Myoko Kogen4 out of 5 based on 13 reviews
  • Recommend
    100%
  • Would Revisit
    100%
Wagner Custome Skis
Epic Nagano 3 Qs

Akakura Onsen, the main village of Myoko Kogen
Akakura Onsen, the main village of Myoko Kogen
Powder skiing Akakura Myoko
Powder skiing Akakura Myoko
Myoko Akakura village and ski areas
Myoko Akakura village and ski areas
Myoko Kogen Powder
Myoko Kogen Powder
Lots of opportunities for face shots!
Lots of opportunities for face shots!
Many of the Myoko hotels and pensions have an onsen
Many of the Myoko hotels and pensions have an onsen
Myoko Kogen Snow
Myoko Kogen Snow
Night skiing at Akakura Onsen
Night skiing at Akakura Onsen
Myoko Japan has some nice tree skiing
Myoko Japan has some nice tree skiing
Myoko Kogen Japan
Myoko Kogen Japan
Mt Myoko Japan
Mt Myoko Japan
Much of the Myoko Kogen accommodation is Japanese style
Much of the Myoko Kogen accommodation is Japanese style
Myoko Kogen Japan
Myoko Kogen Japan
Main street of Akakura Onsen village
Main street of Akakura Onsen village
It snows a lot!
It snows a lot!
With Myoko Powder Packages you can head to Madarao for more powder
With Myoko Powder Packages you can head to Madarao for more powder
Nearby Madarao is also great for powder hounds
Nearby Madarao is also great for powder hounds
Seki Onsen Myoko Japan
Seki Onsen Myoko Japan
There are fresh tracks galore at nearby Togakushi
There are fresh tracks galore at nearby Togakushi
Seki Onsen Myoko
Seki Onsen Myoko

Myoko Kogen

Myoko Kogen Japan

The Myoko Kogen ski area is ideal for powder hounds. It scores highly on the pow-dometer thanks to a whopping 13 metres of pow per season on average, and in the 2014-15 season Myoko Kogen notched up over 16 metres of snowfall!

Myoko Kogen is also great for those looking for a bit of a Japanese cultural experience. It is a far cry from one of those glitzy bubble era resorts or the highly westernised “Japanese” ski resorts. Founded in the 1930s, Myoko is rich in history, Japanese people own most of the businesses, and the area has lots of unadulterated onsens. Lots of westerners now head to Myoko so it’s lost a little bit of its Japanese-ness, but the upside is that it’s now much easier for English speaking travellers. 

Myoko Ski Resort Terrain

There isn’t actually a Myoko Kogen ski resort per se. The Myoko area is made up of several ski resorts that are largely linked together only by shuttle bus. The main ski area is Myoko Akakura which is made up of two resorts side by side; Akakura Kanko ski resort and Akakura Onsen. Suginohara ski resort features super long cruisy groomers and good sidecountry, Seki Onsen is renowned for steep tree skiing, Ikenotaira Onsen has good freestyle fun, and family friendly slopes can be found at Kyukamura and Myoko Ski Park.

There’s something for everyone across the Myoko Kogen ski resorts although the area is most well known amongst powder hounds for the treed slopes, off-piste riding and long vertical. Some of the Myoko ski resorts also have sidecountry and backcountry opportunities, and guiding is available. Of course Myoko Kogen is also famed for the abundant snow which results from its proximity to the Sea of Japan.

Here's a little taste of what you will find in Myoko Japan....



Where is Myoko Japan? Myoko Kogen is located one hour north of Nagano in the Niigata prefecture in the heart of the Joshinetsu National Park. From Tokyo the best way to get there is to take the Nagano Shinkansen (bullet train) to Nagano (approx 100 minutes), then the Shinetsu train line to Myoko Kogen Station. The ski villages such as Akakura Onsen are approximately 10 minutes from the station via bus or taxi.

Alternatively there are direct shuttle buses from the Tokyo airports to Myoko Kogen with Nagano Snow Shuttle.

