Family friendly winter activities liyama Japan

written by Helen Fanthorpe

updated 12.12.2021

Be amazed by the winter activities Iiyama offers families. The city's in Nagano, easy to reach from Tokyo and one of the best winter destinations in Japan. Use our guide to find family friendly activities in liyama . The information in this article is taken from The Rough Guide to Japan your essential guide for visiting Japan.

Travelling with family to Iiyama

Iiyama's known as “Little Kyoto of Snow Country” and most families come here for winter sports. You'll find Madarao ski resort is particularly family friendly, with good kids' ski lessons and plenty of fun children's play areas.

Homely pensions in liyama are a great choice for family ski breaks. Tokyo's Hokuriku Shinkansen high speed train arrives in Iiyama City in just one hour, 30 minutes. Rent a car of use taxis and buses to sightsee. And for ski equipment, visit Iiyama Station Tourist Information Center.

Sledding at Kamakura Village

Sledding at Kamakura Village is one of the winter activities liyama © Shinshu-Iiyama Tourism Bureau

Family-friendly winter activities Iiyama style

Hitting liyama slopes is a must

Relaxed Madarao Mountain Ski Resort is best for families. It's in Northwest Nagano and not only provides kid's ski lessons and play areas, it also offers childcare.

A good all-rounder for skiers, it has beginner slopes, advanced skiing and off-piste terrain too. As well as group lessons, private lessons are available, with English speaking instructors. And if you're travelling with younger kids, think about staying at Madarao Kogen.

Children’s ski lessons at Madarao Ski Resort

Children’s ski lessons at Madarao Ski Resort © Shinshu-Iiyama Tourism Bureau

Stay at a ski resort pension

Japanese pensions are family-run and provide spacious, private bedrooms which sleep between two and four guests. Bathrooms are often shared, there's usually a communal dining room and the home cooking is always excellent. Madarao resort has several pensions close to ski slopes.

At Togari Onsen resort book Refre Inn Fukuzawa. This large pension has been run by Fukuzawa family for 60 years. It has a total of 14 rooms, sleeping up to six guests. The food is outstanding and you can look forward to fresh produce from the family farm.

Prefer to leave planning and booking to experts? Have a look at some sample itineraries. Both Complete Japan or Japan Itineraries offer inspiration. All Tailor Made Trips can be modified together with your local expert, then booked for a stress-free holiday. Click 'Modify this itinerary' to contact a local Japan expert.

Home-cooked dinner at Refre Inn

Home-cooked dinner at Refre Inn Fukuzawa © Shinshu-Iiyama Tourism Bureau

Explore Kamakura Village

Kamakura Village is a temporary snow village and restaurant that's rebuilt in liyama every year. Kamakura is Japanese for 'igloo', and the village comprises a total of 20 delightful Kamakura each serving traditional local dishes.

Set near the mountains, the location's idyllic. Expect lots of fun family-friendly activities during the day. But hang on for evening to enjoy huge starry skies and fireworks. For even more local charm, stay at family friendly Togari Cabin in liyama

Kamakura Village igloos

Kamakura Village igloos for family winter activities, liyama © Shinshu-Iiyama Tourism Bureau

Soak in an Onsen hot spring

Togari Onsen Motoyashiki is more than just a place to stay. As well as 19 traditional Japanese style rooms, this hotel also has an Onsen hot spring fed which is natural mineral-rich waters. A perfect place to soothe after a day's skiing.

The food at Togari Onsen Motoyashiki is fresh, healthy and delicious enough even picky kids will eat without a fuss. And you'll find another two public Onsen nearby, so you have a choice of après-ski family relaxation spots.

The onsen at Motoyashiki

Relaxing at Motoyashiki onsen is idea after a day's skiing © Shinshu-Iiyama Tourism Bureau

Ready to travel to Japan? Find out about the best time to go and the best places to see and things to do in Japan. For inspiration use the Japan itineraries from The Rough Guide to Japan and our local travel experts. A bit more hands on, learn about getting there, getting around the country and where to stay once you are there. And don't forget to buy travel insurance before you go.

We may earn commission when you click on links in this article, but this does not influence our editorial standards - we only recommend services that we genuinely believe will enhance your travel experiences.

Helen Fanthorpe

written by Helen Fanthorpe

updated 12.12.2021

Helen worked as a Senior Travel Editor at Rough Guides and Insight Guides, based in the London office. Among her favourite projects to work on are inspirational guides like Make the most of your time on Earth, the ultimate travel bucket list.

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