Togari Onsen Ski Resort

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Togari Onsen Ski Resort Japan
Togari Onsen Ski Resort Japan
Little competition for the fresh powder!
Little competition for the fresh powder!
Powder on-piste at Togari Ski Resort
Powder on-piste at Togari Ski Resort
Togari Onsen Japan
Togari Onsen Japan
Togari Japan is mostly a locals ski field
Togari Japan is mostly a locals ski field
Fresh powder on-piste
Fresh powder on-piste
Togari is great for powder days
Togari is great for powder days
Togari Onsen Japan
Togari Onsen Japan
Togari Onsen
Togari Onsen
One of the mid-mountain restaurants
One of the mid-mountain restaurants
Togari Japan
Togari Japan
One of the base cafeterias
One of the base cafeterias
One of the onsens at Togari
One of the onsens at Togari
Views across the valley
Views across the valley
This is a supposed black run!
This is a supposed black run!
Great for powder days!
Great for powder days!
Check out the "crowds"!
Check out the "crowds"!
More "crowds"!
More "crowds"!
Wide open beginner runs
Wide open beginner runs
Fresh powder is easy to come by at Togari Onsen
Fresh powder is easy to come by at Togari Onsen

Togari Onsen Ski Resort

Readers Ratings

Togari Onsen

Togari Onsen3.5/51
Togari Onsen3.5 out of 5 based on 1 reviews
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Togari Snow Resort

Togari Onsen Ski Resort used to be a locals’ ski field that was rarely frequented by gaijin. It’s grown a little in popularity, especially now that a few foreigners have bought property at the base. It’s still reasonably quiet and is the poor cousin of the very popular neighbouring resort of Nozawa Onsen. Togari Onsen Ski Resort is smaller than Nozawa Onsen and it’s at lower elevation, yet it comes to the fore on cold powder days when there is carnage at Nozawa and every powder hound is frothing at the mouth to get to the fresh powder! Meanwhile at Togari Ski Resort you’re blissfully unlikely to encounter much competition for the fresh powder lines.

Togari Onsen is worthy of a day trip from Nozawa, or powder hounds could play here for a day or two and stay overnight to enjoy the simplicity and Japanese-ness of Togari.

Covid brought about some ailments of the financial kind at Togari Snow Resort. Two lifts were closed on the northeast Orion side of the resort, which has been renamed Snow Vacance Village (sounds too much like vacant village!) and pegged for “various private uses” and snowplay. This has left a major gap in the terrain for beginners and the Togari Ski Resort is only suitable for confident beginners now. It’s unclear if the terrain and lift closures are temporary or permanent, and this is off the back of the top lift being closed a decade or so ago. 

Pros and Cons of Togari Onsen

Pros
  • The competition for the fresh powder is relatively low. You can see Nozawa Onsen from Togari, which reminds you how lucky you are to be over at Togari on a powder day.
  • Heading off-piste is well tolerated.
  • Togari has some nice steep hike-to terrain.
  • Togari Onsen is inexpensive, which includes lift passes, meals and lodging.
Cons
  • Togari Onsen is not very big, so it doesn’t provide enough terrain variety for multiple days.
  • Southeast facing slopes and low elevation are not conducive to the powder being well retained, so the Togari Snow Resort is best visited on a cold powder day.
  • Once you’ve had an onsen, there’s nada to do at night. 

Togari Ski and Snowboard Terrain

The Togari Ski Resort is moderate sized, with 13 trails (down from 18 courses) and 650 metres of vertical (400 - 1,050 metres). The Togari Onsen ski area is split into two sides with Pegasus being on the southern (lookers’ left) end, Orion (trail map right) at the northern end which is currently closed, and Tondaira (formerly Casseopeia) joining up the two zones at the top where there’s a flatt-ish spot that snowboarders may not adore.

The lift infrastructure consists of 4 lifts (down from 7), including a high speed quad, 2 fixed grip quads, and a pair lift.

Togari Onsen is patronised on the weekends by lots of beginner snowboarders who enjoy the super wide slopes near the base. The Pegasus Beetle lift has the main beginner run, but it’s a bit pitchy in spots. Self-assured beginners can head to the Tondaira area, but it will take some confidence to get there.

Intermediate skiers and snowboarders have a handful of runs of varying pitches, and there are lots of spots to jump off the piste to experiment in the powder. The black runs are short and not particularly steep (as is generally the case with Japanese ski resorts), and intermediates could also have a crack at them. There is also a banked slalom course.

