West, between the Iimori and Kamishiro stops on the JR Oito line sits Hakuba 47 and Hakuba Goryu. The mountain Jizonoatama is divided between the resorts and they are connected by a couple major lifts and a double diamond “Adventure Course” (Read: 6ft moguls). Recently I stayed at a bed and breakfast that was walking distance from one of the lifts at Goryu and I spent the whole day on the mountain.
A single ticket works for both sides of the mountain despite the fact that they are treated like separate ski resorts. There is a total of 19 lifts between the two sides and the single ticket will set you back 4800¥. That price is a little steep compared to Happo-one which is also 4800¥ but is nearly double the size. If you are used to the large sprawling resorts of Utah, Colorado and California, Goryu and 47 are more like 1 ski resort divided in half for marketing purposes. When the two sides of the mountain are put together they make a pretty decent resort. If you plan on staying for 2 to 5 days in the Hakuba area, there are 2,3, and 5 day passes that allow access to all mountains and are very economical.
Getting to 47 or Goryu isn’t particularly hard if you are skiing or snowboarding since there are free shuttles from around 8AM that operate from the Happo information center and some from the travel agency across from Hakuba station. If you want first runs and you didn’t stay right at the foot of the mountain then you will have to take taxi or catch the early, early train from Hakuba Stn to Iimori station and walk about 15 min to the chair lift.
The mountain itself isn’t particularly fast or steep but on the 47 side of the mountain there were several decent intermediate and one black diamond that was fast. I liked the black diamond because everyone, their mother, their mother’s cousin and their mother’s cousin’s friend were sticking to the intermediate runs. Also off the black diamond on the 47 side was an “off piste” area with some great tree runs if you are into that sort of thing. I’m not but who am I to board against the grain? For reasons that are unbeknownst to me, Japanese ski resorts really like to place mogul fields in places that they shouldn’t be. While not terribly difficult, a mogul course on an intermediate run is pretty obnoxious for a snowboarder.
The 47 side also has the snowboard park and it looked like the crazy people who enjoy falling on stuff from great heights were having a blast. Although the half pipe did not look well maintained.
The Goryu side was much more crowded than 47 side which is likely due to it being easier to get to the Goryu lifts. Getting to 47 takes about 30 minutes between boarding and chairlifts. Both sides did offer a way to get to the top and have a look out from the summit but I felt the best view was from about half way up on the 47 side where Happo-one was visible across the valley.
Overall I would say that any intermediate boarder or skier would have a great day at Goryu and 47 but a more experienced one would likely be a little “board” with what the mountain has to offer. I found my self going down the same black diamond run a lot because it was empty and the other terrain that was more difficult was covered with moguls or filled with trees.