Myoko Kogen Ski Resorts

Myoko Kogen Ski Resorts

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Myoko Kogen

Myoko Kogen4/522
Myoko Kogen4 out of 5 based on 22 reviews
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Myoko Kogen Japan

The Myoko Kogen ski region is ideal for powder hounds. It scores highly on the pow-dometer thanks to a whopping 13-15 metres of pow per season on average! The Myoko Kogen ski resort area is also great for those looking for a bit of a Japanese cultural experience without it being too overwhelming. Myoko Japan is a far cry from one of those glitzy bubble era resorts or the highly westernised ski resorts in Japan. Founded in the 1930s, Myoko is rich in history, Japanese people own a good proportion of the businesses, and the area has lots of unadulterated onsen (hot springs). Lots of westerners now head to Myoko, so it’s lost a bit of its Japanese-ness, but the upside is that it’s now much easier for English speaking travellers and there is a bit of nightlife.

Pros and Cons of Myoko Japan

  • The Myoko Kogen ski areas are a must do for powder hounds considering the quantity of snow and the opportunity to get off-piste, plus the impressive backcountry.
  • Powder hounds can easily also visit nearby ski areas such as Madarao, Tangram or Lotte Arai to score more pow.
  • Akakura Onsen has a good range of restaurants to explore and most of the restaurants and izakayas (Japanese bars that serve snack food) have English menus, and the staff speak at least a little Engrish.
  • There has been a moderate influx of gaijin but it’s still retained its Japanese flavour. Particularly if you venture away from Akakura, plenty of the “real Japan” remains.
  • Myoko is one of only several Japanese ski resorts to offer child care and group ski and snowboard lessons in English.
  • There are lots of options for affordable Myoko accommodation.
  • There isn’t that much to do during the day except ski or snowboard.
  • The villages look rather run down in places, but the upside of it not being glitzy and new is that it feels somewhat traditional (and a sign that there hasn’t been a major injection of western money…yet).
  • The two ski areas adjacent to the main village (Akakura) don’t provide much in the way of steep fall line terrain.
Pro Or Con Depending On Your Perspective
  • The strength of Myoko isn’t each individual small ski area, it’s the Myoko ski resorts combined, and to get the most out of Myoko you need to be on a multi-day tour or have a car. The bus system between the ski areas is irregular, runs too late to get to first lifts, is expensive, and is often over-crowded.

Myoko Ski Resort Terrain

There isn’t a Myoko Kogen ski resort per se, rather a handful of ski areas. There’s something for everyone across the Myoko Kogen ski resorts although the area is most well known amongst powder hounds for the tree skiing and off-piste riding. The Myoko ski resorts also have sidecountry and backcountry opportunities, which is where the serious powder chasers head considering that Myoko has become more mainstream and the off-piste areas get chowdered up pretty quickly.

The main ski area is Myoko Akakura which is made up of two adjoined resorts. Akakura Onsen has gentle gradients whilst Akakura Kanko has a little more pitch along with beginner slopes. Akakura is where most of the accommodation and restaurants are located, along with the international snowsports school.

Ikenotaira Onsen (Alpen Blick Snow Resort) is small and has mellow slopes so it’s good for beginners and for intermediates learning to get off-piste.

Suginohara ski resort features super long cruisy groomers and good sidecountry, along with renowned backcountry.

Little Seki Onsen is renowned for steep and deep tree skiing.

Myoko Kogen Snow

Myoko Kogen is famed for the abundant snow which results from its proximity to the Sea of Japan. No one can quite agree on the average snow volume per season, other than it’s A LOT. Seki Onsen is one of the snowiest ski resorts in Japan and reputably gets 16 metres per season, but it’s hard to know if this is just part of the hype associated with Seki or whether it’s the source of the hype! The other Myoko ski resorts typically get a little less snow, although season 2021/22 was massive and the base of Akakura Kanko got dumped with 16.7 metres (656”) of snow (yes the base, not higher elevations!).

Fresh is best at Myoko because the aspect and elevation aren’t ideal if it warms up. See the Niigata ski resort snow statistics and Nagano snow stats to see how Myoko compares to nearby ski resorts.

Where is Myoko Japan?

Myoko Kogen is located one hour north of the city of Nagano in the Niigata Prefecture in the heart of the Joshinetsu National Park. From the Tokyo airports or Tokyo, the best way to travel to Myoko is to take the shinkansen (bullet train) to Nagano (approx 100 minutes), then the Shinetsu train line to Myoko Kogen Station. The ski villages such as Akakura Onsen are approximately 10 minutes from the station via taxi, or most accommodations provide transfers.

Alternatively there are a few direct shuttle buses each day from the Tokyo airports to Myoko Kogen with Nagano Snow Shuttle or train/bus combos.

In addition to the Myoko Kogen ski resorts, there are various other nearby ski resorts to explore including Lotte Arai, Madarao and Tangram (click on the map icon on the photos above to see other nearby ski areas). There are multi-day guided tours where your hosts and guide will provide transport to nearby ski areas and show you the powder stashes.

