Best Places to Stay in Yuzawa
Yuzawa boasts multiple ski resorts and plenty of accommodation including hot spring hotels and guesthouses easily accessible from Echigo-Yuzawa Station. On this page you will find the following information:
Bordering Nagano Prefecture to the north, Niigata is home to around fifty ski resorts including the grouping in the hot spring area of Yuzawa. Located closer to the coast than the resorts of Nagano, Niigata typically receives earlier and heavier snowfall and lays claim to some of the deepest powder in the world. Centred around the historic hot spring town of Yuzawa, you’ll find plenty of accommodation in the area ranging from high-end hotels and guesthouses, to family-run guesthouses and budget ski lodges.
Best Yuzawa Ski Resorts: GALA Yuzawa, Kagura, Naeba, Joetsu Kokusai & Hakkaisan
Bordering Nagano Prefecture to the north, Niigata is home to around fifty s…
If you’re headed to Yuzawa for skiing or snowboarding, it’s important to choose which resort you plan to visit before choosing your accommodation. Our ‘Best Yuzawa Ski Resorts’ page lists our recommendations of the best resorts in the area including all the stats, facts and highlights to help you choose which one is best for you.
WHERE TO STAY IN YUZAWA?
As a historic ‘onsen’ (hot spring) town, Yuzawa offers a large range of accommodation, from large hotels to high-end guesthouses and budget lodges. In this section we provide accommodation information for the following areas:
Accommodation is spread-out across Yuzawa and the surrounding area therefore you should have no problem finding a hotel or guesthouse. The location and convenience of those hotels and guesthouses does however vary greatly, making it important to check that what and where you are booking suits your plans. The three areas listed below represent the most convenient locations to stay and provide the best options for international visitors, starting with:
As a traditional hot spring town, Yuzawa offers an excellent range of accommodation options with something to suit most budgets. The area around Echigo-Yuzawa Station has multiple large hotels and ‘ryokan’ (traditional guesthouses), most of which have their own hot springs, while in and around the resorts there is an array of ski hotels, lodges and ‘minshuku’ (basic guesthouses). Yuzawa also has the greatest number of restaurants and bars, making it a good choice for visitors who want to go out of their accommodation at night while staying in the resorts of Kagura and Naeba has the advantage of quick access to the slopes each morning.
15 Things to Do Around Yuzawa & Where to Stay
A convenient stop on the Joetsu Shinkansen line running from Tokyo to Niiga…
Yuzawa also has a good number of restaurants and some bars, offering the most dining and entertainment options in the area. For anyone planning to head to GALA Yuzawa, this is definitely the best place to stay. Those headed to Kagura and Naeba can also consider it by using the shuttle buses running to the resorts from Echigo-Yuzawa Station while anyone headed to Joetsu Kokusai can make their way their using local train services, with accommodation available in and around the resort. If you’re headed to Muikamachi Hakkaisan, we recommend staying in Yuzawa as there are few good options around that resort however it is further away making it most appealing to skiers and snowboarders with their own vehicles. For accommodation listings, see our ‘Yuzawa Area’ hotel page.
Naeba Ski Resort is owned and operated by the Prince Hotels group and as such, is serviced the large Prince Naeba Hotel located at the bottom of the ski fields. As detailed above, the hotel has more than 1200 rooms and 20 in-house restaurants ranging from a food-court to fine-dining, hot springs, shops, day-care services, rental services – basically everything you might need. Away from the main Prince Hotel there is a small number of independent lodges and hotels that offer a nice alternative. There are no real options for outside dining and drinking in the evening so if that’s important to you, best to stay at Prince Hotel or consider accommodation in Yuzawa. The ski fields of Naeba are connected to Kagura Ski Resort by the very long ‘Dragondola’ gondola, with a smaller accommodation area located around the base station of the Mitsumata Ropeway in Kagura. For accommodation listings, see our ‘Naeba Area’ hotel page.
