How To Get There
There are various options to travel to Myoko Kogen Japan. The Myoko travel information and booking options include bus transfers to/from the airports to Myoko Kogen
and trains to Myoko
. Other Myoko transport information includes getting around the Myoko areas
, other ski resorts nearby
, and flight tips and bookings
Where is Myoko Kogen?
is located about 270km northwest of Tokyo Japan
, a trip that takes about 3.5 hours depending on connection timing. Myoko Kogen is one hour north of Nagano City, but rather than being in the Nagano Prefecture it’s situated just over the border in the Niigata Prefecture. Myoko Kogen is situated in the heart of the Joshinetsu National Park and dominated by the 2,454 metre high Mount Myōkō.
Myoko Kogen is an area made up of various ski resorts and villages:
- Akakura Onsen ski area has the town of Akakura Onsen at its base.
- Akakura Kanko Ski Resort (aka Akakan aka Shin-Akakura) has Akakura Kanko or Shin-Akakura at its base, as well as the outskirts of the town of Akakura Onsen.
- Ikenotaira ski resort has Ikenotaira Onsen village at its base.
- Suginohara ski area has Suginosawa Onsen at its base.
- Seki Onsen ski area has Seki Onsen village at its base.
- Further down the hill near the Myoko Kogen train station is the town of Myoko.
Tokyo Narita and Tokyo Haneda are the main gateway airports of choice for most travellers, but Toyama is another option with flights into Japan coming via Beijing or Seoul (with Asiana). Toyama airport is 156km (1:45 hours) southwest of Myoko Kogen. Another option is Komatsu airport, 241km southwest of Myoko Kogen, with flights coming via Shanghai.
To search for flights and compare lots of different airlines and routes, use one of our recommended flight aggregators
If you’re flying into one of the Tokyo airport, unless you want to catch a taxi to Myoko or overnight in a hotel near the Tokyo train station
or a Narita hotel
(or a Nagano hotel
), you’ll need to consider your flight times. Arrivals into Narita should ideally be before 7pm, whilst for return flights you’ll ideally want an afternoon flight out of Tokyo or if you want to catch the shuttle bus to the airport, you’ll need a late afternoon or evening flight out.
Driving Times to Myoko Kogen
From Tokyo – 4.5 to 5 hours
From Nagoya – 5 hours
From Osaka or Kyoto – 7 hours
Getting between Narita Airport and Myoko Kogen
There are two main options for getting from Narita Airport to Myoko Kogen:
- Train/train/train or bus combo – this includes a train from Narita to Tokyo, then a bullet train (Shinkansen) to Nagano, and then a local train or bus to Myoko Kogen. This is the fastest route. From the Tokyo international airport the total trip takes about 3.5 to 4 hours depending upon connection timing. The other advantage of taking the trains is that it’s a great insight into a part of the Japanese culture. See below for details.
- Direct transfer – this involves getting a shuttle bus or shared taxi transfer directly from Narita Airport to Myoko Kogen. The advantage is not having to lug your bags around the train stations. See below for details on the bus to Myoko.
A 3rd option is evolving which is similar to Option 1 except you catch the Shinkansen through to Iiyama. From Iiyama, there are very irregular Nagden buses on weekends that head to Akakura Onsen via Madarao Kogen. In the future the bus schedules may become more regular.
A 4th option is also evolving which is to catch a Shinkansen from Tokyo to JoetsuMyoko (takes 106 minutes-128 minutes if it doesn’t go via Nagano). From the train station, there are 3 bus services per day (8;45am, noon, 1:10pm – for 2015-16) to Akakura (bus takes 1 hour), Ikenotaira, and Suginohara. This is a daily service from Dec 26th – Mar 21st and then a weekend and holiday service after that.
OPTION 1 PART 1: Trains from Narita Airport to Tokyo and then to Nagano
The Narita Express train (NEX) goes from the Tokyo Narita Airport terminals to the city of Tokyo, and takes about 1 hour. There are frequent departures from the airport railway terminals.
Upon arrival at Tokyo Station take the escalators up and follow the signs for the Nagano Shinkansen Asama. Departures are very regular during the main part of the day, but you can check Hyperdia for schedules if you’re on tight timelines or travelling late in the day. The last train to Nagano leaves about 10pm, so you’d need to get the NEX no later than about 8:45pm to make it (otherwise you'll need to stay overnight in a Narita Airport hotel). The Shinkansen (bullet train) from Tokyo to Nagano takes about 100 minutes. If you arrive late in Nagano, you may need to stay overnight in one of the Nagano hotels.
