Hiraniwa Kogen

Hiraniwa Kogen

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Hiraniwa Kogen

Hiraniwa Kogen is a small mellow ski area in the Iwate Prefecture, not far from the east coast, so it’s a long way from the west coast where the prevailing weather and precipitation hits Tohoku. Whilst the snow quality is usually great, it doesn’t get the same snow volumes as some of the big name Iwate ski resorts.

Pros and Cons of Hiraniwa Kogen Ski Resort

  • The ski area is good for beginners.
  • Beginners have plenty of room to manoeuvre on the slopes because it’s usually very uncrowded.
  • Lift passes are cheap, especially on weekdays, although you don’t get a lot for your yen.
  • Hiraniwa Kogen usually has a half pipe set up near the base.
  • Hiraniwa Kogen Ski Resort doesn’t get a lot of snow compared to the Japow ski resorts, which often precludes off-piste skiing.
  • It’s a small ski area that doesn’t have a lot on offer for more accomplished skiers and snowboarders.
  • There aren’t other ski areas close by that you could easily combine with Hiraniwa Kogen on a road trip.

Hiraniwa Kogen Ski and Snowboard Terrain

Hiraniwa is a small ski area with just 3 double chair lifts and 10 courses that cover 210 metres of vertical (700 to 910m).

There are beginner runs off all 3 chair lifts, plus a couple of really short intermediate runs and “advanced” runs which should really be rated as “intermediate”.

Near the top it’s lightly vegetated and there are opportunities for some off-piste skiing amongst the white birch trees if there is enough snow cover.

Hiraniwa Snow

The snow quality is usually very good and the northeast aspect of the ski field helps to maintain the snow, and whilst the top elevation is a little lower than some of the higher profile Iwate ski resorts, the base elevation is higher.

Hiraniwa doesn’t get massive amounts of snow and on average, it usually only reaches a maximum base of 60cm during winter.

Hiraniwa Kogen doesn’t enjoy a long season and it’s often only open from late December to mid March. 

Where is Hiraniwa Kogen Iwate?

Not far from the east coast of Honshu, Hiraniwa Kogen is officially located in Kuji City although the ski area is a 40 minute drive southwest of the city (35km).

Hiraniwa Kogen is located in the north-eastern part of the Iwate Prefecture. It is 77km northeast of the city of Morioka and 50km east of the Okunakayama Ski Area.


There is a small amount of accommodation at the base of Hiraniwa Kogen, with hotel rooms and cottages, and meals plans are available with Japanese set meals.


The ski resort has a few day lodges that cover the basics, with one lodge sitting at the base of the third lift and the other at the bottom of the slopes. The base area also has the Shirakaba no yu onsen building.
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