What to do in Madarao aside from skiing

What to do in Madarao aside from skiing


With its excellent selection of slopes and stunning scenery, Madarao makes for an excellent skiing trip. Visitors get to enjoy the range of slopes while also enjoying a warm Japanese welcome, it is easy to see why visitors return in their droves year after year.

Madarao has more to offer than just skiing, though. In addition to taking in the splendid natural beauty of the region, visitors can also visit a range of other attractions that will help to make their stay a memorable one. After making the most of their stay visitors will leave with fond memories of a truly inspiring location.

Hot Springs

One of the main attractions of the area is the hot springs. Japan is an island that is located on major tectonic faults and, as such, sees a lot of tectonic activity. This means earthquakes, volcanoes, and hot springs. The hot springs are naturally formed pools of water that have been heated by magma that lies deep beneath the surface. Even on the mountain slopes that are covered in snow and ice, these pools will stay hot all year round.

In addition to the springs themselves, visitors will also get to spot one of the region’s most famous denizens. Snow monkeys come along to bathe in the springs to warm up on a cold day. The monkeys can entertain visitors all day with their antics as they relax and play in the hot water.

Zenkoji Temple

Japan is a nation that is steeped in culture, history, and mysticism. As such, the country is peppered with ancient temples that stand as a testament to their past. The Zenkoji temple located in Nagano is among the most important of them all. Buddhism was first introduced to Japan in the 6th century and, in the 7th century, the first Buddhist statue was brought into the country. The Zenkoji temple, which was found in the 7th century, houses this statue. The statue is so precious that it is hidden away where it is safe, and every six years a copy of the statue is put on display.

While the chances of seeing the statue are slim, the temple and surrounding facilities still have plenty to offer. The site itself is historic and beautifully adorned, and also houses the so-called key to paradise. It is said that anybody that touches the key receives salvation. In addition, there is also a museum that gets a glimpse of how life would have been and educates on just how influential the temple was on the region in its heyday.

Iiyama Town

If you feel you’ve done enough skiing and would like to escape back to civilization for a while, a trip to Iiyama town could be just what you need. Here, you get the opportunity to do some shopping for genuine Japanese goods to take home to friends and family. It is also the opportunity to try out the restaurants for some authentic Japanese cuisine. The restaurants do have menus that have been adapted with the tourist’s palate in mind. Iiyama also has a reputation for being the snowiest place in Japan. This makes for some stunningly beautiful scenery with crisp white snow blanketing the town and surrounding area. Visitors will find plenty of opportunities for postcard-perfect photographs as they enjoy the pretty views. The town is also home to an annual snow festival, which includes snow carvings, displays, fireworks and other activities. The festival takes place on the 2nd Saturday and Sunday of February.

In Madarao You Get a Good Night’s Sleep After a Day’s Skiing


As much fun as skiing is, it can also be a lot of hard work. Going down the slopes gives your legs a real workout and, by the time you are finished for the day, you will need a good rest. This exercise is actually one of the reasons that many people enjoy skiing as it helps to keep them in good shape. Regardless of fitness, though, it is still important to get properly rested after a day’s skiing in order to be ready for the next day. Fortunately for visitors, the Madarao hotels catering to visitors to the slopes are of the highest of standards. They are experienced in catering to visitors from all over the world and have all the facilities you could need during your stay.

Food and Drinks

Skiing burns up a lot of energy, and this will need to be replaced. Fortunately, nearby restaurants will have varied menus that can cater to everybody. Visitors to Madarao are able to replenish the fuel they have burnt up during the day, and also stock up on fuel before setting off for the slopes again. There are also coffee shops available so that you can get sufficiently caffeinated before heading out for the day. If you would like more variety, then the town of Iiyama will offer a wider diversity of restaurants for you to choose from.

In addition to refuelling, visitors will also want the opportunity to let their hair down and have some fun. Beer bars give everybody the opportunity to have a good time with friends and family in the evenings. It’s a great way to share your experiences of the day and to make your plans for the coming days ahead. With plenty of beer and other drinks available, anybody can wind down for the evening. Don’t overdo it though, as there’ll be more skiing to enjoy the following day.

