Articles by Simon Bernard    

Aomori Spring Ski Resort (formerly Naqua Shirakami)
& Rockwood Hotel & Spa

More Than Just A First Class Ski Resort!

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

Whether you are an expert, intermediate or even a beginner recreational skier/boarder you should definitely check out Aomori Spring Ski Resort (formerly Naqua Shirakami). The new name comes from the cold, pure, fresh mountain water springs near-by!

Aomori Spring is located on the northern slope of Mt. Iwaki, the highest mountain in Aomori Prefecture! Mt. Iwaki is a part of Shirakami , 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!

Always striving with innovation, Aomori Spring Ski & Rockwood is more than just a 1st class ski resort and hotel. The list includes fine restaurants, hot springs, massage, fitness center and live local music to name a few. 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. Snowboarders can show off (or improve their skills) at the park with kickers, rails and box! Skiers welcome there too! This year in February they will build a half-pipe under the guidance of John Melville and will be the same design as the one he made at the Sochi Olympics!

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 getaway. Looking for just a day trip? Contact Outdoor Rec. or the Mogul Mashers Ski Club. Or just get in the car and drive yourself!

Other Specials this season include: Kids free lift tickets days (elementary & under) the 3rd Monday of Dec., Feb. & March and the 3rd & 5th Monday of January. There will also be 4 Saturdays where your child can get a free lift ticket per adult ticket you buy: Feb. 13th & 27th March 12th & 26th! Christmas Eve special is an all-day lift ticket with lunch for only 3000 yen!

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 ďMichi no EkiĒ (road station) called Morita Earth Top at the stop light. Go 10km. and turn right at the ďTĒ. 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.