Getting To Myoko Kogen

Getting To Myoko Kogen

Wagner Custome Skis

Getting To Myoko Kogen

There are various options for getting to Myoko Kogen Japan. The Myoko travel information and booking options include:

Where is Myoko Kogen?

Myoko Kogen is located about 270km northwest of Tokyo Japan, a trip that takes about 3.5 hours depending on connection timing. Myoko Kogen is one hour north of Nagano City, but rather than being in the Nagano Prefecture it’s situated just over the border in the Niigata Prefecture. Myoko Kogen is situated in the heart of the Joshinetsu National Park and dominated by the 2,454 metre high Mount Myōkō.

Myoko Kogen is an area made up of various ski resorts and villages:
  • Akakura Onsen ski area has the town of Akakura Onsen at its base.
  • Akakura Kanko Ski Resort (aka Akakan aka Shin-Akakura) has Akakura Kanko or Shin-Akakura at its base.
  • Ikenotaira ski resort has Ikenotaira Onsen village at its base.
  • Suginohara ski area has Suginosawa Onsen at its base.
  • Seki Onsen ski area has Seki Onsen village at its base.
  • Further down the hill near the Myoko Kogen train station is the town of Myoko.

Flights

Tokyo Narita and Tokyo Haneda are the main gateway airports of choice for most travellers. If you’re flying into one of the Tokyo airports, unless you want to catch a taxi to Myoko or overnight in a hotel near the Tokyo train station, hotel near Ueno train station, a Narita hotel or a Nagano hotel, you’ll need to consider your flight times. Arrivals into Narita should ideally be before 7pm and earlier for Haneda, whilst for return flights you’ll ideally want a late afternoon flight out of Tokyo.

Toyama Airport is another option with flights into Japan coming via Shanghai or Seoul, or there are flights from New Chitose so this is a handy airport if you’re skiing or riding in Hokkaido as well. Toyama airport is 156km (1:45 hours) southwest of Myoko Kogen. From Toyama Airport, catch a bus to Toyama then shinkansen to Joetsumyoko, then train to Myoko (trip takes about 3 hours).

Another option is Komatsu airport, 241km southwest of Myoko Kogen, with flights coming from New Chitose, Taipei, and Seoul.

To search for flights and compare lots of different airlines and routes, you can use Skyscanner.

Travel Between Tokyo Airports and Myoko Kogen

There are two main options for getting from Haneda or Narita Airport to Myoko Kogen:
  1. Direct transfer with an airport to Myoko Kogen bus - Nagano Snow Shuttle
  2. Train/train/train or bus combo

Airport to Myoko Kogen Bus
Getting an airport to Myoko bus transfer is the easiest way to get there if it lines up with your flight times. It may take a fraction longer compared to train travel, but you can avoid the stress of negotiating timetables and lugging your bags around train stations. You can book a scheduled Myoko bus with Nagano Snow Shuttle. The trip takes about 5.5 - 6 hours. Myoko buses from Narita Airport that arrive in the early morning with Nagano Snow Shuttle include a drop-off at your Myoko accommodation (make sure your hotel/lodge allows check-ins in the early hours of the morning), whilst those arriving earlier in the day provide a drop off at the Akakura bus stop. From there, most accommodations will provide a pick-up service.

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For your return trip (or the way over), you have the option of heading to the Tokyo Shinjuku train station instead of the airport, so you can do a stopover in Tokyo for a couple of days.

Train to Myoko Kogen
Travelling by train to Myoko Kogen includes a train from Narita Airport to Ueno, then a bullet train (Shinkansen) to Nagano, and then a local train or bus to Myoko Kogen. From the Narita international airport the total trip takes about 3.5 to 4 hours depending upon connection timing. From Haneda Airport it also takes 3.5 to 4 hours and trains go via Tokyo to Nagano (or to Joetsumyoko). In addition to being faster, the other advantage of taking the trains is that it provides a great insight into part of the Japanese culture.

Part 1: Trains from Haneda or Narita Airport to Nagano
You can look at google or Japan Travel Navitime or Jorudan for train routes, timetables and fares to get from Narita Airport to Myokokogen station. You can also walk into the JR East Centre at the airport to get assistance to plan and buy train tickets.

From Narita Airport, to get the last train of the day that goes to Myoko, you’d need to catch the 7pm train from Narita Airport, otherwise you’ll need to stay overnight in a Narita Airport hotel or Nagano hotel.