Well Appointed Rooms

Active Life hotels have clean and well-appointed rooms with all that you could need to get a good night’s sleep. Staying in comfort, you are sure to get all the rest you need to be fully refreshed for the day ahead. We also have English speaking staff that are more than happy to get you whatever you need to help make your stay more comfortable. Different rooms are available to suit different needs and budgets, and some stunning views are available just through looking out of your window.

Excellent Location

While facilities are important, what visitors really come to Madarao for is the skiing. Active Life Madarao hotels are perfectly placed to allow visitors to make the most of their time here, which means quick and easy access to the slopes. Chair lifts are literally just a few minutes’ walk away, meaning that you don’t have to waste any time in getting to and from the slopes.

If you haven’t bought equipment with you, or if something needs replacing, then rental shops are available so you can be sure that you have all you need. Everything about nearby accommodation is geared up to making your stay comfortable while ensuring you get to make the most of the ski slopes.

The Best Ski Resort

SureFire Tips to Choose the Best Ski Resort


A family skiing holiday is a great idea for a lot of reasons. But, for it to be the fun you hope it will be, choosing the right ski resort is very crucial and your experience depends on it. There is no shortage of skiing resorts but being able to pick the best one in Madarao Japan will significantly improve your chances of having a great time.

There are many parameters that you should consider but, knowing the ones that will create the most significant impact during your trip will be essential.

What to keep in mind when choosing a resort

Before you can start vetting the different resorts of choice, there are a couple of things that you need to consider. This will help you automatically narrow down your choices and make it easier to make the right choice.

  • Skill level of skiers – you need to consider the skill level of skiers traveling with you. If you are all experts, then you need a resort located in a more difficult part of the mountain. For learners, a forgiving terrain would be more suitable.
  • Will you be coming with kids? – It is important for the children to have fun as well. If they are just learning to ski, you need to find a facility that offers ski training for children. If the children are too young to ski, then the facility needs to have a reliable and high-quality childcare center.
  • Amenities – under amenities, you need to consider your way of life and that of the group. If you love the nightlife, choose a location that has the accompanying facilities.

What to consider when choosing your resort of choice

  • Infrastructure – to have fun, you need more than a pair of skis and a steep snow-filled mountainside. Vital support systems like means of getting to the skiing zones and restaurants take the pinch out of working your way to the mountaintop and allow you to have more fun. The infrastructure is more critical if you intend to stay for a while.
  • Proximity to the airport and other forms of transport – it is not going to be easy to find resorts that are too close to the airport but the closer it is, the better. It is going to be much easier for you to move from one spot to the next. The shorter transfer time also means that you stay at your destination longer.
  • Classes – if you’re looking to pick up some lessons or you are traveling with people who need the lessons, having a resort that offers training on skiing becomes essential. If the children need some lessons, opting for a resort that provides classes for children will improve the experience.
  • Size – when it comes to picking the size, it can be bittersweet. Resorts that have extensive skiing areas are usually packed with more people but offer better experiences regarding skiing. Smaller ones don’t receive as many guests. However, the service is often much better and more personal which makes for better value for money. When considering the size, you have to identify the factors that mean more to you and your trip.
  • Chalets – after your day on the slopes, you need a comfortable place to lay your head and reminisce about all the action that went throughout the day. Luxury Chalets are one of the leading marketing points for most resorts, and they are quite the catch. You don’t always have to choose a chalet in the same location as the resort, but the proximity makes your trips more bearable and gives you more time to ski.
  • Other activities – you are here to ski, but there is nothing wrong with checking around and seeing what else is on offer. You never know what is going to catch your eyes. Other activities like hot water bathing can be quite a treat especially after the long chilly days on the slopes. As resorts continue to evolve, the range of services being offered continues to expand. It is essential to carefully consider what array of such services you will be able to enjoy.

Just as important as it is to find the best air tickets, picking the best ski resort is very important. There are many factors that you have to consider which could take a lot of time. Being able to know what matters most will help you cut down the time without affecting your experience.

Keep in mind that while striking out the different options, you need to consider the people you will be traveling with if any. If you’re alone, then the choice becomes easier.

