Myoko Ski Resorts

Myoko Ski Resorts

Our Terrain Ratings

Powderhound rating = advanced/expert terrain + powder + freshies + uncrowded

Our Terrain Ratings

Powderhound rating = advanced/expert terrain + powder + freshies + uncrowded

Myoko Ski Areas

The Myoko ski resorts combined offer something for most ability levels: mellow slopes for beginners with opportunities for night skiing; long groomed runs for intermediates; and tree skiing for advanced riders. Myoko skiing in-bounds doesn’t offer many lines that will make experts quake with trepidation, but experts will largely be kept happy amongst the powder or out in the backcountry.

Off-piste skiing is permitted (or tolerated) at some of the Myoko Kogen ski resorts, as is backcountry skiing. The Myoko ski areas receive an abundance of snowfall and can be characterised as being uncrowded relative to many US or European ski resorts. The Myoko skiing and snowboarding sounds like a great recipe for a powder hounds’ destination!

Myoko Akakura

Myoko Akakura” refers to the two interconnected areas of Akakura Onsen and Akakura Kanko. These are the most popular Myoko ski resorts because they are both sizeable (by Japanese standards) and are located above most popular villages.

Akakura Onsen

Akakura Onsen is largely mellow and is really well suited to families and less experienced riders. Beginners will love the many green runs and Akakura Onsen has several wide runs for intermediates such as Utopia or Panorama, which is also the night skiing area. This Myoko ski resort really only has one black run, although close to this piste is some good steep tree skiing.

The quality of the Akakura Onsen lifts are somewhat mixed, and the resort has a tiny terrain park and good facilities for kids.

Akakura Kanko Ski Resort (aka Akakan or Shin-Akakura)

Akakura Kanko has lots of beginner runs and some red runs, although it doesn’t cater particularly well for intermediates, and there are only a couple of black runs.

For advanced and expert riders there is some off-piste merriment, although snowboarders may find that on deep days the pitch is not quite adequate in parts. The most popular tree skiing area is left and right of the current top lift and there are some pitchy technical sections here and there. The off-piste zones in Akakan require some decent snow cover, otherwise powder fossicking may be required.

At Akakura, the ski patrollers can be somewhat strict regarding off-piste riding, particularly if it involves crossing under a lift line, although they’re losing the battle. They are OK if you go into the sidecountry or backcountry via the gates. The tree skiing above the top lift in the former lift served terrain is superb (shame that lift was retired), and Akakan is also a great gateway to other backcountry riding for those prepared to earn their turns.

Akakura Kanko ski resort has good lift infrastructure. Of the 6 lifts, one is a gondola and all others are quad chairs, some with hoods. The ski resort has a kids’ park, a small terrain park, and good supporting facilities and services.

Seki Onsen

A favourite Myoko ski resort for powder hounds is Seki Onsen. It’s a no frills ski area with limited infrastructure and negligible grooming, but Seki is freeride heaven amongst some steep-ish trees. Seki Onsen is reputed to receive 16 metres of snow annually so it’s popular with powder hounds, and because it’s pretty small (2 lifts, 4 runs, and 310 metres of vertical) it doesn’t take much for it to get hit hard with powder rodents. Seki is a locals’ haunt, especially on the weekends, and chances are they’ll be keeping a close eye on the weather forecast, so good luck! See more on the SekiOnsen terrain here.


Suginohara is a largish resort that is proud because they think they have the longest run in Japan (Zao Onsen actually has the longest run but it’s a rubbish beginners traverse!). Suginohara Myoko Ski Resort is great for cruising with the emphasis on terrain for beginners and intermediates. The terrain park is also increasing in popularity with freestylers. Snowboarding is incredibly trendy, with skiers being a bit of a rarity at Suginohara.

The best off-piste riding is off the top lift, although it gets smashed pretty quickly. There is some decent gradient in places, and it’s still below the tree line yet has an elevation of 1,855 metres, so the snow quality is often superb. The trees are reasonably tight in places if there’s not much cover. Better terrain for tree skiing virgins can be found next to the terrain park, where there are perfectly gladed pines on a mellow pitch.

Suginohara has fantastic sidecountry for experts, and if you’re willing to earn your turns, some great backcountry. Both are steep and rather avalanche prone so take the usual precautions.

