Ski Day Trip To Ciao Ontake Ski Resort - February 2018

Introduction: The last rip was so nice so I decided to take this deal again. When I walked into a JR Tours store on February 2nd, the tickets were available so I just paid the money.

Going to Ski Resort

I woke up at 5:00am, stretched my body, the room temperature was above 10C so it was much easier to move around than the last couple of days. I ate my breakfast, finished packing and left apartment at 6:30am. For today, I stuffed two bottles of Aquarius, and one bottle of water but later I will learn I should have put two instead of one. Walked to the station to catch a train.

Local Train: Kachigawa (6:52am) - Tajimi (7:13am)

After buying a round trip tickets to Tajimi, I waited for the train at the platform under calm morning. It was sunny so I was hoping to enjoy a nice day at ski place. Although there is a chance that it is going to be windy due to how the high pressure and low pressure systems are positioned in typical winter time. The train came on time and I hopped on the first car. There were a few people on board and they did not look like they are going to work, or ski. It was a smooth ride to Tajimi.

Local train to Nakatsugawa

Shinano 1: Tajimi (7:23am) - Kiso-Fukushima (8:29am)

After getting off at Tajimi, the waiting for train this time is not so bad compare to the last time which was frigid cold. The train arrived on time and left with many people getting in. The train is filled more people than the last time to the level which is almost full. I was looking outside from a left side window. It was cloudy and I could not see far thus not being able to enjoy the sceneries. As the train arrives at Nakatsugawa, the outside begin to be snowy. I guess it is going to be a snowy day. The train kept going under snow and instead of looking outside, I was reading a book. The train stopped at Agematsu, and as the train nears Kiso-Fukushima, I had to use restroom just as the train arrives to the platform of Kiso-Fukushima. I got off from the train by following many other people. At least it is partly sunny sky here and makes my feel better.

Getting on Shinano 1

7:50am snowing at Nakatsugawa


Shuttle Bus: Kiso-Fukushima (8:40am) - Ciao Ontake Ski Resort (10:00am)

Like the last time, there is a shuttle bus waiting for us. I got on and the bus which soon left the station. It was following a couple other cars on Kiso Highway. The surrounding was snow-covered but this time also the road itself. Driver had no issue but very careful when driving on downhill and tight corners. The bus moved smoothly under sunny weather but soon it becomes cloudy. When the bus turns from Kiso Highway to a local road, we are almost there. The bus arrived at the ski resort around 9:50am under snowy condition.

8:32am, waiting tor departure

8:40am. snow covered.

9:00am, winter wonderland?

Skiing at Ciao Ontake Ski Resort

It was snowing, and windy and gusty at the same time. I rent out my boots and ski set after receiving the lift ticket. I get changed into ski wear and locked up my belongings into a locker then stepped outside. So I headed to a lift to the peak without any warm up today, I think I am okay.

At the peak, I could feel the wind was strong but I did not expect it is going to get worse today. I did two rounds of easy course then moved to the intermediate.

Coin Locker for 400Yen. There are bigger ones, too.

Snowing at Ciao Ontake 10:04am

At the peak with bad visibility. 10:28am

I was enjoying it quite well but also it was getting colder so I stopped after noon and headed to the club house for lunch. The rice and curry using Hida beef was already out so I picked Keichan Set today for 1,500 Yen. It was okay but still not enough for me. After coming down to the 2nd floor, I ate my protein bar and headed out again.

Lunch Keichan Set 12:39pm

The condition in the afternoon did not improve, and actually worse instead. The air was getting colder and colder and strong wind just made me cry as I was coming down the slope so I could not wait until 4:00pm but finishing around 3:00pm. I returned my gears and get changed back to normal cloth. To kill some time, I waited at lobby until the time comes. The snow never stopped and there are people going home already. I know there is a hot spring nearby and I was just dreaming about it.

Blowing snow making the visibility pretty bad. 3:17pm

As usual, I stopped by at gift shop to buy some snacks to my friends and family members.

Coming Home

Shuttle Bus: Ciao Ontake Ski Resort (16:45) - Kiso-Fukushima (18:05)

A shuttle bus going back to Kiso-Fukushima 4:15

Following a couple of cars ahead of us. 4:35pm

Snowing at outside5:21pm

The shuttle bus was already waiting around 4:10pm, the driver was scraping off some snows off the windows. There are people already took seats, I won't blame them because of this cold weather. I get on it and soon was filled. The bus left at 4:30pm. There was a Jam Jam Tours bus which let us pass ahead. It was still snowing and the road looked terrible. I could see some cars almost losing traction.

The bus came down on prefecture road 463 to Kiso Highway (Route 361) and made a right turn toward Kiso-Fukushima. The bus driver was good about navigating and we made it back to the city limit. Turning into Nakasendo (Route 19) and soon got off to the road to the station where we arrived at 5:40pm.

After getting dropped off, I walked to a place where model D51 steam locomotive is on stattic display. The outside was cold and not a kind of day I want to stay out so I hurried back to the waiting area of the train station. While I wait for the train, I ate bread I bought yesterday for this. I also stopped at a gift shop to grab a few more items. The outside is totally dark by the time I got up from the seat to walk toward the gate.

D51 #775

As the evening nears...

Shinano 22: Kiso-Fukushima (18:30) - Tajimi (19:37)

The train came on time and I hopped on it. The inside was as warm as usual, and the train moved under dark. This time a train conductor came around and checked the tickets of passengers. I guess they are randomly doing it. The train moved under dark of the night and I can see the lights of the houses, then more signs of stores as the train nears populated area. During the time, I was studying for my bookkeeping by reading book and getting off at Tajimi on time.

Shinano 22 bound for Nagoya

Local Train to Kachigawa Tajimi (19:42) - Kachigawa (19:59)

A local train to Nagoya

The train came in 3 minutes late at 19:45, it was a rapid train so it only stopped at Kozoji, and Kasugai before coming to Kachigawa. One of the window in the car must be not secured so it was shaking as the train head to Nagoya. Getting off the train and stopped at grocery store before coming home. I ate dinner. The room temperature was 10C and it is not going to be a warm day tomorrow. Took in my laundry. I went to bed around 11:00pm.

Cost: Total: 10,720Yen

Brochure, click to open scanned PDF file

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Copyright 2018 - Kosuke Ishikawa / Unauthorized copying of contents, partial or whole, is not permitted.