Myoko Kogen

Myoko Kogen

Overall Rating

Myoko Kogen

Myoko Kogen4/517
Myoko Kogen4 out of 5 based on 17 reviews
  • Recommend
    100%
  • Would Revisit
    100%

Myoko Kogen - Reviews

Myoko Kogen - Reviews

Another Increase in Gaijin

09/06/2020

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  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Month Visited:
    January
  • Admin Rating
    5

Another Increase in Gaijin

09/06/2020
We’ve visited Myoko multiple times and seen it evolve significantly over the years. 12 years ago Myoko had negligible gaijin, plenty of fresh powder & it looked like it was on the brink of bankruptcy with lots of buildings boarded up. Now there is some foreign ownership in town without there being too much, and it looks like it’s financially back on track despite the presence of some lodges that look destitute from the outside (even though they’re operational). Of course the region is only financially viable now because it’s had an influx of foreign tourists, mostly just in the Akakura Onsen village, which brings its pros and cons depending on your perspective. The Akakura Onsen main street can get a bit crazy in the morning and afternoon, with cars and pedestrians all weaving around each other. The long queues out the front of the Kebab 501 food truck are amusing, and somewhat reminiscent of Fergburger in Queenstown. Accommodation and food have got a bit more expensive, but there are more options now, and for drunken bogans, there are a few bars for them to hang out. It’s also much easier for Anglophones who don’t want to try to learn some Japanese phrases.

Meanwhile in the little villages at the base of Ikenotaira, Seki Onsen & Suginohara, it’s still incredibly quiet and there is plenty of the real Japan to be found.

Of course with the increase in visitation, the fresh powder lines are not as readily available in-bounds, but Myoko is still a good destination for powder hounds. True powder hounds can push into the backcountry to find fresh powder and there are lots of nearby Niigata and Nagano ski areas where there are fewer people, and even some ski areas where you can find old school fresh powder lines straight off the lift.

We stayed at AIR Myoko, which was a lovely lodge with a ski-in ski-out location at Akakura, that had a beautiful mix of Japanese decor & western comforts. The plant based food was scrumptious, even for us non-vegans.

See our Myoko overview for our thoughts on the pros and cons of Myoko Kogen, and also see the Japanese ski resort ratings to see how it compares to other ski areas. See our video here

Truly Japanese

11/03/2020

Jamie

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Jamie

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  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Snowboarder
  • Rider Level
    Intermediate
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Month Visited:
    February
  • Admin Rating
    4

Truly Japanese

11/03/2020
During mid-late February of 2020, and a 5 day stop in Akakura, we were blessed to wake with a 30cm+ layer of fresh over the entire resort. The riding in both Akakura onsen and Akakura kanko areas is a mellow ride. Nothing to give you goosebumps in this area but that’s not to say this isn’t a fun resort for the beginner/ intermediate ski/boarder. Fresh tracks all day and open area galore.. and.. no crowds!! Lift lines were near non existent in our time here and apart from what looked like the local schools having there lessons around, there wasn’t many others on the slopes. The Japanese group classes when you would cross paths with them at lifts would all move to the side and wave you through (in true Japanese style) as they wait for there group to reform. The 100 or so metre main street of town is a interesting little place but don’t expect to be spending to much time here as once you down a few crepes (must do at one of the 4 crepe places on the street), peel off your boiled hot spring egg, purchase your fireworks, there’s not a lot to do.. but that not what we are here for.. right... 😃 See our video here

Can't beat Myoko!!

ben gorman
01/08/2019
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Snowboarder
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    18-35
  • Month Visited:
    February
  • Admin Rating
    1

Can't beat Myoko!!

ben gorman
01/08/2019
Snows epic and the town still has a Japanese vibe!!!! See our video here

Still a little under the radar

Christopher Talley
01/07/2019
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Snowboarder
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    51-70
  • Month Visited:
    January
  • Admin Rating
    4

Still a little under the radar

Christopher Talley
01/07/2019
Myoko Kogen is the collective name given to 5 separate but loosely affiliated snow resorts located in Niigata prefecture. A majority of the lodging and dining options are located in Akakura Onsen which is easily accessed by shuttle bus from the Myoko Kogen train station. Most lodging is within walking distance to the lifts with some ski in and/or out and an inter resort shuttle bus links the separate resorts and more remote lodging. Lodging is primarily in family run ryokans that have their own private onsens. Arrange to dine in your ryokan one night. The town has yet to be overrun by tourists but it is still easy to get by speaking only English. Suginohara and Seki Onsen have the steepest terrain of the 5 resorts for advanced and experts. Akakura Kanko has good children's programs and the best on hill food in the world.

