Last week I went to Niigata skiing with my friend, this was my first time taking Shinkansen, which was fun. Because my friend booked everything so I didn't know we are living in a pension before the day. I don't really like share things with people but it is too late, and it is a low budget trip so...But surprisingly the pension is better than what I was imaging.
If sensitive with animals, then this place might not be your good choice, they have a super cute cat called "Toto" who living inside the restaurant. You will see her sleeping almost all day. -w-
Because you share toilet, bath and sink with all the people living inside, the pension will close the light at 11 PM and there is no WIFI inside. Thy provides a space at second floor which you can dry your ski clothes there.
I like how they decorate the house by using so many animal relevant toys, drawings, and some fairy tail story characters, you can tell they spend a lot of time to decorate the house, make it feels like home to people who living there. Because the person there missed up our 3 individual room into 2 room, 1 with a separate floor. So they upgraded our food as apologies. The first night dinner was great, maybe I was starving after my first time snowboarding in my life. And the second day's breakfast was great, I like the Japanese style rice. Our train is around 6 pm that day, so they drive us back to the station around 5 pm.
The full experience was fun, but I don't really enjoy living with other people and sharing the bath. I recommended the place for people who don't mind these things, and it is super convenient for carrying heavy equipment going to the ski resort, the location saves you lots of energy and time.
About the Ishiuchimaruyama (石打丸山) ski resort I will write a specific post about it as well as the famous Sake vending machine inside JR Echigo Station. I can't believe because of this trip, I fall in love with snowboarding, I should try that last time when I went to Minakami, Gunma. That time I listened to my boyfriend's suggestion and tried long ski, that was my first time get on real snow, and the fact and my personal experience told me that long ski is super difficult and dangerous. I really can't wait for the next ski trip to somewhere in Japan. It would be soon.
The pension is about 10 minutes drive from JR Echigo Station. The will pick you up from the station, and if you bought a pack of skiing equipment renting, they will drop you off at the rental shop as well. Also, the person will tell you there is no convenient store nearby the pension, so if you want to pick up something, better go on the way there. The ski place is only 5 minutes walk from where we live - Ishiuchimaruyama (石打丸山). I believe you can get a discount lift ticket from the reception of pension OZ, we bought a 3.5 days ticket, it costs about 4,500 yen each.