Madarao

5 Days in Madarao

05Dec

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!

 

Note:

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

08Nov

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.

There’s No Time like Now Time – Book Your Next 2017/18 Ski Season Today!

07Apr

ski japan

If you’re thinking about potentially booking your Ski season for either 2017 or 18 (or both) and you’re dragging your feet a little bit, then here’s a little bit of advice for you: get your rear in gear! There really is no time like the present and as the tide changes like the wind, so too does the cost of flights and late bookings!

If you leave it too late, the prices will rise as gaps are filled and desirability increases. In which case you’ll either not be able to afford it, or you’ll have procrastinated so much that you’ll lose interest all together and promise yourself that you’ll “definitely get round to doing it eventually”.

Learn from the Mountains and be bold and stand firm. Here at Active Life Madarao we are all about grabbing life by the horns and making the most of every given opportunity. Whether you’re an experienced Skier or Snowboarder or you’re an absolute new-comer to the slopes looking to give it a try; get yourself booked in and give yourself something to look forward to!

Not only are the weather projections for 2017 and 2018 going to make the skiing conditions on Madarao Kogen Ski Resort (Nagano Prefecture, Japan), absolutely incredible; but having something for you to look forward to, is actually beneficial for your overall happiness mental well-being as well.

The Psychology behind Early Bookings and how they benefit your mental well-being

Happy Skiing coupel skiing

Want to know how having something to look forward to can make you happier?

There are four key stages for enjoying an event in your life:

– Anticipation – This is one of the key stages of a holiday, or an event in your life. By booking something in advance you not only afford yourself a sense of achievement, but also calm. Instead of having the need to eventually arrange your Ski season looming over you, you will have one less thing to worry about and one more, incredibly exciting event to look forward to.

– Savouring – You’ve finally arrived. It’s been months and months of anticipation and finally you have reached the top of the slope with the fresh mountain air in your lungs and an endless bed of soft powder before you waiting to be carved up. Savour these moments, as they are the memories that you will cherish forever – that is what makes it all worthwhile!

– Expression & Reflection – Sharing your passion and pleasure with others is the key to heightening an already incredible experience, and in the same breath having something to look back on makes it all the more special and memorable for you. While you’re there tearing up the mountain, document it on social media and share your excitement with other enthusiasts.

There are where you can kick back and mix with other like-minded people, whilst cutting up your GoPro footage and putting together some truly stunning video memories for you and yours to cherish and adore.

 

So what are you waiting for? Time is ticking, the snow is setting and the spaces are beginning to fill. Your life will pass you by faster than you can say: “I’ll get round to it”, if you don’t throw your procrastination out of the window and do what you want to do today. Be active.

Skiing is Always Better with a Beer Waiting for you at the Bottom

10Mar

If the Perfect Powder Isn’t Enough to Attract You This Season; Madarao Kogen’s Delicious, Local Craft Beer Certainly Will!

 

After a full day of skiing in the gorgeous Madarao Kogen, with the crisp Mountain air in your lungs, the fresh and fluffy powder beneath your feet and 360 degrees of breath-taking views as far as the eye can see; what better a way to wrap it all up than gulping down some refreshing craft beers?

If you can think of one then do let me know, because as far as I’m concerned; when you’re 1382 meters up; only the warming fuzzy-buzz of an expertly brewed pint could possibly raise you that little bit higher toward the heavens!

At the Active Life Madarao Resort you will discover arguably one of the finest beer bars on the entire Mountain: Tap That – It is here that you will be able to actualise this inviting imagery and sample some truly magnificent beer in what is one of the hottest skiing locations!

Be Active Bar

Why Active Life Madarao Ski Resort is the Place to be this Season

Life is all about the adventure!  At Active Life in Madarao, their priority is inspiring others to live life to the very fullest and having the freedom to enjoy everything that this beautiful world has to offer – which is why they’re such avid supporters and advocates of the local Japanese Breweries of course!Beactive Taps

After all, what’s a holiday without a few good beers right? Active Life Madarao prides itself on providing its valued guests with the opportunity to experience some of the finest skiing conditions in the world. They boast traditional Japanese Cuisine, mouth-watering locally brewed craft beers and an infinitely comfortable and relaxing environment in which you can recover from it all.

