Katsuyama Ski Jam
Lift count : 0 x Cable-cars 0 x Gondolas 9 x Chairlifts 0 x Drag-lifts
Marketed as the biggest ski area in west Japan, Ski Jam attracts crowds from Osaka and Kyoto who come to enjoy the tree lined slopes and well maintained terrain parks.
However, in comparison to European and N. American resorts, the skiable area isn't particularly large; there is enough terrain to keep intermediates happy for a couple of days, but you'd get bored if you stayed for much longer. There is a hotel complex at the base of the slope and there are several mountain restaurants and cafes. It also offers mountain biking and paragliding come summer, making it an all year round destination for outdoor enthusiasts.
The mountain itself can be quite beautiful, with some lovely runs through birch and pine tree lined slopes. Unfortunately a lot of the best terrain is cordoned off, and be careful when ducking ropes, as the ski patrol tends to be quite strict here and will clip or even confiscate your ticket if you persistently offend.
TIP: If you’re going just for the afternoon, it’s worth hanging around the entrance of car park and asking people who are leaving if they want to sell their ticket. The going rate is Y1000, and occasionally, if you’re very lucky, you may get it for free. You may need a little Japanese to pull it off, so get your phrase book ready!