Lifts & Terrain
“Myoko Akakura” refers to the two interconnected ski areas of Akakura Onsen Ski Resort and Akakura Kanko. Akakura skiing and snowboarding is the most popular in Myoko because the two ski resorts are both sizeable and are located near most of the accommodation and restaurants.
Akakura Onsen Ski Resort (right side of the trail map)
Akakura Onsen is primarily a mellow ski area with trail stats of 50% beginner, 30% intermediate, and 20% advanced. The Akakura Onsen ski resort has a mass of easy green runs and a handful of intermediate runs. There is really only one black run that’s pretty short, but it has a maximum pitch of 38 degrees and some of the surrounding off-piste terrain is steep-ish and gnarly at times.
Akakura Onsen is larger than its neighbour and has 15 lifts (compared to 8), although some of the lifts are a bit shabby.
Akakura Onsen is popular with young children due to the low angle slopes, a kids snow park, and the night skiing.
Akakura Kanko Ski Resort (left side of the trail map)
Akakura Kanko has another couple of names: Akakan for short; and also Shin-Akakura to denote that it’s newer and more modern than its counterpart. When you look up the hill from the base, the Akakura Kanko Hotel
dominates the landscape; a striking upscale hotel that provides ski-in ski-out access via a beginner and easy intermediate trail.
Akakan is where most powder hounds head because it’s slightly steeper (but keep your expectations in check). The trail stats are 40% beginner, 30% intermediate, and 30% advanced. Beginner and intermediate runs make up the lower areas, whilst up higher there are a couple of black runs. Nearby are some small areas for tree skiing, although ski patrol is becoming progressively stricter about heading off-piste and they threaten to pull lift tickets if you cross a lift line. Another limitation for snowboarders can be that the gradient isn’t adequate to get enough momentum on deep days.
Akakura Kanko also provides gated access to sidecountry and backcountry terrain, which ski patrol is cool with (pending avalanche safety gear
and know-how). The tunnel run out the lookers’ right of Akakura that pops out near the Tsubame Highland Lodge
requires a lot of traversing, but it is a bit of fun.
Akakan is smaller than Akakura Onsen, although it has a higher top elevation (1,500 m versus 1,200m), longer vertical (760 m versus 550m) and better lift infrastructure. Of the 8 lifts, one is a gondola and the others are quad chairs, some with hoods to provide protection during the massive snow storms.
Shin-Akakura also has a kids’ park and a couple of small terrain parks.
The two ski resorts are playing nice again, so it’s possible to get a combined ticket, or you can purchase a ticket for just one of the resorts. Many of the accommodations provide discounted lift tickets, so check with reception or your host.
Akakura Kanko and Akakura Onsen ski resorts both receive massive amounts of snow, particularly when storms come from the NNW.
The quality of the powder is generally very good; not quite like the typical Hokkaido powder but still very respectable. The top elevations of the Akakura ski resorts are not particularly high (especially compared to Suginohara
), and the aspect mostly easterly, although Akakura Onsen is slightly more northerly facing so it tends to have better snow.