Ichinose 2018

On slope
On slope
On slope

The  annual family snow trips have been a popular event for  us for a while – it’s not too much of a drive (~4.5 hours / 320Km), to Nagano Prefecture’s Shiga Kogen area, and even better, the last 15Km requires [rubber] chains or snow tyres, and as we have the former, I do get to enjoy driving in the mountains.

some trees
some trees

We usually like to try different places to stay for a bit of variety, but this year we stayed at the same place for two weekends in the ‘village’ of Ichinose,  thanks to getting a deal staying at the Hotel Japan for a few days via Expedia.

bit of snow
bit of snow

Disconcertingly, this hotel we chose had a fire a couple of years ago in the main wing apparently, though from what we saw, it all looked like business as usual aside from lots of reminders not to smoke…   I don’t know why, but does the name ‘Hotel Japan’ seem a bit generic?  That said, breakfast was decent, it’s above an excellent Nepalese restaurant, and the onsen is nice and clean.

Car parks and snow
Car parks and snow

Anyway, for families, Ichinose is very decent – a cluster of hotels, some bars and restaurants, and access to much of the Shiga Kogen ski resort area, and even over to Kusatsu if you drive just a little bit more. We spent time around the Diamond area nearby – it’s not awesome powder or insane double diamonds, but it’s a nice family paced warm up area, then we drove the 5Km around to Okushiga, as they have a good ski school for the kids, and a good mix of steep,  S bend oriented forest runs for variety, and on a good day, some nice powder – it’s also just a bit of a slide over to the Yakebitaiyama courses.


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