Ski in Japan

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.

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Get Fit For the Ski Season

01Oct

What does December to April mean to you? For some it’s winter festivals; cuddling up in front of a log fire and long snowy walks in the countryside.  For others though, it means only one thing: skiing.

Yes, it’s time to get out the winter resort brochures and get that hotel booked! But isn’t there something else to do first? Get fit for the season ahead!

You may think you’re in good shape, but skiers and snowboarders use a different set of muscles when out on the slopes. On their own, exercise regimes that look after your cardiovascular system may not be up to the job.  Injuries can occur when snowboarding and skiing because you haven’t prepared properly, especially if your job demands you sit behind a desk all day. So whilst you’re deciding where to go this season, follow a simple exercise plan especially designed for getting the most out of those winter sports muscles.

Exercise for the Piste

Quadriceps

Let’s begin with most important muscle group for skiing.  Strength in these muscles is vital for skiers and snowboarders. These muscles do the work of keeping you in the right position and also protect your knees. Leg strengthening exercises should be at the top of your exercise plan. For people who take to the slopes for the first time, quad strain can be the first thing they experience and this can stop them from fully enjoying the sport. Simple exercises for strengthening quads are step-ups, squats and lunges.

 

arobicThighs

Both inner and outer thighs play a very important role for skiers. They are the muscles that are used to keep your skis in the correct position. We have all seen those hilarious images of first time skiers who legs are moving farther and farther away from each other as they slip and slide down the slope. Skiers use their thighs to keep their legs together as they ski. Simple exercises for strengthening this group of muscles are front lunges and squeeze balls (squeezing the ball between the legs as hard as you can). For inner thighs, side lunges, and squeeze balls can be used to good effect too.

 

Glutes and Hamstrings

These exercises are all about flexibility. When skiing and snowboarding your body needs to be able to flex, particularly when moving downhill at speed. You need to lean your body to control your direction, speed and stability. This puts tremendous strain on your glutes and hamstrings. Simple exercises for strengthening these muscles can range from simple lunges to more strenuous exercises using weights, sports equipment and discs.

 

Strengthening the Core

This is so important for skiers and snowboarders. As important as these muscles are for improving the quality of your days on the slopes, exercises to strengthen the core can be amazingly simple to do and require no gym equipment. The last thing you want when enjoying the snow is bad pain. Push-ups help strengthen the core. The plank position is also easy to achieve with results showing in a short time. Lie on your stomach in a straight position and extend your arms to the front of you, then raise your arms and legs as if you intend to take flight. Hold this position for a short time then repeat. Core exercises are incredibly powerful so don’t overdo these exercises. Start with just a few repeats and as your back gets more flexible you can turn on your side and attempt to raise yourself up on one arm. Again these power exercises can show significant results if you stick with them.

Getting fit for your winter sports adventure is a good investment of your time. There will be few days when you are laid up with aching muscles.

 

snow

 

Safety First

Any discussion about planning an exercise regime need to include safety tips.  As keen as you are to show off your prowess on the slopes always take care when exercising and follow some simple rules

  • Never exercise before doing some simple warm up exercises
  • Do exercises correctly. Go to a gym or study the correct exercises from an instructor or a good online source
  • Allow yourself to cool down between sets of exercises
  • Go at your own pace
  • Do not repeat the same exercise too many time as you could strain your muscles
  • Drink plenty of water when doing strenuous exercise
  • Don’t put your body through exercises it can’t manage
  • If you feel unwell or overly stiff do not exercise that day.

 

The slopes await you. Enjoy!

Do’s and Don’ts of the Slope

28Aug

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.

Training

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.

Gear

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.

Caution

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.

Posture

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.

First Time Skiing? Here’s what to Expect

02Jun

We’ve all fantasised about it at one time or another; the fresh mountain air caressing your face as you bound down the side of a stunning snow covered mountain. It truly is one of the most natural and exhilarating experiences you can imagine, being both addictive and fun for everyone involved.

That being said, skiing for the very first time is rather scary, but with a little persistence and willpower you’ll soon fall in love (but not before you fall over plenty)

Below you will find a guide on what you can expect when you hit the slopes for the first time.

