Public Transit Access to Ski Resorts in Japan (Last updated 2024/04/14)



I recently went skiing at a number of places in Japan in Honshu and I just wanted to write down some thoughts I had about the ease of public transit and the fastest route to each place. The assumption is that you're starting from Tokyo station. Minor update (2024/04/14): Added Gala Yuzawa.

Hakuba Happo





Gala Yuzawa


Just some thoughts about ease of access overall. I felt getting to Geto was extremely convenient and I saved a lot by being able to stay in Kitakami instead of near the ski resort (5k-8k JPY a night instead of 10k-15k). This might make up the difference in cost in Shinkansen transit fare. Madarao's bus fare was also cheaper and more convenient so that might be a reasonable strategy there too, especially since Iiyama is relatively cheap too. Meanwhile, stuff near Nagano Station is not too much cheaper than stuff near the resorts especially if one considers the round trip bus cost. Lastly, Tazawako's uphill climb after the bus stop was truly awful.

Gala Yuzawa is by far the best place for a day trip by Shinkansen. JR East literally brings you right to the resort. No transfers needed. If you manage to snag a JR view travel deal, it can be an insane deal. For example, on weekdays, the price can be as low as 8700 jpy for round trip + lift ticket. On weekdays, the price is closer to 15000 jpy, which is still a good deal for round trip + lift ticket. The downside of this convenience is that it's also quite crowded from Tokyo area visitors.

I might update this in the future. Will likely update the dates too.

Any error corrections or comments can be made by sending me a pull request.