HOME Tohoku Niigata Joetsu, Uonuma And Yuzawa Top 3 Myoko Kogen Ski Resorts: Enjoy Some of Japan's Longest Ski Runs!
Top 3 Myoko Kogen Ski Resorts: Enjoy Some of Japan's Longest Ski Runs!

Top 3 Myoko Kogen Ski Resorts: Enjoy Some of Japan's Longest Ski Runs!

Date published: 26 October 2020
Last updated: 30 November 2020

Myoko Kogen, in Niigata Prefecture, is one of the best ski resort areas where you can enjoy the snow. And thanks to its easy access and many facilities, including hot springs, Myoko Kogen is very popular.

If you like skiing or snowboarding, or simply enjoy the snow, keep reading to learn all about three ski resorts in Myoko Kogen that you should definitely visit.

Table of Contents
  1. Myoko Kogen, one of the areas with the heaviest snowfalls in Japan
  2. 1. Myoko Suginohara Ski Resort: Wide and long slopes safe for beginners
  3. 2. Ikenoitara Onsen Ski Resort: Beginners and experts alike can enjoy the two ski areas
  4. 3. Akakura Onsen Ski Area: 17 courses with 100% natural snow
  5. 4. Akakura Kanko Resort
  6. Recommended Hotels Near Myoko Kogen

Myoko Kogen, one of the areas with the heaviest snowfalls in Japan

Myoko Kogen, one of the areas with the heaviest snowfalls in Japan
Mt. Myoko in winter

Myoko Kogen is located in the Joetsu region of Niigata prefecture. It extends to the foothills of Mt. Myoko, one of the 100 most famous mountains of Japan.

It takes about two and a half hours by shinkansen and private railway from JR Tokyo Station, to Shinano Railway Myoko Kogen Station, and about 4 hours by car. The landscape and the attractions here change depending on the season, and in winter, you can enjoy plenty of winter activities and sports, and excellent snow.

The reason why so much good-quality snow piles up in the Myoko Plateau is related to the quality of snow formed in the monsoon coming from Siberia through the Sea of Japan. This phenomenon creates snow clouds cooled at 2000m above sea level in the proximity of mountains like Mt. Myoko. Thanks to the natural landscape, and the considerable amount of high-quality snow, the Myoko Plateau has become a mecca for skiers from all over the world.

The ski season in Myoko Kogen is from mid-December to late March. Some ski resorts are opened until mid-May.

A hot spring feeding directly from its source

The beauty of Myoko Kyogen, aside from the extraordinary landscape and snow, lies in its many high-quality hot springs. The hot springs draw from the base of Mt. Myoko, and there are many inns where you can enjoy these pleasant waters. After skiing, be sure to soak in the area's luxurious hot springs.

1. Myoko Suginohara Ski Resort: Wide and long slopes safe for beginners

1. Myoko Suginohara Ski Resort: Wide and long slopes safe for beginners
Wide and gentle slopes for beginners. Panorama Slope (Photo courtesy of Suginohara Ski Resort)

The first resort we'll introduce is Myoko Suginohara Ski Resort, about a 10-minute drive from the Myoko Kogen IC, on the Joshinetsu Expressway. Suginohara Ski Resort has excellent access.

Its main feature is the wide and long slopes with a maximum skiing distance of 8.5 km, perfect for beginners. About 80% of the 17 courses are for beginners/intermediate, making this ski resort an ideal choice for children and adults who want to enjoy skiing safely.

Currently, measures against coronavirus are being implemented (installing separatory panels, limited use of lifts and gondolas, disinfection of rental equipment, spaced seating in dining areas).

Shakunage Course: good quality snow and great view (Photo Courtesy of Suginohara Ski Resort)

Each course is characterized not only by the size of the slope, but also by the snow's quality.
The different courses also each have their unique beauty, like the white birch course surrounded by beautiful birch trees, and the downhill course marked by its famous linden trees.

There are also challenging courses like the super-giant course with a maximum slope of 38 degrees, also called Jigokudani (Hell Valley), so even advanced skiers won't be bored.

Lifts and beautiful mountains (Photo courtesy of Suginohara Ski Resort)

There are 5 lifts in the area and one of the ways to enjoy your time is to take in the view while riding them. In particular, the mountains seen from the summit of the No.3 high-speed lift offer you the view, on a clear day, of Mt. Fuji. It certainly doesn't hurt that the lift gondola is free for children up to elementary school age.

Instructor teaching snowboarding to children (Photo courtesy of Suginohara Ski Resort)

Suginohara Ski Resort also offers lessons (in Japanese) and has a good reputation for careful guidance tailored to the pupils' skills and preferences. The instructors are certified by the Ski Association of Japan and will support you in your first steps. You can rent equipment and clothing, so no need to worry about bringing your own.

Hot springs at the nearby inn Kofukan (Photo courtesy of Myoko/Yamazato no Yujuki Kofukan)

We recommend staying at inns, pensions, small hotels, guest houses around the Myoko Suginohara Ski Resort. Some plans include one-day lifts and gondola tickets and a ski plan that includes a one-day ticket that includes two meals per night, depending on the inn. The ryokan also has a hot spring to wash away the fatigue after a day of skiing.

