gala yuzawa ski resort

Kid-Friendly Skiing Near Tokyo at Gala Yuzawa Ski Resort

The end of March is a great time to visit Tokyo.


Trees in bloom right outside our apartment in Tokyo

Firstly, because it’s right around the time that the cherry blossom trees are in peak bloom and secondly, because there’s still snow on the mountains for one to go skiing with the family.

My kids are budding skiing enthusiasts – we try and go to Whistler every chance we get to go skiing, and get away from the Hawaiian heat.

One random morning in Tokyo we decided to see if there were any ski resorts nearby. We were told that GALA Yuzawa Resort in Niigata was a short 2 1/2 hour bullet ride away from Tokyo city, and was a great place for kids to learn and take ski lessons.

So, it was only natural that we jumped at the chance to plan a day trip and go skiing in Japan!


gala yuzawa ski resort

We left our airbnb around 8am from Shinjuku Station and arrived at the Gala Yuzawa Station at 10:30am. We were surprised to see that the train station was at the base of the resort – which is GREAT when traveling with children. We literally stepped off the train, purchased our lift tickets, booked our kids ski lessons (which you have to do before 2pm), rented our full gear and were off!


gala yuzawa ski resort

The GALA Yuzawa Ski Resort is great for children. There is a large snow play area and safety nets nearby. The ski lessons for children were in English and they had both beginner and advanced levels starting as young as age 4. We were able to see the kids taking their lessons from the top of the gondolas.

gala yuzawa ski resort

gala yuzawa ski resort
funny kids 🙂

After 2 hours of skiing, we met the Lou Lou and Jaf back at the lodge and had bowls of ramen for lunch, followed by dessert. There were a number of different eateries so finding food was no problem…it was just picking something to eat! ?

gala yuzawa ski resort
What do we want to eat?!
Gala Yuzawa Ski Resort
Had to take a picture with Spongebob!

The kids decided to head back to the slopes with their dad and I headed back down to the spa area to relax in the onsen. It was a perfect way to spend a day with my family.

We left the resort around 5pm and slept most of the way back to Tokyo.


  • Make sure you check the weather report before you go.
  • Purchase a Japan Rail Pass (before you go to Japan) as you get unlimited travel on the JR trains (including the Shinkansen) which can get expensive.
  • Children’s Ski Day is every 3rd Sunday from December through April. Lift tickets are free of charge for all children under the age of 12. Preschool children and younger are free.

gala yuzawa ski resort

Interested in more of family travel in Japan? Check out the rest of our kid-friendly Japan series!

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