There are loads of ski resorts in and around Yuzawa town. They all serve a purpose, or go out of business; there are plenty of abandoned ones around from the heady bubble era days when skiing was the hobby of choice. Ipponsugi is a one lift resort right in the center of Yuzawa town that caters to families and people staying locally.
To many skiers a resort with only one slope and one lift may seem unattractive, especially given the proximity of the bigger interlinked resorts in the area. The constant stream of customers on Ipponsugi’s single slope attest to the fact that not everyone has a use for kilometers and kilometers of groomed runs. A sledding zone, an igloo and the chance to play in the snow is enough for the many who come to Yuzawa to experience snow for the first time. The single lift takes you to the top of a slope that even an absolute beginner can manage after a couple of hours of instruction on the basics. It is just a short walk off the high street (Onsen Gai) on the west side of Echigo Yuzawa station so it's also popular with locals or people who own an apartment in one of the many mansion buildings that dot the skyline of Yuzawa. There is even one towering over the top of the Ipponsugi slope.
It is family owned and run, with the parents running a rental shop and restaurant at the base of the slope and the son in charge of grooming and ski lessons. They are incredibly welcoming and have a selection of toys and sledges for the kids to take up the slope. Any money spent here is making a direct contribution to the local economy.
It’s definitely not for everyone but it serves a niche. If you are staying in town and looking for an easy accessible slope for a bit of fun in the snow, Ipponsugi is a great bet. Parents can relax in the warm restaurant and watch the kids, safe in the knowledge that they can’t get lost.