The 2018/19 Japanese snow season is sadly blitzing past and while Hakuba has been the big feature of our snow reports we thought we’d reach out to Mark from Madarao Mountain Lodge and get the low down.
The Madarao Mountain ski resort is a pleasant combination of beginner, intermediate and advanced slopes. So, it ticks all the boxes and is the perfect destination for families or groups with a different mix of abilities, plus the ticket price for under 12’s is at a real value point making the destination that little bit more affordable.
We were lucky enough to get a moment with Mark from Madarao Mountain Lodge during a ‘wet snow’ to fill us in.
February has contributed to the success of the season, with some dumps adding a good 10-30cm to the base. The official snow depth is currently around 270cm and the resort is suggesting that this is above the average of a normal year - there’s more snow forecast so if you’re heading over for the late season, don’t stress - you’ll have plenty to enjoy.
In Mark’s own words “The start of February was fantastic with deep powder and typical mid-winter conditions. In the past week, however, there has been only intermittent snowfalls however and currently, spring ski conditions prevail. The weather has been beautiful though and there has been a number of bluebird days.”
The wildlife has been poking its head out in the region. With hosts, Mark and Mayuko reporting that they’ve spied several bear prints and foxes have been more active around the village for those lucky enough to get a glimpse.
Last week (Sat 23rd) the International Film festival took place, it’s a must attend if you’re in the area at the right time.
“Every year in Madarao the ski hill creates a movie screen out of snow and project independent films on the screen. The festival concludes with fireworks. The festival itself is a collaboration with the Finish Embassy and showcases Finnish and Japanese independent films.”
Can you fill us in with a Quirky Fact about Madarao?
Madarao is uniquely located between Niigata and Nagano so you can ski two prefectures in one day.
Where’s one of the ‘must eat’ locations when staying in Madarao?
Sakura Okonomiyaki Restaurant. For Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki that is fully loaded with meat, seafood and cabbage.
A must visit local Onsen?
Madarao No Yu
Any Runs that are standing out at the moment?
60% of the runs in Madarao are off piste and the mountain is a little more relaxed about riding off-piste, so naturally, Madarao ski resort offers some of the best tree skiing in Japan. If gliding through the glades is your thing than Madarao should be on your bucket list. Mark has filled us in on the go-to tree runs for February in Madarao.
“Tangram trees were unbelievably good in early February. Madarao`s lesser know sister ski hill has arguably some of the best tree skiing in Japan!”
If you’re wanting to experience this region then you can’t go wrong with Madarao Mountain Lodge. The lodge is only 300 metres from the slopes, offers excellent value accommodation and your hosts Mark and Mayuko go that step beyond to make sure you’re not only well looked after, but skied out as well.
Get up to date on the lodge - here and secure your space quickly by getting in touch.