Madarao is the little-known, hidden secret of Nagano. As more and more Westerners discover the joys of surrounding areas, this is your chance to escape the crowds and take advantage of the awesome powder or “Madapow” that Madarao has to offer. Many of our recommended lodges are Ski in Ski out, and the others all offer a free shuttle to the lifts.
Located near to Lotte Arai, Myoko Kogen and Nozawa Onsen, the Madarao area offers a great variety of terrain with a reputation for ungroomed and off-piste powder and great tree skiing combined with some good backcountry terrain. Grab a combined lift pass for Madarao Mountain and adjoining Tangram Ski Circus to increase your access to 45 trails.
Madarao Mountain Resort caters to all abilities from free snowboarding lessons for beginners to the Crystal Bowl – the steepest slope at 36 degrees.
Madarao is essentially a ski resort, not a town, so not the place for you if you are looking for shopping and night clubs, but you can certainly find great restaurants, great bars, great views, and a chance to unwind. It is only 20 minutes by local bus to the nearby town of Iiyama and from here you are close to Nozawa Onsen village, the Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park, and the train line to Nagano.
World Snowfaris recommend adding 5-7 nights in Madarao to a 7 night trip in the main Nagano Ski Resort of Hakuba.