Madarao, Japan

Madarao is the little-known, hidden secret of Nagano.  As more and more Westerners discover the joys of surrounding areas, this is your chance to escape the crowds and take advantage of the awesome powder or “Madapow” that Madarao has to offer.

Located near to Myoko Kogen and Nozawa Onsen, the elevation of Madarao is lower than its neighbours, but the area offers a great variety with a reputation for ungroomed and off-piste powder and great tree skiing combined with some good backcountry terrain.  

Look for the Powderwave I & II courses or choose to Burn the Trees – another Madarao coined phrase, plus you can also grab a combined lift pass to include the Tangram Ski Circus to increase your access to 45 trails. Madarao Mountain Resort caters to all abilities from free snowboarding lessons for beginners to the Crystal Bowl – the steepest slope at 36 degrees.

Madarao is essentially a village, so not the place for you if you are looking for nightlife, and there are not as many dining options as in Hakuba or Nozawa Onsen but you can certainly find great food, music and a chance to unwind. You can also choose to catch the bus to the nearby town of Iiyama for a much wider variety of dining choices.

World Snowfaris recommend adding 5 nights in Madarao to a 7 night trip in the main Nagano Ski Resorts of Hakuba and Nozawa Onsen.

Trail Map: