Located east of Nagano city, about the same distance that Hakuba is located west of Nagano city, Shiga Kogen is a large complex of 22 mostly interlinked ski areas, with more than 120 lifts. It is unique compared to most resorts around Nagano prefecture, as you have to drive up to the resort area (similar to Victorian snowfields in Australia). As a consequence, the resorts are at a higher altitude with lighter and drier snow than anywhere else in the region. As one of the highest ski resorts in Japan – (‘Kogen’ means heights or highlands in Japanese) and its excellent quality of snow, Shiga Kogen is certainly a popular spot for visitors just don’t expect much of a night life.
‘Shiga Kogen is a large resort with something to offer everyone. It’s not only the highest resort in Japan but the largest resort in Honshu.’
Check out Shiga Kogen for a great ‘all round’ ski destination. The area gained international notoriety from hosting several downhill events in the 1998 Winter Olympic Games. Shiga recieves quality snowfall, unsurprising given that it is the highest resort in Japan. It boasts 980 metres of vertical, approximately 600 hectares of terrain, and over 80 kilometres of trails. In fact it has been said to be the largest resort in Honshu, and possibly the whole of Japan.
SHIGA KOGEN STATS
Season: November – May
Terrain: Beginner 30%, Intermediate 40%, Advanced 30%
Lift system: 120+ lifts across 22 resorts
Longest run: 6km
Average Snowfall: 8m+
Terrain Parks: Half pipe