HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYBODY!!
Both of these stations are actually in the town of Echigo Yuzawa. The area around Echigo Yuzawa station is especially popular for having many small establishments offering outdoor sports like skiing, snowboarding and hiking, this Hot Spring resort area is surrounded by towering mountains.
For Gala Yuzawa station, it is also situated within the town of Echigo Yuzawa, but you are much closer to the huge luxurious Gala Yuzawa Ski Resort.
Gala Yuzawa Ski Resort offers the ultimate in convenience. A perfect example would be – the resort has its own bullet train station (Gala Yuzawa station) at the foot of the mountain!
With Gala Yuzawa, it’s that simple! The station opens right on the mountain and the ski center is the first sight you’ll see upon exiting the ticket gates.
All you need to do is to step off the train, pick up your pass and gear and you’re ready to go! It couldn’t be easier. You can wake up in Tokyo and be on the slopes by 8 am!
As for Echigo Yuzawa station is located in the southernmost part of Niigata adjacent to Nagano and Gunma. This is a historic hot spring resort area, which appears in the well-known novel “Snow Country” written by Nobel Prize winner Yasunari Kawabata.
The area of Echigo Yuzawa also has good transportation services, particularly from the Tokyo area, so it attracts a lot of people for skiing in winter and for hiking and camping in summer.
At the Echigo Sake Museum inside Echigo Yuzawa Station, you can enjoy bathing in the sake spa. Around the station you will find museums such as the Shiro Shirahata Photo Museum, which has around 170 landscapes of world-famous mountains, and the Yuzawa Folklore History Museum.
By taking the Yuzawa Onsen Ropeway from Sanroku Station at the foot of the mountain, you can go up to 1,000 meters above sea level. Around the Sancho Station at the top of the mountain, there is a park called “Alp No Sato”.
This alpine flower park, where you can enjoy beautiful mizubasho in the spring, nikkokisuge in summer, and the autumn leaves of Japanese larch trees in fall.
Also, Echigo Yuzawa is always covered in snow during winter and attracts many skiers.
A resort worth mentioning here is the: NASPA Ski Garden. NASPA Ski Garden is devoted to skiiers, the only resort in the area where boarders are not allowed. NASPA keeps a family atmosphere, with great facilities offered by the Otani hotel at the base of the resort. There are challenging slopes higher up, with mogul runs available to challenge the sturdiest of skiiers ‘knees.
As for Gala Yuzawa, it’s perfectly formed. The majority of ground Gala Yuzawa covers, refers to the Gala Yuzawa Ski Resort. The ski resort caters for beginners, lovers of natural courses, terrain park enthusiasts and more.
Gala Yuzawa Ski Resort is a popular, lively resort situated just 10 minutes from the center of Yuzawa town.
Gala is unique in a sense that the resort provides great facilities for beginners, children and families, but in carefully separated expert areas also has an extensive terrain park with death-defying jumps, and a mogul area to test the sturdiest of knees.
You can get on the train at Tokyo station, and 80 minutes later arrive at Gala. After going through the ticket barriers you pass the ski pass desk, rental desk, and on the same floor there is the gondola station to take you to the slopes.
So you go straight from the train station to the top of the Japanese alps, with views such as these!
Thus, the keyword here is convenience. Furthermore, the bullet train station, ski pass desk, and 1st gondola are all together on one floor. Add to that a three-mountain ski pass available to connect with Yuzawa Kogen and Ishiuchi resorts.
Gala Yuzawa Ski Resort is so big that it’s divided into different areas.
The central area of Gala Yuzawa is dedicated to beginners and families – open slopes where you can get used to your skis or board, with a play area for children located next to the gondola station and “Cheers” restaurant.
There is also a “photograph slope”, where on peak days you can have your photo taken whilst cruising down the piste.
The southern area is left mostly un-groomed, leaving mogulSouthern Areas to form – though there are a few groomed pistes. The best way to access this area is to climb the Grenoble lift, and instead of going straight back down, head across to the “2.6mn dollar course”, which has great views and challenging terrain.
From the southern area, you you can catch a ropeway over to Yuzawa Kogen resort, and ski down into the centre of town. Unless you wish to catch a ski lift within Yuzawa Kogen resort, there is no need to buy an extra ticket.
This is the place for terrain park thrills – only for intermediate to advanced skiers and riders.
Gala has a wide variety of jumps, rails and boxes, with a half-pipe and also a well maintained mogul/jump course. Slalom races and lessons are all held within the northern area.
The ease and convenience of Gala Ski resort makes it the perfect destination for a day return trip from Tokyo.
And also, please do ‘Like’ my official Facebook Fan Page above!