Hunter Mountain, Tochigi prefecture Japan

 

Hunter Mountain is about a 30 minute drive from home in Otawara, maybe a bit more in winter or busy times..  Its the closest ski field to me and I visited there for the day with the work ski club a couple of weeks ago..
First impressions were busy, busy, busy –  but Sunday morning near the end of the season, not surprising.. Lots of families, little kids skiing and snowboarding and lots of snowboarders..
But I can imagine during the week it would be great, so I think next year I will plan a couple of Mondays off and go up for the day.  You can hire gear there, but we stopped at a rental place long before Hunter and I suspect we got a much better deal..  If you drive, there is a Toll road and parking is 1000 yen..But its pretty easy to get to, short drive so its convenient..
The naming is a little bizarre for the middle of Tochigi prefecture , its mainly New York based names. Runs called Madison, Lexington, Wall street, Broadway, FDR (??), 42nd Street and buildings called Penn station, Grand Central and the like…
I read an article saying the same people who designed Hunter Mountain in the USA designed this but I am not so certain about that, more likely it is loosely based on Hunter Mountain in USA in a Japanese sort of way ….
It has about a dozen runs, with a total of 7 lifts, including gondolas.. there’s a mogul run and apparently a pretty good snow park.  Day pass is 4500 yen.. Even though it was busy, i didn’t wait long for lifts at all, overall they managed well with so many people.  The tiny kids snowboarding and skiing were amazing and fearless.. there’s a family park area where they can hone their skills..
In addition they have snow-making so there is usually reasonable snow throughout the season and some night skiing as well.  So lots for everyone and close to home !

I had a great day, fell over a fair bit and was exhausted at the end of it all, but great fun. The food isn’t bad either, quite a few restaurants, I had a steak rice bowl.. Steak was cooked while i waited and was pretty tasty..  Mind you i was ravenous..  Despite being so busy and the queue looked huge, it was maybe a 5 minute wait..

Here are some links if you are interested  in finding out more:
Snow Japan site
Hunter Mountain

Hunter Mountain Webcam

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