ISHIUCHI MARUYAMA AREA
Ishiuchi Maruyama Ski Resort connects with GALA Yuzawa and many people will tell you, it’s the better resort. Given that Ishiuchi Maryuama is connected to GALA Yuzawa you can stay in stay in the Yuzawa area and ski / snowboard into the resort, however there’s also a good range of accommodation in the area making it another option for visitors searching for accommodation. Most accommodation in Ishiuchi Maruyama comes in the form of small guesthouses and ski lodges offering a more ‘authentic’ Japanese feel in contrast to the resort-like atmosphere of GALA Yuzawa. Prices a typically cheaper than Yuzawa and can be directly access from Ishiuchi Station – only 11 minutes from Echigo-Yuzawa Station. For accommodation listings, see our ‘Ishiuchi Maruayama Area’ hotel page.
JOETSU KOKUSAI AREA
Only 12-minutes by train from Echigo-Yuzawa Station, Joetsu Kokusai is Japan’s second largest ski resort but one that remains largely unknown to international visitors. The resort includes Hotel Green Plaza Joetsu, an expansive hotel with distinctive Tudor-style imitation architecture. Providing ski in/out access to the east zone of the resort, the hotel offers over 600 rooms along with facilities and services targeted at families and visitors wanting a full ‘resort’ experience. Facilities include multiple restaurants, hot springs, in-house shops, ski ticketing, rental and lessons with child-care and other services also available. Away from the hotel, all other accommodation comes in the form of small ski lodges aimed at the Japanese market. For accommodation listings, see our ‘Joetsu Kokusai Area’ hotel page.
YUZAWA SKI RESORTS: THE STATS & FACTS
Thanks to the shinkansen line running from Tokyo, GALA Yuzawa is arguably the easiest ski resort to reach from the capital – and many people choose to do so. If you’re headed to Yuzawa this winter, it pays to do your research as there may be better resorts within easy reach of Yuzawa town that are better-suited to you and if nothing else, ones that are less crowded. Our ‘Best Yuzawa Ski Resorts’ page has everything you need to know when planning your next winter getaway.
15 THINGS TO DO AROUND YUZAWA
Known fondly as ‘yukiguni’ or ‘snow country’, Yuzawa and the surrounding area is famous as an area of heavy snow, ski resorts and a unique local culture. But did you know there’s even more reasons to visit outside of winter when Naeba Ski Resort hosts Japan’s largest music festival, Fuji Rock Festival and Echigo-Tsumari Art Field attracts visitors from all over the world. Our ’15 Things to Do Around Yuzawa’ page tips and suggestions of just what’s on offer in the area including accommodation listings.
HOW TO GET TO YUZAWA
As a stop on the Joetsu Shinkansen line running from Tokyo to Niigata, Echigo-Yuzawa Station is only 80-minutes from the capital and the gateway to the region. For detailed information on how to reach Yuzawa, see our ‘How to Get to Yuzawa’ page.
BOOK WITH US! NAGANO’S NO.1 TOUR & CHARTER OPERATOR
Locally-based and operating all year round, Snow Monkey Resorts is Nagano’s No.1 tour and charter operator. We have the local knowledge of where and when to go, to help you discover and enjoy the region’s many ski resorts and other fantastic destinations and activities.
For guests wanting to access the resorts in the comfort of their own transport, we can arrange a private tour or charter customised to fit your needs, starting and ending at any destination including from/to Nagano Station and any resort in the region. Our drivers and vehicles are fully certified, allowing us to transport you to and from your preferred destinations in combination with any activity that suits your schedule.
All vehicles are fitted with a protective screen – separating the driver from passenger and luggage area – and our drivers wear protective masks, allowing you to move between your destinations in comfort and safety. We can arrange both private tours with an English-speaking guide or a private charter, including a private vehicle and driver but without a guide. We’d love to be part of that experience and help you discover even more!
Why choose us?
Awarded a 2022 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Award for our 1-Day Snow Monkeys, Zenko-ji Temple & Sake Tour – recognised as one of the Top 10 Experiences in Japan – we have the local knowledge and experience to help you get the most out of your time in Nagano.
Got a question about visiting Yuzawa and Central Japan? Contact us and let’s get planning together!