Getting To Madarao

Getting To Madarao

Myoko Kogen Powder Packages

Travel To & Around Madarao

Where is Madarao Japan?

Madarao Kogen lies in the very northern part of the Nagano Prefecture and across the border into the Niigata Prefecture. A large proportion of the Madarao Kogen village sits in Nagano Prefecture, whilst much of the ski area sits in the Niigata Prefecture (officially part of Myoko city).

Madarao Japan is 38km northeast of the city of Nagano, which is 233km northwest of Tokyo. The little temple town of Iiyama (pronounced ee-ama) is located 11km east of Madarao, whilst Myokokogen town is 13.5km to the west.

Getting to Madarao Japan

You can utilise either the Tokyo Narita Airport or the Haneda Airport as a gateway to travel to Madarao. You can look at flight options here. Depending on flight times and travel schedules, there is some potential you might need to stay in a Narita Airport hotel or Haneda Airport hotel.

Train to Iiyama

A fast way to get to Madarao is to catch the shinkansen (bullet train) from Tokyo or Ueno (a train station on the Nagano side of Tokyo) to Iiyama. Catching the trains also gives a nice insight into part of the Japanese culture.

From Narita Airport, you can catch the Keisei Skyliner to Ueno (takes about 1 hour) then the bullet train to Iiyama (takes about 100 minutes).

From Haneda Airport, board the monorail to Hamamatsucho then a train to Tokyo Station (about 20 minutes). From Tokyo, the bullet train to Iiyama can take as little as 105 minutes.

For train timetables and routes you can use google or Japan Navitime, and unless it’s a major holiday you probably don’t need to pre-book your train tickets. To assist planning your train travel or to purchase tickets, you can visit a JR EAST Travel Service Centre at major train stations including Narita Airport (Terminal 1, 2-3), Haneda Airport, and Ueno.  

To travel from Iiyama train station to Madarao, there are somewhat regular buses that drop off at the Madarao Kogen Hotel, you can get a taxi (the trip takes about 30 minutes), or some lodges offer train station pick-ups.

Airport to Madarao Bus

Another option to travel to Madarao from the Haneda or Narita Airport is a bus. The trip takes longer than the train, about 5-6 hours, but the Madarao Kogen bus provides the advantage of not having to lug your bags around the train stations and on and off trains and buses. There are a couple of companies that offer this service, but the schedules are only 3 to 4 times a day, which may not line up well with your flight times. Generally the drop-off point is the Madarao Kogen Hotel, although the Nagano Snow Shuttle evening services include an accommodation drop-off. This can be a good option if you arrive at the Narita airport in the evening and want to get to Madarao the same night. Check your accommodation allows check-in in the early hours of the morning.

[AdListings collection="Japan" category="Madarao" subcategory="Scheduled Airport Transfers"]

Door to Door Airport Transfer to Madarao

Chuo Taxi is an option for direct airport transfers to Madarao. This offers the ultimate in convenience with door-to-door transport and minimal waiting time at the airport. Chuo offers either shared taxis which are surprisingly affordable, and private charters which are reasonable value if you have a group. One-way rates for a taxi from either airport (2023-24 season):

  • Shared taxi - 18,500yen per adult, 8,000yen per child
  • Private jumbo taxi - 78,000yen for 1~4people

Driving to Madarao

Driving to Madarao provides the distinct advantage of having the flexibility to easily visit various nearby ski resorts and go powder hunting. The Madarao telephone number for GPS navigation is 0269-64-3214 or it's on google maps.

The roads up to Madarao are somewhat windy and steep for a Japanese ski resort, but if you get a rental car from Nagano they have snow tyres so there is no need to put chains on (this may not be the case from Haneda or Narita Airport). See our Japan driving tips for general information.

Day trippers may find it easier to park at Tangram, or if you park at Madarao #8 near the Heidi Restaurant and ticket office is best. You can also easily get a refund on your IC lift ticket. Or parking lot #7, you can get your pass refund in the coffee shop.

[AdListings collection="Japan" category="Honshu" subcategory="Car Rentals"]

Private Transport to Madarao Japan

Madarao is often included on various multi-resort tours where a guide/driver takes you to Madarao for the day. These tours may be based in Myoko Kogen or Yudanaka for example.

Getting Between Iiyama and the Ski Resort

The bus schedules between Iiyama train station and Madarao usually allows for a trip down to Iiyama in the evenings. You might want to visit one of the Iiyama restaurants. Heading to Iiyama is also handy if you need an ATM or supermarket, or during the day you can look around the little temples. Ask your accommodation for a bus timetable (including the Notama bus) or taxi estimate.

Getting Around Madarao Ski Resort

There are no public shuttle buses around the village so you may need to do a bit of walking. From the lower and outer parts of the village it takes about 10 to 15 minutes to get to the slopes or restaurants. Some of the Madarao accommodation providers will assist with shuttles around the village. 

Other Ski Resorts Near Madarao

Have a look above at the map of Nagano and Niigata ski resorts, where you’ll see that Madarao is beautifully positioned in the middle of a zone of ski resorts.

Madarao is inter-connected via the lifts and slopes with Tangram. By road it’s about 5.5km between the two ski resorts.

At the end of the village is the old Hotel Sympathique Madarao with the Madarao Sympathique Ski Resort dropping down below it. This is a tiny ski resort that along with Madarao Kogen Toyota is no longer in operation.

Nozawa Onsen is a 22.5km drive to the northeast of Madarao. There are inexpensive buses that connect Madarao and Nozawa Onsen (and Iiyama). The timetable isn’t great for powder chasing, especially if you want to head to Nozawa because the bus arrives mid morning. The Notama bus no longer stops at Togari Onsen Ski Resort (a low elevation has-been skijo) which is 19km northeast of Madarao.

Madarao is also close to Myoko Kogen with Akakura Onsen, the main hub of Myoko Kogen, being only 19km to the west (the Tangram side is only 13.5km to Akakura). There are daily buses between Myoko Kogen and Madarao such as the Myoko Shuttle bus.

Other nearby ski resorts: A couple of the Madarao lodges provide private tours/transport to nearby ski resorts for their guests such as Japan Snowsports.

[AdListings collection="Japan" category="Madarao" subcategory="Inter Resort Transfers"]