Myoko Kogen Accommodation “Myoko” is the town in the valley near Myokokogen train station, but many people stay in one of the ski villages up at the base of the ski resorts. Akakura Onsen is generally the most popular village to stay because it offers good access to the main ski resorts, and has the largest number of bars and restaurants. 

Myoko Kogen accommodation varies from traditional pensions, ryokans and lodges, to more European style hotels.

Facilities, Activities & Nightlife

Even though Myoko Kogen has a bit of a traditional Japanese vibe, the facilities are reasonably well set up for Westerners and families, including English speaking ski school and day care.

The mandatory après 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 or offer views. Due to its proximity to Nagano, Myoko Kogen also provides access to some culturally interesting side trips.

Myoko is not a place with an overly vibrant nightlife, but there are lots of small bars and traditional restaurants where you can partake in some kanpai.

Summary of Pros and Cons

Pros

  • The Myoko ski areas are a must do for powder hounds considering the quantity of snow and the opportunity to get off-piste (in some areas).
  • As part of a Myoko Powder Package, a Myoko Progression Week, or the Nagano Niigata Explorer Tour powder hounds can easily also visit nearby ski areas such as Madarao, Tangram or Togakushi to score more pow.
  • Akakura Onsen has a good range of restaurants to explore and most of the restaurants and izakayas (Japanese bars that serve snack food) have English menus, and the staff speak at least a little Engrish.
  • There has been a moderate influx of gaijin but it’s still retained its Japanese flavour. Particularly if you venture away from Akakura, plenty of the “real Japan” remains (although the local ladies don’t wear a kimono out powder skiing!).
  • Myoko is one of only a handful of Japanese ski resorts to offer child care and group ski and snowboard lessons in English. The other ski resorts that have this pro tend to be very westernised.
  • Japanese people are incredibly polite and friendly, but the Myoko Kogen locals in particular seem to exude major affability. Smiles abound and most service staff bend over backwards with hospitality.

Cons

  • There isn’t that much to do during the day except ski or snowboard.
  • The villages look a little run down in places, but the upside of it not being glitzy and new is that it feels somewhat traditional (and a sign that there hasn’t been a major injection of western money).
  • The two ski areas adjacent to the main village (Akakura) don’t provide much in the way of steep fall line terrain, and despite “Kogen” meaning “highlands”, these ski areas aren’t very high. However this isn’t an issue at nearby Seki Onsen or Suginohara.
  • As is typical of the non-westernised Japanese ski resorts, there is negligible self-contained accommodation such as apartments.

