Myoko Kogen Ski Resorts

Akakura Onsen is the main village at Myoko Kogen
Myoko is blessed with higher that average snowfalls in the area & it often nukes down!
Myoko Kogen is a dormant volcano & has 4 ski areas (not inter-connected)
Myoko has some lovely traditional ryokans & Japanese hotels
Many of the hotels in Myoko Kogen have indoor & outdoor hot springs
Akakura has some night skiing
Myoko Kogen has some fabulous traditional restaurants
And there are plenty of bars & Izakayas around Myoko Kogen as well
The lift infrastructure at the Myoko Kogen ski areas is a mix of modern to archaic
Sushi is pretty easy to come by in Myoko Kogen
The nightlife is generally pretty sedate but there are a few spots that can get a bit roudy
There are many quality sake brewers in the Myoko Kogen area
Myoko Kogen still provides a nice Japanese cultural experience
There is a great variety of Japanese cuisine in Myoko Kogen
Sekki Onsen is one of Myoko's 4 ski areas and is renowned for its huge dumps of snow
Madarao Kogen is a great ski area and can easily be reached for a day trip
Lotte Arai is also a fabulous ski area within easy reach of a day trip from Myoko Kogen
The snow monkey onsen is about 1 hour's drive from Myoko Kogen
Zenho-ji Temple is a famous temple in Nagano amongst many
Myoko Kogen has a nice village feel rather than a big ski resort

Myoko Kogen Ski Resorts

Readers Ratings

Myoko Kogen

Myoko Kogen4/517
Myoko Kogen4 out of 5 based on 17 reviews
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Myoko Kogen Japan

The Myoko Kogen ski region is ideal for powder hounds. It scores highly on the pow-dometer thanks to a whopping 13-15 metres of pow per season on average! The Myoko Kogen ski resort area is also great for those looking for a bit of a Japanese cultural experience without it being too overwhelming. Myoko Japan is a far cry from one of those glitzy bubble era resorts or the highly westernised “Japanese” ski resorts. Founded in the 1930s, Myoko is rich in history, Japanese people own many of the businesses, and the area has lots of unadulterated onsen (hot springs). Lots of westerners now head to Myoko so it’s lost a bit of its Japanese-ness, but the upside is that it’s now much easier for English speaking travellers and there is a bit of nightlife.

Pros and Cons of Myoko Japan

  • The Myoko Kogen ski areas are a must do for powder hounds considering the quantity of snow and the opportunity to get off-piste (in some areas).
  • Powder hounds can easily also visit nearby ski areas such as Madarao, Tangram or  Lotte Arai to score more pow.
  • Akakura Onsen has a good range of restaurants to explore and most of the restaurants and izakayas (Japanese bars that serve snack food) have English menus, and the staff speak at least a little Engrish.
  • There has been a moderate influx of gaijin but it’s still retained its Japanese flavour. Particularly if you venture away from Akakura, plenty of the “real Japan” remains.
  • Myoko is one of only several Japanese ski resorts to offer child care and group ski and snowboard lessons in English. The other ski resorts that have this pro tend to be very westernised.
  • There isn’t that much to do during the day except ski or snowboard.
  • The villages look rather run down in places, but the upside of it not being glitzy and new is that it feels somewhat traditional (and a sign that there hasn’t been a major injection of western money).
  • The two ski areas adjacent to the main village (Akakura) don’t provide much in the way of steep fall line terrain.
  • As is typical of the non-westernised Japanese ski resorts, there is only a small amount of self-contained accommodation such as apartments in Myoko Japan.

Myoko Ski Resort Terrain

There isn’t actually a Myoko Kogen ski resort per se. The Myoko area is made up of a handful of ski resorts that are largely linked together only by shuttle bus. The main ski area is Myoko Akakura which is made up of two resorts side by side; Akakura Kanko ski resort and Akakura Onsen. Suginohara ski resort features super long cruisy groomers and good sidecountry, Seki Onsen is renowned for steep and deep tree skiing, Ikenotaira Onsen has good freestyle fun, and family friendly slopes can be found at Kyukamura and Myoko Ski Park.

There’s something for everyone across the Myoko Kogen ski resorts although the area is most well known amongst powder hounds for the treed slopes and off-piste riding. Some of the Myoko ski resorts also have sidecountry and backcountry opportunities, which is where the serious powder chasers head, considering that Myoko has become more mainstream and the off-piste areas get chowdered up pretty quickly.

Myoko Kogen Snow

Myoko Kogen is famed for the abundant snow which results from its proximity to the Sea of Japan. No one can quite agree on the average snow volume per season, other than it’s A LOT, and that it’s higher than other ski resorts near Nagano City such as Hakuba, Nozawa Onsen and Shiga Kogen. Seki Onsen reputably gets 16 metres per season, but it’s hard to know if this is just part of the hype associated with Seki or whether it’s the source of the hype!

Where is Myoko Japan?

Myoko Kogen is located one hour north of the city of Nagano in the Niigata Prefecture in the heart of the Joshinetsu National Park. From Tokyo the best way to travel to Myoko is to take the Nagano Shinkansen (bullet train) to Nagano (approx 100 minutes), then the Shinetsu train line to Myoko Kogen Station. The ski villages such as Akakura Onsen are approximately 10 minutes from the station via taxi or most accommodations provide transport.

