Minamiuonuma City and neighbouring Yuzawa are home to over 20 individual ski areas, including some of the most well-known in Japan. Maruyama was among the earliest created in the Niigata area, created and first opened in 1949 by Allied military personnel during the Occupation (1945-1952) for their own recreation.
With easy and quick access by train and road, and offering a wide choice of slopes in a relatively compact area, this region is one of Japan’s most popular ski destinations.
The Niigata region usually enjoys heavy and consistent snowfall each winter. The region is also known for onsen hot springs. Yuzawa was the inspiration for the famous Nobel prize-winning novel Yukiguni (Snow Country).