Suginohara has impressive lift infrastructure with a fast modern gondola and two hooded detachable quad chair lifts. On the contrary, the lowest double lift might get the award for the slowest chair lift in all of Japan. You can see more on the Suginohara skiing terrain here.

Ikenotaira Ski Resort

Myoko Ikenotaira Onsen is great for beginner and intermediate riders, as well as families considering the large children’s play area. There is only a little black terrain and some kosher mellow tree skiing, so it’s ideal for intermediate powder riders trying to improve their skills. See the Ikenotaira lifts and terrain page for more information.

Other Myoko Kogen Ski Resorts

Kyukamura near Seki is a tiny ski resort that has a very gentle slope. Nearby is little Myoko Ski Park which has been closed in recent years. APA Resort Pine Valley has also closed for financial reasons. Some also categorise nearby Arai, Tangram and Madarao ski resorts as Myoko ski resorts.

See the table to compare the Myoko Kogen ski resorts on statistics such as elevation, size, spread of terrain for different abilities, and number of lifts.

run (km)
 Runs  Lifts
 Akakura Kanko
 760 1,500 *
4.5 30 
30 10

Akakura Onsen  550  1,200  4.5  50  30  20  17  14 
 Seki Onsen
 310 1,210
1.5 20
50 30

 Suginohara 1,124
1,855 90
40 40
16 5
 Ikenotaira 740 
1,500 60 4 40 45 15 10
 Myoko Ski Park**
 135 860  * 1.2
60 40
3 1
 APA Pine Valley**
 365 945
60 10 7 5
 440 1,350
 2.5 30
35 35 30 9
 Tangram Circus
 520 1,320
 50 2.5
 30 40
 *  0.9  80 20

* info not available or unreliable
** closed

Lift Tickets

We'd recommend not pre-purchasing lift tickets if you think you'll want to explore various resorts in the area or undertake some other activities. Otherwise you can purchase a lift pass at the ticket window of each of the resorts or your accommodation may sell discounted lift tickets.

For Akakura, you can purchase a ticket for just one of the resorts, or for a little bit more get a combined Akakura Onsen/Kanko combined pass.

A Myoko Big 4 Pass is available but it doesn’t provide good value unless you purchase a season pass because the pass costs more than individual tickets at the resorts. Once you have a season pass you can also purchase early bird discounted lift passes for individual resorts. You can buy it via the Myoko tourism website by and filling out the application form and pre-purchasing before arriving in Japan. This pass gives access to Akakura Kanko and Onsen, Suginohara, and Ikenotaira.

The Myoko Complete Pass can be used at 7 nearby resorts plus it provides 2 free rides on the Myoko shuttle bus. You still have to go to the ticket window at the ski resort which is a pain, and it doesn’t really save you any or much money.

Myoko Snow Conditions

Commonly the off-piste areas at Myoko Kogen have bottomless powder. Myoko receives some great snow falls with the large volumes due to the proximity of Myoko to the Japan Sea (only 25km from the coast). Mt Myoko provides plenty of orographic lift, condensing the moisture into snow. The average snowfall is higher than various other nearby ski resorts (you can check out the Niigata ski resort snow stats and Nagano snow stats).

To get the big powder dumps, storms from the north to north west are ideal. Seki gets big snow from north winds, Akakan gets bigger snowfalls from NNW storms, whilst Suginohara does the best out of NW winds.

The quality of the Myoko powder is pretty good; not the super light dry powder that Hokkaido is renowned for, but still reasonably dry. Of course the quality of the snow is somewhat dependent on elevation. The top of Suginohara (with a top elevation of 1,855 metres) typically has great snow quality, whilst Akakura Kanko’s top elevation is only at 1,500 metres. Aspect wise, most of the ski areas have predominant SE facing slopes whilst Seki Onsen has more east.

Myoko Kogen Backcountry

If you’re willing to earn your turns, the real joy of Myoko Kogen is the backcountry. Venturing into the backcountry or even off-piste needs to be undertaken at the risk of the rider, and as such you should be adequately equipped with backcountry know-how, avalanche safety gear, and snow shoes or skins, and a guide. There are lots of epic but sketchy slopes.

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