1. There's more to this forum than meets the eye!

    We have a vibrant community here conversing about all sorts of non-snow topics such as music, sport, politics and technology. Simply register to reveal all our Après topics.

    NOTE: This notice may be closed.

    Dismiss Notice

Cross Country Ski Tracks List

Discussion in 'Japan' started by bluestick, Jan 5, 2021.

  1. bluestick

    bluestick One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2005
    Messages:
    886
    Likes Received:
    2,141
    Location:
    northern rivers
    In an idle moment, reliving past journeys and missing this winter I thought I would assemble a list of XC tracks in Japan I know about or have visited. Nowhere near comprehensive. I know it’s pretty esoteric but would appreciate contributions from those in the know. (Telenomore,Ramenman etc).
     
    Ramenman and telenomore like this.
  2. bluestick

    bluestick One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2005
    Messages:
    886
    Likes Received:
    2,141
    Location:
    northern rivers
    Japan xc tracks


    *not skied/visited by me. Information may be out of date.apologies for the formatting.

    1. Oteineppu *good tracks here apparently
    2. Nayoro(sun pillar park). Good tracks, 10+km, starts from comfy shelter sun pillar
    3. Wassamu *5km track near base of ski lift
    4. Kaguraoka Park 5 km of skidoo packed track. Pleasant city park.
    5. St Asahikawa Golf course * not sure about this one, drove to it but was turned away
    6. Tomisawa 10+km of good tracks
    7. Asahidake 10+km of good tracks. Ski hire at visitors centre
    8. Road 966 Shirogane/Tokachidake * see post by telenomore
    9. Biei * not sure about this one they have a race each year I think
    10.Furano Asahigaoka Park 5km of good track
    11.Rumoi Kamuiiwa Park OK tracks about 7 km. Skidoo packed.Shelter.
    12.Takino 20 km odd of great tracks. Ski hire. Food & shelter
    13.Otaru. *spotted a track at Karamatsu Park
    14.Kutchan 7 odd km of good track near the town ski tow
    15.Niseko village 2km of good track at the base
    16.Chitose Aoba park 20 odd km of good track.
    17.Tomamu * may have shot track
    18.Sapporo we had fun ‘touring’ around Moerenuma Park
    I am sure there are lots more in Hokkaido.
    Honshu
    19.Aomori Spring 2km track
    20.Hanawa (Kuzuno) 10 km ‘ish of great tracks and shelter next to ski ‘resort’
    21.Tazawako 5km odd of good tracks just downhill from resort.
    22.Just south of shisakuishi minnihati river good 10km of track with shelter
    23.Grandeco 5km of good track ( this was a while ago)
    24.Lake Hibara *apparently some XC set up north of route 2
    25.Zao Lisa World good tracks just below resort
    26.Nikko Great 10km + tracks starting at Nikko Astraea. Cool scenic light touring over the Senjogahara Plateau
    27.Hakuba Snowharp Great tracks 10 km+ built for Nagano olympics. Good shelter.
    28.Hakuba Iwatake * 2 km of track ?
    29.Nozawa 5 km track
    30.Kurohime 7km of good track. Good shelter.
     
    skifree, 2ESki, Ramenman and 2 others like this.
  3. 2ESki

    2ESki One of Us

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2017
    Messages:
    424
    Likes Received:
    251
    Pictures, or they don't exist :D
     
  4. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2009
    Messages:
    6,321
    Likes Received:
    2,763
    Location:
    上越妙高
    Some at the bottom of the page here. Don't think the Pine Valley course exists anymore.
     
  5. bluestick

    bluestick One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2005
    Messages:
    886
    Likes Received:
    2,141
    Location:
    northern rivers
    A couple I had missed in the above list:
    Minamiaizu 5 km + of good track . On route 401 about 12 -15 km before Takahata.
    Sapporo Nakajimakoen park no tracks just nice to XC ski around.

    I posted this thread as a resource for others as it’s hard to find info in English. I do understand not many Australians go to Japan for the xc track skiing and there is only minor interest but we find it fun to mix it up with the BC and resort stuff. It does mean we carry an extra pair of skis and boots. They are light though. A car helps. Lots of these were found by just keeping a keen eye out and strava heat map. May as well post a couple of photos from Mimamiaizu and Hanewa.
     
    Telemark Phat, Ramenman and skifree like this.
  6. bluestick

    bluestick One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2005
    Messages:
    886
    Likes Received:
    2,141
    Location:
    northern rivers
    Thanks for this MG I have seen that list I think you are right about Pine Valley. We went up to Togakushi but could not find any packed tracks, just tracks made by other xc skiers which is OK. Cool area, big trees.
     
    M_G likes this.
  7. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2014
    Messages:
    4,768
    Likes Received:
    6,012
    I have read "Honshu" part, but I think I didn't see Kijimadaira in the list. I think it's a serious one in that they say the longest course is 15km and serious competitions are held there. The location is good too in that it's relatively close to Madarao, Nozawa Onsen, Ryuo, Shiga Kogen, Myoko, etc. The videos below are Kijimadaira XC courses.


    In spring.



    Kijimadaira XC courses in green season.


     
    bluestick likes this.
  8. bluestick

    bluestick One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2005
    Messages:
    886
    Likes Received:
    2,141
    Location:
    northern rivers
    Missed another one:
    Hokkaido Memuro ski area good tracks 5 + km around the back of the lifts.

    Also this website has a few listed:
    http://backcountry.sports.coocan.jp/xcskijyou.html

    that’ll do for now.Aomori Spring (formerly Naqua Shirakami) track:
     
    skifree likes this.
  9. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2014
    Messages:
    4,768
    Likes Received:
    6,012
    A bit about XC skiing in general.

    Hokkaido = XC skiing heaven.

    Honshu also has good places for XC. Actually, they used to have a lot more, but maybe, having official XC courses is not profitable much for most ski resorts in that the population of XC skiers is small and they don't need to buy lift tickets. So, now, a lot of them have closed official XC courses. For example, Alts Bandai used to have official XC courses by use of the golf courses, but they don't have now.


    Among unofficial XC skiing courses, I like the one in a forest by Lake Inawashiro. It's beautiful. In the image below, you can see 湖畔の森. It's a forest by Lake Inawashiro and it's popualar hiking course in green season and popular XC course in winter.

    [​IMG]

    This is near the course in sunset time. If I were you, I would enjoy XC skiing there in sunrise time or sunset time and ski at ski resorts nearby such as Alts Bandai, Inawashiro, Nekoma, Grandeco and Minowa. This is a video how it can look like in sunset time.


    Randome pictures in and around the unofficial XC course.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    #9 Ramenman, Jan 12, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2021 at 4:21 AM
    skifree and bluestick like this.
  10. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2014
    Messages:
    4,768
    Likes Received:
    6,012
    Grandeco is on Urabandai Highland. Among "official" XC skiing tracks on Urabandai Highland, I think the tracks that the hotel "Kyukamura Urabandai" has are the most common. The hotel focus on snow shoe tours and their official XC skiing tracks. Here is the video of the hotel. They have some XC tracks and the longest one is 3 or 4km. They have the official XC tracks in the forest around the hotel, but as you can see in the video, you can enjoy XC skiing anywhere in the forest, if not inside the tracks they make. Edit: Even if you don't stay at the hotel, you can use their XC tracks (600 Yen)


    This is one of the tracks (I couldn't find a better video on Youtube unfortunately)




    And this is the one that Grandeco have(or had). I still sometimes see XC skiers there, but I can't see the course in Grandeco's website now, so it might not be an official course now and it means the snow might not be packed down for XC skiing. I'm not a XC skier, so I don't know (I sometimes enjoy XC skiing, though).



