A rare turnkey opportunity to own a prime family home or boutique licensed Hotel in Madarao’s most sought after position.
Kuma Lodge – Investment Summary:
Kuma Lodge is situated on approx 1,065 sqm land in Madarao Mountain Resort & occupies enviable location within the village, offering a true “ski in – ski out” experience.
This ten-bedroom lodge is ideally positioned next to the beginner ski runs and English-speaking ski school and enjoys breathtaking panoramic views of Mt Madarao and the surrounding Alps.
The lodge was extensively renovated in 2017.
From 2016 the property has been run as a boutique hotel and is rated as the #1 TripAdvisor lodging in Madarao Ski Resort.
Japan offers a unique opportunity for global investors to own freehold land as a foreigner with essentially no restrictions or additional costs.
The pandemic has reinforced demand for space, fresh air and nature. Good healthcare, winter and summer recreational activities combined with reliable cell phone networks and Wi-Fi make Madarao in the Japanese Alps a very attractive investment choice.
Madarao ski resort is growing rapidly as a destination for foreign skiers due to world class snow, proximity to Tokyo (just 90 mins on the Shinkansen) and Japanese culture remaining intact on the mountain.
Foreign ski numbers in Madarao have grown at an annualise rate of 140% from 2015 to 2019 and now represent over 20% of total skiers on the mountain. (Source: Madarao Mountain Resort).
Property prices have risen approximately 65% pa over the pre-pandemic period from 2015 to 2019 (based on actual sales prices over the period) while strong tailwinds remain intact for further growth in Madarao:
- Madarao has an enviable competitive advantage as an international ski destination due to the ease of accessibility to the mountain and shortened travel times to reach the destination. In 2015 a Shinkansen station was launched in Iiyama; with Madarao now just a 20-minute drive from the station.
- In 2020 the Japanese Tourism Agency announced plans to provide significant investment for 15 key ski areas in order to promote international tourism in Japan. Madarao is included as one the 15 locations.
- Many small ski resorts in Honshu that lack critical infrastructure and are not part of the program form the Japanese Tourism Agency are closing down which will ultimately direct traffic to Madarao and other more established resorts.
- Marginal investor demand continues to shift away from Niseko which has become relatively expensive and the underlying Japanese culture has all but disappeared.
- A recent survey by Ski Asia revealed 12.2% of readers planned to head to Madarao for their 2022 ski trip, Niseko was the top choice at 29.3%, Hakuba second at 13% while Madarao came in third. The report is attached below.
- VI. The 2022 winter Olympics was held in China. Xi Jinping has underscored the games’ role in developing the winter sports industry amongst 300 million people in China. Japan is well positioned to capture a significant share of this massive rise in skier demand as it is already a favoured destination for the Chinese with over 10m visiting Japan in 2019, spending USD $16.3bn. Source USC US-China institute.
Kuma Lodge – Key Statistics:
- 10 x bedrooms, with private wash basins, heating and wardrobe storage
- 1 en-suite bathroom, 6 showers, 5 toilets/ bathrooms
- Fully furnished (new in 2017 including custom made beds)
- Large dining area overlooking Madarao Mountain; catering for up to 25 pax.
- Separate reading/relaxation room
- Large basement games/TV room
- Ski storage room accessed from the street front
- Large Commercial grade stainless steel kitchen + separate larder with access from the street for deliveries
- Extensive storage throughout including 4 loft bedrooms (unused currently with development potential subject to relevant authority approval)
- Freehold Title
- Approx 1,065 sqm land (with further scope for development subject to relevant authority approval)
- On-site parking
- The hot water boiler was replaced in December 2021 and the roof was resealed and newly painted in 2020.
Kuma Lodge – Operating Business:
Included in the sale price is an operating business which offers an extensive customer database, including a new (March 2022) website, guest booking system and large social media following. The business has a current hotel license to operate with up to 21 guests.
Kuma Lodge is currently the “#1 rated TripAdvisor” accommodation in the local area, the lodge has sought after independent guest ratings of:
- 9.2/10 Booking.com
- 5/5 Expedia.com
- 4.9/5 Google
- 5/5 Facebook
- Lodge location rated as the best position in the resort (Booking.com 9.9/10)
Please note that the operating business has been closed for two years hence there is no income and we are unable to provide any forecasts.
Historical financials for the entire operating period of the business from 2017 to 2020 are available upon request.
If you have dreams to run your own ski lodge, the hard work has been done for you – including:
- researching Japanese ski resorts for the next investment hot spot.
