Kagura (really three in one, along with Tashiro/Mistumata) is in Niigata Prefecture, about 70-80km east of Hakuba as the crow flies. (it's actually just on the other side of the mountains from Shiga Kogen & Nozawa Onsen.) It is linked to Naeba via a 5km gondola.
You can get there from by taking the Joetsu Shinkansen to Echigo Yuzawa station(97 min from Tokyo station), and it's then about 20min from there. That's less than 2 hours.
So far as snow quality, it is similar to Hakuba as it's a similar elevation at the top. It(Kagura/Mitsumata/Tashiro) has 24 lifts. Linked via the gondola to Naeba, adds another 29 lifts. Total 53 lifts on one ticket.
There is a wide variety of terrain, but not a lot of black runs in bounds. The black runs are mainly mogul fields, not just plain steep, they are often a bit quiet. Often the mogul fields are covered with powder, so they are not too difficult after a fresh fall of snow. There is a lot of in bounds wide open treed terrain, and ducking the ropes is not just tolerated, often there ARE NO ropes. Kagura doesn’t have the sort of extensive ROPES that you come to expect from a lot of other Japanese resorts. The peak chair is often not open, but there are off-piste area off the peak chair, with access to huge areas of snow, both open areas and trees. The vertical is 1200m if the peak chair is open and you ski all the way to the car parks.
The north Mitsumata part is mainly access, plus a few easy intermediate & beginners runs. Earkly inthe season, the ropeway (cable car) from the car park can be very busy, with line of 30 minutes waiting to get onto the mountain. However, mid season is not too congested, and there is not too much waiting involved. The middle part from the peak to the north, where the long Mitsumata goldola connects the two, is Kagura. Apart from the peak chair, it is mostly intermediate, but with two advanced "ungroomed" runs. These turn into bump runs, but there is a lot of very good quality powder falls in these areas, and the snow is often very nice there. From the central Kagura area, all the way across to the south is Tashiro. It is a wide expansive area. Although most of it is marked green, it's only really the farthest parts near the Dragonola (the gondola from Naeba) that is flat green terrain.
Snow quality. In a normal year, the cold spells would have similar snow quality to Niseko, but there are periods when it does warm up a little more than Niseko.
- 1 Location
- 2 Pros
- 3 Cons
- 4 Contacts
- 5 Planning
- 6 Resort Facilities
- 7 Ride Guide
- 8 Other
- 9 Resources
Kagura/Mitsumata/Tashiro is located on route 17, about 10km from Yuzawa town, in Niigata Prefecture.
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Kagura/Mitsumata is located on route 17, about 15 minutes from the Yuzawa Interchange off the Kanetsu Expressway, close to Yuzawa town. The Tashiro ropeway is another 10 minutes south on route 17. It is a 4-5 hour drive from Tokyo. Alternatively, The Shinkansen from Tokyo stops at Echigo Yuzawa (in Yuzawa town). It takes between 72 & 97 minutes from Tokyo. Access is also available via the Dragondola from Naeba (a 5km gondola). Kagura/Mitsumata/Tashiro and Naeba use the same lift ticket.
There is limited accomodation available at Kagura/Mitsumata/Tashiro. These are the hotels located at the bottom of the Mitsumata & Tashiro ropeways. There are only a relatively small number of hotels.
A very good accommodation option at Kagura (Mitsumata) is the White Horse Inn. It is run by Mr. Yukio Tanemura, who speaks very good English. Rooms can be organised with meals (a choice of breakfast, dinner or both) or without. The White Horse is about 100m from the Mitsumata Ropeway. English website: http://www.whitehorse-inn.com/eg_index.html
If organising accommodation at Kagura without meals - be aware that Mitsumata is a very small village that does not have any restaurants. The closest restaurants are located at Yuzawa Town about 10kms away (there are plenty of options that are very reasonably priced - check the information office at the Echigo Yuzawa JR Station incl. a map).
If riding Kagura/Mitsumata/Tashiro, another option is to stay at Naeba, where there in on slope accommodation for 1200 people. (Naeba is a separate ski area that is connected to the Kagura/Mitsumata/Tashiro ski area by a 5.5km gondola).
There is plenty of accommodation in Yuzawa Town, around 10km form the Mitsumata ropeway.
A car is a very good option to get around as the area is quite sparse.
Parking is available at the bottom of the Mitsumata & Tashiro ropeways.
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Bars & Entertainment
Tashiro: Most of the southern part of Tashiro offers easy beginner runs. The rest of Tashiro towards the north, although mostly marked as green, would be considered to be closer lower intermediate. There are a few advanced & intermediate slopes. Kagura: There is a mix of advanced & intermediate slopes. Mitsumata: Mostly beginner and intermediate.
Tashiro & Mitsumata offer beginner's runs.
There are huge opportunities for off piste at Kagura/Mitsumata/Tashiro. The best are from the Kagura peak chair (which is only open very early season, with limited snow, or in March), and in the wide treed areas between Kagura and Tashiro.
Out of Bounds
There area huge areas available for out of bounds off the Kagura peak chair
Parks & Pipes
Most of the advanced runs end up being bump runs.
Kagura / Tashiro / Mitsumata website
- Kagura