Alternatively there are direct shuttle buses from the Tokyo airports to Myoko Kogen with Nagano Snow Shuttle.

In addition to the Myoko Kogen ski resorts, there are various other nearby ski resorts to explore, and if you book a Myoko Powder Tour, your hosts and guides will provide transport to nearby ski areas and show you the powder stashes.

Myoko Kogen Accommodation

“Myoko” is the town in the valley near Myokokogen train station, but many people stay in one of the ski villages up at the base of the Myoko ski resorts. Akakura Onsen is generally the most popular village to stay because it offers good access to the main ski resorts, and has the largest number of bars and restaurants. Myoko accommodation varies from traditional pensions, ryokans and lodges, to more European style hotels.

Myoko Accommodation Listings

Facilities & Activities

Even though Myoko Kogen has a bit of a traditional Japanese vibe, the facilities are reasonably well set up for Westerners and families, including English speaking ski school and day care.

The mandatory après activity is to take a soak in one of the many onsen, which range from hotel based onsens to delightful outdoor hot springs that are surrounded by forests or offer views. Due to its proximity to Nagano, Myoko Kogen also provides access to some culturally interesting side trips.

Myoko Restaurants & Nightlife

Myoko is not a place with an overly vibrant nightlife relative to Austria or Whistler, but by Japanese ski resort standards it’s pretty good, especially in Akakura Onsen village where most of the Myoko restaurants and bars are located. You can choose from westernised bars or izakayas and traditional restaurants where you can partake in some kanpai.
Tours That Include Myoko

Safari (Road Trip) Tours

Alps to Coast Tour
9 Nights | Option of 1 Day Cat Skiing | Deluxe Option
Ability: Advanced to Expert
This backcountry tour includes the HAKUBA region with its steep alpine terrain and the MYOKO area which receives big snow falls. Choose from either a side country tour (lift accessed backcountry) or ski touring/skinning backcountry. Option to include a day of cat skiing & option for deluxe accommodation.
Price p/p From price based on a twin share room for group tour for 2020 (price displayed is per person).
Base/invoice currency is in JPY inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 2,930
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Pow Pow Japan Tour
Cultural Ski & Snowboard Adventure
Ability: Beginner to Expert
Ski Japan's famous powder in conjunction with a rich cultural experience on this hosted tour. The tour is hosted by a local Japanese person who speaks fluent English; whilst the focus of the tours is primarily snow sports, you will experience the culture, food & festivities beyond the normal ski/snowboard adventure.
Price p/p From price based on 8-day sample itinerary, twin-share room (group of 6).
Base/invoice currency is in Japanese Yen inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 1,536
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Fire & Snow
8 Nights | 7 Days Skiing/Riding
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Advanced
Enjoy powder skiing/riding whilst visiting some of the best ski areas in Nagano & Niigata including Nozawa Onsen, Lotte Arai, Myoko Kogen, Madarao/Tangram, Shiga Kogen & finish with the Nozawa Fire Festival. Also visit the snow monkeys, Matsumoto Castle, sake brewery & onsen.
Price p/p From price is based twin-share rooms (private room upgrade is extra & is subject to availability at time of booking)
Base/invoice currency is in Japanese Yen inclusive of tax
*Display price may vary slightly due to fluctuation in exchange rates.
USD 3,246
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See all Safari (Road Trip) tours that visit Myoko Kogen here

Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area Tours

Myoko Progression Tours
8 Days | 7 Nights | 5 Days Skiing | Up to 7 Ski Areas
Ability: Beginner to Advanced
Want to improve your riding to tackle bigger and better terrain? Well this tour could be for you! Get ski or snowboard instruction and learn to ride & ski deep powder whilst immersing yourself in Japanese culture.
Price p/p From price based on twin/triple/quad-share room occupancy.
Base/invoice currency is in AUD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 2,790
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Myoko Deep Tour
7 Nights | 5 Days Guided Skiing / Riding
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
The MYOKO KOGEN area receives some of the highest snow falls in Japan. On this Myoko tour you can head deep into the backcountry or just score the powder in the sidecountry (lift accessed) terrain of Myoko and surrounding ski areas.
Price p/p From price based on a twin share room for fixed date group tour 2020 (price displayed is per person).
Base/invoice currency is in JPY inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 2,139
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Myoko Powder Tour
7 Nights | 6 Days Lifts | 5 Days Morning Guiding
Ability: Intermediate to Advanced
Get the best out of Myoko Kogen and nearby ski resorts and chase the powder with a Myoko Kogen Powder Tour. This tour includes quality accommodation in a great location, transport to nearby ski areas & morning guide. Tours runs Saturday to Saturday.
Price p/p Sample price based on twin/double-share option at the Lodge with shared bathroom, 7 nights for the 20/21 season.
Base/invoice currency is in AUD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 1,511
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See all Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area tours that visit Myoko Kogen here

Backcountry Skiing Tours

Myoko Guided Day Tours
For PRIVATE & MIXED (early season) GROUPS of up to 5 people
Ability: Intermediate to Expert
If you are in the MYOKO area, you can't go past a day or more of guided skiing or snowboarding. The area (& also other nearby resorts) is huge & some of the best skiing is outside of the resort boundaries which should only be accessed with a guide. Bring your own group (of up to 5) or join a group as a solo/small group
Price p/p From price based on group tour per person.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 177
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See all Backcountry Skiing tours that visit Myoko Kogen here