Tanigawadake Tenjindaira is a small ski area and if you stick to the marked courses you'll soon get bored. Despite this it's popular with local riders because of the large backcountry area that it gives access to. It's also a high level resort by Japanese standards and is open with natural snow from December to May.
Located just above Minakami in Gunma Prefecture, this is a place where you have to be careful not to be caught by the ski patrol if you decide to ride off into the unknown. The Japanese call such patrols urusai, which means 'loud' or "noisy". There are quite a few riders who base themselves here for a season partly because of the cheaper season pass. The best time to visit is between mid-January and the beginning of March, when there is enough snow to ride down to the base of the gondola giving the resort an extra 300metres of vertical. The only problem is that your day lift pass doesn't cover the gondola so if you try a longer run you should do it late in the day or make sure that you can afford the #5 a time gondola charge