■Inawashiro Resort Ski Area
Well-situated on the south side of Mt Bandai with a panorama of Lake Inawashiro and a long 3,800m run. Located between Inawashiro Ski Area and Alts Bandai Ski Area, it is 20 minutes from Inawashiro Bandai Kogen I.C. With a wide vista it has an open atmosphere. Go up to the top in a leap on a high-speed gondola and take time to ski down on the slopes with the view of the lake and mountains. This is the place fit for those who seek refreshment and relaxation rather than just skiing. At the base of the slope stands an urbane Inawashiro Resort Hotel. A little beneath the ski area, there is a pension village, a community of western-style resort homes. Another choice for accommodation is Japanese-style inns or Minshuku, a private house that offers lodging as a side business, in the town area of Inawashiro.
Data:Inawashiro Resort Ski Area
Wataba, Inawashiro-cho, Yama-gun, Fukushima-Ken
■Bandai Kokusai Ski Area
Located on the east slope of Mt. Bandai, it is on the way to Ura-Bandai, 15min. from Inawashiro Bandai Kogen I.C. In general, the slopes are wide and gentle except the Champion Course for the advanced. Emphasis is put on family skiing, ski lesssons for the young, and snowboard lessons. Every run is equipped with a large-sized snow-making machine, and .constantly maintained.Bandai Kokusai Hotel is at the tip of the slope and also you can choose a Japanese inn or minshuku (Japanese-style private house) in the neighborhood to suit your budget and preference
.Data:Bandai Kokusai Ski Area
■Listel Ski Fantasia
This is the place where Tae Satoya won the championship in the 1999 World Cup free style skiing. It had laid great stress on free style skiing before it became an event in the Olympic Games. Sample the ski jump for aerials and the mogul here. You will come across top-class skiers if you have luck.
It is 10 minutes from Inawashiro Bandai Kogen I.C. Hotel bus is available fromJR Inawashiro station, and the guests at Hotel Listel Inawashiro can get shuttle bus service to major ski areas such as Nekoma, Alts and Inawashiro. The service is convenient for those who come by train. Stay at Listel and enjoy skiing at different ski areas.
Data:Listel Ski Fantasia
Listel Park, Kawageta, Inawashiro-cho
■Numajiri Ski Area
Opened in 1915, Numajiri Ski Area is the oldest ski resort in Fukushima-Ken. Its history parallels that of the ski areas in Japan. The slopes stretch above Numajiri Onsen Hot Spring on the west side of Mt. Adatara. The head of the slope provides a view of Shiraitono-taki waterfalls, a white line of water hollowing out the lava bed. The runs are a mix of novice, intermediate, and expert, going down 2,500 meters. It is 30 minutes from Inawashiro Bandai Kogen I.C., and JR Inawashiro station, or 45 minutes from Fukushima-nish I.C. on Tohoku Expressway. Hot spring communities both Numajiri and Nakanosawa are just below the slopes. Bathing in a hot mineral water bath after skiing is a feature of this ski resort.
Data:Numajiri Ski Area
Numajiriyama, Sanyo, Inawashiro-cho
■Minowa Ski Area
Minowa Ski Area boasts the longest duration of business of all the ski areas on Bandai Kogen Pateau. It is open from late November through mid-April.
Located high in elevation, the slopes go up from 1,200 meters above the sea and also all the slopes are equipped with snow makers. Accordingly, it enjoys good snow. Another feature of the ski area is frost-covered trees on Mt. Minowa.Access is either from Inawashiro Bandai Kogen I.C. on Ban-etsu Expressway or Fukushima-nishi I.C. on Tohoku Expressway. It is about 40 minutes from either interchange. Route 115 on which the ski area sits is constantly snowplowed. Hotel De Premiere Minowa, a European style resort hotel, is the only accommodation in the ski area, but there are Yokomuki Onsen and Nakanosawa Onsen hot springs within a few minutesﾕ drive. Choose a lodging that suits your budget and taste.
Data:Minowa Ski Area
■Yokomuki Onsen Ski Area
Though the smallest in Inawashiro with only 2 chair lifts, the ski area has an atmosphere closest to the Japanese idea of a ski resort, a resort where you can enjoy both skiing and hot spring bathing in a mountain setting. The snow here is good due to high elevation. Relatively uncrowded, the slopes are suitable for families and novices on popular holidays when other ski areas are packed.
The ski area is about 40 minutes from either Inawashiro Bandai Kogen I.C. on Ban-etsu Expressway or Fukushima-nishi I.C. on Tohoku Expressway. There is more snow on the last 500 meter section off Route 115 on which snow is cleared.