So pound those slopes and carve your name deep into the powder. Work up an appetite after a hard day of smashing one of the most exciting and fulfilling sports imaginable and then reward yourself with a soothingly smooth pint.

In Tap That you can comfortably kick back with your fellow travellers and locals like, cutting up those awesome Go-Pro clips and sharing your experiences with your new-found friends.

Take Skiing to a Whole New Level

When most people think about skiing, the first place that they picture in their heads will likely be the French Alps. Why not experience something a little different and veer off the beaten track? Life tastes much so much better when you broaden your palate and indulge in foreign flavours.

Madarao in Japan is perhaps one of the most underrated locations, when in actuality it not only offers some marvellous and unique skiing conditions; but is also fused with a delightfully refreshing breath of Japanese Culture.

Elevate your skiing to an entirely new level this season and experience Madarao Kogen. It doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned professional, an aspiring amateur or a complete newbie; Madarao certainly has something to offer absolutely everyone.

Ski until you drop. Then roll on down to Tap That and allow your body time to recover with the gentle aid of a refreshing beer…then get out there the next day and do it all over again! Trust me…the fresh mountain air will cure the hangover in no time!

Powder Slopes Japan

Grab Your Gear and Head to Japan’s Madarao Kogen This Season!

03Mar

Skiing is much more than just a hobby, but a way of life. It’s certainly not the kind of sport that you can simply pick up now and again when you fancy it. It’s in your blood. Once you get a taste of the crisp mountain air and the soft, powdery snow, there’s no turning back!

If you’re a seasoned professional, an aspiring amateur who loves a good challenge or even a fresh newbie; Madarao Kogen is the hottest spot to check out this season – it has something to offer absolutely everyone!

So Why Choose Madarao Kogen Ski Resort For Your Next Adventure?

Kogen is the Japanese word for “Heights”, or “Plateau”, and Madarao certainly does tower above the rest! Here’s why:

In Madarao, you will find that 60% of the courses are ungroomed, so you’ll definitely be able to tear up some delightfully fluffy and deep powder when you ski. There are many who prefer not to ski on powder as there certainly is a knack to it, though if you’re up to the challenge and keen to truly master the art of skiing then Madaroa will present you with the perfect opportunity to do so (that, and there is rarely a huge amount of competition on these particular slopes)

That being said, Madarao does have a lot to offer, particularly if you’re new to skiing and would rather play it safe and stick to the groomed courses. There is even a Kid’s park, a Tree Run Course, a Free Ride Park and some Wave Courses, so you can rest assured that there is certainly no shortage of things to see and do.

Madarao Slopes

The mountain itself stands 1382 meter tall, boasting a whopping 30 separate courses. Don’t let that put you off though, as getting around is easy too, with 15 lifts to take you from A through to Z.

Madarao is incredibly popular amongst the Japanese nationals, so not only can you guarantee that it’s a great spot, but it also offers a unique experience as opposed to its neighbouring Ski Resorts which are swamped with Westerners. The food is incredible and the craft beers are insane! Immerse yourself in the beautiful Japanese culture and enjoy one of the most incredible skiing adventures that you could possibly imagine.

Where is Madarao Kogen?

Madarao Kogen is located 38km northeast of the city of Nagano in the north eastern part of the Nagano Prefecture, close to the Niigata Prefecture, laid between Myoko Kogen and Nozawa Onsen.  Madarao is situated 11km west of the town of Iiyama.  Everybody is raving about this awesome spot due to its natural aesthetic beauty and perfect skiing conditions.

There are a number of options for accommodation if you’re keen to explore this skiing hotspot and find out what all of the fuss is about.

Check out Active Life Ski Resort if you’re an avid outdoors person with a hunger for the good life! Don’t miss out on a new and exciting experience that you will surely remember for the rest of your days. Book your flights, grab your ski’s and hit the powder hard!