Getting To Kagura

Getting To Kagura

Tenjindaira Backcountry Tours

Where is Kagura?

The Kagura Ski Resort is located near Yuzawa in the Niigata Prefecture of Japan. Kagura Ski Resort is made up of three ski areas - Kagura, Mitsumata and Tashiro, with the latter two areas accessible from villages via ropeway (cable car). Both villages are located on route 17 not far from the Kanetsu Expressway. The Mitsumata village is the closest to Yuzawa, and a further 7km south is the Tashiro ropeway station.

Kagura Ski Resort is located next to the Naeba ski resort and is interconnected via a long gondola.

Kagura is about 175km northwest from Tokyo Japan. The travel time from Tokyo to Kagura via train and bus is only about 2 hours.


Many travellers use Tokyo Narita as the gateway airport for Kagura and Naeba, but Niigata airport which is located 150km north of Yuzawa is another option. Niigata airport receives many flights from other Japanese cities, and also Shanghai, Seoul and Russia.

To search for flights with a range of different airlines, use one of our recommended flight aggregators.

Train to Echigo Yuzawa from Tokyo and Narita Airport

Narita Express (NEX) trains run at regular intervals from the Narita Airport railway terminals to Tokyo. The train trip takes about one hour.

From Tokyo take the Joetsu Shinkansen (bullet train) to Echigo-Yuzawa Station. The trip takes between 70 and 90 minutes. You can check Hyperdia for schedules – enter the station as “Echigo-Yuzawa” not “Yuzawa”.

See the Japan rail page regarding whether it’s worth purchasing a JR East rail pass.

Train from Niigata Airport to Echigo Yuzawa

From the Niigata airport take the airport bus to Niigata train station, a trip that takes about 25 minutes. Take the bullet train from Niigata station to Echigo Yuzawa Station which takes approximately 45 minutes.

Bus from Echigo Yuzawa to Kagura (Mitsumata and Tashiro)

A reasonably regular Kagura shuttle bus runs from the west exit of the Echigo-Yuzawa train station in front of the Hatago Isen Café. In the main part of the season there are three morning schedules on weekdays and six schedules on weekends, and various schedules to get back to Yuzawa. From the Echigo-Yuzawa train station the bus only takes 25 minutes to get to Mitsumata and a further 15 minutes to travel to Tashiro Station.

There is also a local bus to Kagura that stops outside the east exit of the Echigo Yuzawa train station.

Echigo-Yuzawa Station

It’s worth checking out the train station if you’ve got the time. The station is a treasure chest of food shops and it has a market place with great souvenirs, food tasting, and lots of sake stalls where you can try before you buy. A popular spot to visit is the sake tasting shop. They have oodles of different sake and for a small fee you get tokens for five tastes. The shop also has a salt tasting area.

Driving to Kagura Ski Resort

Having a rental car provides lots of flexibility to visit other Yuzawa ski resorts (or Gunma ski resorts such as Tenjindaira) and to head into Yuzawa for dinner. It’s a reasonably easy drive to Kagura, especially with modern GPS capability. The telephone number of Kagura for GPS navigation is 025 788 9221.

Getting Between Kagura and Naeba Ski Resort Even for beginner skiers it’s possible to get between Kagura and Naeba via the Dragondola, a long gondola that takes about 20 minutes between the Tashiro ski area of Kagura and Naeba. On a quiet day they might not run the gondola at full speed so it might take a little longer. The Dragondola is only open between 9am and 3:30pm.

The other option is to catch a shuttle bus between the ski areas. There’s a free shuttle bus (for those with Mt Naeba combined lift tickets) that runs between the Naeba Prince Hotel and Tashiro station (takes 20 minutes) and Mitsumata station (a further 20 minutes).

Other Ski Resorts Nearby

There are lots of Yuzawa ski resorts nearby. In addition to Naeba and Naeba Asagai, other nearby resorts include Gala Yuzawa and Joetsu Kokusai.

Some of the Gunma ski areas such as Tenjindaira and Houdaigi are also close by.