Active Life Ski resortMadarao, located in Madarao Kogen Ski Resort, is among the few ski hotels that have been able to combine the most impressive Madapow tree runs, light powdery snow filled slopes, kids’ ski classes and state of the art hotels with friendly staff where guests can enjoy world-class hospitality. If you’re looking for a serene fun-filled at a skiers approved resort Active Life offers you this and much more.

Christmas skiing

Thinking of an Active Christmas Season? Think Madarao Japan


For a family looking to spend the Christmas season outdoors, the powdery slopes of Madarao offer the perfect destination. Snow has been synonymous with Christmas for many years, and you can decide to take the fun a notch higher with skiing.

Madarao offers the perfect skiing destination during the Christmas season for many reasons. It receives up to 13 meters of snow annually, and most of the areas are ungroomed allowing for a picturesque view and splendid skiing session. If you are a powder hunter looking to make the best of the Christmas season, Madarao is a perfect choice.

Better access

Getting to the best skiing spots is usually a pain. Most ski resorts have tried different ways to counter this, but in Madarao, the experience of getting to your preferred place is going to be much easier. There are bus shuttle services that take the visitors to and from the different resort centers. All you have to do is be aware of the time of departure. Active Life Madarao and Hakken also offers complimentary shuttle for the hotel guests. The Active Life Shuttle runs on a timetable between Madarao Ski Resort – Iiyama train station – Nozawa Onsen. Check Active Life Shuttle Timetable at

Different Ski Runs

Not being on the same skiing level should not keep you from having fun. With the various ski runs in Madarao, you can choose an option that best suits you and the group. The backcountry powder bowls are great for the more experienced skiers while the crystal area is better suited for everyone to share in the joy and excitement.

Seeing that this is family time, you should be able to spend time together. Whether you have learners in the family or you’re all in the same skill level in skiing, you can rely on the different runs and pick one that everyone will enjoy.


Skiing is never fun on an empty stomach. The high-intensity nature of the activity will have you feeling hungry in no time. You need to have a place where you can have a drink or a meal as a family.

In case you and your team need to re-energize in the middle of your skiing expedition, there are plenty of spots where you can stop over for some hot cocoa or a fully-fledged midday meal. The quick stops and cafés are very affordable and uniquely positioned so you can get jump right back to the fun immediately you’re done with your meal.

There are also some restaurants that double-up as great dating spots if you are thinking of a romantic night out with a loved one. Fresh interiors, jazz music, Japanese soul food all rounded up with a nice bottle of red wine offer the perfect experience of date night during Christmas. This season, Active Life Madarao Hotel opens an exciting BBQ restaurant where you can cook and grill your own meats and sides to perfection. If you’re after something a little more warm and comforting, why not try some ramen from Slurp It! ramen bar where you can slurp away the cold winter nights.


Depending on your length of your stay, having different events will make the period more eventful. Even with skiing being such a great sport, having other options can make the visit even more interesting.

Most people come to Madarao looking for some skiing action. There is a good chance that you’re also looking for a similar experience. While the slopes are well known for the tree turns, during your Christmas visit, you should know that there are plenty of other activities like snowmobile rides and other non-skiing activities like onsen that will kick your adrenalin and then help you to calm down and unwind after an eventful day.

You can also try other bonding activities like paper-making workshops and soba cooking classes. If you’re in the mood for a more challenging experience, you can join in the peak runs offered by most resorts. It is an excellent opportunity to have a picturesque aerial view of some of Japan’s most stunning views.

The Jigdokudani snow monkeys are also a must-see for every animal lover as they take a dip in the hot springs with the same enjoyment as you are probably going to have.


Christmas is never complete without gifts. If you did not get any from back home, there are plenty of gift shops around where you can buy gifts for your loved ones. The most popular are the paper sculptures from the local artists.

You can make this Christmas the most explosive and family time intensive time you have ever had. Madarao offers you the perfect mix of beauty and adventure for you and your family complete with the Christmas spirit.

Skiing on the mountain slopes with all the amenities needed for a great time within reach provides you with that wilderness experience and a touch of homely service. What’s more, after a chilly day out in the tree runs, you can also enjoy the tradition hot healing water bath from a couple of different options available.

While going for skiing during Christmas is a wonderful idea, to have a good time, you need to choose a comprehensive resort with all the amenities. Pick a resort with expansive skiing areas, offers classes for beginners, available transport and great hotels. Active Life the highest ranked hotel in Madarao offers these and other features to make your stay during Christmas the best and allow you make memories that you will never forget.

