G'Day Japan! / Destinations / KATASHINA VILLAGE

Ski holidays in Japan has become a staple menu item of Australian travellers, but there are still many undiscovered places around Japan. One of these hidden gems go by the name of Katashina Village.
This place is tucked away in Gunma Prefecture, just under two hours from Tokyo city.

Katashina Village is located high above sea level, and it’s home to three of Japan’s top 100 great mountains (Mt. Hot aka, Mt. Nikko Shrine and Mt. Shibutsu) so you can expect some spectacular views throughout the year.

Because of its location, the village experiences heavy snow fall in the winter, which is rare for the Kanto region. Also thanks to the snow that comes over the Echigo Mountains, you can expect quality, dry powder snow at any of the five ski resorts in the area, including Oze Iwakura Ski Resort and Marunuma-Kogen Ski Resort.

Katashina Village has so much to offer beyond its quality powder too. The mountainous, nature-rich conditions that the village sits in results in an abundance of high quality spring water and fresh produces, which visitors can enjoy at the village’s local eateries. The village also has many natural hot springs to relax in après ski or hiking.

During the green season, a great variety of outdoor activities, from hiking, stand up paddle boarding to tree climbing can be enjoyed in the area. It’s the perfect getaway spot for especially those travelling with family or a group.

Getting to Katashina is quite easy. You can either take an express bus from Shinjuku to Oze or take the bullet train into Jomo-Kogen station and then a take a local bus into the village. It is also accessible by car, which takes about an hour and a half from Tokyo city.

Travelling times to Katashina Village
Take the direct express bus to Kamata from Shinjuku Bus Terminal in Tokyo. Courtesy picks up to and from Kamata available. Shuttle buses also available to and from Jomo-Kogen station and Numata station.

Further Information

Snow Resorts

Marunuma Kogen Ski Resort

Enter the glittery, powdery world of Marunuma Kogen Ski Resort – the perfect holiday destination for skiers of all levels. With 13 diverse and adventurous courses to choose from, everyone can have a magical time at Marunuma.

Thrill seekers can experience the 600m vertical drop with a 37° slope, their pads gliding through the fine powder for almost 4km. If you prefer a more relaxed time, take the 8-seat gondola to the peak and leisurely slide down the magnificent mountain, or head to the kids’ park or ski school to refresh your skiing skills.

The main resort restaurant, Café Shirane, and BBQ House are a few dining choices that guests can choose from. With ingredients sourced from the local Kanto area, tourists can choose from a variety of juicy meats served with vegetables, mouth-watering sobas, curries and tempura, plus many more choices, to satisfy every palate.
Do yourself and your family a favour, and head to Marunuma Kogen Ski Resort – easily accessible by car with on-site parking or take the free shuttle bus from Nikko facility.

Marunuma Kogen Ski Resort
4658-58 Higashi Ogawa, Katashina, Tone-gun, Gunma
Phone: +81-278-58-2211

Travelling times to Marunuma Kogen Ski Resort
from Tokyo: 2 hrs 30-40 min (car, Snow Express bus)

Resort Data
Snow depth: Dec 100cm/Jan 220cm/Feb 270cm/Mar 240cm/Apr 135cm
Terrain: Beg 30%/Int 50%/Adv 20%
Longest run: 4km
Gondolas: 1
Chairlifts: 8
Vertical drop: 600m
Steepest slope: 37°

Snow Resorts

Oze Iwakura Resort

Oze Iwakura Resort enjoys the best of both worlds, so to speak, in that it sees some of the best powder snow Japan has to offer while being located within easy reach of both Tokyo and Nagano. Within about two and a half hours from either, visitors will find quality powder on par with Hokkaido, as well as all the facilities and convenience guests have come to expect, plus a few other added extras that can’t be found elsewhere.

There are two hotels, Iwakura Resort Hotel and Iwakura House, in the White World Oze Iwakura resort. Iwakura Resort Hotel offers their proud natural hot spring to enjoy a high quality resort life.

The largest scale ski resort in the Kanto area, Oze Iwakura Ski Resort is very close to many other attractions which make Gunma Prefecture worth a visit, such as Kutatsu Onsen, Ikaho Onsen, Takaragawa Onsen, Mizusawa Kannon and the Tomioka Silk Mill. This means day visitors and resort guests alike can enjoy the slopes as well as take in some culture and a famous dip in a traditional, natural Japanese onsen.

The resort itself boasts 18 unique courses meaning skiers and boarders of all ages and skill level can surely get the experience they came for; the thrill of Japan’s renowned powder snow!

Oze Iwakura Resort
2609 Tsuchiide, Katashina-mura, Tone-gun, Gunma
Phone: +81-278-58-7777
Open: 8:15am-5:00pm (During nighter operations close at 9:00pm)

Travelling times to Oze Iwakura Resort
Take the direct express bus to Kamata from Shinjuku Bus Terminal in Tokyo. Courtesy picks up to and from Kamata available. Shuttle buses also available to and from Jomo-Kogen station and Numata station.

Resort Data
Snow depth: Dec 110cm/Jan 210cm/Feb 240cm/Mar 190cm/Apr 120cm
Terrain: Beg 30%/Int 40%/Adv 30%
Longest run: 3.2km
Gondolas: 1
Chairlifts: 11
Vertical drop: 700m
Steepest slope: 40°




This traditional ski resort reigns supreme in Japan The historic hot spring town of Zao Onsen lies within the Zao Mountain Range, an impressive cluster of stratovolcanoes 40 minutes from Yamagata City. Legend has it that a wounded warrior stumbled upon the first spring-head in the area after a b… Read More


For hungry riders on a raw powder diet Tokachidake is nature in the Hokkaido Powder Belt 'as is'. There are no lifts, no groomed runs, and no crowds; just pure powder to be enjoyed. The area consists of Tokachidake, a 2,077-metre volcano, and Tokachidake Onsen, a hot spring village dotted with w… Read More


Overview Nagano City has been a storied gateway for pilgrims en route to the iconic 1,400-year-old Buddhist temple, Zenko-ji for in excess of a millennium. However, the rest of the city offers so much more to the modern visitor. In the years following the successful 1998 Winter Olympics, host… Read More


The neighbouring town to the snow monkey park, full of charm and tradition Shibu Onsen is a quaint hot spring town in Nagano Prefecture that opens up behind a curtain of steam, revealing traditions and architecture of years passed, still standing tall and proud. The town's original spring-head w… Read More