Getting To Naeba

Getting To Naeba

Where is Naeba?

Naeba Ski Resort in Mikuni is a 23 km drive south of Yuzawa in a corner of the Niigata Prefecture near the Gunma Prefecture, 184km northwest of Tokyo. Naeba is located on route 17, not far from the Kan-etsu Expressway.

The bullet train from Tokyo to Echigo-Yuzawa station takes only 70-90 minutes, and then the bus to Naeba only takes 40 minutes, so it’s easily accessible from Tokyo.

The town of Naeba (Mikuni) is about a 5-10 minute walk from the Naeba Prince Hotel and the base of the Naeba ski resort.


Tokyo Narita and Haneda are the main gateway airports for Naeba, but Niigata is another option with flights into Japan coming via Shanghai (with China Eastern Airlines), Seoul (with Korean Air), and Taipei. Flights also originate from other Japanese cities including the New Chitose Airport in Hokkaido. Niigata Airport is 150km to the north of Yuzawa.

You can use a flight aggregator to search for flights and compare lots of different airlines and routes. 

Train to Yuzawa, Bus to Naeba

Train to Echigo Yuzawa from Tokyo and Narita Airport

From the Tokyo Narita Airport, take the Narita Express train (NEX) to Tokyo, a trip that takes about one hour. There are frequent departures from the airport railway terminals.

From Tokyo take the Joetsu Shinkansen (bullet train) to Echigo-Yuzawa Station. Check Japan Travel Navitime for schedules – enter the station as “Echigo-Yuzawa” not “Yuzawa”.

Train to Echigo Yuzawa from Niigata Airport

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. 

Getting from Yuzawa Station to Naeba

Prince Hotel guests can catch one of the complimentary shuttle buses from Echigo-Yuzawa train station to the Naeba Prince Hotel. These buses need to be pre-booked. The express bus takes about 30 minutes. This bus may not operate in the very early or late season.

Non hotel guests will need to catch one of the local buses from Echigo Yuzawa station. The bus takes about 40 to 50 minutes and costs only a handful of yen.

Echigo-Yuzawa Station

If you’ve got the chance, spend a little time at the very lively Yuzawa train station. The train station has a great information centre, lots of souvenir shops, and an abundance of food shops. The market place has lots of snacks for tasting, so you can figure out what all those interesting looking things taste like without having to commit to a full packet. The market place also features lots of sake stalls where you can try before you buy, and there is a specific sake tasting shop. They have hundreds of sakes to taste. The shop also has salt tasting – who would have thought there are that many different types of salt?! 

Getting Away

The Prince Hotel buses have 6 departures for the train station between 10:15am and 6pm, so if you’re trying to catch a morning train to leave Echigo-Yuzawa, you may need to catch a taxi.

There are public buses that leave from the Naeba ski resort bus stop right down the end of the hotel. The first bus leaves at about 9:00am.

Driving to Naeba

You’ll want to have a car if you want the flexibility to get first lifts at Naeba or Kagura, and potentially also visit other Yuzawa ski resorts.

The road up from Yuzawa is windy and has lots of tunnels, but it’s wide and well cleared so it’s a pretty easy drive.

Day trippers may want to park at the South Gate to get on the gondola #2, or those needing more amenities could park up the other end. A charge for parking is applied on weekends, whilst Naeba Prince Hotel guests can park for free.

Getting Around Naeba

It’s possible to walk between the town area and the ski resort, and the bus from Yuzawa also does stops at Asagai and Seibu Crystal, which is about 2.5km along route 17. A few of the lodges in Naeba/Mikuni also runs shuttles to/from the ski resort.

Getting Between Naeba and Kagura Ski Resort

Even for beginner skiers, it’s possible to get between Naeba and Kagura via the Dragondola, a long gondola that takes about 20 minutes from one side of Naeba to the Tashiro ski area of Kagura. Be aware that the gondola is only open between 9am and 3:30pm. To get across from Tashiro to the other side of Kagura to the Mitsumata ski area via the slopes and chair lifts can take a long time.

The other option is to catch a shuttle bus between the ski areas. There’s a shuttle bus that runs from the Naeba Prince Hotel to Tashiro station (takes 20 minutes) and then to Mitsumata station (takes another 20 minutes). Naeba also has a shuttle bus that operates between the Prince Hotel and the Dragondola station. 

Other Ski Resorts Nearby

The area around Yuzawa in Niigata is a treasure chest of ski areas and has more than a dozen places to play, although for most punters, none of them quite compare to Naeba and Kagura. See the Yuzawa ski resorts overview for a list of the ski resorts and the distances from Yuzawa.

Really close to Naeba in the town of Naeba is Naeba Asagai ski area (currently closed), which is a little ski hill with one lift.