Myoko Kogen Powder Packages

Myoko Kogen Ski Tours

In addition to downhill skiing and snowboarding at the Myoko ski resorts, there are other ski activities in the region.

Myoko Cat Skiing

Thunderbird Guides offer an early morning snowcat adventure of 5 runs on slopes that are generally untracked. The terrain is very mellow and this Myoko cat skiing is an introduction to the backcountry and well suited to those getting acquainted with riding off-piste. Hotel transfers are included.

Hikarigahara Cat Tours offer cat skiing day trips, which are a great way to score fresh powder without competition from other powder hunters. The Myoko cat skiing is about 28km northwest of Akakura Onsen. Transfers from Akakura to the snowcat staging area are not included in the package and good luck trying to get hold of them.

Myoko Backcountry Skiing

Myoko Kogen offers lots of opportunities for backcountry skiing. Above the ski resorts, ascents to the mountain peaks offer some fabulous skiing and snowboarding. Some of the multi-day guiding outfits offer backcountry ski touring and splitboarding.

Ski Resort Day Trips From Myoko

Myoko Kogen is a central location to many other ski areas such as Madarao, Nozawa Onsen and Shiga Kogen, and there are several guided tour operators that can organise guided trips to these and other destinations from Myoko Kogen.

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Myoko Snowmobiling

A great Myoko activity to add to your trip is a snowmobile tour.

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Myoko Kogen Onsen

The various villages of Myoko don’t have “onsen” in their name for nothing. Myoko Valley has an abundance of rejuvenating onsen, thanks to the Mt Myoko volcano, the source of the thermal spring waters. Soaking in one of the onsen is a fabulous après ski activity to soothe fatigues muscles. It also provides some cultural insight into a popular Japanese past-time. See our Japanese onsen page for tips on onsen etiquette.

The main Akakura onsen is closed during winter but many of the hotels have their own onsen. If you want to stay at lodging with an onsen, put your dates in on the Myoko accommodation page and use the “onsen” filter. As an example, Akakura Hotel has a nice onsen including a large rotenburo (outdoor bath).

Some of the Myoko hotel onsen are open to non-guests to use for a fee. If you’re not lucky enough to be staying in a luxe room at Akakura Kanko Hotel with a private onsen, the hotel has public onsen baths, including outdoor baths that are spectacular. The hotel also has a full day spa if you want the full splurge relaxation effect.

Hotel Taiko would be another top pick for its beautiful rotenburo that offers lovely views. Massages are also available from late afternoon (after the masseuses have finished ripping up the powder!).

Lime Resort Myoko in Ikenotaira is a lovely hotel and the onsen facilities are modern. The “outdoor bath” is a bit of a disappointment in winter because it’s all boarded up, offers no views, and it doesn’t feel very outdoors.

Naena no yu in Suginosawa (at the base of Suginohara) is a public onsen that has nice indoor and outdoor baths.

If you’ve been skiing in Seki Onsen, a nice way to finish the day would be with an onsen. A few of the ryokan open up their onsen to the public. The water colour in Seki Onsen is a reddy-brown colour due to the high iron content.

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Sightseeing Activities near Nagano

For many of the activities near Nagano, unless you go on a tour, you’ll need to catch a train from Myokokogen into Nagano and then take a bus or taxi from there, or charter a taxi for the day.

The Zenkoji Temple in Nagano is over 1,400 years old. This multi-denominational temple houses the first image of Buddha brought to Japan in the 7th century. The main temple has a huge hinoki thatched roof and is popular with tourists because it looks classically Japanese. The little cobblestone streets surrounding the temple have lanterns and tiered roof stalls that sell cute yet kitsch touristy souvenirs.

Matsumoto Castle is a national treasure, and the five storey donjon is one of the oldest castles in Japan. The castle also has a museum next door.

Dai-o Wasabi Farm is a popular addition to a sightseeing tour of the area. The fields of wasabi are perfectly manicured, but the highlight of the tour is to sample lots of wasabi, an icon of Japanese food. Taste all sorts of wasabi food stuffs and give your sinuses a complete buzz with wasabi snacks, wasabi ice-cream, wasabi sausages and wasabi beer!

It seems like a rite of passage into a Japan ski holiday to visit the Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park, home to hundreds of monkeys that use the hot waters of the onsens to keep warm from the harsh winter. The snow monkeys are very amusing to observe. They have human-like faces and some of their antics seem human-like, especially after you’ve seen the behaviour of some Japanese men in an onsen!

The snow monkey park is near Shiga Kogen, so if you’re also visiting Shiga Kogen on your holiday you’ll find it easier to visit the park from there. Buses from Akakura Onsen to the snow monkeys leave daily mid-morning. You need to pay cash when you board the bus.

Iizuna Winery

For a leisurely lunch and tasting of Nagano wine, you can head to St Cousair Winery in the Iizuna Valley. The winery also sells jams and other produce.

Or you can head to the local sake brewery Kimi no ii for tastings and a tour.

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