Basic info

  • Gala Yuzawa’s 2022–2023 season: December 17, 2022 to May 5, 2023
  • Winter hours: 8 am to 5 pm
  • Spring hours: 8 am to 4 pm on weekdays | 8 am to 4:30 pm on weekends and holidays
  • One-day pass: ¥5,200
Snow and skiiers at Gala Yuzawa
Photo by Chris Kirkland

Gala Yuzawa is a decent skiing and snowboarding resort in Niigata Prefecture. It’s one of many in the area, but what sets it apart is that it has its own bullet train station (aptly named Gala Yuzawa Station) — and it’s only 90 minutes away from Tokyo. That means you can hop on a train just after 6 a.m. in Tokyo, be grinding the slopes by 8 a.m., and get back into the capital by nightfall, in time to feed your cats/child/pet rock.

A gondola at Gala Yuzawa
Photo by Chris Kirkland

Who should visit Gala Yuzawa?

The place is well suited to beginners, with a range of gentle slopes (and a snow sledding slope!) in the central area. There are some intermediate options too, with a couple of expert courses in the northern and southern parts of the resort. There is also a 2.5 km downhill course — a fun feature aimed at beginner-intermediate snowsters (yes, that is a word now).

A view from the top of a slope at Gala Yuzawa
Photo by Chris Kirkland

How much is it to ski or snowboard at Gala Yuzawa?

It’s a pretty small resort, though when the connected Yuzawa Kogen and Ishiuchi Maruyama resorts are also open there’s a nicer variety of skiing to be had. A one-day pass is ¥5,200 and a half-day pass is ¥4,200.

If you get one of those, the only thing you need to organize separately is gear — you can bring your own, or rent it there (you can select it as an add-on to the package).

Accommodation near Gala Yuzawa

If you want to make an overnight trip of it, hotels can be found near Echigo-Yuzawa Station, which is one stop away from Gala Yuzawa Station. Yuzawa has heaps of hot springs, making it a grand old place to kick back and relax.

Want to explore other options for skiing and snowboarding near Tokyo? See our guide to all the cool places to hit the slopes.

Suggested Activity
JR Rail Pass
The JR Pass is a 1 week pass that allows unlimited travel on Japan Rail lines throughout the country. This ticket is extraordinarily good value for long distance and inter-city travel. *Restrictions: Can only be purchased by temporary visitor visa holders not already in Japan. ...

Though we do our best to ensure it’s correct, information is subject to change. Pass prices may vary depending on the time of year. This post was first published in December 2015. Last updated in November 2022 by Maria Danuco.

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