Ikenotaira4 out of 5 based on 1 reviews
  • Recommend
    100%
  • Would Revisit
    100%
World Nomads Travel Insurance
Nagano Niigata Guided Ski & Snowboard Tour

Ikenotaira is one of the Myoko ski resorts
Ikenotaira is one of the Myoko ski resorts

Ikenotaira

Ikenotaira Ski Resort

The Ikenotaira Onsen Ski Resort is one of the Myoko ski resorts and it’s ideal for beginners to intermediates. Ikenotaira is also particularly good for wannabe powder hounds because the slopes are mellow, there’s plenty of powder, and there is little competition for the freshies because most riders are there for the terrain parks and pipe. The only time Myoko Ikenotaira isn’t so good for powder puppies is when the snow is super deep and you need a wax, because it’s easy to get bogged.

Ikenotaira Ski and Snowboard Terrain

Ikenotaira is medium sized for a Japanese ski resort (so in other words it’s small!) with only 10 courses (ie piste) and 6 lifts (made up of 1 hooded quad chair and 5 slow doubles). Like its neighbour Suginohara, Ikenotaira is more long than it is wide, with a vertical drop of 740 metres (760 – 1,500m).

The piste runs are mostly for beginners and low-end intermediates. The green runs are located near the base and vary from open wide to tree lined trails, whilst the intermediate slopes are located in the top half of the resort and are wide with plenty of room for error. There is nothing really on offer for advanced riders on-piste and the trail stats (40% beginner, 45% intermediate, 15% advanced) probably exaggerate the amount of black diamond terrain – the 2 little runs are laughable to be classified as “advanced”. Ikenotaira Ski Resort offers a little bit of tree skiing for advanced riders, but it’s not very pitchy.

A major forte of Myoko Ikenotaira is the terrain parks. They change every season and generally include big jumps, boxes, rails, and a half pipe.

Ikenotaira Snow

Many of the Japanese ski resorts are not big on boasting about their mega snowfall statistics, and Ikenotaira is no exception. The average seasonal snowfall is thought to be about 9-13 metres. Snow quality is generally very good, although very few of the slopes have a north-facing aspect.

Where is Ikenotaira Onsen?

The Ikenotaira Ski Resort has Suginohara Ski Resort to its south and Akakan to its north, but the Myoko ski areas are not interconnected via the slopes and lifts. The Ikenotaira Ski Resort has Ikenotaira Onsen (hot spring) village at its base area, which is 4km from downtown Myokokogen (where the train station is) and 3.5km from Akakura Onsen (the main village of Myoko Kogen).

For those staying overnight in Ikenotaira Onsen accommodation, some of the lodges provide free shuttle services between Myokokogen train station and Ikenotaira, or it’s very easy to get a taxi to your accommodation.

For day trippers from Akakura Onsen, there are hourly free shuttle buses to Ikenotaira that depart from near the post office. Your accommodation should be able to provide you with a timetable. Sometimes the buses are a bit unreliable (which is weird for Japan!). As an alternative, if you’re on a Myoko Powder Package, private transfers from Akakura Onsen to Ikenotaira for day trips are included. 

Ikenotaira Onsen Accommodation

The base area isn’t really a village but more an assortment of pensions, hotels and ryokans. Most of the lodgings have hot springs and offer half board considering that other evening dining options in Ikenotaira Onsen are somewhat lacking.

Hotel Alpen Blick is a conveniently located ski-in ski-out hotel that offers rooms with western beds and a tatami area for a Japanese touch. The hotel has a great outdoor onsen with views across the mountains, as well as indoor hot springs. The onsite Tatra Myoko Beer Hall (a brewery) scarily offers all-you-can-drink packages and evening meals.

Shumisen no Yu Ichinoyado Gen (Ryokan Gen) is surrounded by the white birch trees that Ikenotaira is renowned for, and it has lovely indoor and outdoor hot spring baths. The little deluxe ryokan has Japanese style guestrooms with tatami flooring and futon bedding. It’s an easy 5 minute walk to/from the Ikenotaira Ski Resort.

The Park Lodge Sekine is a rather special Ikenotaira accommodation option. The Park Lodge Sekine is set in an old brewery and it’s delightfully historic whilst still offering some mod cons. The accommodation is Japanese style rooms for up to 4 guests with shared bathroom. The lodge is about 10 minutes walk to the ski area, and shuttles to and from the ski resort are also available.

Lodge Myoko is just a 2 minute walk to the Ikenotaira ski resort and has onsens on site. Rooms are either Japanese or western style, and they offer nice views of Mt Myoko on clear days.

Facilities

The Ikenotaira Onsen ski resort facilities are adequate but reasonably simple. The ski and snowboard rental shops are very cheap, but if you want quality equipment you’d be better off renting in Akakura. There are base area restaurants, a gift shop, convenience store, and a kids play area. Day visitors can also enjoy a soak in an onsen and the resort offers lift ticket plus onsen deals.

Summary of Pros and Cons of Ikenotaira Onsen

Pros

  • Ikenotaira Ski Resort has a great terrain park and pipe.
  • The terrain is ideal for beginners to intermediates.
  • The ski area is a quiet alternative to the other main Myoko ski resorts, so L-plater powder hounds can experiment in the powder in peace.

Cons

  • It’s a mellow mountain, so those looking for steeps should head elsewhere. When the powder is a bit heavy or deep, there generally isn’t enough gradient to keep enough momentum.
  • Some of the lifts are very slow.
  • If you stay overnight in Ikenotaira Onsen accommodation, there’s nothing much to do for après ski except have a soak in the onsen, have dinner, and go to bed.