    Generally speaking, if you don't mind the snow is not packed down for XC skiing, almost anywhere on Urabandai Highland can be XC skiing field, even on the frozen lakes. In mid winter, even snow mobiles are running on the frozen Lake Hibara and I sometimes see XC skiers on the frozen lake. This is how Lake Hibara looks in winter. It's a popular snowmobile tour site and winter fishing site (they drill the the frozen lake to make holes for fishing). Especially the sunrise time is beautiful there. XC skiing on the lake in sunrise time - Onsen & breakfast at a hotel nearby - skiing at ski resorts nearby (or BC skiing) might be good!.



    There are some more on the highland, but time to go to bed:p (1:40 am here)

    Edit: They say the longest course of Kyukamura Urabandai is 5km and you can rent XC skiing gears at the hotel.

    Kyukamura Urabandai : https://www.qkamura.or.jp/en/bandai/access/
     
    #10 Ramenman, Jan 15, 2021 at 3:41 AM
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2021 at 5:16 PM
    skifree, bluestick and Hyst like this.
  11. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2014
    Messages:
    4,768
    Likes Received:
    6,012
    Among the XC tracks in my main ski region, I think the Zao Liza World ones are the most serious. 3 of their XC tracks have the certificates of FIS, so, they can host some serious international competitions under the name of FIS as well. The image below is the 5km one. It has some good climbs too.
    [​IMG]

    This is the XC track.



    Last summer, inside the XC track site , Bodaira Recovery Onsen "Kogen-Yu" opened there. I like it. You can rest there after XC skiing. The XC tracks and the Onsen are in a National Training Center site. So, the Onsen is tagerting atheletes too. The altitude of the highalnd is 1000m or higher, so it's always nicely covered with snow in winter, which makes the site look beautiful.



    This is around the XC tracks and the new Onsen.


    [​IMG]

    Zao Liza World is one of our backcountry bases too. This was filmed very near the top lift station of Zao Liza World ski resort. Skiing in and around Liza World, hiking to the Juhyo (Ice Monster) field, XC skiing in the XC tracks and resting in the new Onsen facility might be good to stay there for a few days:).




    Between Urabandai (Aizu region, Fukushima) and Zao (Yamagata), there is Yonezawa city. Yonezawa city has Tengendai Kogen ski resort, Shirabu Onsen, etc. Yonezawa city also has XC tracks. Two of them (3km and 5km) have SAJ's certificates. SAJ = Ski Association of Japan. So, they are also serious XC tracks. This is the XC course. It was filmed in a warm day of the last week of March, so the boy is wearing a short sleeve shirt in the video (and the altitude is low)



    This is the site (米沢田沢クロスカントリー競技場 = Yonezawa Tazawa XC course).
    https://www.google.co.jp/maps/@37.8950208,140.0265509,1206m/data=!3m1!1e3
     
    Hyst and skifree like this.
  12. bluestick

    bluestick One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2005
    Messages:
    886
    Likes Received:
    2,141
    Location:
    northern rivers
    Hey Ramenman you really go above and beyond. Thanks for adding the info on what is an area of probably limited interest to many. We’ve stayed at Woody very comfortable, it was 5 plus years ago though. Cheers.
     
    Hyst, Ramenman and skifree like this.
  13. skifree

    skifree A disciple of the blessed avi giraffe Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 1998
    Messages:
    29,027
    Likes Received:
    25,224
    Location:
    Middle Oz
    XC Japan style just needs more promotion, or not. ;)
     
  14. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2014
    Messages:
    4,768
    Likes Received:
    6,012
    I rather a bit worry if I'm "contaminating" this beautiful thread you made by "over-posting":p
     
  15. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2014
    Messages:
    4,768
    Likes Received:
    6,012
    Basically, if it snows enough there, there are XC tracks. So, there are actually numerous ones in Japan. I can't introduce all (if you give me a few years, I might be able to:p). So, if you are going to ski at ABC ski resort or visiting DEF city, and you wonder if there are XC tracks near ABC ski resort or in DEF city, ask me, I'll try to find some and show them here.
     