5 Days in Madarao


Small crowds, a ‘local’ feel, a variety of friendly lodges, lift tickets and food priced the way it should be and tonnes of snow, translates into epic powder days centred around a true Japanese cultural experience that visitors crave – all without those regretful stares from lift-queue’s, back up to quickly-disappearing fresh tracks.

Standing 1,382 metres and perfectly positioned for those colossal Siberian storms coming off the Sea of Japan, Madarao is a bowl-shaped, hidden snow-treasure north west of Tokyo, literally on the border of snowy prefectures Nagano and Niigata. Madarao Mountain Resort has 15 lifts, receives over 14 metres of pure, unadulterated, dry snowfall every winter and is easily accessible via the city of Iiyama, which is directly connected to Tokyo on the Shinkansen (bullet train) network. Too good eh? Too right!

It’s highly likely that you’ll be blessed with plenty of the world-famous MadaPOW days! Here is our take on ‘5 days in Madarao’:


Day 1 

Grab your lift-passes from Hakken reception, tuck into the complimentary continental breakfast offered for Hakken guests, then get some MadaPOW!

Head to Powder Wave or Powder Theatre in the upper mountain – Madarao Resort intentionally thins out the trees so powder-hounds like you can enjoy tree riding at its finest!

Ride straight down to your lodge, defrost and share your day’s stories during your post-pow wind down at the Hakken bar. Our bar will serve our favourite Japanese beers on tap as well as providing exclusive access to classic cocktails with oozing colours and flavours directly from our friends from East Indian Trade Co in Bronte, Sydney.

The Hakken bar also serves a super-fine list of blended and single malt Japanese Whiskeys and delicious light meals to help you regain your energy but light enough as to not ruin your appetite for dinner.

We can’t speak highly enough of any of the neighbouring restaurants, but our dinner pick would have to be Jazzy’s, a memorabilia-riddled restaurant offering traditional Japanese food and western-style steaks run by a friendly, old school, Jazz loving, cool-cat local man and community leader. Make sure you reserve a table earlier in the day – it’s very popular during peak season.


Day 2

Don’t forget to check out Tangram – the resort attached to Madarao. There are some fine tree runs off the back of the number 15 lift heading into the base of Tangram. You can purchase your all-mountain tickets for a small additional fee, giving you access to both resorts.

For dinner, visit our sister lodge Active Life Madarao (ALM) about, a 5 mins walk from Hakken. ALM are introducing a delicious BBQ grill and Ramen Station this season and you don’t want to miss this!


Day 3

Madarao is one of the few resorts in Japan that actively encourages tree riding! Speak to Aki, from Aki’s Pub and Café for hidden powder stashes while ordering your barista coffee! Go straight back to Aki’s for lunch because we guarantee Aki’s pizza’s will hit the spot.

Alternatively, if it’s time for a back-country tour, Aki, who you’re now familiar with, runs tours for experienced riders and skiers. They are awesome people, safety conscious and excellent at what they do!


Day 4

For your rest-day, the Jigokudani Snow Monkey park in Yamanouchi is only an hour from Madarao and can’t be missed. It’s an easy and comfortable bus ride and we’ll let you know the most cost and time efficient way to get there from Hakken upon your arrival.

Finish the day with a couple of hours of night skiing at Madarao before heading to ‘Tap That’ at ALM. ALM have gained a remarkable reputation for serving a mouth-watering selection of locally brewed IPA’s and APA’s!

Dinner and drinks at the Shaggy Yak, our friends down the road, is an absolute must! They’ve just opened a warm and quirky Yakitory bar/restaurant in an insulated outdoor Yurt! Sounds cool eh? It looks even cooler! Apparently, their selection of Nippon Whisky is good too!


Day 5

Devour your continental breakfast at Hakken, grab a barista-made coffee from our sister lodge ALM and head to the slopes, 2 mins away.

For lunch go to Banff! Grab a Japanese curry on rice, sit back and enjoy a fresh can of Asahi. Banff restaurant is located at the base of Chair 11 and ‘Crystal’, a mellow but long consistent slope, perfect for perfecting your carves or learning on.

