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Snow Groove like Yuzawa’s

by Richard Smart

The inaugural Snow Groove, which takes place March 24-25 at Pine Ridge Resorts Kandatsu, Yuzawa and the main strip of Yuzawa town in Niigata Prefecture, is a weekend for those who wish to ski/snowboard all day and party all night.

One of the aims of the event is to help bring visitors back to Yuzawa, an area 80 minutes from Tokyo Station by bullet train and which has suffered something of a post-bubble decline. The area offers ski and snowboard facilities, and while the snow may not be at its best this year, the resort is in a valley and north facing, which has helped to preserve the snow there is.

The lineup for the event includes the ubiquitous Mike McKenna, Womb residents Tech Riders, electro-rock-house DJ Numanoid and Ruby Room regular Will2live playing house, techno and breaks. There will also be hip-hop and reggae events featuring local DJs. Headlining Snow Groove will be DJ Cash, an R&B/hip-hop DJ and producer who moved to Japan from Denmark in 1991. Cash has also played VIP aftershow parties for Missy Elliot and Kanye West and, ahem, the “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” all-cast dinner at the Grand Hyatt Tokyo hotel in 2004.

Despite Snow Groove being in its first year, the cast of experienced DJs promises to make the weekend as fun on the dancefloor as it is out on the slopes.

Tickets are 8,000 yen (including a one-day ski pass and one night’s accommodation) or 9,500 yen including a two-day ski pass and one night’s accommodation). For more information, visit welovesnow.com/eng/snowgroove.html