Alts Bandai, Go Somewhere New

Emma Wilson 05.07.2024

Thinking of exploring somewhere new in Japan?

Alts Bandai is a region snow seekers should really consider, it’s away from the more mainstream destinations like Hakuba and Niseko but it’s worth a visit. With great cruising slopes, impressive terrain parks, and the opportunity for cat skiing, Alts Bandai offers something for all levels of ski and snowboarding.

Ski while enjoying stunning views of Lake Inawashiro as you cruise around the resorts, it really does add to the overall experience. If you feel like taking a break from skiing, the historical sites in the area are a ‘total recommend’, visit a centuries old brewery,still preserved with incredible brewing methods including tools and photography of the old ways on display to see. You’ll find samurai culture, samurai and Daimyo clothing from bygone eras when areas had to defend themselves and visit the incredible Tsuruga-jo Castle, located in Aizu city. You can also mosey around the city and enjoy shopping options and unique izakayas to taste the local cuisines.

Nekoma and Alts Bandai became interconnected by a new lift only in December 2023. The connection allows skiers and snowboarders access to both resorts and a huge increase in terrain. This is a resort that is going to be tough to become crowded if you’re willing to get off the front slope and find the stashes all over the place.

On the north side of Mount Bandai, Nekoma Snow Park & Resort is popular and with the new lift connection, you can access Nekoma from the base of Alts Bandai and enjoy untouched powder and incredible tree lines. Nekoma offers shorter vertical drops but has decent quality powder throughout the season. The resort features a variety of runs and tree lines, catering to skiers and snowboarders of all levels.

The new lift linking Nekoma and Alts has been a long-awaited development, with Hoshino Resorts CEO Yoshiharu Hoshino sharing that it took seven years for the development application to be approved. The combined resort makes it one of the largest in the Tohoku region, surpassing Zao Onsen. Both resorts also offer night skiing,for those who love to extend slope time into the night. A good choice for teenagers looking for a bit of independence.

After a day on the slopes, you can relax and enjoy the ski-in/ski-out convenience of the Bandaisan Onsen Hotel. This comfortable hotel offers affordable rates and includes breakfast and ski passes. You can also indulge in the natural spring water onsen to soothe your muscles and unwind.

There is a lot to do in the area and it’s worth exploring somewhere new. Check it out on your next visit to Japan, there’s nothing to lose heading north of Tokyo.