Togakushi3.5 out of 5 based on 1 reviews
  • Recommend
    100%
  • Would Revisit
    100%
Wagner Custome Skis
Nagano Niigata Explorere Tour
Our Terrain Ratings
 Beginner  
 Intermediate  
 Adv. on-piste
 
 Off-piste  
 Slackcountry  
 Expert  
 Extreme
 
 Tree skiing
 
 Powder  
 Freshies  
 Uncrowded  
 Lifts  
 Terrain park
 
 Powderhound  

powderhound rating = advanced/expert terrain + powder + freshies + uncrowded

There are fresh lines galore in the trees at Togakushi
There are fresh lines galore in the trees at Togakushi
More fresh lines at Togakushi Japan
More fresh lines at Togakushi Japan
The views from Togakushi Ski Resort
The views from Togakushi Ski Resort
The beginners runs are near the base area
The beginners runs are near the base area
There is little competition for the powder
There is little competition for the powder
Powder on the piste
Powder on the piste
Takatsuma restaurant at the base area
Takatsuma restaurant at the base area
A great spot for lunch or apres ski
A great spot for lunch or apres ski
It seems compulsory to have soba noodles
It seems compulsory to have soba noodles
Togakushi Snow World Japan
Togakushi Snow World Japan
The tiny "village"
The tiny
Toga is great for powder hounds for a day or two
Toga is great for powder hounds for a day or two
Heading down to the secondary base
Heading down to the secondary base
You can head to Togakushi as part of a Myoko powder package
You can head to Togakushi as part of a Myoko powder package
Snowboarding on one of the Togakushi piste
Snowboarding on one of the Togakushi piste
Off-piste skiing Togakushi ski resort
Off-piste skiing Togakushi ski resort
Togakushi is located near Nagano
Togakushi is located near Nagano
The main base facilities
The main base facilities
The snow quality is generally very good
The snow quality is generally very good
Togakushi has a little sidecountry
Togakushi has a little sidecountry

Togakushi

The Togakushi Ski Resort (aka Togakushi Snow World) feels like a private ski resort for just you and your powder ninja friends. Togakushi is deserted on weekdays and even though a few Japanese turn up on the weekends, the off-piste areas remain barren and there is absolutely no competition for the powder.

The base area of Togakushi Ski Resort is rather quaint although the buildings appear somewhat run-down. Considering there are so few people that visit, you can’t help but wonder if this is yet another Japanese ski resort on the cusp of ceasing operation.

Whilst the skiing is relatively unknown at Togakushi, the area is very famous for its amazing soba noodles (buckwheat noodles). Togakushi Village is also thought by some to be the birthplace of ninjutsu, and close to the ski resort is a ninja museum and training ground (open April to November only) as well as the Togakushi Shrine, which is rich in mythical Japanese history.

Togakushi Ski and Snowboard Terrain

Like many other Japanese ski resorts, Togakushi is not large with only 7 chair lifts (2 quads, 5 doubles), 19 courses, and 58 hectares of piste across 550 metres of vertical (1,200 - 1,750 metres) which can’t be skied in one continuous hit.

The Togakushi ski resort has two peaks. The lower one has an elevation of 1,549 metres and is the start of the majority of the runs. The terrain separates into two parts that descend to the main base hub and a smaller base area. The upper peak (Mt Menou – 1,750m) offers a smaller amount of terrain.

As is somewhat typical of many Japan ski resorts, the trail stats are reasonably evenly spread across the different ability levels (30% beginner, 40% intermediate, 30% advanced). There are 3 black runs serviced by a pair lift that are aptly rated as advanced runs and provide moderate pitch.

And typical of non-westernised Honshu ski resorts, off-piste skiing is officially banned but possible with some care. One of the pros of the tree skiing at Togakushi is that it’s reasonably easy to remain discrete, and the obvious advantage is that no one skis off-piste except perhaps for a few guided skiers. The off-piste tree runs are typically short but very sweet, and some require some negotiation around creek lines depending on the snow cover. Togakushi also has a little sidecountry with very easy access and egress.

Togakushi Snow

Whilst Togakushi doesn’t receive as much snowfall as some other high profile Nagano ski resorts (about 7.6 metres on average per season), the quality of the powder is typically very good. The front face of Togakushi Ski Resort is mostly north facing, and the top elevation of the resort at 1,750 metres is higher than many other neighbouring ski resorts.

Where is Togakushi Ski Resort?

Togakushi Snow World is located about 24km northwest of Nagano City, 42km east of Hakuba, and 30km southwest of Myoko Kogen (about a 45 minute drive).

It’s not that easy to get to Togakushi via public transport. You can get a Kawanakajima bus from Nagano Station to the Togakushi Shrine, but you’d have to walk from there if your accommodation doesn’t offer shuttle pick-ups. Otherwise there are shuttle buses from Kurohime train station, but these have to be pre-arranged with the resort (hopefully your Japanese language skills are good!).

The drive to Togakushi can be a little more challenging than some of the other Nagano ski resorts, which is probably another factor that keeps the crowds away.

Alternatively Powder Recon heads there for day trips from Myoko Kogen as part of Myoko Powder Packages.

Togakushi Accommodation

The main base area of Togakushi has a quasi-village with just a hotel and a handful of pensions and restaurants, so it’s very very quiet. The Togakushi accommodation is simple and inexpensive.

Lodge Pico is ski-in and a 3 minute walk to the slopes, offering basic Japanese style accommodation with shared bathrooms. Packages can include breakfast or half-board.

