Nomugi Toge

Nomugi Toge

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Nomugi Toge

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Central Hokkaido Guided Ski Tours
Wagner Custome Skis
Nomugi Toge Ski Resort or Nomugi for short, is a small ski resort in the Nagano Prefecture. It’s a long way from the high profile ski resorts near Nagano City, both in terms of geography and in terms of what it has to offer. Skiing and snowboarding at Nomugitoge is pretty much quintessential for a Japanese ski resort that hasn’t been discovered by the westerners or the Chinese. The terrain is not particularly remarkable, and the ski area feels deserted on weekdays so you can ride the powder in peace. Nomugi Toge markets themself as an “exhilarating ski spot” but something may have got lost in translation because it’s a bit of an exaggeration. The views of Mt Norikura and the Hotaka Mountains are nice. Otherwise there’s nothing thrilling enough to warrant a multi-day stay, but you could hit up Nomugi for a day if you’re visiting nearby ski resorts such as Mt Norikura.

Pros and Cons of Nomugitoge

Pros
  • Nomugi Ski Resort has decent elevation and is one of the highest ski resorts in the Nagano Prefecture.
  • Lift tickets are inexpensive, especially on weekdays, and to save even more yen the resort has 4 hour flexible time passes, which is probably about all the time you’ll need.
  • Nomugitoge is undiscovered by the international masses, so you don’t have to contend with much competition for the powder.
  • The piste terrain is for strong intermediate skiers and riders.
Cons
  • Nomugi is a small ski area with only minimal tree skiing. It struggles to keep most powder hounds captivated for very long.
  • It sits in the snow shadow of the large Hida Mountains, so don’t expect the same snow volumes as the main Nagano ski resorts to the northeast.
  • Nomugi Toge is an out of the way place that requires a car to get there, which is probably why it’s not crowded.
Pro or Con Depending On Your Perspective
  • There’s no accommodation at the base of the ski resort.
  • Don’t expect much or any English to be spoken at the resort or nearby lodging.

Nomugi Toge Ski and Snowboard Terrain

Nomugi is a long skinny resort with 730 metres of vertical, and even though the top elevation is 2,130 metres, the ski resort is well and truly below the treeline. Nomugitoge Ski Resort only has 12 courses, the bulk of which are in the upper portion of the ski area.

The Nomugi ski area has 4 lifts. Skyliner is a detachable quad chair that does the heavy lifting. Above that is a detachable double chair called Sky Rabbit. A fixed grip chair at the base is for novices, whilst another slow double runs parallel to the quad near the base, which seems to only run when it’s busy.

The trail stats are 30% beginner, 40% intermediate and 30% advanced, although one is left wondering if they just make up these numbers. The resort has 4 levels of trails, and they have definitely made up their own colour coding for these.

Nomugi Toge is not the best resort for beginners. Novices have their own lift and slope near the base. Confident beginners can enjoy the quads burn on the Training Burn run, but that’s only if the 1st pair lift is running. Or there’s another upper beginner run near the top, which requires a run down a steeper intermediate run to get down. The ski resort is well suited to upper intermediates, with the remainder of the trails having a maximum gradient of about 30 degrees. Even the “Expert Course” is not very steep. Most of the trails are groomed, although there’s usually two or three that are left to bump up.

The trees are OK in parts without being amazing and there’s nothing particularly steep. In-bounds many of the trees are tight, whilst there is a smidgeon of sidecountry where the trees open up a bit.

Nomugi Toge Snow

Nomugi is not renowned for the massive snowfalls that can be found at many of the ski resorts near Nagano City, and the snow base in the height of the season usually averages just over 1 metre.

Snow quality is usually very good in mid-winter thanks to its high elevation, although the slopes are mostly west facing so it doesn’t take much for some of the lower runs to become sloppy or thin.

Where is Nomugitoge Japan?

The Nomugi Toge Ski Resort sits on the southwestern flank of Kohachimoriyama in the western part of the Nagano Prefecture, 107km southwest of Nagano City. Nomugi is in the Nagawa area and officially in Matsumoto, although Matsumoto City is 45km northeast of Nomugitoge.

One nearby ski resort is Mt Norikura, which is 31km to the northwest (40 minute drive).

There used to be shuttle buses to Nomugitoge from the Matsumoto train station, but it hasn’t been running of late. Considering that the ski resort is more likely to be part of a road trip along with other ski areas rather than a stand-alone destination, it makes sense to have a rental car and drive there. The phone number for GPS navigation is 0263792246 and there are a series of free car parks near the slopes.

Nomugitoge Accommodation

There is no accommodation directly at the base, yet there are various lodgings scattered along the access road with the nearest being about 900 metres from the slopes.

You may wish to base yourself at Norikura Onsen accommodation if you’re also skiing at Mt Norikura.

Ski Resort Facilities

The base area is small, which is rather atypical for a Japanese ski resort. The base buildings are a bit run down which isn’t so unusual for a Japanese ski-jo! There are two small eateries at the base of the ski area, and another restaurant mid-mountain.

Basic ski and snowboard rentals are on offer, and if you speak Japanese you can have lessons at the “Feeling Ski School” – wonder what they learn there?!

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