Tangram Ski Resort Terrain


Tangram Ski Resort Terrain

Our Terrain Ratings

Powderhound rating = advanced/expert terrain + powder + freshies + uncrowded

Our Terrain Ratings

Powderhound rating = advanced/expert terrain + powder + freshies + uncrowded
  • Vertical (m)
  • 800 – 1,320 (520)
  • Average Snow Fall
    13  metres
  • Lifts (5)
    2 quad chairs
    3 pair lifts
  • Ski Hours
    8:30am - 4:00pm
    late Dec - late Mar
  • Terrain Summary
    Runs – 14
    Longest run – 2.5 km
    Beginner - 30%
    Intermediate - 40%
    Advanced - 30%

Tangram Ski Resort Terrain

The Tangram Ski Resort isn’t a skijo that you’d probably visit in isolation unless you’re a beginner, because it’s small, but as an adjunct to the skiing and snowboarding at Madarao, Tangram definitely has its pros.


Tangram Ski Resort has a fleet of 5 lifts that consists of 2 quad chairs and 3 double chair lifts. Number 5 lift is a quad with a hood that is also used by pedestrians going up to the Lake Nojiri Terrace to see the views.

As is often the case, it’s the lifts that the powder hounds want to ride to access the decent terrain that are the slow double chairs.

The top chair lift is an important lift, not only for Tangram but also for Madarao. The no. 2 Tangram lift provides access to some of the best in-bounds tree skiing at Madarao. This slow old top lift can be equally slow to open on powder mornings.

The #6 lift is less about powder chasing and more about providing access from the pension village, and it runs really slowly at a hair-pulling-out speed. This lift generally closes in mid March.

Near the #5 chair lift is a covered magic carpet that can be accessed for free by novices learning to ski or snowboard.

A little bit of night skiing is available at Tangram on Saturdays and holidays, which seems a little OTT for such a small ski resort (but hey this is Japan!).

Lift Tickets

The lift tickets for Tangram are inexpensive and guests of the Hotel Tangram and Hotel Harvest Madarao get significant discounts on lift passes.

Beginners and those progressing to intermediate may be happy just learning at Tangram, whilst others are likely to want to pay the extra yen to get a combined Madarao Tangram lift pass. Note that the 4 hour passes don’t come as a combined ticket, and are just for Tangram.

Tangram Ski Resort is also on the Nagano 6 Area season pass, along with Madarao, Shiga Kogen, Nozawa Onsen, Togakushi and Ryuoo.

Tangram Snow

Like so many other Japanese ski resorts, Tangram doesn’t think to boast about one of its finest assets – the huge amounts of snowfall! They don’t report the statistic for the average snowfall per season and it can only be assumed that it’s similar to that of Madarao, about 13 metres.

Tangram Ski Circus has a top elevation of 1,320 metres, which is similar to Madarao but somewhat lower than most of the main Nagano ski resorts. Nevertheless the snow quality is often excellent during winter because most of the slopes are north facing. The low elevation only becomes a problem for the Tangram snow quality when temperatures rise.

For the Beginner

Novices can start on the free magic carpet near lift #5. The next step is to head to the lift just above the hotel and day lodge which has dedicated beginners’ trails, although these are a little steeper than your average green run. Confident beginners can also ride trails off 3 of the other lifts.

For the Intermediate

Considering the pitch of the beginner trails, low-end intermediates will also enjoy the green runs. There are a couple of red (intermediate) courses, although these don’t travel the full vertical of the resort without starting or finishing with a green or black run. Most strong intermediates will want to head to Madarao to provide more trail variety.

Terrain Park

Tangram Ski Circus has a tiny terrain park but you’re unlikely to see any circus acrobats there! It’s mostly targeted to beginner level park riders.

Advanced Skiing Tangram

The Tangram Ski Resort has a handful of short black runs that won’t entertain advanced riders for very long. The only steep run quickly moguls up (and ices up), and it is often closed due to cracks because they haven’t undertaken active avalanche control.

Tangram Tree Skiing and Riding

As a result of some encouragement from the glading experts at Madarao, Tangram Ski Resort has some specified tree skiing zones where the small trees and shrubbery have been thinned out. The main areas are located either side of the black run on the lookers’ left of the ski area. There are also 3 tree areas that are so tiny that they don’t warrant a mention. These small official tree skiing areas are ideal for those new to tree skiing, and as to be expected, the zones get tracked out very quickly.

In the other tree areas, it’s officially not permitted to head off-piste however the once whistle-happy patrollers seem to have given up on policing it, so you can probably play in peace. Tangram has some steep and very tasty off-piste areas including some widely spaced trees with rocks to launch off. There are other areas with tighter trees, and those with the technical skills to ride them may be rewarded with untracked north-facing powder.

There are also some backcountry lines off Mt Madarao that swing around towards Tangram.