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No.249 (12/13/13)

Naqua Shirakami:More Than Just A First Class Ski Resort

Living in Misawa gives you close access to some of the best snow in Japan.

Hakkoda, with 8 mountains and no groomed slopes, is paradise for back country and powder snow hounds. Hakkoda does require a higher level of skill than regular ski resorts and it is suggested that you take a backpack, snowshoes and poles even if you plan on just boarding around the “official” courses.

Getting a guide to take you off piste and back country is the best way to enjoy the snow and awesome scenery without getting hurt or wasting time getting bogged down in unfamiliar territory. You can search “hakkoda” with “powder” online to find all the information you need.

If you are more of a recreational skier/boarder or even a beginner, you should definitely check out Naqua Shirakami formerly Ajigasawa Ski Resort. Shirakami is the name of the mountainous area in western Aomori. It is a United Nations World Heritage beech tree forest preserve.

With one gondola and four lifts, you can find the right terrain for your ski and snowboard level. You have your choice of skiing in the daytime overlooking the Sea of Japan or in the evening under the lights and stars or both!

Located on the north slope of Mt. Iwaki, the highest mountain in Aomori prefecture, Naqua Shirakami is more than just a 1st class ski resort and hotel. The list includes fine restaurants, hot springs, massage, and fitness center to name a few.

If you are around during Christmas, look out for Santa who will be playing games & giving out treats December 23rd to 25th!

Snowboarders can show off (or improve their skills) at the park with kickers, rails and box! Skiers welcome there too!

Naqua Shirakami is a great place for the whole family. Fun for kids includes snow mobiles, snow tubing, and a bouncy house! Snow slides and various other playground toys are available so kids can have fun playing in the snow.

Special ski and family packages are available to Misawa base residents. Don’t wait too long to make your Christmas and New Year’s bookings. Call Misawa ITT at 226-3555 to reserve a holiday or weekend get away.If you or anyone in your family need an instructor for lessons in English, ask Misawa ITT to contact Naqua before you go to make an appointment. Looking for just a day trip? Contact Outdoor Rec. or the Mogul Mashers Ski Club. Or just get in the car and drive yourself!
Go out the main gate; turn right at the second street after the light. Turn right at the 4th street, you will end up going around the perimeter of the base. Turn right at the Y and you will be on Rt. 8. From the Y go 16 km. and turn left at the Circle K light. Go 0.7km and turn right, go over the bridge and go straight, this road will eventually take you to the Michinoku Toll road. After paying the toll 820 yen, continue straight 8km. till you see the sign for Aomori Higashi Expressway. Turn left to get on the expressway (this section is now free). After a few kilometers you will come to a booth to get a ticket, continue straight toward Namioka , this expressway will merge with the Tohoku Expressway bound for Tokyo. Get off at the first interchange Namioka and pay the toll. Continue straight and you will run into the Tsugaru Expressway. Go to the 2nd exit of this expressway Goshogarawa IC. (no charge), and turn left.

You will now be on Rt. 156. You will go about 7km and turn right at the Circle K light.
(On this 7km. stretch you will pass by Elm Shopping Center, go over a big bridge where the road changes names to Rt.154 and then you will go by Aeon Jusco Mall). After turning at the Circle K light (you will be on Rt.37), go about 1km to the stop light and turn left onto Rt. 101(there is an Asahi pachinko parlor there).

Now go about 8km. and turn left onto Rt.39, there is a “Michi no Eki” (road station) called Morita Earth Top at the stop light. Go 10km. and turn right at the “T”. You are now on Rt. 30. After 700 meters you will come to a light with the sign in Japanese for the ski resort. Turn left and follow for 3km. until you arrive at the resort.

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