Myoko Kogen Overview
Myoko Kogen ski resort is located one hour north of Nagano Japan in the Niigata prefecture. Founded in the 1930’s Myoko Kogen ski resort is claimed to be the oldest ski locations in Japan and is made up of nine mountains with three distinctive areas: Myoko Akakura, Myoko Suginohara and Ikenotaira Onsen, linked by shuttle but not by the lifts.
The Myoko town is nestled in the valley below and is the main infrastructure of the area, including a JR rail station. The main ski village is at Akakura Onsen, at the base of the Akakura Onsen and Akakura Kanko lift systems, a good selection of hotels and traditional accommodation are avilable.
Skiing options are almost endless in Myoko Kogen. The ski resort is a large scale resort with incredible snow, numerous ski runs and an efficient lift system. Few ski areas can offer the diversity and variety of Myoko Kogen with something for every ski enthusiast from beginner areas through to deep powder ski areas.
Where to stay in Myoko Kogen
Myoko, nestled in the heart of Japan's snow country, offers a diverse array of accommodation options to suit most traveller’s preferences. From traditional ryokans to modern hotels boasting panoramic mountain views, there's something for everyone. For those seeking an immersive cultural experience, ryokans offer tatami-matted rooms, futon bedding, and soothing onsens (hot springs) to unwind after a day on the slopes. Additionally, ski-in/ski-out lodges cater to avid skiers and snowboarders, providing convenient access to the powder-covered slopes. Meanwhile, chalets and vacation rentals cater to families and larger groups, offering privacy and a home-away-from-home feel. Myoko's accommodations blend of comfort, convenience, and cultural richness, ensuring a memorable stay amidst its stunning natural beauty.
Skiing and Snowboarding in Myoko Kogen
Myoko Kogen is a paradise for skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts, known for its abundant powder snow and diverse terrain. With multiple interconnected resorts like Akakura Onsen, Ikenotaira Onsen, and Suginohara, visitors are treated to a variety of slopes catering to all skill levels, from gentle beginner runs to challenging off-piste terrain. The region's copious snowfall, averaging 15 meters annually, creates pristine conditions, drawing powder lovers and free riders to the resort.
Advances riders will also enjoy the backcountry and sidecountry opportunities, as well as the off piste and tree skiing options, and beginners are going to enjoy the conditions at Akakura Onsen.
Getting to Myoko Kogen & Getting Around
Those flying to Myoko Kogen from Australia will need to fly into Tokyo's Narita or Haneda airports. From there, you can take a domestic flight to Niigata Airport or take the shinkansen (bullet train) to either Joetsu-Myoko Station or Nagano Station.
Once at the station or airport, various transportation options are available to reach Myoko Kogen, such as shuttle buses, private transfers, or rental cars. The journey might involve a combination of flights, trains, and ground transportation, but it's a well-connected route, ensuring relatively easy access to this winter wonderland from Australia.
There are several ways to navigate around Myoko Kogen and its connecting resorts. Depending on one's accommodation choice, travelers can opt for walking or utilizing the convenient Myoko Kogen shuttle bus system. Taxis are also available to facilitate travel between mountains or to access various restaurants in the area.
Top things to do in Myoko Kogen
Myoko Kogen has a traditional Japanese vibe, however the facilities are reasonably well set up for Westerners and families. When you are there a must try activity is to take a soak in one of the many onsens, which range from hotel based onsens, to delightful outdoor hot springs that are surrounded by forests.
Winter in Myoko Kogen offers an array of activities beyond skiing. Those looking for a rest day can try a snowshoeing adventure through pristine landscapes, allowing those to explore hidden trails and enjoy breathtaking views. For those looking for a bit more adrenaline, try exhilarating snowmobiling excursions or zipping through snowy terrains. Finally, don't miss the magical spectacle of snow monkeys at Jigokudani Monkey Park, witnessing these playful creatures in their natural snowy habitat, adds an unforgettable touch to your winter escape in Myoko Kogen.
Dining and Apres in Myoko Kogen
Myoko Kogen offers a delightful mix of dining and après-ski options that cater to various tastes and preferences. After a day on the slopes, visitors can indulge in Japanese culinary delights at local restaurants serving authentic dishes like sushi, ramen, and hot pot. Traditional izakayas provide a cozy atmosphere to unwind with drinks and small plates, perfect for socializing and trying local sake or Japanese beers. Additionally, western-style cafes and restaurants offer international cuisine for those seeking familiar flavors.
As for après-ski, Myoko Kogen has somewhat of a vibrant scene where you can relax after a day on the slopes. Many accommodation options have their own bars or lounges, providing a convenient spot to unwind. There are also standalone bars and pubs in the area where you can enjoy live music, and experience Myoko Kogens après-ski culture.