Getting To Appi Kogen

Getting To Appi Kogen

Where is Appi Kogen?

The Appi Ski Resort is situated on Mt Maemori and Mt Nishimori in the Hachimantai National Park. Appi Kogen is located at latitude 40 degrees north in the western part of the Iwate Prefecture in the northern part of Honshu (Tohoku), about 580km north of Tokyo. Appi Kogen is 50km northwest of the city of Morioka, the capital city of the Iwate Prefecture.

Appi Kogen is located in Hachimantai City which is really a region, not a city per se.

The Appi Kogen train station (Hanawa line) is 3.5km away from the ski resort.


The closest gateway airport for Appi is Iwate Hanamaki, with domestic flights originating from Sapporo (55 minute flight) or Osaka Itami (1:25 hour flight), and international flights from Shanghai-Pudong (with China Eastern Airlines) and Taipei-Taoyuan (Tigerair Taiwan). For Appi hotel guests, there are a couple of Hanamaki Airport shuttles to Appi Kogen that line up with flight times. Otherwise it’s possible to get a taxi or limousine from the airport to Appi.

The other option is Sendai Airport and for Appi hotel guests there are a few scheduled shuttles per day between Sendai Airport and Appi Kogen.

Otherwise you can use the Tokyo Narita or Haneda airports as a gateway and catch trains then shuttle to get to Appi Kogen.

You can look at flight options here.

Train to Morioka

From Tokyo (or the Haneda or Narita airports) the easiest way to travel to Appi is via train, and the Tohoku Shinkansen Express bullet train from Tokyo to Morioka Station takes only 2 to 2.5 hours! Check Japan Travel Navitime or Jorudan for train timetables as well as fares.

Travel from Morioka to Appi

From the Morioka train station there’s an inexpensive bus to Appi Kogen that takes about 50 -60 minutes and leaves from the west exit bus terminal. There are about 5 schedules per weekday and 7 per day on weekends and holidays. The bus stops in the Appi pension village and also at the major Appi hotels.

The other option is to catch a train from Morioka to Appi Kogen station on the JR Hanawa Line, which takes about one hour. The train has only about 9 services a day. From Appi Kogen station there’s a hotel-run shuttle bus that takes 10 minutes, or if you’re staying at one of the Appi pensions you can pre-arrange a station pick-up with your host.

Driving to Appi Kogen

If Appi Kogen is your only destination you don’t need a car, but if you want to visit various resorts in the northern Tohoku area, having a car is necessary unless you’re on a multi-resort tour.

There are car rental outlets adjacent to Morioka station, and thankfully they have rental cars with navigation systems in English.

Driving to Appi Kogen is pretty easy because it’s just off the Tohoku Expressway. The Appi phone number for GPS navigation is 195-73-6401.

Getting Around Appi Kogen

There is a very regular resort shuttle bus that travels between the hotels, the resort centre and the onsen complex. 

There is also an infrequent shuttle bus that travels around the Appi pension village, although most pension owners will provide a shuttle service to and from the ski resort if you don’t want to walk (it takes about 10-15 minutes).

Ski Resorts & Cat Skiing Near Appi Kogen

There are several nearby ski resorts that are ideal for powder hounds so the Iwate region lends itself well to a DIY road trip or a multi-resort guided tour. You can look at the map above regarding ski areas near Appi.

Hachimantai Panorama ski area is 19km to the south. It’s a mostly mellow ski area.

Shimokura ski area is 21km to the south of Appi Kogen.

Hachimantai Cat Skiing is 24km southeast of Appi.

Tazawako is 92km southwest of Appi and Geto Kogen is 118km to the south – both are ski areas that are great for powder hounds.

Hakkoda, the amazing backcountry-type ski area that is serviced by a ropeway, is a fraction further afield (135km to the north).

The imposing Mt Iwate is about 20km south of Appi Kogen, and is popular for its backcountry skiing opportunities. Other nearby ski resorts: