Early February 2016
We had a fantastic time skiing and boarding at Zao Onsen in February this year. We had a mix of weather conditions to contend with. One truly bluebird day was ideal for heading to the top of the mountain. The snow monsters were fantastic to see and it was hard to take a bad photo! I've sent you one taken from the Gondola. There was plenty of terrain to keep us skiing from first tracks to the end of the day. Lunches were spent, usually, in the village, exploring the local family run ramen houses.
The snow quality was very good, not as deep as previous visits to Japan, but every day there was a dump and often it snowed through the day which meant fresh tracks could be found all day. The middle of the day was certainly the busiest time for tourists to catch the gondolas to the top of the mountain, to view the snow monsters. The queues are quire long at this time, but it's possible to bypass the crowds and catch 2-3 chairlifts to get access the main ski areas. It took us a good day and a bit to get our bearings around the mountain. Particularly as the visibility was poor so it was tricky navigating turn offs along runs and not ending up somewhere unexpected!! Zao Onsen offered us plenty of piste opportunities and some off piste moments which we thoroughly enjoyed.
Your recommendation of Lodge Scole for our accommodation, was a great one! The lodge is family run. The staff were all incredibly helpful and friendly and Mao ensured our stay was very comfortable. The location of the lodge is fairly good. It's about a 10 minute walk in the morning to the first gondola. I imagine if there is a really big dump then you could ski the whole way back to the lodge!
Our room was spacious and comfortable. We had a great view of the mountain and have sent you a photo of it. The food was plentiful and delicious. The lodge has it's own male and female onsens. They're small and both my partner and myself had them to ourselves each evening when we used them. They were super clean and relaxing. The free wifi in our room was a bonus.
Thank you very much Hisae for your outstanding customer service. I happily recommend Japan Snow Accommodation to our friends who ask about our trips and will continue to do so.
Many thanks and I'm sure you'll hear from us for our trip planning for next year.
Xanthe and Johnny
Late January 2015
Hisae was very easy to communicate with, very organised and kept me up to date.The whole booking process flowed very smoothly and I was really happy with the service. I would definitely use Japan Snow Accomodation again.
Family run Lodge Scole is like your home away from home.The rooms are very cosy and look out onto the mountain.I had the dinner and breakfast deal, the meals were wonderful.Mrs Ojima took great pride in her cooking and explaining what was in her delicious meals, dinner was usually at least 3 courses, if not 4. I had some beautiful meals during my stay.The lodge is about a five minute walk from the bus station.I enjoyed very much staying with Ojima family and the very accomodating staff who work there.
The lodge is located close to the Unwanodai slope.The village of Zao Onsen sprawls along the base of the ski resort.There are some wonderful outdoor hot springs .