Myoko Kogen Accommodation

There are lots of Myoko accommodation options. There are Japanese-run pensions, inns and ryokan, some of which have onsen. Other common Myoko Kogen accommodation options are western-run lodges with communal areas where you can mingle with others. There is only a small amount of self-contained accommodation in Myoko such as apartments.

Akakura Onsen is generally the most popular village to stay because it offers good access to the international ski school, and has the largest number of bars and restaurants. See the Myoko accommodation page for pros and cons of the different Myoko villages, a map of lodging, and listings where you can book.

Facilities & Activities

Even though Myoko Kogen has a bit of a traditional Japanese vibe, the facilities are reasonably well set up in Akakura for westerners and families, including English speaking ski school and day care, and a couple of shops with good quality equipment rentals.

The mandatory après activity is to take a soak in one of the many onsen, which range from hotel based onsen to delightful outdoor hot springs that are surrounded by forests or offer views. Due to its proximity to Nagano, Myoko Kogen also provides access to some culturally interesting side trips. See the Myoko activities page for more information.

Myoko Restaurants & Nightlife

Myoko is not a place with an overly vibrant nightlife relative to Austria or Whistler, but by Japanese ski resort standards it’s pretty good, especially in Akakura Onsen village where most of the Myoko restaurants and bars are located. You can choose from westernised bars or izakayas and traditional restaurants where you can partake in some kanpai.
Tours That Include Myoko

Safari (Road Trip) Tours

Pow Pow Japan Tour
Cultural Ski & Snowboard Adventure
Ability: Beginner to Expert
Ski Japan's famous powder in conjunction with a rich cultural experience on this hosted tour. The tour is hosted by a local Japanese person who speaks fluent English; whilst the focus of the tours is primarily snow sports, you will experience the culture, food & festivities beyond the normal ski/snowboard adventure.
Price p/p From price based on 8-day sample itinerary, twin-share room (group of 6).
Base/invoice currency is in Japanese Yen inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 1,526
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Myoko to Hakuba Backcountry
8 Nights | 9 Days
Ability: Advanced to Expert
This lift assisted backcountry tour takes in Myoko, Nozawa Onsen & Hakuba & is ideal for advanced to expert backcountry skiers and split boarders. These 3 areas are known for deep snow & epic tree skiing. Join as a solo, couple or small group; max 8 guests per tour.
Price p/p Price per person based on 2025 tours
USD 4,699
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See all Safari (Road Trip) tours that visit Myoko Kogen here

Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area Tours

Japan Snow Tour
8 Days | 7 Nights | 5 Days Skiing | Up to 7 Ski Areas
Ability: Beginner to Advanced
Want to improve your riding to tackle bigger and better terrain? Well this tour could be for you! Get ski or snowboard instruction and learn to ride & ski deep powder whilst immersing yourself in Japanese culture.
Price p/p From price based on twin/triple/quad-share room occupancy for 2024 season.
Base/invoice currency is in AUD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 2,859
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Gozan Explorer
8 Nights | 7 Days Guided Skiing/Riding
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
Explore Myoko Kogen ski resorts plus other nearby resorts such as Nozawa Onsen, Shiga Kogen, Madarao, Arai & more with an experienced guide. PRIVATE GROUPS only. Stay in the lovely renovated Gozan Lodge at Suginohara (Myoko).
Price p/p
USD 2,680
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Japow Experience
9 Nights | 10 Days | 8 Skiing/Riding | 7 Resorts
Ability: Advanced to Expert
If you are an advanced skier or snowboarder & don't mind a bit of hiking & are looking to experience deep, deep powder in & around Myoko Kogen then this tour could be for you.
Price p/p Displayed prices are per person based on a min private group size of 4
Base/invoice currency is Euro
Displayed price may vary slightly from actual due to exchange rate fluctuations.
USD 3,089
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See all Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area tours that visit Myoko Kogen here

Ski & Snowboard Camp Tours

NZSIA Ski Instructors Course
5 Days Instruction | 6 Days Lifts | 7 Nights Lodging
Ability: Intermediate to Advanced
Come and ride in Japan as a solo or with a couple of mates and achieve your level 1 NZSIA ski instructors certificate. Professional NZSIA qualified coach, great accommodation & more...
Price p/p Based on bed in a shared room (max 3 per room)
Base/invoice currency is Japanese Yen
Displayed price might vary slightly due to exchange rate fluctuations
USD 1,936
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NZSIA Snowboard Instructors Course
5 Days Instruction | 6 Days Lifts | 7 Nights Lodging
Ability: Intermediate to Advanced
Come and ride in Japan as a solo or with a couple of mates and achieve your level 1 NZSIA snowboarding instructors certificate. Professional NZSIA qualified coach, great accommodation & more...
Price p/p Based on bed in a shared room (max 3 per room)
Base/invoice currency is Japanese Yen
Displayed price might vary slightly due to exchange rate fluctuations
USD 1,936
View Details
See all Ski & Snowboard Camp tours that visit Myoko Kogen here