Morino Ryotei Mt. Bandai at the base of the slope boasts its renowned Bandai Hatto, a hot spring with ample supply of water.
Data:Yokomuki Onsen Ski Area
Yokomuki Onsen, Inawashiro-cho
■Nature Ski Model Courses
(1) Half-day course
Inawasiro Goshiki-numa entrance (ski rental, adjustment, walk lesson) 3.9km Goshiki-numa Hiking course (about 90min) Lake Hibara Mt. Bandai Funka Kinenkan (Eruption Museum) Inawashiro
(2) One-day course
Inawashiro Lake Hibara (ski rental, adjustment, & walk lesson) Ski hiking on Lake Hibara to Nakase-numa Lake Hibara side (return skis) Fresh-water smelt ice-fishing on Lake Hibara Inawashiro
(3) Optional lesson on ski slope
Inawashiro Ski Area Hayama forestry road Town pasture Tenkyo-dai Park return trip
(4) Half-day course
Inawashiro People’s Lodge Okinajimaso (ski rental, adjustment, & walk lesson) Kohan-no-mori cross country ski course Momijidai view point Okinajimaso
■How to Drive in Snow Country -
Advice to the Drivers from Large Cities
Not experts at driving on a snow-covered road:
Drivers in a snow country never defy snow. They avoid accidents not because they have good driving ability but because they drive with an awareness that they cannot defeat snow. That is, they prevent the car from slipping by driving within every limit. It is not how to cope with it if the car skids, but how to drive to avoid skidding that you have to bear in mind.
Snow-covered roads are slippery:
If you know that snow-covered roads are slippery, you cannot burst off at speeds, slam on the brakes, or make a sudden turn of the steering wheel. It is not enough for you only to know that. Try to brake suddenly on a road with snow on it after confirming that there is no car both in front and behind (preferably in a large empty parking lot). You will learn with a frightening experience that the brake only stops the rotation of wheels and the steering wheel only changes the direction of them.
Don't overestimate hardware:
Four-wheel-drive cars are in fashion these days. But donﾕt rely on hardware alone on a snow-covered road. What really counts is software. Even in a snow country taxis are not 4WD. Taxi drivers can drive safely with their superior software ﾐ knowledge of how to deal with snow. You can buy 4WD cars with money, but not carefulness and experience.
Don't save money on tires:
You are wrong if you think you are safe as long as you drive a 4WD car disregarding tires. It costs much less to buy studless tires than a 4WD car. How come one who spends money on a deluxe car whose repair cost for a single bump would be a few thousand dollars saves a few hundred dollars to buy winter tires? We, snow country people, cannot understand it.
Don't stop the wheels to rotate:
Under any circumstances donﾕt stop the wheels to rotate, not to mention braking suddenly. If the wheels stop revolving, the block patterns clogg up causing the car to go out of control ﾐ the tires will srart to slide like a sleigh and you cannot either stop the car or control the way the car is going. If you are at a curve the car will surely spin.
The car is controllable as long as the wheels are in motion. On a downhill or before an intersection use the engine as a brake by putting the car into lower gear if the car is a manual transmission, and in second or low gear if the car is automatic. It is not rare that we anxiously see a car with a city license plate going down the slopes with brake lights flashing on and off constantly.
Don't put on tire chains on a slope:
It is dangerous to be lazy and not put on tire chains and try to go up a hill without them. Firstly, avoid parking the car on a slippery slope or you may be hit by another car slipping down uncontrolled. Secondly, you are likely to cause a backup to trouble other drivers. Donﾕt have the following cars stop on an upgoing hill. Once you stop on a slippery slope you can hardly start to climb the hill again. Thirdly, it is much easier to put chains on on level groud than on a slope.
If the cars on the opposite lane are on tire chains, itﾕs a sign of snow on the road ahead of you. Thatﾕs when you should put on tire chains.
Listen to local drivers:
A car may be a status symbol for city people. But for those in a snow country a car is something like shoes or boots. An older farmer in a light truck is better at getting through the snow than city folks in deluxe sports cars. Local drivers have the know-how for driving on the snow - know-how which they gained from years of experience. It is the local people who know about dangerous spots, items useful in the snow, and tricks to get out of trouble. Above all they are the ones who help you out when you are stuck in the snow. Listen to the people at a gas station, hotel or inn, or parking lot for advice and you will be safer.
100 Shirominami, Inawashiro-machi, Yama-gun, Fukushima-Ken 969-3192Phone: 0242-62-2117 Fax: 0242-62-5175c/o Inawashiro Town Office, Commerce, Industry,
and Tourism SectionInawashiro Tourism Promotion Planning Committee