It won’t be easy

Like most new experiences, it isn’t going to be a walk in the park, (unless you’re walking in a park for the first time) particularly if you’ve no experience with something like ice-skating or rollerblading. It will be an alien feeling, though one that you will almost certainly enjoy. And just like anything else, the more you hit the slopes, the easier the sport will become.

Take full advantage of Ski lessons

We definitely recommend that you invest in some ski lessons for your first time. You don’t have to go too crazy with it, but at least take one or two to familiarise yourself with some of the basics before you go trundling down the side of a mountain. You’ll find that even the smallest hints and tips will make the difference between a good and a great first experience!

It’s important to remember that all beginners are in the same boat as you. It can be embarrassing falling over in front of strangers, but if you just open yourself up, embrace the nature of being exposed to something unfamiliar then you will undoubtedly enjoy yourself all the more.

Where to begin

Well, the beginner’s area is probably a good place to start! I’m not sure about you, but the thought of taking to the harsh slopes of Harakiri for a first attempt makes me feel a little nauseous. A beginners area tends to have a lot of flat surfaces, with a little nursery slope to help you find your feet before spreading your wings so to speak.

You WILL lose your balance

Be realistic and don’t set yourself impossible standards. It’s feels great to excel in everything that we try, though it’s important to remember that there will always be hurdles along the way. (Or in this case; great big trees!) Again, just dust yourself off and have a laugh with it. That being said, at least endeavour to fall over less than your friends and family, that way you can turn the abuse back around on them.

Don’t allow yourself to feel intimidated

As a beginner you are going to be pretty pants at first, so try not to compare yourself with others. When you’re tumbling down a little slope and a toddler zooms past and flips you the middle finger, just remember that it’s your first time – enjoy it!

Write Your Life – Become Who You Want To Be; No More Excuses

26Apr

Skiing lessons in JapanIn this modern internet age we have a wealth of awe-inspiring things at our fingertips and that can at times, be rather discouraging; particularly when it comes to pursuing our dreams.

You’ll find that it’s easier to sit and watch someone else achieve greatness, rather than go after it yourself so you don’t even bother trying at all. Ever watched the ‘people are awesome’ channel on YouTube? It’s an inspiring watch, but it is also a sore reminder of how uneventful your life really is…but does it have to be so? You are the commander of your life and it is time for the rest of you to fall in and follow orders.

You see, creating something average is a darn-sight more impressive than doing absolutely nothing at all and even if you don’t shake the very foundations of this planet in the process of trying; I guarantee that you’ll have an incredible amount of fun either way!

That is what life is all about, is it not? – Creation, activity and achievement. We have been blessed with the capacity to endure and aspire and yet the majority of us squander this on mere day dreams, when in actuality all we need to do is say yes. Say yes, as opposed to: “I’d love to be able to Ski like that one day!” – Never mind your half-arsed, speculative wishes and set a date. If you’d ‘love to be able to Ski like that one day’, then book your Ski Trip today!


We are at our happiest when we are expressing ourselves, sharing our passions and achieving our goals. Why aren’t you pursuing your goals? What is stopping you besides your own inaction and procrastination? Is it your age? Do you think that perhaps ‘your ship has sailed?’

Don’t let your age dictate what you can and cannot do! It is never too late to pick up an old guitar and strum your way toward a life full of music and harmony. Sure you’re likely no Bob Dylan, but if the times are changing then so should you be.

People tend to look at art as being very black and white; a dodgy painting slapped on a canvass by a   drunk with one ear. Well, it runs much deeper than that. Art is creation…and you don’t need a pen or a brush to do so, all you need is a little imagination and some will power. You may not be able to write, but you can sure as hell carve your name into the snow.

Whether you see yourself dragging your fingers through the inside of a barrel wave, baking the perfect cake, building a tree-house or sculpting a statue of yourself spearing a grizzly bear; you’ll never know what it is to be happy until you at least give it a try!

Dream, dare, explore and create! Always fancied a trip to Japan? Why not go one better and tie it in with some Skiing or Snowboarding at Madarao Ski Resort?

Life is to be lived. There are so many people who would give what little they have to be able to actualise their dreams. An estimated 46% of the people on this planet who have never seen snow, and likely never will, and yet you’re just a click away. What are you waiting for?

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