Myoko Ski Lodge
Seki Onsen Ski Resort
40 min by daily shuttle bus (2,000 yen return) from Myoko Ski Lodge
Powder hounds, leave your Mom at home for this one! ;)
"Shut up dive!" is the catch phrase on the official merchandise available at the funky, retro on mountain cafeteria lodge with tasty, piping hot meals and a "pour your own" beer dispenser. This is also a comfortable place for your lesser powder experienced, groomer-loving other half or buddy to settle in after they've "chucked a tanty" because they haven't quite yet discovered the pure ecstasy of bottomless powder and there's only one groomed track to the resort base.
Seki Onsen appears small on a trail map but gives access to steeper, feature laden off-piste, treed terrain.
With only two chairlifts, Seki normally opens the bottom chair at 9am and you will discover everyone tracks out skiers left in the trees first, but keep one eye skiers right as skiers gradually extend a cat track across the fall line until another treed ridge is accessible to all by mid morning.
The upper single pizza box chair doesn't usually open until around 12 noon, triggering a dash to the top of the resort area and a whole new canvas in which to carve your name. Don't stop for lunch though because this chair will likely close again around 2pm, at which point it's time to go and meet your buddies in the cafeteria or perhaps head to the small rustic bar at the resort base to recount the days pow shredding highlights over a beverage or two.
Just 15km (by shuttle bus) from Akakura Onsen Village, Accommodation in Seki Onsen is available but the tiny village does not have much of a nightlife or restaurant scene. Myoko Ski Lodge provides the best accommodation base for skiing Seki Onsen, being conveniently located within a half hour public shuttle ride to Seki Onsen and walking distance from a greater variety of restaurants and nightlife.
For powder skiers and boarders, there is something special about this little powder stash with the x factor that punches above it's weight and sends you home with a satisfied grin.
Tip: Put Seki on your radar if snow is forecast on the back of a NNW breeze.
Please remember though, no matter where in the world you choose to ski off-piste (or back country), you do so at your own risk.
Getting caught in even a small avalanche can be fatal, hitting a tree can be like hitting a rock and there are numerous other dangers.
Never go alone, ensure your group leader is suitably qualified and take the necessary back country equipment.