“Madapow” in Madarao and Tangram Ski Resortsツイート
The Madarao and Tangram ski resorts sit between Iiyama City and Shinano-machi in Northern Nagano prefecture on opposite faces of Mt. Madarao. Medium-sized with well-rounded courses, both resorts offer something for all levels of skiers and snowboarders. Smooth pistes, moguls, and terrain parks are all available, but these resorts’ specialties are trees and powder, often referred to locally as “Madapow.”
Mt. Madarao’s proximity to the Sea of Japan, which you can see from the summit on a clear day, blesses it with plentiful powder snow which is left ungroomed on over half of its courses. A number of tree runs are open throughout both resorts, and the overall geography of the area prevents anyone from getting helplessly lost in the side country. Courses such as Crystal Bowl in Madarao and Anzu in Tangram are quite wide, making it easy to find powder even into late morning and early afternoon. Both resorts have also introduced entry level tree runs for intermediate level skiers/boarders and families.
Park rats can enjoy beginner to intermediate level jibs and kickers here as well, with ride-on and jump-on rails and boxes, and jumps from 3 to 8 meters in length. The sidewall of the park has also been pruned into a gentle (but powdery) quarter pipe. Those looking for more extreme or natural features may be interested in the Ninja course, which begins with a sizeable drop off of a log into the valley below.
For lunch, there are plenty of restaurants on the Madarao side to try, and Tangram offers delicious Japanese standards at their Hotel cafeteria. At Madarao, my personal recommendation is the Big Burger from Restaurant Tirol (1,400 yen). In Tangram, try the Tarekatsu-don (1,100 yen). If you would like a view, grab a window seat at Restaurant Heidi to watch as people wipe out in the park.
If you’d like to take a break from skiing, you can also try snowshoeing, snow rafting or snowmobiling while you’re here. Snowmobiling runs from 2,000 to 6,000 yen depending on the course. Snow rafting is 500 yen. Kids can enjoy sledding in the kid’s park area for 500 yen.
Madarao and Tangram have something for everyone, which is why you can find me there almost every weekend. The range of terrain and tree courses can keep you entertained for days and the mountain pass is a great value. With increasing English language service, good public transportation, and activities for kids and non-riders too, this is a highly recommended area for any ski trip. Hope to see you there!
The closest station to Mt. Madarao is Iiyama Station, and from there you can reach Madarao and Tangram ski resorts by bus or car. See here for the bus timetable.
Madarao 1 Day ticket: 4,500 yen
Tangram 1 Day ticket: 4,200 yen
1 Day Mountain Pass: 5,000 yen
Originally from Maryland, USA, I’ve been living and working in Nagano since 2012. After teaching English for a few years I moved onto the Nagano Prefecture Tourism department to help introduce more of Nagano to the world. I love the mountains here and enjoy skiing, hiking, and bouldering in my free time. There’s nothing quite like a day in the mountains followed by a relaxing dip in the hot spring with friends! （アメリカのメリーランド出身で、２０１２年長野県に引っ越しました。数年英語の先生として働いたけど、去年から長野県庁観光部に入って、より多くの人々に長野の良さを知って頂けるように努めています。長野県の山々が大好きで、暇な時はスキー、ボルダリング、登山などをやっています。山で遊んだ後の、友達と入る温泉はまた格別です。） 【長野県在住/20代/男】