  • Myoko Suginohara Ski Resort
    • Address Suginosawa, Myoko-Shi, Niigata-Ken, 949-2113
      View Map
    • Nearest Station Kurohime Station (Shinano Railway Kita-Shinano Line)
    • Phone Number 0255-86-6211

    Reserve a Lift ticket in advance

    • [Advance] Pack tickets
      • Pack Ticket
      • Adult
      • All-Day
      11%OFF
      5,300
      4,700JPY
      View Deal
    • [Advance] Pack tickets x2
      • Pack Ticket
      • Adult
      • All-Day
      15%OFF
      10,600
      9,000JPY
      View Deal
    • [Advance] Prince x Tokyu x NSD Multi-Resort Premium Lift ticket
      • 1-Day Ticket
      • Adult
      • Weekday
      5,000JPY
      View Deal

    The ticketing website is available only in Japanese. Please use a translation plugin to view it in your language.
    Check with our partner site as the latest rates, details and conditions may vary.

2. Ikenoitara Onsen Ski Resort: Beginners and experts alike can enjoy the two ski areas

2. Ikenoitara Onsen Ski Resort: Beginners and experts alike can enjoy the two ski areas
Ikenoitara Onsen Ski Resort from above (Image courtesy of Ikenoitara Onsen Ski Resort)

Next up is the Ikenoitara Ski Resort, located 5 minutes driving from the Joshinetsu Expressway Myoko Kogen IC, and about 15 minutes by taxi or bus from the Echigo Tokimeki Railway Myoko Kogen Station, making it easy to access by means other than a car.

During the winter season, there is also a free shuttle bus service from Myoko Kogen Station. As a countermeasure for coronavirus, the facilities have introduced alcohol disinfection, and temperature checking with a thermo-camera on the lifts, allowing for a more worry-free experience.

Kayaba Slope, with a width of 400m and a length of 3km (Photo courtesy of Ikenotaira Onsen Ski Resort)
Alpenblick Slope, gliding through a beautiful beech forest (Phot curtesy of Ikenotaira Onsen ski Resort)

The biggest feature of Ikenotaira Onsen Ski Resort, is the Kayaba Slope. This comfortable and safe skiing slope merges with the beauty of Mt. Myoko. The forest course Alpenblick Slope is a high speed one ideal for intermediate and advanced visitors.

Shirakaba Capsule Pair, connecting the resort to the Kayaba Slope (Photo courtesy of Ikenotaira Onsen Ski Resort)

There are 6 lifts on the vast grounds, and you can easily move to each area stress-free. In particular, the Shirakaba Capsule Pair runs a considerable length of 1,750m, and it's fun to ride over the wide KYB slope. If you're traveling with your family, you can use the lift ticket at a lower price, by using a family-ticket.

Group lesson (Photo courtesy of Ikenotaira Onsen Ski Resort)

At the ski resort, you will also find the Myoko Snow Academy, officially recognized by the Ski Association of Japan, which provides an environment where even beginners can easily learn the basics of skiing. In the special lessons, you can learn about the latest techniques by the top practitioners of the All Japan Ski Association, and there are plenty of classes that will challenge and satisfy advanced skiers. Lessons can be in a group or one-on-one.

(*Lessons only in Japanese)

Hotel Alpenblick, with a total of 78 rooms (Photo courtesy of Myoko Kogen Alpenblick Resort)

We recommend using the nearby Hotel Alpenblick, affiliated with the Ikenotaira Onsen Ski Resort. The popular open-air bath is a freely-flowing hot spring that draws in directly from the source of a quality nicknamed black mud. This is a popular bath in which the so-called black hot-springs flowers (crystallized minerals) will relieve you of the tiredness of traveling and skiing.

Take an open-air bath while gazing at the beautiful view of the plateau (Photo courtesy of Myoko Kogen Alpenblick Resort)

Ikenotaira Onsen Ski Resort is a satisfying experience for both beginners and advanced skiers. You will find the latest models of skis and snowboards for rent, as well as clothing, not only functional but with very nice designs.

View from Kayaba Slope. The view of the Shinetsu mountain range and Lake Nojiri on a clear day is superb.
  • Ikenotaira Ski Resort
    池の平温泉スキー場
    • Address 2457-1, Sekigawa, Myoko Shi, Niigata Ken, 949-2112, Japan
    • Phone Number 0255-86-2370
    • Hours: 8:30~16:30
      Lift tickets: 1-day lift ticket, morning ticket, afternoon ticket, 1-time ticket.
      Operating from mid-December to late March.

    Reserve a Lift ticket in advance

    • Lift ticket
      • 1-Day Ticket
      • Adult
      • All-Day
      20%OFF
      4,000
      3,200JPY
      View Deal

    The ticketing website is available only in Japanese. Please use a translation plugin to view it in your language.
    Check with our partner site as the latest rates, details and conditions may vary.

