another question! is Nagano City a good base to visit ski resorts ard 9-12 Dec? Most ski resorts only seem to open later in dec but...

...Karuizawa opens fr early Dec. Is it far to travel fr Nagano City to Karuizawa? Thank you!


City: Tokyo

Prefecture: Tokyo

Country: Japan


Karuizawa is just OK. Honestly, though, I think you are visiting Nagano way too early if you want to ski - I don't think you'll get enough snow up there to ski. The distance between Nagano and Karuizawa is sort of far. Best advice would be to rent a car.
Thank you for your reply. Think we are just bringing the kids to experience snow so not hardcore skiers!
Karuizawa has ski slopes operated by Prince Hotels, mainly artificial snow. Esepcially early Dec, there would not be real snow falls.
ah sou desu ne. Artificial snow! Was wondering how come they had snow so early in the season!
Its about an hour from Nagano City to Karuizawa.
Nagano City is a good base to use for skiing trips.
I personally would pass on Karuizawa for skiing.
However, it has a large outdoor shopping mall.
Here is the link:

From Nagano City, I recommend visiting Hakuba, Nozawa, and Shiga Kogen.
Hakuba is about a 90 minute drive from Nagano City.
Nozawa and Shiga Kogen are both about 75 minutes by car from Nagano City.
thanks so much for yr advice. we are not really hardcore ski-ing - just an experience for the kids to play in the snow. From Nagano, if we do not drive, is there easy public transport to Hakuba, Nozawa & Shiga Kogen? Or do u recommend we sign up for tours from Nagano to these areas?
as you know weather is changing a lot worldwide and as Sapporo (800 km north) not having enought natural snow to make it's own festival (the festival is made by dirtish snow... You should to understand that it is impossible to drive you in a snow place. At the end please try to find your place from half December to early beginning of March. If you are lucky you may enjoy snow as you deside. Sorry if some typing mistakes but here (in this window) wordprocessor does not work. Regards.
Thank you very much for your reply. We probably will try Karuizawa with the kids!
I often visited Karuizawa myself...but to tell the truth , Karuizawa hardly has a lot of man made ski resorts....But Nagano is for real...
It depends...on which you like doing first..the real thing or just a fun lay
back fun park style....Nagano is not too far from Karuizawa..but it depends
on the transportation you would or take the train....both could
be great adventures....Try out both...
Thanks for your reply. Guess we are just bringing our kids to experience the snow for the 1st time so Karuizawa might be it!
Dear Guest,

Sorry for late respond. I went to country side for my part time job.

Karuizawa ski area will open from 30th/Oct./09. This resort has over 300 artificial snow
machines. You can see diamond dust at there from midnight till early morning. This is one of my proposal that take a walk to ski area in the early morning (almost 6-7 am).
Plus snow machine operates toward only ski slope, so ski lifts way and corridor to hotel are not covered with snow!!! You can see funny landscape!!!
This resort area is isolated between ski zone to children area by fence for safety.

Trust me, I strongly recommend Karuizawa ski resort for your family.

If you do not want to drive by yourself, I recommend you to sign up public transport and/or bus tour to Shirakaba for second option. Hakuba, Nozawa & Shiga-Kogen are hard to visit for your family, even if you choose bus tour, reason of steep mountain path.

If you need further assistance, please let me know.

Good luck always.

hi Terry! Thank you very much for your reply. Think we shall attempt to bring our families to Karuizawa and experience the artificial snow! Especially since our kids are pretty young. Besides the Prince Hotel, are there any other family accommodation that is reasonably priced that you would recommend? Thanks!
I recommend you "Ski pack" plan of Karuizawa prince hotel.
This package include two days of ski lift ticket, stay in cottage, all you can eat buffet of dinner and breakfast and send in & out from hotel to cottage by small vehicle. 17000-20000 yen each parson. Your kids is pretty young, so maybe free of charge.

Try to ask directly Prince hotel. Telephone operator will make sure your family to invite ski resort!!!


Keep in touch,

Thanx once again Terry. Actually they have a special offer now as well - Stay 3 nights and pay for 2 nights!
I am a Nagano local who just moved to Tokyo.
As someone said, Karuizawa is kinda far from Nagano city. I may be nice to visit there for shopping or other things since it's quite famous and pretty town.
Usually Hakuba (having some ski resorts opening in early Dec.), Nozawa, Shiga-kogen have some high mountains and have some natural snow to let you enjoy skiing even those are not fully opened. I mean some slopes are not open at that time.
Anyway, I like Hakuba and Hakuba Goryu & 47 has a shuttle from Nagano city (about 1 hour) in the top season, I guess. Only a few slopes will open though.
Here is 47 english website;

Hakuba has more ski resorts such as Happo-one etc.
FYI :)

Hope you will enjoy my home country!!

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