Myoko Kogen, near Nagano offers one of Japan’s more authentic skiing experiences with incredible powder snow across five great ski resorts, that are perched on the edge of a traditional Japanese town. Here you’ll find a choice of accommodation ranging from western style hotels to traditional ryokan, a leading edge ski school and a friendly, relaxed atmosphere.
AccommodationThe most popular place to stay when skiing or boarding at Myoko is Akakura Onsen or, ten minutes down the road, Shin-Akakura Onsen. In Akakura Onsen, within narrow streets, you’ll find plenty of traditional and contemporary restaurants and bars as well as a broad range of accommodation. Choose from luxurious five star hotels and ski lodges to budget hotels and traditional ryokan, some ski-in-ski-out. There are no self-catered apartments. There’s also the choice of Western rooms with single beds or more authentic rooms with futon beds on tatami matting. Keep in mind that while some rooms have a full ensuite, others simply have a toilet and hand basin – it’s worth knowing before you book. Akakura Onsen is home to the famous, luxurious Akakura Kanko Hotel, which remains one of the better ski hotels in all of Japan with its superb suites, private outdoor onsen hot baths and spectacular views.
Skiing & BoardingMyoko Kogen offers five resorts, the most popular being Akakura Kanko and Akakura Onsen, which are linked, though finding the traverses can be a challenge and a little flat for boarders. Across these resorts you’ll find long gentle groomed slopes for beginners and intermediates, particularly at Akakura Onsen. Higher up there’s a playground for more adventurous skiers and boarders. At Akakura Kanko, you’ll have access to back country, some amazing accessible tree skiing and nail biting steeps, though be careful to obey signs warning of avalanches. If there’s been a good dump of snow, catch a ride out to Seki Onsen with a guide and experience scenic tree skiing and deep steeps at this older style resort. At Myoko Suginohara Ski Resort you’ll find the longest thigh burning ski run in Japan for intermediates. Ikenotaira Onsen has easy groomed runs, some tree skiing and a good terrain park with halfpipe.
ActivitiesSki. Soak. Ski. Soak. When you book a ski holiday at Myoko, with five resorts to explore, you can expect to spend most of your time on the mountain. There’s little to do here beyond downhill skiing or venturing to the back country – preferably with a guide – then following up a long day or exertion with a soak in a natural onsen. Fortunately, most hotels in Myoko have their own onsen and there are also some public onsen in the village. Within Akakura Onsen you’ll find snow bikes for hire that come with an instructor. Further afield, it’s possible to visit the Snow Monkeys and an historic Japanese temple, however these cultural visits are only accessible via taxi from Myoko. Taxi fares to these destinations can be high so check with your hotel.
Getting There & AroundTo get to Myoko Kogen take a transfer from Narita airport or the Narita Express to Tokyo and the bullet train from Tokyo to Nagano. From Nagano you can book a private transfer, take one of few public buses or catch a local train to Myoko Kogen Station then a taxi or a bus. Alternatively, your hotel may have a free pick-up from Nagano. When skiing Myoko Kogen, you’re most likely to be staying un the village of Akakura Onsen. Much of this traditional village, as well as the chair lifts, are easily accessible on foot. There is also a frequent free shuttle service.
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Akakura Hotel is a first class hotel in the centre of Akakura Onsen Village, and features a plethora of great onsens both indoors and out within the premises. Only a 4 minute walk to lifts. Great service with bilingual staff will ensure a comfortable stay. The Akakura Hotel Annex is a value property linked to the hotel via an underground walkway and affords guests use of all hotel facilities. Onsite: Japanese restaurant, washer/dryer facilities, ski storage facility.
The Akakura Kanko Hotel, steeped in tradition & prestige was the first European-style ski resort hotel in Japan. Having recently had a first class total renovation, it combines old-world heritage with superb facilities. This is an impeccable property, located in one of the most remarkable hotel settings anywhere. Onsite indoor and outdoor hot springs, day spa, bars, restaurants, gym, Wi-Fi, washer/dryers, ski storage facility.
Myoko Vista is the newest lodge in Myoko Kogen. It has all the western comforts of home while keeping a few Japanese influences. It is a 10-minute walk from the main street or a shuttle can drop you to town. Onsite: Laundry service, drying room, Japanese Bathhouse, private shuttle, complimentary wifi, parking.
Oyado Furuya is a beautiful ryokan style hotel remodelled to suit the 21st century traveller. Rooms have stunning views of My Myoko. Fine Japanese cuisine and great indoor & outdoor hot springs among the amenities. Onsite: in room wifi, Japanese restaurant, washer/dryer facilities, ski storage facility.