Everywhere in Katashina Kogen you will be able to spot the cute little rabbit cartoon named ‘Miffy’ – on the toilet doors, sign posts or as snow sculpture… Originally this character was invented by the dutch artist Dick Bruna in 1955 as ‘Nijntje’ (short for konijntje = rabbit).
The small rabbit became increasingly popular in Japan and they gave it the name ‘Miffy’ (probably because they could not deal with the ‘lange ij’). Japan produces a variety of Miffy merchandise and they even have an entire ski resort dedicated to this bunny.
Miffy’s ski slopes are the only ones in the Kanto region that are exclusively for skiers – no snowboards allowed. As a result, Katashina Kogen is considered to be a safer ski park. On top of that because there are no snowboards gliding over the pistes, I had the feeling that the snow was softer. Therefore, by creating a child-friendly and inviting atmosphere it is popular among beginners and families with children.
If you want your children to learn skiing in Katashina, the Miffy Ski School probably offers the best lessons. The enthusiastic instructors have a lot of experience and the lessons include various fun facilities that are appealing to different age groups (4+ years). Lessons for half a day (2 hours) cost ¥3,000 and a full day (4 hours) is ¥5,500.
If you want to go skiing yourself but have a toddler (2-4 years), they can safely play at the Miffy Ski School day care while you hit the slopes.
Furthermore, the ski school does not only have lessons for children but also for adults (2 hours: ¥3,000 and 4 hours: ¥5,000). Yet if you advanced and are keen to improve your racing skills you can take classes from the previous Olympic skier Tomii Takeshii.
At the ski resort itself you can get a complete rental set of skis, poles, boots, jacket and trousers for ¥6,000 or just a simple ski set (skis, poles & boots) costs ¥2,300.
In comparisson to Marunuma Kogen, Katashina Kogen brings you back to the basic roots of the skiing experience. It is a smaller resort with 6 ski lifts that carry you through the silent winter wonderland (without any music blasting from big speakers). The lifts and pistes higher up are quite empty so you are free to enjoy the simplicity of this winter sport. However, the pistes are not too demanding, the steepest slope has a maximum of 25°. Hence, it is a great place for beginners or as a relaxing and not too challenging ski trip.
Fees for Ski Passes (given in Japanese Yen [¥])
1 Day Ski Pass Weekend 4,500 3,900 3,200 2,300
Weekday 3,200 2,700 2,200 1,600
Morning or Afternoon Ski Pass (~6hrs) Weekend 4,000 3,400 2,800 2,000
Weekday 2,800 2,400 2,000 1,400
During the holiday period (29.12 – 02.01) weekend prices are applied
Currently (only on weekdays) there is a special deal including a 1 day ski pass, a hot meal (worth ¥1,000) and a drink for just ¥2,600. → That is somehow cheaper than getting a normal day ski pass!
There are several restaurants selling curries and ramen. We tested the katzu-curry at Puchi house gen – a small, very friendly and cosy hut at the bottom of the ski slopes. This house is also a hostel, overall there are 39 guest houses that situated close to Katashina Kogen. Or better yet, you can rent a lodge and stay right in the middle of the ski park!
During the holiday season (29 Dec – 02 Jan) Katashina Kogen charges a parking fee. However, on their flyer they have a coupon for free parking – you can find these at Katashinaya, Ryokobue or ask at your accommodation.
Katashina Kogen is open from 8:00 – 16:30 from December 22nd until April.
‘Gentle to you Heart’
Discover and Explore for yourself – Katashina FUNtashina!
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