Myoko Kogen

Myoko Kogen lies in mountainous surroundings near the historical entrance to the Echigo Plains, an easy 2.5-3.5 hours drive from Tokyo. The area is dominated by 5 impressive mountains (Madarao, Myoko, Kurohime, Togakushi and Iizuna) that make up the border of Nagano and Niigata prefectures. Known for its powder, Myoko gets around 13 metres of white stuff every season on average (comparable to Niseko), perfect for powder hounds after a secret stash. Plus, unlike some other Honshu resorts, Myoko is known for having a progressive policy towards off-piste skiing. Interested in visiting a traditional mountain retreat of Japans Imperial Family? Steeped in history, Myoko was founded in the 1930’s making it one of the oldest established ski areas in the world, perfect for those looking for an authentic Japanese experience.

 

“Unlike other resorts in Honshu, tree skiing and off-piste skiing is not prohibited – so there are plenty of backcountry opportunities. Ask us about getting a guide in Myoko and make the most of it!”

Akakura Onsen provides a variety of runs for all levels. It is a large resort with long runs, great powder skiing, moguls, terrain parks or just cruise the blues with your family!

 

MYOKO AKAKURA RESORT STATS 

Season: Dec – Apr
Altitude: 1500m
Terrain: Beginner 48% / Intermediate 37% / Advanced 15%
Lift system: 28 lifts
Vertical: 760m
Longest run: 4.5kms
Average Snowfall: 13m
Terrain Parks: Yes

Myoko Suginohara is usually a quiet resort, boasting varied slopes, short lift lines, night skiing and a half pipe. Like your long cruisy trails? Suginohara has the longest ski run in Japan at around 8.5km.

 

MYOKO SUGINOHARA RESORT STATS 

Season: Dec – April
Altitude: 1855m peak
Terrain: Beginner 40% / Intermediate 40% / Advanced 20%
Lift system: 6 lifts
Vertical: 1124m
Longest run: 8.5kms
Average Snowfall: 13m
Terrain Parks: Halfpipe & park

Ikenotaira is a medium sized resort made up of 2 distinct areas, with 6 lifts offering skiers and snowboarders a vertical of 700m.

 

IKENOTAIRA ONSEN RESORT STATS 

Season: Dec – Apr
Altitude: 1500m
Terrain: Beginner 40% / Intermediate 60%
Lift system: 6
Vertical: 700m
Longest run: 4.5km
Average Snowfall: 13m
Terrain Parks: Halfpipe

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Got more than a week? If so we recommend visiting a few resorts to make the most of your time in Nagano-Niigata. Depending on the resort we would recommend anywhere from 3 nights to a week. The below resorts are all within a few hours of Myoko Kogen which makes it easy to transfer between the two without losing any on snow time.

Resorts near Myoko Kogen

  • Lotte Arai
  • Madarao-Tangram
  • Nozawa Onsen
  • Shiga Kogen
  • Hakuba

All resorts are about 2 1/4 ~ 2 1/2 hrs drive with Nagano Snow Shuttle Inter-Resort Transfer. See ‘GETTING THERE’ tab for more information on travel to/from Tokyo and Myoko Kogen.

  • BOOK EARLY! Myoko is small and very popular. It books up very quickly especially from late December ~ end of January. If you want central village and higher end accommodation we advise booking around March/April, this is when bookings usually open.
  • Ski/board at many resorts! Akakura Onsen village where most people stay in Myoko (base of Akakura Kanko/Onsen Resorts) is perfectly situated in the middle of many resorts – Suginohara, Ikenotaira, Seki, Lotte Arai and Madarao/Tangram. All are accessible by local bus which makes this a great destination for those of all ability levels. Get beginner children? No worries the resorts offer great ski school and beginner terrain for the kids whilst mum & dad can visit nearby resorts for variety. This makes Myoko a great base for a week or even more. Prefer not to use the bus so much? You could split your time between Myoko and Madarao, or go even further to Nozawa, Shiga or Hakuba. All are connected by Nagano Snow Shuttle and can be accessed throughout the day without missing time on snow.
  • Try a traditional Japanese hotel. Sleep on futons, onsen daily, have delicious Japanese meals. There are western accommodation in Myoko, with more beginning to pop up, however, if you’re after a traditional experience this is a good place to try sleeping on futons.
  • Onsen! Many accommodations have their own which is excellent for ski/board weary legs. Some even have multiple in-house onsen or private in-room onsen.
  • Try different areas for your evening meals – although there is enough in Akakura Onsen to keep you happy in the evenings there’s also some great options around Myoko Kogen Station (5-10 minute taxi). Get a list from your accommodation so you know the best places to try.

Train

  • You will need to take the bullet train to Nagano St, from there the local line to Myoko Kogen St and from there either a taxi or some hotels offer a pick up service.
  • About 3hrs from Tokyo St – be careful to plan your route in advance so as to have the best connections possible.

Nagano Snow Shuttle

  • Direct services from Haneda and Narita Airports to Myoko Kogen and return daily.
  • On your return you can get off in Shinjuku (Tokyo Central) or return to either Airport.
  • Be sure to check with your consultant if the bus timetable lines up well with your flight.
  • About 6hrs.

Share Taxi Transfer

  • This is a great option for those whose flights don’t line up well with the Nagano Snow Shuttle. You are transferred in a mini-van with others going to the Nagano-Niigata resorts who have arrived on the same flight or at a similar time.
  • About 6hrs.

Note:

  • For the bus and share taxi transfer you may have to change vehicles at Nagano St.
  • See www.hyperdia.com for train timetables and best routes.

Whiteroom recommends: taking the bus or share taxi transfer if you have a lot of luggage or if this is your first time in Japan. Although the train is quicker it can be hard to navigate with big ski/snowboard bags. On top of this it can be a little overwhelming if it’s your first time in Japan. If you’re up for an adventure the train is a great option and the public transport staff in Japan are very kind and willing to help where needed. Your consultant will also make sure you have all the required journey information and timetables in advance.