1. Ikenotaira Hotel

  2. Ambient Tateshina Hotel

  3. Little grebe

  4. Pension ROCK

  5. Colosseum Inn Tateshina

  6. Pension Smoke Chief

  1. Tateshina Beef

  2. Snowshoe Tour

  3. Soba

  4. Yakitori

  5. Mizutaki

  6. Suwa Taisha Shimosha Akimiya

  7. Suwa Taisha Shimosha Harumiya

  8. Swimming Pool

  9. Bowling alley

  10. Zenkouji

  11. Matsumoto castle

  12. Snow Racer

How Pioneering Farmers Forged Life and a Ski Industry at 8 Peaks

The rolling hills of the Shirakaba Highlands weren’t originally settled with ski resorts in mind. In the 1950s, a band of pioneering families (pictured) moved to the area with ambitions to farm the virgin landscape. However it proved difficult to sustain a living, and within two years most of the original settlers had left. When some mountaineers happened to pass through the village, the remaining four families provided food and board for them, and at the same time planted the seeds for a future in mountain resort tourism.

With an ambitious spirit, they invested in two ski lifts to found the first 8 Peaks Ski Resort ‒ Ikenotaira Snow Park ‒ in 1964. Two more soon followed in the 1970s, spurred on by the 1972 Sapporo Winter Olympics, and by the 1980s skiing was well and truly a national past time. The romanticism of life in the snowy mountains beyond Tokyo lured a growing number of city-weary workers to relocate to 8 Peaks to set up accommodation and tourism businesses revolving around the resorts. Throughout the 80s and 90s the remaining resorts were built, along with a wider variety of hotels and other accommodation.