For dinner, hop across the road to Rudolph’s in the main Madarao village for western style food like pizza, Bolognese and pasta complimented by a crisp, mouth-watering biru!


Day 6

Sayonara! When you are ready to say goodbye to Madarao, head off to Myoko Kogen. Myoko is a quick bus ride away. While you are there, stay with our friends at Red Warehouse!



As an alternative for one of your days, take the Active Life complimentary shuttle to Nozawa Onsen, dedicated for guests across our lodges. You will arrive before the first chair, return home after the last chair saving you on accommodation while maximising your day there.

Travel to Madarao This Season for an Amazing Winter and an Even More Amazing Skiing Experience


This upcoming ski season in Japan (mid Dec 2017 – end March 2018) is expected to be one of the best seasons with high snowfall – thanks to La Niña. If you’ve been waiting for the perfect time to plan a skiing trip to Japan, this is it.

What is La Niña?

You might be wondering what this has to do with your travel plans. Well, El Niño and La Niña can either make or break your plans. An ocean-atmosphere phenomenon causes both patterns, but they affect the weather in two very different ways. Since warming ocean surface temperatures are the cause of it, El Niño brings warm temperatures to Japan.

This year we are looking at 70% chance that La Niña will visit us this autumn, we’re looking at amazing winter weather including powder snow and cool temperatures, which makes a great time to hit the slopes whether you’re an avid skier or are just learning.

Why Choose Active Life Madarao?

With such an optimistic forecast for late-November through the New Year, you might want to start making your travel plans now. Since the new renovation in 2016, Active Life Madarao is one of the best, top-rated hotels in the area. We strive to provide the best skiing experience for you and your family by offering extremely competitive rates along with many amazing features.

The rooms are extremely spacious and include an ensuite bathroom and a bed you can curate for maximum comfort. There are various rooms available to suit your unique needs including a Standard Room, Deluxe Room, and Family Room. Each room has free Wi-Fi, more than enough storage space for all your travel and ski gear, and other amenities you won’t find anywhere else.

After a long day on the slopes, you’ll love relaxing in our beer bar or grabbing a delicious dinner from our new BBQ restaurant opening where you can cook and grill your own meats and sides to perfection. After something a little more warm and comforting? Try some ramen from our ramen bar. We also have a freshly ground coffee you won’t find anywhere else in the area. We’ll keep you warm and cozy during the cold temperatures La Niña is sure to bring.

No matter where you’re coming from, you’ll feel comfortable in one of our two hotels, Active Life Madarao and Hakken by Active Life Madarao. Our staff speaks English, Japanese, Chinese, and Thai.

Have a Skiing Trip to Remember

People visit this area from all over the world, thanks to the gorgeous scenery and terrain unlike any other. There are 30 runs located here and if you’re looking for more, the Tangram Ski Circus Resort is located nearby where you’ll find an additional 15 runs. The majority of our runs are ungroomed, resulting in that amazing fluffy madapow you know and love. You’ll find 15 lifts to help you get around the huge 1382-foot mountain.

There are so many reasons to ski in Japan. From delicious food and unique culture to soft and consistent powder snow, you have everything you could possibly want. Don’t forget that we have an awesome winter on the way thanks to La Niña that will make this perhaps the best skiing trip of your life!

Fun for the Entire Family

Whether you’re bringing your family along with you or you simply want to make the best out of your trip, there are things for the whole family to enjoy. We have a kid’s park, free ride park, tree run course, waves course, and even a free ride park that guests of all ages will love.

If you’re able to pull yourself away from the stunning snow, check out some of the famous tourist attractions located near Madarao. These include:

  • Snow Monkeys at Jigokudani hot springs
  • Iiyama town
  • Togakushi-Soba Museum “Tonkururin”
  • Zenkoji Temple

With perfect skiing weather on the way, what are you waiting for? You should be planning your next ski trip right now. If you’re worried about the money, be on the lookout for awesome deals on our site to help with your travel costs. Don’t be stuck at home wishing you were hitting the slopes in beautiful Japan. Make it a reality! While you’re here, don’t forget to take advantage of our complimentary shuttle that will make exploring neighboring areas and Nozawa a lot easier.