Pro or Con Depending On Your Perspective

  • In the “village” of Ikenotaira Onsen there are lots of people that don’t speak English and it has retained its traditional Japanese-ness.

Tours That May Include Ikenotaira

Safari (Road Trip) Tours
Chicks Japan Progression Tour DETAILS
Chick's Snow Boarding Powder Progression Tour
8 Nights - 7 Days Coaching/Riding
From price based on twin/double-share room occupancy.
Base/invoice currency is in AUD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 1,799
Ability: Beginner, Intermediate, Strong Intermediate, Advanced
Take your snowboarding to the next level and learn to ride powder whilst meeting some great new female snowboarding buddies! Experience Myoko's rich cultural ambiance and deep dry powder.
More
Nagano Niigata Explorer DETAILS
HOSTED & GUIDED ROAD TRIP
10 Nights | 8 Days Skiing/Riding | Up to 8 Ski Areas
From price based on twin/double-share option.
Base/invoice currency is in AUD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 2,650
Book & page deposit by 31st Oct and take AU$200 off the advertised price.
Ability: Advanced, Expert
Based in Myoko Kogen, enjoy Honshu's rich culture and visit up to 8 ski areas including Myoko (5 ski areas), Nozawa Onsen, Kurohime, Shiga Kogen (18 inter-connected ski areas), Madarao, Tangram & a few other secret spots
More
Myoko & Madarao Tour DETAILS
HOSTED & SEMI GUIDED TOUR
10 Days | 9 Nights | 7 Riding | 3+ Resorts
From price based on twin/double-share option.
Base/invoice currency is in AUD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 1,583
Ability: Strong Intermediate, Advanced
Experience the rich Japanese culture of Myoko Kogen and its famous deep, deep powder. Also head to Madarao where you will ride the secret backcountry.
More
See all Safari (Road Trip) tours that visit Ikenotaira here
Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area Tours
Epic Honshu Buffet (Skiers Only) DETAILS
GUIDED SKI ADVENTURE
10 Days | 9 Night | 8 Skiing | Up to 8 Ski Areas
From price based on twin/double-share option.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 2,542
Book before Sept 30 and get free avi gear rental & 5% off displayed price
Ability: Advanced, Expert
Combine deep untracked powder skiing where few foreigners go, with a rich Japanese cultural experience, a traditional ryokan (Japanese hotel) and food, and you have the perfect Japanese ski adventure!
More
Epic Honshu Ski & Snowboard Progression DETAILS
SKI & SNOWBOARD GUIDED INSTRUCTION
10 Days | 9 Night | 8 Skiing | Up to 8 Ski Areas
From price based on twin/double-share option.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 2,542
EARLY BIRD: Book before Sept 30 and get 5% off displayed price
Ability: Intermediate, Strong Intermediate, Advanced
Learn to ski and ride deep powder with more confidence whilst checking out some of Honshu's ski areas away from the masses of foreigners. Outside the skiing and snowboarding, experience an area rich in culture and history.
More
Epic Honshu Buffet (Snowboarders Only) DETAILS
GUIDED SNOWBOARDING ADVENTURE
10 Days | 9 Night | 8 Riding | Up to 8 Ski Areas
From price based on twin/double-share option.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 2,542
Book before Sept 30 and get free avi gear rental & 5% off displayed price
Ability: Advanced, Expert
Combine deep untracked powder riding where few foreigners go, with a rich Japanese cultural experience, a traditional hotel and food, and you have the perfect Japanese snowboarding adventure!
More
See all Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area tours that visit Ikenotaira here
Backcountry Skiing Tours
Alps to Coast Package DETAILS
HAKUBA & MYOKO BC ADVENTURE
10 Nights | 8 Days Guided Skiing / Riding
From price based on a twin/triple-share room (price displayed is per person).
Base/invoice currency is in JPY inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 2,848
Ability: Advanced, Expert
The HAKUBA ALPS are the ultimate when it comes to steep alpine terrain in Japan and the MYOKO KOGEN area receives some of the highest snow falls in Japan. This tour takes in the steep & deep alpine backcountry terrain of the Hakuba Valley and the deep POW around Myoko.
More
Hakuba Guided Day Tours DETAILS
GUIDED DAY TOURS from HAKUBA
For PRIVATE GROUPS of up to 5 people
From price based on Hakuba day tour, group of 5 (price displayed is per person however full tour price is 5 X that price).
Base/invoice currency is in JPY inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 117
Ability: Intermediate, Strong Intermediate, Advanced, Expert
If you are in the HAKUBA area, you can't go past a day or more of a guided ski or snowboarding adventure. The area (and also other nearby resorts) is huge and the best skiing is actually outside of the resort boundaries which should only be accesses with a guide. Tours are for PRIVATE GROUPS ONLY of up to 5 guests.
More
Myoko Guided Day Tours DETAILS
GUIDED DAY TOURS from MYOKO
For PRIVATE GROUPS of up to 5 people
From price based on a Myoko day tour, group of 5 (price displayed is per person however full tour price is 5 X that price).
Base/invoice currency is in JPY inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 117
Ability: Intermediate, Strong Intermediate, Advanced, Expert
If you are in the MYOKO area, you can't go past a day or more of guided skiing or snowboarding. The area (and also other nearby resorts) is huge & some of the best skiing is outside of the resort boundaries which should only be accessed with a guide. Tours are for PRIVATE GROUPS ONLY of up to 5 guests.
More
See all Backcountry Skiing tours that visit Ikenotaira here