3. Akakura Onsen Ski Area: 17 courses with 100% natural snow

3. Akakura Onsen Ski Area: 17 courses with 100% natural snow
A panoramic view of Akakura Onsen Ski Area (Photo courtesy of Akakura Onsen Ski Area)

To conclude, let's look at Akakura Onsen Ski Area in Akakura, Myoko Kogen. It's about an 8-minute drive from the Myoko Kogen IC on the Joshinetsu Expressway. The advanced snow-removal system makes driving on the road safe. There is also a free shuttle bus from the parking lot to the slopes.

Countermeasures for Covid 19: ticket counter now presents a splash-prevention film, alcohol solutions, spaced seating in restaurants, and ventilation.

Panorama Course on Kumado Slope (Photo courtesy of Akakura Onsen Ski Area)
Alpine course on Yodel slope (Photo courtesy of Akakura Onsen Ski Area)

The Akakura Onsen Ski Area features dynamic slopes that stretch over Mt. Myoko, with slopes that range from gentle to steep. There are 14 lifts and 17 courses. All slopes are 100% natural snow, and the excellent quality and amount of snow make this place very popular among overseas skiers. The wide long course is for beginners, and the steep slope course is for advanced skiers.

Panorama course by night (Photo courtesy of Akakura Onsen Ski Area)

One of the main attractions of Akakura Onsen Ski Area is that it's open for night skiing until 10pm. The illuminated slope offers a fantastic atmosphere that is utterly different from the daytime, and it's popular among couples and families. Every Saturday, the snow is compacted before the night runs, allowing to enjoy the same trail that you would in the morning. You could also choose to ski at night and sightsee during the day.

Lift to the slopes (Photo courtesy of Akakura Onsen Ski Area)

The lifts are divided among three areas for a total of 14 operating lifts. Even though the courses are very wide, it will be easy to reach the section you want. The slopes look beautiful on a sunny day.

School lesson (Photo courtesy of Akakura Onsen Ski Area)

There are 4 teaching courses, including an international one, and you can choose according to your level and interests. The school, approved by the Japan snowboarding Association, the Japan Professional Ski Teachers Association, and the Ski Association of Japan, teaches a variety of courses covering anyone from beginners to race training. Equipment and clothing are available to rent for full days, or for more extended periods.

Open-air bath at Akakura Hotel (Photo Courtesy of Akakura Hotel)

At the feet of Akakura Onsen Ski Area, there are many historical hot spring inns and restaurants. After relaxing in the finest hot springs, treat yourself with great food and sake, to get the best out of your traveling experience. Find your favorite lodging to go with your skiing needs.

  • Akakura Onsen Ski Area
    • Address 949-2111 Akakurakita51-3, Myoko-Shi, Niigata-Ken, 949-2111
      View Map
    • Nearest Station Myokokogen Station (Myoko-haneuma Line)
    • Phone Number 0255-87-2125

    Reserve a Lift ticket in advance

    • [Advance] Lift ticket
      • 1-Day Ticket
      • Adult
      • All-Day
      10%OFF
      4,900
      4,400JPY
      View Deal

    The ticketing website is available only in Japanese. Please use a translation plugin to view it in your language.
    Check with our partner site as the latest rates, details and conditions may vary.

4. Akakura Kanko Resort

4. Akakura Kanko Resort
Photo courtesy of Akakura Kanko Resort

Akakura Kanko Ski Resort, commonly known as AKAKAN, is another popular ski resort attracting attention from overseas. It's easy to access, making it a great choice, since it's only 8 minutes off the Myoko Kogen IC.

There are 10 courses in total. In addition to the fully maintained flat regular courses, there are also plenty of non-compacted snow courses which will satisfy both beginners and advanced skiers.

Photo courtesy of Akakura Kanko Resort

There are 8 lifts and they are all fast! In addition to half-day tickets, there are also family-deal tickets. In addition, services like equipment rentals and classes are present. Please, check the official website for details.

  • Akakura Kanko Resort
    赤倉観光リゾートスキー場
    • Address 216 Tagiri, Myoko City, Niigata Prefecture, 949-2102
    • Phone Number 0255-87-2503
    • Hours: 8:30~16:30(全日)
      Operating every day 8:30am-4:30pm
      From mid-December to early May
      Lift ticket: half-day ticket, 1-day ticket, 2-day ticket, 3-day ticket, family-deal ticket
      Official webpage: http://www.akr-ski.com/

In Myoko Kogen you can have a great skiing experience, with a lot of snow and easy access. Why not try some winter sports in Japan this season?

Text by: Tsubasa Shimoda
*Article contents are current as of October 2020

Recommended Hotels Near Myoko Kogen

  • Kyukamura Myoko
    • Address Sekiyama, Myoko, Niigata, 949-2235
      View Map
    • Nearest Station Sekiyama Station (Myoko-haneuma Line)

    Vacancy search, reservation

    Check with our partner site as the latest rates, rate details, and guest room requirements may vary.

*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.

Share this article.

Search