Active Life adds its 3rd hotel in 15 months


On October 24th Active Life Japan completed the purchase of Hillside Madarao.  This is the 3rd property purchased in the Madarao Ski Resort by Active Life since August 2017 and is a sign of our confidence in Madarao’s growing popularity for its deep powder (Madapow) and thrilling tree runs.  We also favour Madarao because it’s geographically central to both Nozawa Onsen and Myoko ski resorts, which means you can stay in Madarao and do a day trip to either resort in under 45 minutes.  Over the past 18 months, there has been a surge in investment in Madarao from Australians with over 13 properties purchased since the beginning of 2016.


When Hillside Madarao became available, we moved quickly to take the opportunity to purchase Hillside because of its incredible location – only 200m from the Madarao ski lifts and the wonderful opportunity to restore the property to its former glory.  We are keen to participate in the development and discovery of Madarao as a Japanese ski destination for foreign guests but we also want to ensure that Madarao becomes an example of the best of foreign skiers.


Between now and the opening in 2018, we will make many upgrades to the property to make it more suitable to western guests.  When it reopens for the 2018 season, Active life will have a total capacity of 114 rooms and guest capacity of over 250 in Madarao.


About Active Life

Life is about exploring, experiencing and being free. Active Life was founded with a purpose to offer an awesome curated experience to sports enthusiasts like yourself.

Active Life Group currently owns and manages 3 hotels in Madarao Ski Resort; Active Life Madarao hotel , Hakken by Active Life Madarao , and we recently added the 3rd property to our hotel portfolio in Madarao.

Madarao Ski Resort is situated in the northern area of Nagano Prefecture, where weather conditions are consistently ideal for creating an endless supply of high-quality snow throughout our December-to-April season. Skiers and snowboarders return here again and again to experience the spectacular scenery, varied terrain and incredible selection of 30 groomed and ungroomed runs, which jumps to 45 runs if you take on the extra 15 runs at the Tangram Ski Circus Resort, easily accessible from Madarao.

For more information, please visit or email us at



Is Snowboarding or Skiing the Right Choice for Me?


Every year more and more people are joining the slopes as winter travel gets less expensive and tourists get more adventurous, some travelling around the world to find the very best powder. Added to the growing numbers of skiers, the snowboarding community has expanded rapidly and now shares the same slopes with more traditional users. Once thought of as a foolhardy sport, snowboarding has gained in popularity across the globe. If you are new to winter sports you may be wondering whether snowboarding or skiing is the right choice. There are some differences that you should know about before you make your final decision. But of course when you are proficient enough there’s no reason why you can’t do both. Most resorts now cater for skiing and snowboarding. So let’s look at the pros and cons.

Pros and Cons

Getting on and getting up!

  • Initially skiing may be easier to learn than snowboarding because your legs are independent of each other. You may feel more able to control your movements and stick a leg out to balance yourself if you get into trouble.  Also your whole body faces in the direction you are travelling. Snowboarding on the other hand requires that you twist your body and have both feet firmly anchored to the board, which can be disconcerting for a beginner and takes a while to get accustomed to it. It’s rather like a cyclist getting used to fixed pedals, which can feel awkward at first and if you begin to fall there is little you can do to stop the inevitable.


  • Then there are the chair lifts to consider. They certainly look easy to negotiate when watching experts get on and off them, but for the beginner they are challenging. For skiers there is all the gear to negotiate upon boarding the lift and that’s after you’ve struggled in the snow to reach it. But once you’ve mastered how to negotiate different kinds of chair lifts (for example, basket lifts don’t slow down when you board or exit) you will have little trouble using them. For snowboarders it is quite a different matter. Whist snowboarders have the advantage of only carrying their boards, using a basket lift, which does not slow down, poses particular problems because boarders have to have one foot strapped onto their boards. More experienced boarders learn how to snowboard on one foot which solves this problem to a degree. Poma lifts are used quite often by snowboarders (they are button like seats that the snowboarder sits on, which is then dragged up the piste by a cable, but even these lifts take some practice to use competently.


Which Sport is Easiest to Master?


