Madarao & Iiyama Area
A convenient stop on the Hokuriku Shinkansen line running from Tokyo to Kanazawa via Nagano, Iiyama is a quiet rural town most often used as a transit point for visitors heading to nearby Madarao Mountain Resort and Nozawa Onsen Snow Resort. Iiyama and the surrounding area receives a large amount of snow each winter, at which time the town becomes busy with visitors heading to the resorts or staying in town to enjoy the Kamakura and Snow Sculpture Festival each February.
Iiyama has a limited range of accommodation and most people move through the town enroute to nearby Madarao and Nozawa Onsen. Madarao is a small but spread-out resort with no major village. Madarao Kogen Hotel is the largest accommodation in the resort, located in a central and convenient location and offering a large range of services including in-house restaurants, rental and childcare services. There are a couple of other large hotel in the resort but the majority of accommodation is small, often family-run lodges. Often family-run and very welcoming, visiting Madarao is most popular in winter when its ski resort draws both Japanese and international visitors, while through spring, summer and autumn it is increasingly becoming well-known for its hiking, mountain-biking and autumn leaves.