Tours That May Include Myoko Kogen

Safari (Road Trip) Tours
Chicks Japan Progression Tour DETAILS
Chick's Snow Boarding Powder Progression Tour
8 Nights - 7 Days Coaching/Riding
From price based on twin/double-share room occupancy.
Base/invoice currency is in AUD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 1,799
Ability: Beginner, Intermediate, Strong Intermediate, Advanced
Take your snowboarding to the next level and learn to ride powder whilst meeting some great new female snowboarding buddies! Experience Myoko's rich cultural ambiance and deep dry powder.
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Nagano Niigata Explorer DETAILS
HOSTED & GUIDED ROAD TRIP
10 Nights | 8 Days Skiing/Riding | Up to 8 Ski Areas
From price based on twin/double-share option.
Base/invoice currency is in AUD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 2,650
Book & page deposit by 31st Oct and take AU$200 off the advertised price.
Ability: Advanced, Expert
Based in Myoko Kogen, enjoy Honshu's rich culture and visit up to 8 ski areas including Myoko (5 ski areas), Nozawa Onsen, Kurohime, Shiga Kogen (18 inter-connected ski areas), Madarao, Tangram & a few other secret spots
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Myoko & Madarao Tour DETAILS
HOSTED & SEMI GUIDED TOUR
10 Days | 9 Nights | 7 Riding | 3+ Resorts
From price based on twin/double-share option.
Base/invoice currency is in AUD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 1,583
Ability: Strong Intermediate, Advanced
Experience the rich Japanese culture of Myoko Kogen and its famous deep, deep powder. Also head to Madarao where you will ride the secret backcountry.
More
See all Safari (Road Trip) tours that visit Myoko Kogen here
Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area Tours
Epic Honshu Buffet (Skiers Only) DETAILS
GUIDED SKI ADVENTURE
10 Days | 9 Night | 8 Skiing | Up to 8 Ski Areas
From price based on twin/double-share option.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 2,542
Book before Sept 30 and get free avi gear rental & 5% off displayed price
Ability: Advanced, Expert
Combine deep untracked powder skiing where few foreigners go, with a rich Japanese cultural experience, a traditional ryokan (Japanese hotel) and food, and you have the perfect Japanese ski adventure!
More
Epic Honshu Ski & Snowboard Progression DETAILS
SKI & SNOWBOARD GUIDED INSTRUCTION
10 Days | 9 Night | 8 Skiing | Up to 8 Ski Areas
From price based on twin/double-share option.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 2,542
EARLY BIRD: Book before Sept 30 and get 5% off displayed price
Ability: Intermediate, Strong Intermediate, Advanced
Learn to ski and ride deep powder with more confidence whilst checking out some of Honshu's ski areas away from the masses of foreigners. Outside the skiing and snowboarding, experience an area rich in culture and history.
More
Epic Honshu Buffet (Snowboarders Only) DETAILS
GUIDED SNOWBOARDING ADVENTURE
10 Days | 9 Night | 8 Riding | Up to 8 Ski Areas
From price based on twin/double-share option.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 2,542
Book before Sept 30 and get free avi gear rental & 5% off displayed price
Ability: Advanced, Expert
Combine deep untracked powder riding where few foreigners go, with a rich Japanese cultural experience, a traditional hotel and food, and you have the perfect Japanese snowboarding adventure!
More
See all Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area tours that visit Myoko Kogen here
Backcountry Skiing Tours
Alps to Coast Package DETAILS
HAKUBA & MYOKO BC ADVENTURE
10 Nights | 8 Days Guided Skiing / Riding
From price based on a twin/triple-share room (price displayed is per person).
Base/invoice currency is in JPY inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 2,848
Ability: Advanced, Expert
The HAKUBA ALPS are the ultimate when it comes to steep alpine terrain in Japan and the MYOKO KOGEN area receives some of the highest snow falls in Japan. This tour takes in the steep & deep alpine backcountry terrain of the Hakuba Valley and the deep POW around Myoko.
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Myoko Backcountry Snow Venture DETAILS
GUIDED BACKCOUNTRY TOUR
8 Nights | 5 Days Backcountry Skiing/Riding
From price based on twin/triple/quad-share room occupancy.
Base/invoice currency is in AUD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 2,015
Ability: Advanced, Expert
Want to step into the backcountry in the Myoko Kogen area? Well this tour could be for you! Learn about avalanche safety & safely accessing the backcountry (including 1 night BC camping in a hut) & ski deep powder whilst immersing yourself in Japanese culture.
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Hakuba Guided Day Tours DETAILS
GUIDED DAY TOURS from HAKUBA
For PRIVATE GROUPS of up to 5 people
From price based on Hakuba day tour, group of 5 (price displayed is per person however full tour price is 5 X that price).
Base/invoice currency is in JPY inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 117
Ability: Intermediate, Strong Intermediate, Advanced, Expert
If you are in the HAKUBA area, you can't go past a day or more of a guided ski or snowboarding adventure. The area (and also other nearby resorts) is huge and the best skiing is actually outside of the resort boundaries which should only be accesses with a guide. Tours are for PRIVATE GROUPS ONLY of up to 5 guests.
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See all Backcountry Skiing tours that visit Myoko Kogen here
Cat Skiing Tours
Myoko Day Cat Skiing DETAILS
DAY SNOWCAT SKIING NEAR MYOKO
Includes lunch & onsen, Myoko shuttle available
From price based on per person per day cat skiing only.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY ex taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 338
Ability: Intermediate, Strong Intermediate, Advanced, Expert
If you are in the Myoko Kogen area and looking for a day of skiing or riding deep untracked powder then this day snowcat sking / boarding tour could be just the ticket!
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See all Cat Skiing tours that visit Myoko Kogen here