  • Mastering the art of skiing and snowboarding is a major factor when deciding which sport to choose. On the plus side skiing is easier to learn because you are standing in direction you will be travelling, you have a degree of control because you have two legs and the basic techniques can be broken down so you can get the hang of it pretty quickly. For snowboarders the picture is different because it’s just you and your two feet strapped to a board. This can be pretty daunting for a beginner. Getting up after a fall is bad enough for a newbie skier, but for a beginner snowboarder, finding themselves face down in the snow with their feet tied can be off-putting to say the least.


  • But, when it comes to mastering the art, snowboarding wins hands down. Whilst it may take some time to find your balance and your nerve, once you know the basics such as actually moving on the board and how to deal with falls, you are on your way. If you can meet the initial challenges of steering a board that is tied to your feet, you can reach an intermediate level very quickly. Skiers on the other hand, may learn the basics quickly but may take a long time to actually master the sport.


  • Leg injuries are more common in skiers, particularly knee injuries. Collisions on busy slopes are quite common too, which can result in head injuries. Snowboarders are just as prone to injuries as skiers but they are more likely to sustain injuries to their upper bodies. Injuries to wrists and collarbones are more common in snowboarders. But thrills and spills don’t always result in injuries. With proper instruction, plenty of snow, and lots of relaxation whether snowboarding or skiing, this coming season could be your best ever!


Do’s and Don’ts of the Slope


Before you hit the slopes, you might want to know a few basic things that are expected of you. Well, some are just obvious unspoken rules, but this doesn’t mean that people do not break them from time to time. Here at Madarao Ski Resort we don’t want you to look awkward and attract some giggles. So we thought we could mention a few do’s and don’ts for when you hit the slopes.


Do: do get trained by a qualified instructor. The formality and professionalism that comes with someone unfamiliar allows you to focus and take the training seriously. Also this allows both of you to not get carried away by emotions.

Don’t: don’t get trained by a spouse, a friend or someone close to you. Both of you might be worked up and end up snapping at each other or worse. So as much as it sounds so appealing, please do not get trained by somebody close.


Do’s: always wear the right skiing gear. For starters, you can hire gear such as skiing boots and boards. Also wear well-fitting and comfortable gear.  Also remember that you are skiing in the slope, so always stay warm and dry. Layer a lot of light clothes as opposed to few heavy clothes. Also wear water proof jacket and trouser.

Ski Equipment

Don’t: don’t wear ill-fitting and uncomfortable gear. Trust me; this is neither the time nor place to flaunt your Italian suit. Avoid shopping for expensive gear, or shopping online, especially if it’s your first time hitting the slopes. As a rule of thumb, it’s always advisable to first hire skiing gear, and then you can shop later when you get familiar with the skiing ropes.


Do: exercise caution always. Always wear your helmets and goggles. Also stay in your limits, giving way to other skiers.

Don’t: get carried away by your prowess too fast. You might learn the basics on the first day and get tempted to hit the moguls. Please don’t. Take it one step at a time.


Do: practice the right stance. Always keep your knees bent and your eyes trained straight ahead. This gives you better control, and enables you to absorb shocks.

Don’t:  lean ahead or lean backwards (back seating), as you could fall forward or backwards. Avoid looking down at your skis as you will end up losing focus of what’s ahead.

Taking Care of Your Ski Board

Do: tune your skiing board as often as you can. This helps keep it in top shape, and you can smoothly glide over the slopes. For more tips on waxing your board, see  .

Don’t: neglect your ski board. Always keep the board dry to avoid rust and jagged edges that slow you down and damage the board too soon.

Exercise in Advance

Do: get your body in top shape before skiing. Make sure that you exercise and are flexible. Remember skiing requires a lot of bending and fast movements. Also learn a few skiing lingo. You don’t want to be looking blank or getting mad when somebody calls you a bunny. For more skiing lingo, see  

Don’t: get lazy. Keep your body and mind prepared for skiing well before you hit the slopes. We don’t want you getting frustrated if you get strains on your first day skiing.

Where to Stay

Do: get yourself booked in a comfortable hotel, resort or chalet. You need a place where you can relax and maybe enjoy a beer or two after a long day skiing. Take into consideration how much you are willing to spend, and for what. Ski resorts are particularly good since they offer the best when it comes to skiing. You can get a qualified instructor, the right gear and the right slopes. You can check out our offerings here.

