Naspa Ski Garden in Yuzawa

Winter family fun

By Alena Eckelmann    - 3 min read

How to you pick your ski slope, hot spring bath and hotel if there is so much on offer in and around Yuzawa Onsen?

There are 16 ski resorts, about 30 hotspring baths and numerous hotels, pension, ski lodges and ryokan (traditional Japanese inn) from the smallest to the biggest, from the basic to the luxurious.

If you want to indulge in a little luxury, and you have the necessary budget, then pick Naspa Ski Garden, a family-oriented ski resort that opened its doors in 1992. It comes with a New Otani Hotel, one of Japan’s main deluxe hotel chains.

As one can expect from a New Otani, the hotel offers all the facilities of a luxury condominium making a stay enjoyable throughout all seasons and especially in winter.

The ski slopes are right behind the hotel which makes for an exciting view from your hotel room window and for extremely easy access. What’s more, an onsen (hot spring bath) is right in the hotel for your after-slopes relaxation.

Season at Naspa starts in late December when the first snow covers the slopes and the resort is opened, and it runs through to early April.

Six ski lifts take skiers to eight courses, including three beginner courses, three intermediate courses and two advanced courses.

There is an area for children at the bottom of the slopes, called Naspa Kids Garden. This encircled area is only for kids and their parents. If offers a safe environment for kids to enjoy the snow and try out their sledges. The resort’s mascot, a penguin named Pingu, is prominently featured everywhere on posters, in plastic or as Naspa staff disguised as Pingu offering lots of photo opportunities, if this is your kind of thing.

At Naspa Ski Garden skiers are amongst themselves and are not disturbed by snowboarders speeding by on risky rides. This resort prides itself to be the only resort in Yuzawa that is strictly skiers only!

When I went to Naspa to relax in the New Otani it was only mid December. This was pre-skiing season and the slopes were only partly covered in snow. Naspa staffs were busy checking the ski lifts and preparing for the season.

I could imagine how it would look like in mid winter and I found this resort well arranged and convenient in terms of facilities and access.

A free shuttle bus takes you from Echigo Yuzawa Station directly to Naspa. If you come by car, then you can enjoy free parking.

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Alena Eckelmann

Alena Eckelmann @alena.eckelmann

Celebrating my 10th year anniversary in Japan in May 2018, the country that I call home now. I lived in crazy Tokyo for 6 years and since 2011 I call the Kii Peninsula (Kumano, Koyasan and Yoshinoyama) my home. I have visited all 47 prefectures of Japan and for the last 4 years I have worked as a guide for foreign visitors. My special interest is in Japanese nature and spirituality. I love spending time in the forest and mountains and I love visiting temples and shrines. I am also a licensed guide for the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage trails and for Koyasan, the Buddhist monastery, in addition to being a practitioner and guide for Shinrin Yoku (Forest Therapy).   In recent years I have taken visitors to walk the Kumano Kodo trails, the Nakasendo trail, the 88 temple pilgrimage trail around Shikoku Island and to Dewa Sanzan, the three sacred mountains in Yamagata Prefecture. If you look for nature and spirituality in your trip to Japan, then Wakayama, Nara and Yamagata Prefectures are ideal places to get started!

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