|Gala Yuzawa ski resort|
Gala Yuzawa is where Tokyoites go for a day on the ski slopes. The station is owned and run by the JR Company, and the shinkansen station, locker rooms and gondola entrance are all in the same building - Japanese efficiency at its best. Being owned by JR, they offer an excellent package including the train (about 1.5 hours each way) and a lift ticket for around 10 000 Yen (depending on the time of year). This is less than the train itself, so the lift pass is essentially thrown in free. Tickets can be bought from major JR stations.
It tends to get quite crowded on weekends, especially with young snowboarders who seem to come more as a social outing, and they often sit down and talk on the pistes - beware. Serious skiers and boarders don't seem too fond of Gala Yuzawa, and for good reasons, however if you are just looking for an easy day on the ski slopes from Tokyo, this is the most convenient place to come.
Food wise, it's the standard green salad, chips ("fried potatoes") and a bowl of white rice. I always bring snack food with me.
|ramen and rice with soymeat from T's Tantan in Tokyo Station|
Since the shinkansen goes back to Tokyo station, on the way back is a perfect time to go to T's Tantan, the vegan ramen restaurant located inside the train station itself and not far from the Shinkansen entrance. It's located on Keiyo Street (an underground food "street") inside the gates of the station itself. Alternatively, if you're not carrying to much stuff, you could get off the shinkansen at Ueno Station and go to Vege Herb Saga, but call ahead first to check they are open.