There is a designated tree run and off-piste elsewhere is officially considered a “no skiing area” yet in practice it’s well tolerated. There may be some ropes to remind you that riding the lift lines is taboo. Togari has lots of short off-piste steep-ish sections that are not heavily treed where it’s easy to play without getting lost. Conversely there are zones between the two sides of the resort that have great trees and gullies that require good route finding skills and avy savvy.

Those willing to work for some powder turns will find plenty on offer. In particular, hike up the old lift line at the top for some steep tree lines that drop back into the resort. 

Togari Onsen Snow

Like the other Nagano ski resorts, Togari receives plenty of snowfall. In the height of winter the temps are generally cold enough to retain the powder, but due to slopes that mostly face southeast to east, the snow can quickly sour. Togari is at low elevation relative to some of the nearby resorts (e.g. the top of Nozawa Onsen is 600m higher and Ryuoo is 880 metres higher – see the Nagano snow stats for comparisons), which can be another con for the snow quality.

Where is Togari Onsen?

Togari Onsen is located 43km northeast of Nagano City in the Nagano Prefecture. It’s 10km west of Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort, which is located just across the valley. Togari is 12km north of the town of Iiyama and its Shinkansen (bullet train) station.

See the Togari travel page for information on getting there and to Nozawa Onsen.

Togari Accommodation

There are various options for inexpensive Togari accommodation near the two bases of the ski resort. Pensions are the most common type of accommodation, and whilst some properties have western beds they are otherwise very much the full Japanese flavour. Some lodgings have onsens for bathing, and various are located in ski-in positions but check on the map view of the Togari accommodation listings as to whether properties are near the southwest Pegasus area or northeast Orion area (currently closed).

There’s not much to the town so you’ll want to get a half board meal package.

Alpen Plaza ($$) is located about 400 metres walk from the Togari slopes. The hotel is rated as a 3 star and it’s quite comfortable, although the décor is a little dated. Alpen Plaza has the choice of twin rooms with western beds and an ensuite bathroom, or traditional Japanese style rooms with tatami flooring and futons (for up to 5 people) and shared bathrooms and toilets. The hotel has onsen (hot spring) baths onsite, a restaurant, and snow equipment rentals.

Refre Inn Fukuzawa ($$) is about 200 metres from the Pegasus slopes. The inn has simple Japanese rooms with futons on the floor for up to 3 guests. Bathroom amenities are shared and include onsen baths.

Togari Onsen Accommodation Listings

Alternatively you could always stay in Nozawa Onsen accommodation and do a day trip across to Togari Onsen.

Ski Resort Facilities

The ski resort facilities are now primarily located at the Pegasus base which includes equipment rental shops that largely cater to the Japanese beginners, and eateries that serve up incredibly cheap food. There is also a snowsports school that might be able to do private lessons in English.

Onsen

It’s not called Togari Onsen for nothing so it seems apt to have a soak in the therapeutic waters whilst at Togari. Akatsuki Onsen is a public onsen and is 1 minute walk from the Pegasus base. It is rather lovely, particularly the outdoor bath with the view of the mountains. There’s also Nozomi Onsen near the Orion base which has traditional architecture.

Other Activities

Togari Snow Resort has a snowbike park and you can take a snowbike (yukichari) up a lift and ride on the snow.

There is a kids park at both base areas.
Tours That May Include Togari

Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area Tours

Madarao Lessons Tour
MADARAO LESSONS PACKAGE
7 Nights | 5 Days Lessons | 6 Days Skiing Riding
Ability: Beginner to Intermediate
Learn to ski or ride or improve your skills with snow sports lessons whilst exploring Madarao/Tangram & other nearby ski resorts like Shiga Kogen & Nozawa Onsen. This package includes 7-nights of western-style lodging, daily breakfast, a fabulous 6-course dinner, 5 full days of lessons, 6 days lifts & more.
Price p/p Price is per person in a private group of 2-3 for the 2023-24 season
Base/invoice currency is JPY
Displayed price may vary slightly to actual due to exchange rate fluctuations.
USD 1,518
View Details
 
Madarao Resorts Explorer
MADARAO RESORTS EXPLORER TOUR
7 Nights | 5 Days Resort Guiding | 6 Days Skiing Riding
Ability: Intermediate to Advanced
Explore Madarao/Tangram & other nearby ski resorts like Shiga Kogen, Nozawa Onsen, Kurohime, Myoko Kogen and more with a knowledgeable guide. This package includes 7-nights of western-style lodging, daily breakfast, a fabulous 6-course dinner, 5 full days of in-resort guiding, 6 days lifts & more.
Price p/p Price is per person in a private group of 2-3 for he 2023-24 season
Base/invoice currency is JPY
Displayed price may vary slightly to actual due to exchange rate fluctuations.
USD 1,518
View Details
 
See all Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area tours that visit Togari Onsen here
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