- sourcing the right properties after multiple research trips and false starts elsewhere due to tired buildings with non-disclosed heating / plumbing / roofing issues (We recommend against buying an un-renovated property in Japan unless you speak the language and plan to be onsite throughout the entire purchase/construction/licensing/business set-up stage)
- overseeing an extensive renovation (Kuma Lodge 2016/17) including custom designing some furnishings
- obtaining the hotel licenses
- connecting all utilities plus wifi, Netflix and more.
- making the connections for local banking, building insurance, staff recruitment etc.
- operations manual for setting up pre-winter, running and closing down lodge post season
- extensive past guest database
- lodge management software
- room pricing & occupancy research
- connections to local, national and international ski media
- local trades list for any maintenance or renovation works
- strong reputation with local eateries who take our guest bookings
- excellent network of foreign owners
- building a boutique brand & social media following which is double or greater that of local competition. Facebook 3,900 + Instagram 1,500
It has taken more than five years to create this business and it now offers a turn key investment for the new owners, alleviating much of the hassle / risks of owning abroad. Please note we have no insight as to whether you may debt fund the purchase of the lodge. We suggest you speak with your bank for advice.
Asking Price: ¥89,000,000
AUD: $983,000, NZD: $1,062,000, USD: $639,000, EUR: €598,000, GBP: £513,000
About Madarao Mountain Resort
Japan currently offers western buyers exceptional property value paired with strong investment returns. With over 500 ski resorts nationwide, close attention needs to be paid to travel times, weather conditions, western demand and ski resort infrastructure.
One resort that meets this criteria is the much hyped Madarao Ski Resort – fast emerging as the next hot spot for western skiers in Japan.
The Madarao ski area is interlinked with the neighbouring Tangram Ski Circus to offer a dual mountain ski pass.
Famous for its ‘MADAPOW’ (for the abundance of light fluffy powder snow that accumulates here), the winter season brings some 13m blown in from cold Siberian winds travelling over the Sea Of Japan, hitting the Alps and dumping on the North Nagano/Niigata region – ski conditions can only be described as ‘epic’.
Nagano/Niigata prefectures enjoys the rare combination of world class ski conditions matched with an abundance of cultural experiences unique to the area. Historic local villages, onsen hot baths, quality local produce such as Soba Noodles, Sake and Rice. Visitors to the region enjoy close interaction with the welcoming local community who go out of their way to ensure everyone has a wonderful experience.
Madarao is now emerging as a popular ski destination with significant western growth numbers over the past 3 years on the back of favourable resort reviews from independent industry experts. Some of the larger or better known resorts in Japan have a reputation for being overrun with westerners (and in particular Australians), Madarao no such resort. Lift lines are near non-existent, snow is of high quality (without the extreme weather of Northern Japan) and the village has retained it’s local charm.
Getting To Madarao
International travellers arrive by high speed Shinkansen Train from Tokyo, Osaka + other airports across the country linking directly to this region for safe, reliable and fast connection times. Madarao is just a short 15 minute drive away and guests can arrive swiftly by resort shuttle bus, taxi or hotel collection. Total travel time from Tokyo Station to Iiyama Station is 101 mins train + 15 mins drive to Kuma / Woodpecker Lodges – significantly less than Hakuba (also in Nagano) or Niseko to the far north of Japan.
Powderhounds.com have just acknowledged Madarao with it’s annual ski industry awards;
- Best advanced piste terrain
- Best value for money ski resort
- Best place to stay on a budget
Miss Snow It All/Snowsbest.com March 2018 article on the need to ski Madarao now.
‘Madarao, or Madapow as its lovingly known, is all about the fresh stuff. Light, dry, effortless and plentiful, with solid terrain to match!’
Snow Action report on the high quality Madarao backcountry here.
Madarao: The Tree Skiing Capital of Japan found on the Japan Times website here.
Key Madarao Statistics:
- Madarao – 31 ski courses/trails, 13 tree courses (the most of any Japanese Resort), 15 lifts
- Tangram – 15 ski courses/trails, 2 tree courses, 5 lifts
- 440m vertical drop on the Madarao side, and 520m of vertical on the Tangram side.
- A massive 60% of runs are left ungroomed for epic MadaPow.
- Resort staff glade the trees in the summer months to keep off-piste terrain perfect for riding.
- The mountain is mostly frequented by beginner and intermediate Japanese locals – leaving most of the powder completely untouched!
- Great beginner and intermediate terrain at the base of the mountain.
- Extensive back/sidecountry for advanced riders.