Village life, accommodation and nightlife
in Katsuyama Ski Jam
The nearest town is Katsuyama, which is a 20 minute drive down from the resort, but there's not a lot going on here; it claims a population of 30,000 but it feels more like 3000. It has all the normal services - banks, big supermarkets and plenty of small restaurants, but the town is very spread out and lacks any real heart. There is a famous two day fire and taiko drum festival called 'Sagicho' every February, which is well worth seeing if you're around. There is also an amazing temple here which is stunningly beautiful in the snow, and inside you'll find Japan's largest seated Buddha statue - which is HUGE!
Food on the slopes consists of largely Japanese style offerings, for example udon noodles, fried whole prawns, and katsu-curry - (breaded pork rice with a weak curry sauce). It's not gourmet - but it will fill you up, and you'll get a full feed for under a fiver. You can also buy beer from vending machines - worth the novelty alone.
In terms of night life, this place is dead, but there are a couple of quality restaurants, most notably Atom Sushi- a cheap conveyor-belt sushi joint, (their beef "sushi" is a must!), and Yamada Katsudon, a quaint, family run restaurant which serves delicious Katsudon - breaded beef, pork or prawns in a delicious BBQ style sauce - get a full set for just £4!
It's possible to stay in the hotel right at the base of the slopes, and there is also a large western style hotel in the town. The more adventurous might like to try a ryokan - a traditional Japanese style hotel.READ NEXT: Mountain statistics