Pros; Charm (village and the locals), Dining, Snow quality/ quantity, backcountry, access, proximity to other snow resorts (Madarao, Lotte Arai, Nozawa Onsen, Shiga Kogen), not overrun by tourists,

Cons: You have to take shuttle buses to get to the other resorts, not a lot of off hill activities. See our video here

More Foreigners Now But Still Great

POWDERHOUNDS.COM
14/04/2016
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Month Visited:
    January
  • Admin Rating
    5

More Foreigners Now But Still Great

POWDERHOUNDS.COM
14/04/2016
Akakura on dusk
Akakura
Still plenty of powder on offer
Finding freshies
We stayed at Kougakuro which offers a nice Japanese experience
This is the third time we’ve visited Myoko Kogen in the past 5 years and we’ve seen it change significantly. Five years ago there were only a handful of foreigners visiting Myoko, 2 years ago the increased numbers of gaijin were only apparent in the restaurants at night, whilst in 2016 there were lots of westerners. This is no great surprise considering what Myoko has on offer including pros such as group ski lessons in English (a rarity at Japanese ski resorts) and small villages.

Myoko is still a great pick for most looking for a ski holiday and it snows a mighty lot, but it’s lost some of its appeal for powder hounds, in part due to the increased numbers hitting the powder (oh well, onto new places!!). At Akakura ski area the patrollers had become distinctively anal about off-piste riding and were pulling tickets (although it was still possible to find freshies), whilst Seki Onsen was over-run with powder rodents and there were lift lines. Whilst freshies disappear quickly now in the obvious areas at the main ski resorts, Myoko still has plenty of fresh powder opportunities in the sidecountry and backcountry. Also Myoko makes a great base to explore various nearby resorts where fresh powder is a little more plentiful.

With the influx of gaijin, Myoko has lost a little of its Japanese feel (but there's still plenty of it) and the restaurants are more expensive now (but still very reasonable), but the upside is that it’s become much easier for English speak travellers now. Another huge advantage of the many western travellers is that Myoko is looking more financially viable now. A few years ago, the situation looked pretty dire with some lifts closing and some hotels boarded up and things generally looking bleak.

See the Myoko overview page for more of our thoughts on the pros and cons of Myoko Kogen. See our video here

Enjoyed this place

Thuy
10/04/2016
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Snowboarder
  • Rider Level
    Intermediate
  • Rider Age
    18-35
  • Month Visited:
    April
  • Admin Rating
    1

Enjoyed this place

Thuy
10/04/2016
First time here was in early April. This was a bad year for the snow apparently, but it was still pretty good imo. Loved the people of this place, sweet and caring. Also loved the Japanese vibe. See our video here

JaPOW - japan's off piste powder at its best

John Kay
24/10/2015
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Snowboarder
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    18-35
  • Month Visited:
    January
  • Admin Rating
    3

JaPOW - japan's off piste powder at its best

John Kay
24/10/2015
Myoko is an authentic Japanese town, with insane amounts of snow. No worries here about not getting snow. This place just dumps and dumps. The piste isn't extensive but perfectly adequate for two weeks.

Many of the hotels and lodges here have their own onsens as their hot springs about the place. Onsens are just amazing to get those tried legs nice and relaxed after some powder shredding.

The place offers plenty of opportunity for backcountry or sidecountry boarders. This place was still reasonably quite last year, with no queues for life ever, and only a couple of bars in the town meant it was easy to chat up with mates.

This isn't a place for trying to get wasted every night, which you don't need to come to a ski resort to do. This is for shredding and shredding hard. See our video here

Myoko Kogen

Joey
22/10/2015
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Snowboarder
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    12-17
  • Month Visited:
    January
  • Admin Rating
    3

Myoko Kogen

Joey
22/10/2015
Myoko Kogen is seen by some as a more mellow, beginners valley; However, this is not entirely the case. The valley has several different resorts all with something unique to offer. Back country and tree skiing/boarding is easily accessible at each individual resort and you can pull over at any hill and find amazing powder. There are several little towns/villages and you can see snow monkeys all around the place, you just have to look. It is a frequent area for the Japanese Air Force Fighter Jets to fly by, which is great to see and hear. The area caters for beginners, intermediate, advanced and expert.

Some areas are very flat, but other areas are very steep. The groomed runs can be both thin and wide, steep and mellow and anywhere in between. There are very new gondolas and lifts; however, the old ones are still there too. The crowds are not a problem, except in the morning rush where everyone wants to get the same lift to the top and get the powder. See our video here

Great experience

Hal G
20/03/2015
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Telemarker
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    18-35
  • Admin Rating
    2

Great experience

Hal G
20/03/2015
Stayed in Akakura, nice cozy village.

Very good terrain and lots of good spots for lift based off-piste skiing. A lot more people then we thought were skiing off-piste, so it was difficult to find fresh lines, at least after lunch.

There were a lot more people at the Akakura resort compared to the other Myoko Kogen resorts. It would be a good option to check out these for days with less snowfall, could be easier to find freshies.

Would also recommend to have a guide. We had lots of fresh lines at places we would never find without one. See our video here

Wow to the Pow and the food

Nicki Gallagher
24/02/2015
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Admin Rating
    2

Wow to the Pow and the food

Nicki Gallagher
24/02/2015
Cute little village with the best food yet that I have had at any Japanese resort. Every night was a culinary delight.

We were fortunate to have 2 large POW dumps whilst there so experienced some amazing off piste skiing both alone and with Powder Recon package.

Limited internet was the only negative for this trip but it is a holiday after all!!! See our video here
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