Kijimadaira Ski Resort is located about 10 minutes drive from Iiyama City, about 15km south of Nozawa Onsen. And it is a model of “what could have been”.
It was part of the Mt Kosha 5 in 2010-11, which gave access to 5 ski resorts nearby on a shared ticket. Now you can’t even get a combined ticket for the Makinoiri Resort next door (which is connected).
Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory!
The resort is famous across Japan for the Pioneer Course, which with it’s 45 degree angle is one of the steepest slopes around. In the past, this has been opened on Wednesdays and weekends, but alas the #3 Pair access lift has been closed for the 2020-21 season, and it is now not possible to access. The future is uncertain as to whether it will open again in the future.
On the plus side, day tickets are now very cheap. There are very good beginners slopes, and it can be a good escape if Nozawa is busy.