Madarao Ski Resort is reasonably small, even by Japanese standards. The village is unsurprisingly quiet. The majority of Madarao’s hotels offer half board—Japanese guests tend to dine in. But for variety’s sake, there is a small handful of restaurants and bars within the village, including some western options.
Just down the hill from Madarao’s No.1 ski lift is Restaurant Rudolph, a family-owned pizza joint offering a mix of Japanese and European-style comfort food. The restaurant is known for its cozy atmosphere and is one of the cheaper spots to grab a bite. Beer and sake also available.
Madarao’s Jazzy is a jazz-themed restaurant bar, named after the music-loving owner (who has quite a favorable reputation!). Like Rudolph’s, Jazzy offers a mix of western and Japanese favourites plus a range of alcoholic beverages. The restaurant is well known for its friendly service, cheerful atmosphere, and jazz memorabilia.
A larger selection of bars and restaurants can be found at nearby Iiyama town, just 11 km away from the resort. Iiyama is fondly known as the “little Kyoto of snow country”.
Culture & Ambience in Madarao
International crowds are yet to discover Madarao (give it time!). Madarao’s clientele is predominantly Japanese. The resort enjoys a very different atmosphere from Hakuba, Niseko or even Nozawa Onsen. There is zero in the way of a western-style après-ski scene. The Madarao version of après-ski involves a good meal and a soak in a traditional onsen bath. These can be found at the Madarao Kogen Hotel—available to non-guests for a small fee.
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