Winter Services in Madarao & Tangram
Madarao & Tangram - Ski Passes
Lift passes are available at very reasonable prices when booked together with accommodation through Ski Japan Holidays. On-site lift passes are available for purchase in Restaurant Heidi and at the side of Restaurant Shirakaba, with a range of tickets available for both Madarao and Tangram, or a combination of both.
For a one day Madarao & Tangram pass, an adult will cost approximately 5,000 yen and a child will cost 3,000 yen. Alternatively, you can buy single lift passes as well as a cheaper 4-hour pass. Good discounts are available for seniors and for junior or senior high school students, too, and naturally, there are also package deals available, with group passes racking up a good discount. Season passes are also available for the dedicated skiers, as are special passes for events such as New Years Eve nightly pass. There are also night ski passes which are included with some passes or can be purchased separately.
To add lift tickets to your accommodation package, please enquire with Ski Japan Holidays
Ski & Board Rentals
There are a small handful of rental services available at Madarao, with some of the hotels offering their own rental service, too. The largest and most extensive rental option is Shirakaba Rental, operating out of Shirakaba Restaurant, right near the lift pass ticket box. Swallow Rental is another larger option with high quality gear, operating near the entrance to the slopes.
Some of the hotels will also offer rental services, but there are not dedicated shops to purchase your own gear. However, there is a good English speaking service at the larger shops and the staff are likely able to help you.
The Madarao Kid’s Park is one of the most popular destinations in the resort, with children loving the opportunity to get amongst the action. Admission to the park costs approximately 500 yen per person and rental of a small children’s sled costs around 1,000 yen. This price also includes admission into the Sky House not too far away, where you can go to escape harsh weather.
Ski & Board Lessons
Madarao has one ski school that offers some English speaking private ski and snowboard lessons. English-speaking staff are in short supply so make sure to book your lesson ahead of time.
Currently an English-speaking ski school is rumored to be under construction, keep an eye on this space!
An exciting opportunity for travelers and a definite change of pace if the slopes are starting to bore you, Madarao offers a great snowmobile ride and training for all ages and all experience levels, with a range of different ride options for different thrill seeking levels. The field is open from December through to March and from 1pm until 4pm during weekdays and 10am until 4pm weekends.
The licensing course takes you around on a simple track and teaches you the basics of operation, and once you’ve completed your training, you’re set to tour the large and expansive forest. It’s only open to those 16 years or older and you need at least a 95% score to pass and obtain your license.
The tour runs from between 45 minutes to 90 minutes and you’re accompanies by a guide to ensure you’re nice and safe, and is only available to adults, costing roughly 4,500 yen for the short course and 6,500 yen for the long course, with the license training costing around 4,500 yen.
If you’d prefer to just have a play around or let the children have some fun with the mobiles, a license isn’t necessary and kids can use the mobiles on a 200 meter course under supervision for just around 1,000 yen. The longer they ride, the more it’ll cost. For adults, a short ride will cost between 1,500 yen and 2,500 yen.
Nagano Outdoor Sports offers a stunning and exhilarating backcountry tour for guests in Madarao, in scenery surrounded by high quality snow that has attracted people from across the world. The tours are varied and can be adjusted to your experience level and fitness, with half day, full day and private group tours all available with a reservation. English speaking guides are also available.
You will need to bring all of your own gear, plus snowboarders will need poles that can be rented for 1,500 yen, and you’ll also need a Madarao lift ticket. You’ll be provided with an avalanche beacon for the tour, though. The course of the tour often changes according to the weather conditions and the state of the slopes, but the expert guides are there for exactly that reason. Each of the tours has special experience requirements that should be considered before booking, though, such as the ability to stop or curve the skis or boards to avoid bad slope conditions.
A half day tour will cost roughly 8,000 yen and run from around 9:30am until 12:30pm, operating from the beginning of January through to the end of March. A full day tour runs for six hours, from 9:30am until 3:30pm, with a break for lunch, again operation only from the beginning of January through to the end of March. For more customizable tours, such as those for beginners, private tours are recommended. The experienced staff will help organise a route that is perfect for your needs so that you’re sure to enjoy your trip. The private tours cost 60,000 yen for a maximum of six people with 10,000 yen extra per person. For all tours, participants must be over the age of 13, and any children between the ages of 13 and 19 must be accompanied by a guardian over the age of 20.
There are a number of snowshoe tours throughout Madarao, each unique and stunningly beautiful as one another. Operating throughout the winter season, the snowshoe tours are a great way to explore the areas of Madarao you might have otherwise missed, and are a great group activity that is much more social than a back country tour, for example. They’re also extremely fun and great for younger kids who will enjoy playing in the snow during the tour. The permanent walks "Hope Lake" trail and "Forest of Furusato" are perfect for those who’d like to take it at a leisurely pace without a guide, with direction signs installed every 20-30 meters on trees to ensure you’re on the right path.
There are both night and day tours available that aren’t signed, but it is always best to book with an experience and English-speaking guide with these more adventurous tours. This will cost approximately 8,000 yen for half a day, with a small extra fee at night for the guide. Snowshoes can be rented through the Madarao Mountain Plateau Mountain House rental service for about 1,000 yen per day, as can walking poles, but all other gear you’ll need to rent through the standard services or bring your own.
A recommended day off the slopes is a trip to nearby Iiyama city. Just a short bus ride away, Iiyama offers a fun day of sightseeing, the city is not touristy and gives you a great opportunity to mingle with locals in every life Japan. See the shopping arcade, fresh grocery and fish shops, authentic local restaurants, and small shrines and temples around town.