Togakushi- Kogen Minshuku Rindo is located on the outskirts of the ski area in a ski-in location (and 1 minute walk out). 

Facilities

The base area offers simple amenities for skiers and snowboarders including equipment rentals, a small convenience shop, child care for infants 18 months+ (no English), and ski school (no English). There are also a few eateries.

We visited Takatsuma, a cute little restaurant in a ski-in location. They served up the most amazing soba noodle set meals and there was a barista who made great coffees (in Japan you need to grab any opportunity you can for a half decent coffee!!). Upstairs was a little café that opened for après-ski with beers, divine apple pie and a few other sweet treats.

Summary of Pros and Cons of Togakushi

Pros

  • Whilst many other Nagano ski resorts are highly trafficked, Togakushi is a deserted paradise for greedy powder hounds who want all the powder to themselves.
  • Some of the little tree runs are plenty of fun for advanced riders!
  • Togakushi is also ideal for intermediate powder seekers on a powder day considering there is little competition for fresh lines on the piste.
  • The elevation is higher than Myoko Kogen and some other Nagano ski resorts, so the snow quality is generally very good.
  • The soba noodles are supremo!

Cons

  • Like many Japanese ski resorts (especially the non-westernised ones), there is inadequate terrain for more than 1-2 days of riding.
  • It can be a little difficult to get there (which keeps the hordes away), although it’s easy enough to do a day trip from Myoko Kogen as part of a Myoko Powder Package.

Pro or Con Depending on Your Perspective

  • Togakushi is delightfully devoid of any western influence, so particularly if you had a multi-day stay you’d get to experience the real Japan. Other than at the hotel, little if any English is spoken, and the resort definitely can’t cater for families looking for kids group lessons or childcare with English speaking staff.
  • There’s certainly no bling bling. Everything is pleasantly simple at Togakushi (albeit a fraction ramshackle in places). 

Tours That May Include Togakushi

Safari (Road Trip) Tours
The Legendary Roadie DETAILS
HOSTED & GUIDED ROAD TRIP (SKIERS ONLY)
14 Days | 13 Nights | 11 Days Skiing
From price based on twin-share.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 3,861 USD 3,861
Book & pay a deposit by June 30 & get 5% off advertised prices
Book by June 30 & get 5% off advertised prices
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Experience Japan powder like no other on this legendary road trip where you will visit up to 11 resorts in 3 prefectures; Nagano, Gunma & Niigata! Join a tour as a solo traveler, couple or small group. Max 6 spots per tour so get in quickly!
More
See all Safari (Road Trip) tours that visit Togakushi here
Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area Tours
Nagano Ski & Snowboard Progression DETAILS
SKI / SNOWBOARD GUIDED INSTRUCTION
10 Days | 9 Nights | 8 Skiing | Up to 8 Ski Areas
From price based on quad-share dorm room with shared bathroom.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 2,241 USD 2,241
Book & pay deposit by June 30 & get 5% off advertised prices
Book by June 30 & get 5% off advertised prices
Ability: Intermediate to Strong Intermediate
Learn to ski and ride deep powder with more confidence or improve your on-piste technique whilst checking out some of Nagano's fabulous ski areas away from the masses of foreigners. In addition to the skiing and snowboarding, experience an area rich in culture and history.
More
Nagano Ski Buffet DETAILS
GUIDED SKI ADVENTURE (SKIERS ONLY)
10 Days | 9 Nights | 8 Skiing | Up to 8 Ski Areas
From price based on quad-share room at Hostel Aibiya with shared bathroom.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 2,241 USD 2,241
Book before June 30 and get 5% off displayed prices
Book by June 30 & get 5% off displayed prices
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Combine deep untracked powder skiing where few foreigners go, with a rich Japanese cultural experience, traditional Japanese accommodation and authentic Japanese food, and you have the perfect Japanese ski adventure!
More
Nagano Snowboarders Buffet DETAILS
GUIDED SNOWBOARD ADVENTURE
10 Days | 9 Nights | 8 Riding | Up to 8 Ski Areas
From price based on quad-share dorm room with shared bathroom.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 2,241 USD 2,241
Book & pay a deposit by June 30 & get 5% off advertised prices
Book by June 30 & get 5% off advertised prices
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Combine deep untracked powder riding where few foreigners go, with a rich Japanese cultural experience, a traditional hotel and food, & you have the perfect Japanese snowboarding adventure!
More
See all Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area tours that visit Togakushi here
Backcountry Skiing Tours
Alps to Coast Tour DETAILS
HAKUBA & MYOKO BC ADVENTURE
9 Nights | 8 Days Guided Skiing / Riding
From price based on a twin 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 2,691
Ability: Advanced to 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 backcountry tour takes in the steep & deep alpine terrain of the Hakuba Valley and the deep POW around Myoko.
More
Myoko Deep Tour DETAILS
MYOKO BC ADVENTURE
9 Nights | 8 Days Guided Skiing / Riding
From price based on a twin 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 2,691
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
The MYOKO KOGEN area receives some of the highest snow falls in Japan. This tour takes you to the deep backcountry and sidecountry terrain of Myoko and surrounding ski areas.
More
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 124
Ability: Intermediate to Expert
If you are in the HAKUBA area you can't go past a day or more of guided skiing or snowboarding in the backcountry or sidecountry. Tours are for PRIVATE GROUPS ONLY of up to 5 guests.
More
See all Backcountry Skiing tours that visit Togakushi here