  16. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2014
    Messages:
    4,768
    Likes Received:
    6,012
    Another issue is, I'm not a XC skier, so I'm not sure when the specific XC tracks are available. I mean, I wrote about Kyukamura Urabadai Hotel's XC tracks. They earn from the XC tracks, so they are always open as long as there is enough snow there (and the snow is packed down every weekend and on holidays). On the other hand, quite many XC tracks are for free. It might sound good, but nobody earns from the XC tracks means the information on when the XC tracks are open, etc is very limited, which makes me hesitate to mention some XC tracks I know. For example, around this cherry blossom road between Alts Bandai, Inawashiro ski resort and Lake Inawashiro, there are two XC tracks (3km and 5km) which have SAJ certificates (SAJ = Ski Association of Japan) and some serious competitions are held there every season. However, I don't know when they are available / open.



    This is the link of the XC tracks. Length = 5km, Max Altitude = 698m, Mini Altitude = 612m, Height Difference = 86m, Total Climb = 182m.
    http://www.f-ctr.com/zenchuski2010/pdf/ccg.pdf


    This is where the tracks are : https://www.google.com/maps/place/磐梯山牧場/@37.5636753,140.054986,6844m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x5f8aaf3efacfadf5:0xb82040468245a93a!8m2!3d37.5687761!4d140.0707406
     
    bluestick and skifree like this.
  17. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2014
    Messages:
    4,768
    Likes Received:
    6,012
    I'm not a XC skier but sometimes enjoy XC skiing too. Among the XC tracks in Hokkaido I've been to, I like Otaki XC tracks. They have three tracks of 3.5km, 5km and 8km and all have SAJ's certificates (and serious competitions are held there). It's relatively close to Tomakomai Port. Between Ibaraki Pref and Tomakomai Port, there is a ferry service and I sometimes go to Hokkaido by use of the ferry, then I visited the XC track site. This short video is very well made to understand what the XC tracks are like. They have a XC ski station and you can hire XC ski gears "for free!" there. They are open between third Sunday of Dec and March 31st (usually).




    This is where it is.
    https://www.google.com/maps?ll=42.6...gl=JP&mapclient=embed&cid=5068333911515124840


    Longer promotion video.
     
    bluestick and skifree like this.
  18. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2014
    Messages:
    4,768
    Likes Received:
    6,012
    Edit: Oops, sorry, it's the one @bluestick -san mentioned already in the list!

    Near Morioka city and Shizukuishi ski resort, there is a XC ski park that Shizukuishi village own and operate. There are four tracks of 2km, 3km, 4km and 5km. It's an official XC ski park in winter (MTB, etc in green season), so I assume snow is often packed down for XC skiing. This is the building of the XC ski park of Shizukuishi village.
    [​IMG]

    The tracks
    [​IMG]


    This is the details about the 5km track. Total climb is 245m. The link : https://www.zai-shizuku-taikyo.or.jp/shisetsu/keppare/course.html
    [​IMG]


    This is where the XC ski park is : https://www.google.com/maps/place/ケッパレランド/@39.624105,140.9271136,14z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x5f857f9196c4a80b:0x2585a261b8b4799f!8m2!3d39.6245523!4d140.945179?hl=en
     
    bluestick and skifree like this.
  19. bluestick

    bluestick One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2005
    Messages:
    886
    Likes Received:
    2,141
    Location:
    northern rivers
    yep it’s good with regular grooming and a comfy shelter.
     
    Ramenman likes this.
  20. Ramenman

    Ramenman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2014
    Messages:
    4,768
    Likes Received:
    6,012
    Oowani Onsen ski resort in Aomori has a 5km of track and it has a SAJ's certificate and serious competitions are held there. This is the track.
    http://www.town.owani.lg.jp/index.cfm/8,5189,c,html/5189/closs-5km.pdf

    The left half of Oowani Onsen ski resort closed permanently unfortunately, so, not sure it's worth a visit, though. The altitude was about 710m - 110m, so the vertical drop was relatively big (it's northernmost prefecture of Honshu, so low altitude but it can nicely snow). This is the old trail map and the left half has got closed unfortunately.
    [​IMG]

    This is a video of Oowani Onsen ski resort. The left half is closed, but with a very short hike, you can enjoy "backcountry" skiing there.