The other alternative is to catch a train from Narita Airport to Ueno via the Keiser Skyliner and then the bullet train from Ueno to Nagano. Check out Hyperdia for the fastest route for your travel time.
See our Japan rail travel page for more information on the JR East Pass (Nagano Niigata) including is it worth purchasing a JR East Pass.
For train travel to Nagano from Nagoya, Kyoto, Osaka, or other parts of Japan, see Hyperdia for routes, schedules and fares.
OPTION 1 PART 2: Getting from Nagano to Myoko Kogen
You may wish to stop in at the Nagano train station information centre. They have maps for Myoko Kogen and loads of other resources.
Option A: Train
On arrival at Nagano Station take the escalator up, go through the ticket gates for the JR Shin-etsu Line, and take a train to Myoko Kogen Station (40 minutes). NB This train line is not included on the JR Rail Pass.
The ski resort villages are approximately 10-15 minutes drive from the Myokokogen Station. Many accommodation places provide complimentary pickup from the train station, otherwise you’ll have to catch a taxi or bus. The buses operate between 7am and 7pm and run to the Akakura Onsen village.
If travelling to Seki Onsen, rather than getting off at Myoko Kogen station, continue onto Sekiyama station.
Option B: Bus
Upon exiting the gates at Nagano station turn left to the east exit and take the lift down to the bus stops. There are one to two buses to Myoko Kogen each day (get the latest bus timetables from the train station information centre). The bus takes about 1:20 hours and the fare is reasonably inexpensive.
Option C: Taxi
This is a good option if you’ve caught one of the last bullet trains into Nagano (the last arrives just before midnight), or if you don’t want to lug your gear any further, and you have no budgetary concerns.
OPTION 2: Bus From Tokyo Airports to Myoko Kogen
It’s possible to get a shared taxi service directly from the Tokyo airports to Myoko Kogen. These transfers tend to be more expensive than the train/train/bus combo and the trip generally takes longer, but has the advantage of not having to carry your bags on trains and buses, and not having the stress of changing modes of transport.
Otherwise you can book your own shuttle bus with Nagano Snow Shuttle which has a few departure times including an evening time. The trip takes about 5 hours.
Getting Around Myoko Kogen
There are free shuttle buses that do loops around town and between Akakura Onsen ski resort and the Akakura Kanko ski area.
Getting to Suginohara and Ikenotaira from Akakura Onsen
Catch a Mt Myoko bus from opposite the post office at the bottom of the Akakura Onsen main road. The inexpensive buses to Suginohara and Ikenotaira ski resorts only go once an hour. Your accommodation should may be able to help you with the latest timetables. The trip to Suginohara takes about 25 minutes and it’s about 15 minutes to Ikenotaira.
Getting to Seki Onsen
There is a shuttle bus between Akakura Onsen and Seki Onsen, but there are only a couple of schedules per week and it only operates in the peak of the season. Check with the Myoko tourism association for the latest schedule.
Otherwise if you’re not on a multi-resort tour, the easiest way to get between Akakura Onsen and Seki Onsen is self-driving. The drive takes about 30 minutes.
Other Ski Resorts Nearby
There are various other major ski resorts near Nagano, so Myoko Kogen can easily be combined with another ski area on your holiday to Japan. To get to Hakuba, Nozawa Onsen or Shiga Kogen from Myoko, the cheapest way is to get back to Nagano via train or bus, and then get a bus out to the other ski resort. However this can be a little time consuming. A quicker option is to get a taxi or private shuttle with Nagano Snow Shuttle (Inter-Resort).
Day Trips to Nearby Ski Resorts
The best way to get to some of the nearby powder gems is to have your own wheels or as part of a Myoko Powder Package or a multi-resort tour such as the Nagano Niigata Explorer tour.
Distances from Akakura Onsen:
- Tangram – 14km southeast (interconnected with Madarao)
- Madarao – 19-23km southeast - for the 2016-17 season there will be daily buses between Madarao and Akakura Onsen
- Kurohime Kogen – 10km south (6km from Suginohara)
- Kijimadaira – 40km southeast
- Ryuoo – 49km southeast
- Togakushi – 30km southwest
- Iizuna Kogen – 28km southwest