Naeba Ski Resort Japan
Naeba Ski Resort in Japan was born during the Japanese bubble economy era. Whilst it may lack the historical and traditional charm that is apparent at a few Japanese ski villages, it has the huge advantage of having well developed facilities and infrastructure. Naeba is a glitzy purpose built ski resort with all the bells and whistles.
The Naeba Prince Hotel
forms the centrepiece of the resort and acts as the main accommodation and hub for restaurants, facilities and activities. This is one amazing juggernaut of a hotel!
Naeba is linked to the Kagura ski resort
to form a large area referred to as Mount Naeba. Kagura ski resort is made up of three ski areas: Kagura; Tashiro; and Mitsumata. Naeba and Kagura are interconnected by the Naeba-Tashiro Gondola aka the Dragondola; an impressive engineering feat.
Naeba Ski and Snowboard Terrain
Naeba has a large ski area with 22 courses and 12 lifts. Naeba is best known for the piste runs, the groomers in particular, with an even spread of terrain for beginners, intermediates and advanced riders. Historically Naeba had a very restrictive off-piste policy with all the tasty areas roped off and Big Brother scalding off-piste offenders over the loudspeaker. The ski patrollers have relaxed somewhat recently, but you’ll still need to be very discrete.
The Naeba ski resort is also renowned for the infrastructure on offer for freestylers and families, with great terrain parks, a snowcross course, kids’ snow park, kids’ indoor ski area, and family snowland.
Naeba has an impressive lift system and some of the lifts are in operation from 8am-9pm Sunday to Friday, and 8am-10pm on Saturdays. So go forth and burn those thighs!
Where is the Naeba Ski Resort?
Naeba is located about 23 km south of the town of Yuzawa
in the Niigata Prefecture, 184km northwest of Tokyo.
The train ride from Tokyo to Echigo-Yuzawa on the Joetsu-Shinkansen takes only 70 to 90 minutes, and from the train station there are complimentary Naeba Prince Hotel express buses that take about 30 to 50 minutes.
The different areas of Mt Naeba are interconnected via the slopes, but also via a local shuttle bus system.
The Naeba Prince Hotel
is located directly in front of the ski area so it offers the fabulous convenience of being ski-in ski-out. The hotel has 1,299 rooms in total and a large variety of room configurations. The Prince Hotel is like a mini city and features 23 restaurants and extensive facilities such as karaoke, equipment rental, various shops, an onsen, game centre, Mahjong room, day spa treatments, a childcare centre, and kids’ recreation room. With all that on offer you’ll never need to leave the hotel, except of course to go and rip up the slopes!
Other Naeba accommodation
is located a little further away from the ski area and includes various hotels and cosy pensions.
You can search for and book Naeba hotels
Summary of Pros and Cons of Naeba Japan
- Naeba has lots of terrain to choose from and when combined with the adjoining Kagura, the ski area is particularly big by Japanese standards.
- It is quick and easy to get to Naeba from Tokyo, so it’s very popular with day trippers and holiday makers alike.
- The Prince Hotel is very conveniently ski-in ski-out.
- Naeba is a well developed ski resort with high quality facilities.
- Compared to many of the Yuzawa ski resorts, the top elevation is much higher and the snow quality better.
Pro or Con Depending On Your Perspective
- This is not a particularly good resort for chasing powder, although the adjacent Kagura provides better options.
- If you’re travelling with the kids Naeba is perfectly family oriented with child care, kid specific ski areas, and various activities to keep the little nippers entertained for hours. However ski and snowboard lessons in English are only in a private format (for which you’ll pay a premium) and the childcare staff generally don’t speak English.
- The Naeba Prince Hotel affords a raft of conveniences and you’ll typically experience a modern resort culture. It lacks charms and does not provide the traditional Japanese culture you may find at ski areas such as Nozawa Onsen or Myoko Kogen.
- However you’ll know you’re in Japan because English is not widely spoken. Don’t fear though because on arrival at the Prince Hotel they will provide you with a wealth of English information brochures.
Tours That May Include Naeba
Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area Tours
See all Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area tours that visit Naeba 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.