Myoko Kogen Ski Tours, Activities

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Take a day trip to the famous snow monkey onsen
Soak in one of the many onsens in and around Myoko Kogen
Take a leisurely trail ride on a snowmobile with Yukibancho Snowmobiles
Spend a day of snowmobile backcountry access skiing/boarding with Maki Snowmobile Tours
Get first tracks on the Akakura Fresh Tracks snow cat
Visit the historic Zenkoji Temple in Nagano
Walk the streets of old Nagano (near Zenkoji Temple)
Take a trip to the historic Matsumoto Castle where Samarais & Ninjas did battle
Jump on a day tour to one or more of the nearby ski areas such as Madarao (pictured)
Get on a guided backcountry day tour in Myoko or at a nearby resort

Myoko Kogen Ski Tours, Activities

Wagner Custome Skis

Myoko Kogen Ski Tours

Myoko Kogen offers lots of opportunities for backcountry skiing. Above the ski resorts, ascents to the mountain peaks offer some fabulous skiing and snowboarding and you can explore these on a Myoko backcountry tour.

Hikarigahara Cat Tours offer cat skiing day trips, which is a great way to score fresh powder without competition from other powder hunters or the fear of ski patrol getting antsy. The Myoko cat skiing is about 28km northwest of Akakura Onsen. Transfers from Akakura to the snowcat staging area are not included in the package and good luck trying to get hold of them.

There is a form of cat skiing available in Myoko with a first tracks program and another package that includes an introduction to backcountry hiking and riding.

Myoko Kogen is also a central location to many other ski areas such as Madarao, Nozawa Onsen and Shiga Kogen and there are several guided tour operators that can organise tours to these and other destinations from Myoko Kogen.

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Other Activities

Sake and beer tasting are among some of the favourite non-skiing activities but a great Myoko activity to add to your trip is a snowmobile tour.

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Myoko Kogen Onsen

The various villages of Myoko don’t have “onsen” in their name for nothing. Myoko Valley has an abundance of rejuvenating onsens, thanks to the Mt Myoko volcano, the source of the thermal spring waters. Soaking in one of the onsen is a fabulous après ski activity to soothe fatigues muscles. It also provides some cultural insight into a popular Japanese past-time. See our Japanese onsen page for tips on onsen etiquette.

Many of the hotels have their own onsen, some with rotenburo (open air), such as Hotel Taiko, Kogakuro, and the Akakura Kanko Hotel & Spa. Besides the hotel onsen, the Akakura Onsen village has two outdoor onsens, one of which is free.

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Sightseeing Activities near Nagano

For many of the activities near Nagano, unless you go on a tour, you’ll need to catch a train from Myokokogen into Nagano and then take a bus or taxi from there, or charter a taxi for the day.

The Zenkoji Temple in Nagano is over 1,400 years old. This multi-denominational temple houses the first image of Buddha brought to Japan in the 7th century. The main temple has a huge hinoki thatched roof and is popular with tourists because it looks classically Japanese. The little cobblestone streets surrounding the temple have lanterns and tiered roof stalls that sell cute yet kitsch touristy souvenirs.

Matsumoto Castle is a national treasure, and the five storey donjon is one of the oldest castles in Japan. The castle also has a museum next door.

Dai-o Wasabi Farm is a popular addition to a sightseeing tour of the area. The fields of wasabi are perfectly manicured, but the highlight of the tour is to sample lots of wasabi, an icon of Japanese food. Taste all sorts of wasabi food stuffs and give your sinuses a complete buzz with wasabi snacks, wasabi ice-cream, wasabi sausages and wasabi beer!

It seems like a rite of passage into a Japan ski holiday to visit the Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park, home to hundreds of monkeys that use the hot waters of the onsens to keep warm from the harsh winter. The snow monkeys are very amusing to observe. They have human-like faces and some of their antics seem human-like, especially after you’ve seen the behaviour of some Japanese men in an onsen!

The snow monkey park is near Shiga Kogen, so if you’re also visiting Shiga Kogen on your holiday you’ll find it easier to visit the park from there.

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