Don’t: overlook your safety and comfort when you go skiing. Also avoid booking a hotel or resort during the last minute, since you could end up spending more or settling for less than what you deserve.

Loosen Up!

Do: by all means have fun. Loads of fun. Laugh at yourself when you fall. Then pick yourself up. Make new friends, and make great memories too.

Don’t: get worked up. Be patient with yourself and avoid dampening your mood as well as that of others.

The Fabulous New Active Life Shuttle Bus


Here at active life Madarao we are crazy about skiing and offering the best when it comes to hitting the powder. We know that snow is good for your health and a great pass time for your holidays. We are dedicated to making skiing memorable for you. You can check out more on why snow is good for your health.

Our New Shuttle Bus.

We understand that after some skiing sessions at Madarao, you might feel the need to try skiing some new slopes. Worry no more. We got you. We are introducing a new complimentary shuttle to take you to Nozawa ski resort, where you can have a taste of new, different snow. What more? This is absolutely hassle-free. Take it as a gift from Active Life Madarao team, just for your love of snow.

The Active Life shuttle will be operating between Madarao and Nozawa from 25 December 2017 to 31 January 2018 on Tuesdays and Thursdays only. The shuttle will, however, run throughout the season (25 December 2017 to 31 March 2018) from Iiyama train station to Madarao and back.

For more information on the shuttle timetable and terms and conditions, you can see

Nozawa Onsen-Nagano

Located in the north of Nagano prefecture, Nozawa Onsen belongs to the Joshinetsu Park, about 50 kilometers from Nagano station.

The Nozawa Onsen has a rich skiing history, with alpine skiing having been introduced in 1930 by Hannes Schneider from Austria.  Since then, many people took an interest in skiing in the Nozawa Onsen. It also leads in skiing and snowboarding tournaments, as well as hosting biathlon competitions for the Nagano Olympics.

The village strives to maintain a traditional Japanese culture, which is ideal for international tourists.

The village also has several bars, restaurants, convenience and souvenir shops.

The Best of Nozawa

1. Nozawa Mountain

Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort is among the oldest skiing destinations in Japan, having been established over 70 years ago.  It is no doubt the largest ski resort with 297 hectares of skiing surface, and an elevation of 1650 meters, right at the base of Mount Kenashi-Yama.

Nozawa Onsen is a real skiing paradise, offering powdery, uncontaminated snow, which starts from December, extending well into May.

2. A Ski Trail for Everybody

With 36 skiing trails, Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort has something for everyone. There are 14 trails for beginners and children which are gentle and expansive. The ice quality is also superb and safe for beginners.

Intermediate and advanced skiers can also challenge themselves in more difficult trails such as the Utopia, Challenge course, Schneider, Skyline and Yamabiko trails.

The Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort can be accessed using these three routes: the Nagasaki trail, Homage trail, and Kawasaki trail.

To ensure ease of access to the trails, Nozawa offers two gondolas, and 21 ski lifts spread all over the trails, to take you back to the top of the slope.

3. Family-Friendly Services

Nozawa ski resort offers safe and free rest areas for kids, called the “Naski,” where you can leave your kids as you go skiing on the slopes.  Outside the rest area, there is a park with safe playing equipment such as sled rides and inflatable bouncers. At the second floor is a day care for children, but this has its charges and terms.

4. The Soto-Yu (Hot Spring Baths)

The hot baths in Nozawa are a must see for anybody visiting Nozawa. There are thirteen public hot baths, which are locally maintained by the community. Each bath has its own unique story or medicinal value. The baths are clean, and sanitary, and perfect for relaxing and catching up after a long day of skiing. There is no charge for using the baths, but you can leave a donation for maintenance purposes. You are required to bring your towel and personal effects.

You can also enjoy Ashy no yu, which is a hot spring for a foot bath. There are several of these in the village.

You can enjoy Onsen Tamago (eggs boiled in the hot springs) too.

5. Asa Ichi (Market)

You probably want to carry some beautiful souvenirs from Nozawa. The early morning market which usually opens on designated days is ideal for collecting Japanese vegetables, crafts, and other local items.


The next time you are in Madarao resort be sure to take advantage of our new Active Life shuttle bus to Nozawa, to enjoy more Japanese snow and culture.