Top 4 Ski Resorts Near Tokyo for Families – Easy to Take Kids Around

Post by Tak


When it comes to choosing where to go skiing, it is not so easy with your family. Especially if you are family travellers with kids, it is difficult to find a family-friendly ski resort that is right for you.
For family skiers with kids, the distance from the airport can be a pain… But, did you know that you won’t need to go too far from Tokyo to find a family-friendly ski resort? You can get to some great ski resorts in about 1-2 hours by the bullet train (Shinkansen).
In this article, let me address the top 4 ski resorts near Tokyo for families!


Gala Yuzawa Snow Resort 



One of the most popular snow resorts near Tokyo is Gala Yuzawa. I find it super family-friendly because of the short distance from Tokyo station.
The bonus of choosing Gala Yuzawa Ski Resort is that the train station is directly connected to the ski slopes.
It is worth visiting Gala Yuzawa Ski resort for a day trip if you have one spare day in/ around the Tokyo area.

Another great reason for family skiers to visit Gala Yuzawa Ski Resort is because of its wide range of facilities and activities.
There is plenty of entertainment that kids can enjoy such as the spot called “Snow Enjoyment Park”.
Also, if you wish to learn skiing with kids, you can. Gala Yuzawa Snow Resort offers Group and Private lessons. If your kids are under 12 years old, you need to participate in a private lesson.

A lot of families take a morning private lesson and then enjoy the rest of the day with better skills.
Yuzawa is not only famous for ski but also Hot Springs. From my personal experience, it is an absolutely amazing feeling to soak your cold body in a hot bath. Very quickly, you will feel the muscles in your whole body starting to relax.


Recommended by JTB Great for;
A day trip

Duration from Tokyo
75 mins

Transfer by train  Shinkansen: Tokyo Station to Gala Yuzawa Station


History and Culture Mid-December to Mid-April

Opening hours
8:00 – 17:00

• Locker
• Rental Gear
• Hot Spring
• Ski Gear Rental
• Day Care (2 – 6 years old)


Experience Activities
• English Ski & Snowboard Lessons
• Snowmobile Sleigh Tour
• Sledding
• Snow Enjoyment Park
• Snow Tubing



Hakuba Valley 



Hakuba is one of the most well-known ski resorts in Japan among Australian snow lovers.
Hakuba consists of 9 different ski resorts and is considered the largest ski area in Japan.
Hakuba Valley is located at the heart of the Japanese Alps, and the quality of the snow powder is world-class.


Each resort offers a range of snowfields that will never let you feel bored.
The scenic 8,000m long slope is absolutely spectacular.
Of course, rental snow gear and English ski & snowboard lessons are available at each resort.


It takes 1.5 hours from Tokyo station to Nagano station by Shinkansen, and then an express bus to Hakuba Snow for 1 hour.
So, it is further away than Gala Yuzawa, however, soon after you will find out why the winter Olympics was held there!


When you spend a few days in the same spot, kids can get bored. If that happens, why don’t you take our “Snow Monkey Tour”?
It includes a little walking to the spot where you can see the furry little guys close up, and visit a temple dated back to the 15th century.
This is a fantastic one-day tour for both adults and kids.


Recommended by JTB  Great for;
At least two days

Duration from Tokyo
Total: 2 ½ hours

Transfer by train Shinkansen: 90 min from Tokyo Station

Bus transfer Express Bus: 60 min

History and Culture  Season

Mid-December to End of April

History and Culture Activities

• English Ski & Snowboard Lessons
• Snowmobile Tour
• Sledding
• Snow Parks
• Snow Tubing

Experience  Things to do in Hakuba when Not Skiing

• Snow Monkey Tour
• Hot Spring
• Matsumoto Castle (80 min by train) See on Google map
• Kimono Culture tour
• Cooking Class


Naeba Ski Resort



Naeba Ski Resort also has massive snowfields with great facilities. Naeba is located in the southern part of Echigo Yuzawa town where Gala Yuzawa is.

The maximum elevation of Mt. Naeba is 1,789m which makes Naeba Ski Resort popular due to the quality of powder snow. The snow quality of Naeba is said to be one of the best of the ski resorts near Tokyo.

Another reason that makes Naeba Ski Resort popular is the “Dragondola”: the longest Gondola (5,481m) in Japan. The Dragondola connects Naeba and Kagura Ski Resorts, so you can enjoy completely different types of courses.
Kids will love to take a ride on the Dragondola and enjoy up-and-down all the way to the other side of the ski resort.

If you are thinking of a snow holiday in Japan for a few days, Naeba Prince Resort will be a great option for your family due to its convenience.
Naeba Prince Resort is situated just right in front of the ski slope, and it offers great ski-in/ski-out facilities. It will definitely make your ski holiday easier with kids.

Recommended by JTB Great for;
A few days stay

Duration from Tokyo
3 hours

Transfer by train Shinkansen: Tokyo Station to Echigo Yuzawa Station
Bus transfer Shuttle Bus: Echigo Yuzawa Station to Naeba Prince Hotel (Free for hotel guest)

History and Culture Season
Mid-December to Mid-April

• Locker
• Rental Gear
• Hot Spring
• Ski Gear Rental

History and Culture Activities
• Fireworks (Only held during peak season)
• English Ski & Snowboard Lessons
• Sledding
• Snow Park
• Snow Tubing



Karuizawa Ski Resort 



Karuizawa Ski Resort is very accessible from Tokyo. It is only about an hour by Shinkansen. Generally, Karuizawa is not really known as a ski resort, rather it’s known as an upmarket mountain resort at the foot of Mt. Asama in Nagano Prefecture.

As far as the distance from Tokyo is concerned, the size of Karuizawa Ski Resort is satisfying.
There are a total of 10 courses that are comprised of 5 beginner, 2 intermediate and 3 advanced courses. Because of this family-friendly structure, Karuizawa is also popular for family skiers from Tokyo. As a one-day getaway from Tokyo’s crowds, Karuizawa Ski Resort is perfect.


Karuizawa is also a Tokyoite’s favourite because it is home to one of the largest outlet shopping centres in Japan. 240 shops await your visit to Karuizawa Prince Shopping Plaza.
Karuizawa Prince Shopping Plaza is located right next to the Karuizawa Station where you get the Shinkansen.
The good news for family skiers here is that they offer a great range of eateries from family-friendly budget restaurants to fine dining.

To be fair, even if you do not go for skiing or snowboarding, Karuizawa is an excellent getaway from Tokyo to experience a different style of the day in nature. As a bonus, you will be able to let your kids play in the snow during the wintertime.


Recommended by JTB Great for;
A day trip

Duration from Tokyo
60 mins

Transfer by train Shinkansen: Tokyo Station to Karuizawa Station

History and Culture Season
Best from Mid-December to Mid-April

• Rental Gear
• Night Skiing
• Ski Gear Rental

History and Culture Activities
• Sightseeing Lift for non-skiers
• English Ski & Snowboard Lessons & Guides
• Sledding
• Kid’s Snow Park
• Snow Tubing



These four ski resorts are highly accessible from Tokyo; they will definitely make your journey easier with kids as you will not have to travel so long. In addition, if you are looking to spend a day around Tokyo, Echigo Yuzawa and Karuizawa are only 1 hour away from Tokyo Station. These destinations will offer you different experiences for your Japan trip. Of course, all of these ski resorts are also recommended for those after a longer stay to experience Japan’s powder snow.  




Jul. 2020 Destination Near Tokyo Skiing and Snow Boarding Winter Tak

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