For train travel to Nagano from Nagoya, Kyoto, Osaka, or other parts of Japan, see Jorudan for routes, schedules and fares.

Part 2: Getting from Nagano to Myoko Kogen

Option A: Train
On arrival at Nagano Station take the escalator up, go through the ticket gates for the JR Shin-etsu Line, and take a train to Myoko Kogen Station (40 minutes).

The ski resort villages are approximately 10-15 minutes drive from the Myokokogen Station. Many accommodation places provide complimentary pickup from the train station, otherwise you’ll have to catch a taxi or bus. 

If travelling to Seki Onsen, rather than getting off at Myoko Kogen station, continue onto Sekiyama station.

Option B: Bus
Upon exiting the gates at Nagano station turn left to the east exit and take the lift down to the bus stops. There are one to two buses to Myoko Kogen each day (get the latest bus timetables from the train station information centre). The Nagaden bus takes about 1:20 hours and the fare is reasonably inexpensive.

Option C: Taxi
This is a good option if you’ve caught one of the last bullet trains into Nagano (the last arrives just before midnight), or if you don’t want to lug your gear any further, and you have no budgetary concerns.

Driving to Myoko Kogen
If you’re not on a guided multi-resort tour, driving to Myoko Kogen is ideal if you want the flexibility to explore lots of the ski resorts near Myoko and it’s easy enough to navigate around considering the advances in GPS technology. You can rent a car at the airport, Tokyo or in Nagano, with the latter having the most options for cars with snow tyres which will be required.

Drive times to Myoko:

  • From Nagano – 50 minutes
  • From Narita Airport – 4 to 4.5 hours
  • From Tokyo – 4 to 5 hours
  • From Nagoya – 5 hours
  • From Osaka or Kyoto – 7 hours
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Getting Around Myoko Kogen

Getting around Myoko Kogen isn’t as easy as it should be. It’s not surprising that some people stay in Akakura Onsen and only ski and dine at Akakura, which is a shame. To get the most out of Myoko it’s best to have a rental car, be on a guided multi-day tour that includes transport, or stay at a lodge that provides extensive shuttle services.

Mt Myoko Bus

The Mount Myoko Shuttle connects the ski resorts of Akakura Onsen, Akakura Kanko, Ikenotaira and Suginohara (note that it does not travel to Seki Onsen). The stops are at Akakura Onsen, Akakura Kanko, Hotel Windsor (lower Akakura Kanko village), Alpen Blick Spa (Ikenotaira village), Ikenotaira Ski Resort, Ikenotaira Pension Village, Suginosawa Fire Station, and Suginohara Ski Resort.

Bus tickets can be purchased on the bus with cash, so you can imagine how inefficient that is considering the number of stops. Other limitations of the Myoko bus service are that the bus is expensive, the bus often gets to the ski resorts too late for first tracks, the buses don’t go regularly enough, and the bus is often crowded. There is also no Myoko night bus.

Taxis

Some people use taxis to get around to the different Myoko ski resorts, although these are in pretty hot demand. Taxis are also a common option to get around in the evenings to go out for dinner and drinks.

Other Ski Resorts Nearby

There are various other major ski resorts near Nagano, so Myoko Kogen can easily be combined with another ski area on your holiday to Japan. It's easy to get to Hakuba, Nozawa Onsen, Madarao or Shiga Kogen from Myoko with Nagano Snow Shuttle or Myoko Shuttle.

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Day Trips to Nearby Ski Resorts 

One great way to travel and explore nearby ski areas is to be on a guided ski/snowboard tour that incorporates transport and guiding at ski hills near Myoko.

Distances from Akakura Onsen:
  • Arai - 21km north - daily buses between Myoko and Arai with stops at Akakura Onsen, Kanko Resort, Hotel Windsor, Myokokogen bus terminal, Sekiyama train station, and then Lotte Arai – pay cash on board the bus
  • Tangram – 14km southeast (interconnected with Madarao)
  • Madarao – 19-23km southeast - daily buses between Madarao with stops at Akakura Onsen, Kanko Resort, Hotel Windsor, Myokokogen bus terminal, Tangram then Madarao Kogen Hotel – need to pay cash on board
  • Kurohime Kogen – 10km south (6km from Suginohara)
  • Kijimadaira – 40km southeast
  • Ryuoo – 49km southeast
  • Togakushi – 30km southwest
  • Iizuna Kogen – 28km southwest
You can look at other ski resorts in the vicinity of Myoko Kogen on the map at the top of this page.
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