It is an often overlooked truth of Tokyo that it is one of the best cities in the world to live in for those with a passion — or even just a desire to try — skiing or snowboarding.

Countless resorts occupy the mountains that border the city on three sides, providing a bounty of opportunity to ski or board. The closest of these are a little over an hour away by bullet train, providing quick enough access from the city that a weekend of skiing, or even a day trip, is easily possible.

Madarao Kogen, located about two hours northwest of Tokyo by bullet train in Nagano Prefecture, is one such resort. It is less well-known than some of its rivals within the prefecture, but that just means emptier runs and shorter lift queues.