of skiing or snowboarding, considering there are lots of mellow beginner and intermediate slopes. Maiko Snow Resort doesn’t have any particularly steep pitches (the maximum piste gradient is 32 degrees), but it can also be a bit of fun for off-piste riders.
The Maiko Ski Resort in the Yuzawa region is a popular spot for day ski trips from Tokyo
, or it’s good for a day or two as part of a week-long Yuzawa skiing
extravaganza. Any more, and a powder hound might be itching for something a bit more exciting.
Maiko Ski and Snowboard Terrain
The Maiko Snow Resort is moderately sized relative to some of the pee wee resorts in the Yuzawa area. It has 11 lifts (including one gondola and 4 quad chairs), 26 courses (ie named runs), and 660 metres of vertical (260-920m).
The Maiko area on the right hand side of the resort (lookers’ right) has the Maiko Kogen Hotel at the base, and various green runs, some of which are so flat that you’ll need good wax on your skis or snowboard. A little further up are some short intermediate runs. The Maiko area also has night skiing.
The Nagamine area on the lookers’ left has the day base and a gondola, and is a smidgeon steeper than the hotel side. The Okusoechi area includes the back bowl, a mix of piste terrain, and some powder stashes that seem to be fair game. In the Nagamine and Okusoechi areas you can possibly have double the fun, because most of the courses have double barrelled names such as Gan Gan, Gun Gun, Zoku Zoku and GinGin!
Where is Maiko Japan?
Maiko is one of the Yuzawa ski resorts
, although it’s geographically located in Minami Uonuma rather than Yuzawa but it’s pretty much as good as considering it’s only 9km north of Yuzawa.
From Tokyo you can catch the Joetsu Shinkansen to Echigo Yuzawa Station (about 80 mins), which connects with a free shuttle bus to Maiko (about 20 minutes).
Maiko Hotel and Accommodation
There’s not really a village per se at Maiko, but rather a handful of accommodations including the Maiko Kogen Hotel. This modern hotel is ski-in ski-out, has western style rooms, and has its own onsen. The Maiko Kogen Hotel has some ugly colours on the outside but it’s attractive on the inside and thankfully it’s not a towering monstrosity.
If you are on a tighter budget, you can stay at one of the pensions. Wafu Inn Koshiji
is conveniently located right at the base of the ski area, and provides simple Japanese style accommodation with public baths.
Maiko Accommodation Listings
Or you can stay in one the Yuzawa hotels
or in other Minami Uonuma accommodation
Ski Resort Facilities
Maiko Snow Resort is rather modern and has lots of amenities and services. Kids are well catered for with child care, a kids’ room, two kids’ parks, a sledding course, banana boat rides, mini snowmobile rides, and private ski lessons in English.
There is also snowsports school for adults, and equipment and clothing rentals. Maiko also has an onsen and a relaxation room with big comfortable recliner chairs, so you don’t have to take a nap at a table in the cafeteria like the locals do at most Japanese ski resorts!
Maiko has various options for dining. The Day Ski Centre has a food court with crepes, curries and other niceties. The aptly named Skydome Restaurant is located mid-mountain and offer a large range of fare, although expect to pay higher prices than what you’ll find at Nagano ski resorts and other Yuzawa ski resorts (with the exception of Gala Yuzawa).
Summary of Pros and Cons of Maiko Ski Resort
- Maiko is easily accessible from the Tokyo metropolitan area.
- Maiko is very child friendly, although if you want child care, the staff might not speak English, and lessons are only offered in a private format (ie more expensive if only one pupil).
- The slopes are ideal for beginners.
- There is ski in ski out accommodation at the base of Maiko Ski Resort.
- It appears that ski patrol are not Mako sharks about heading off-piste, although you never quite know who you’ll encounter on the day!
- The resort has modern amenities.
- The terrain is unlikely to attract the attention of strong intermediate to advanced riders for more than a day (or half a day).
- Weekends can get rather congested.
Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area Tours
See all Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area tours that visit Maiko here
GUIDED PROGRESSION PACKAGES
2 Nights | 2 Days Guided Instruction
From price based on twin/double-share room mid-week (Sunday night through to Thursday night) and is based on a 2-day/night package.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Ability: Intermediate, Strong Intermediate
Improve your skiing & snowboarding skills with a qualified instructor whilst visiting some of Japan's fabulous ski areas (11 to choose from) in the Echigo-Yuzawa region. This package is ideally suited to low intermediate and above skiers and boarders who want to improve skills on the piste & in powder.