New ‘old’ ski resort to open in Japan in December

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Arai Mountain Resort and Spa closed down in 2006 after fifteen years of operating. Now, thanks to a multi million dollar overhaul the resort will be renamed Lotte Arai Resort and open in December.

The son of Sony founder Akio Morita, Video Morita, spent 50 billion yen purchasing Arai Mountain Resort in the 1990s in the Niigita prefecture. Then poured almost half that amount again into developing and operating the resort. It didn’t work and money was lost, a lot of money, so the resort closed in 2006.

In 2014 South Korea’s Hotel Lotte Company purchased the defunct resort for 1.8billion yen. Lotte are best known as a conglomerate with numerous business interests from golf courses to retail, electronics, food production and more. The Hotel Lotte Company oversee hospitality business within the group and will open their first resort in Japan this December.


Expect four different accommodation options, four lifts, a gondola and eleven slopes, a hot springs onsen and powder snow. The resort is two hours from Tokyo on the Shinkansen.

Rachael Oakes-Ash is the name behind @misssnowitall and the founder of A long time travel and lifestyle journalist and ski writer, she's been published in ESPN, TIME, Wallpaper*, Action Asia, Inside Sport, Australian Financial Review, Emirates Open Skies, Conde Nast Traveler and more. She was the Fairfax snow blogger from 2007 to 2017, a former columnist for Mountainwatch and the Southern Hemisphere editor for OnTheSnow. Rachael is also a documentary producer, author, radio announcer and humorist.


  1. Hi Rachael, couple of corrections – 1) HIDEO Morita and 2) Nearest shinkansen stop (JoetsuMyoko) is two hours. Another 15-20 minutes on the connecting shuttle. Cheers, Nic

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