Myoko Kogen4 out of 5 based on 13 reviews
  • Recommend
    100%
  • Would Revisit
    100%
Wagner Custome Skis
Myoko Backcountry Powder Tour

Akakura Onsen, the main village of Myoko Kogen
Akakura Onsen, the main village of Myoko Kogen
Powder skiing Akakura Myoko
Powder skiing Akakura Myoko
Myoko Akakura village and ski areas
Myoko Akakura village and ski areas
Myoko Kogen Powder
Myoko Kogen Powder
Lots of opportunities for face shots!
Lots of opportunities for face shots!
Many of the Myoko hotels and pensions have an onsen
Many of the Myoko hotels and pensions have an onsen
Myoko Kogen Snow
Myoko Kogen Snow
Night skiing at Akakura Onsen
Night skiing at Akakura Onsen
Myoko Japan has some nice tree skiing
Myoko Japan has some nice tree skiing
Myoko Kogen Japan
Myoko Kogen Japan
Mt Myoko Japan
Mt Myoko Japan
Much of the Myoko Kogen accommodation is Japanese style
Much of the Myoko Kogen accommodation is Japanese style
Myoko Kogen Japan
Myoko Kogen Japan
Main street of Akakura Onsen village
Main street of Akakura Onsen village
It snows a lot!
It snows a lot!
With Myoko Powder Packages you can head to Madarao for more powder
With Myoko Powder Packages you can head to Madarao for more powder
Nearby Madarao is also great for powder hounds
Nearby Madarao is also great for powder hounds
Seki Onsen Myoko Japan
Seki Onsen Myoko Japan
There are fresh tracks galore at nearby Togakushi
There are fresh tracks galore at nearby Togakushi
Seki Onsen Myoko
Seki Onsen Myoko

Myoko Kogen

Myoko Kogen Japan

The Myoko Kogen ski area is ideal for powder hounds. It scores highly on the pow-dometer thanks to a whopping 13 metres of pow per season on average, and in the 2014-15 season Myoko Kogen notched up over 16 metres of snowfall!

Myoko Kogen is also great for those looking for a bit of a Japanese cultural experience. It is a far cry from one of those glitzy bubble era resorts or the highly westernised “Japanese” ski resorts. Founded in the 1930s, Myoko is rich in history, Japanese people own most of the businesses, and the area has lots of unadulterated onsens. Lots of westerners now head to Myoko so it’s lost a little bit of its Japanese-ness, but the upside is that it’s now much easier for English speaking travellers. 

Myoko Ski Resort Terrain

There isn’t actually a Myoko Kogen ski resort per se. The Myoko area is made up of several ski resorts that are largely linked together only by shuttle bus. The main ski area is Myoko Akakura which is made up of two resorts side by side; Akakura Kanko ski resort and Akakura Onsen. Suginohara ski resort features super long cruisy groomers and good sidecountry, Seki Onsen is renowned for steep tree skiing, Ikenotaira Onsen has good freestyle fun, and family friendly slopes can be found at Kyukamura and Myoko Ski Park.

There’s something for everyone across the Myoko Kogen ski resorts although the area is most well known amongst powder hounds for the treed slopes, off-piste riding and long vertical. Some of the Myoko ski resorts also have sidecountry and backcountry opportunities, and guiding is available. Of course Myoko Kogen is also famed for the abundant snow which results from its proximity to the Sea of Japan.

Here's a little taste of what you will find in Myoko Japan....



Where is Myoko Japan? Myoko Kogen is located one hour north of Nagano in the Niigata prefecture in the heart of the Joshinetsu National Park. From Tokyo the best way to get there is to take the Nagano Shinkansen (bullet train) to Nagano (approx 100 minutes), then the Shinetsu train line to Myoko Kogen Station. The ski villages such as Akakura Onsen are approximately 10 minutes from the station via bus or taxi.

Alternatively there are direct shuttle buses from the Tokyo airports to Myoko Kogen with Nagano Snow Shuttle.

Myoko Kogen Accommodation “Myoko” is the town in the valley near Myokokogen train station, but many people stay in one of the ski villages up at the base of the ski resorts. Akakura Onsen is generally the most popular village to stay because it offers good access to the main ski resorts, and has the largest number of bars and restaurants. 

Myoko Kogen accommodation varies from traditional pensions, ryokans and lodges, to more European style hotels.

Facilities, Activities & Nightlife

Even though Myoko Kogen has a bit of a traditional Japanese vibe, the facilities are reasonably well set up for Westerners and families, including English speaking ski school and day care.

The mandatory après activity is to take a soak in one of the many onsens, which range from hotel based onsens to delightful outdoor hot springs that are surrounded by forests or offer views. Due to its proximity to Nagano, Myoko Kogen also provides access to some culturally interesting side trips.

Myoko is not a place with an overly vibrant nightlife, but there are lots of small bars and traditional restaurants where you can partake in some kanpai.

Summary of Pros and Cons

Pros

  • The Myoko ski areas are a must do for powder hounds considering the quantity of snow and the opportunity to get off-piste (in some areas).
  • As part of a Myoko Powder Package, a Myoko Progression Week, or the Nagano Niigata Explorer Tour powder hounds can easily also visit nearby ski areas such as Madarao, Tangram or Togakushi to score more pow.
  • Akakura Onsen has a good range of restaurants to explore and most of the restaurants and izakayas (Japanese bars that serve snack food) have English menus, and the staff speak at least a little Engrish.
  • There has been a moderate influx of gaijin but it’s still retained its Japanese flavour. Particularly if you venture away from Akakura, plenty of the “real Japan” remains (although the local ladies don’t wear a kimono out powder skiing!).
  • Myoko is one of only a handful of Japanese ski resorts to offer child care and group ski and snowboard lessons in English. The other ski resorts that have this pro tend to be very westernised.
  • Japanese people are incredibly polite and friendly, but the Myoko Kogen locals in particular seem to exude major affability. Smiles abound and most service staff bend over backwards with hospitality.

Cons

  • There isn’t that much to do during the day except ski or snowboard.
  • The villages look a little run down in places, but the upside of it not being glitzy and new is that it feels somewhat traditional (and a sign that there hasn’t been a major injection of western money).
  • The two ski areas adjacent to the main village (Akakura) don’t provide much in the way of steep fall line terrain, and despite “Kogen” meaning “highlands”, these ski areas aren’t very high. However this isn’t an issue at nearby Seki Onsen or Suginohara.
  • As is typical of the non-westernised Japanese ski resorts, there is negligible self-contained accommodation such as apartments.

Tours That May Include Myoko Kogen

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 1,899
Ability: Beginner to 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.
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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 for a group of 6.
Base/invoice currency is in AUD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 3,116
Ability: Advanced to 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
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Myoko & Madarao Tour DETAILS
HOSTED & GUIDED TOUR
9 Days | 8 Nights | 6 Days Riding
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 1,938
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Advanced
Ideal for snowboarders getting used to riding deeper powder. Experience the rich Japanese culture of Myoko Kogen and its famous deep, deep powder. Also head to Madarao where you will ride the renowned trees.
More
See all Safari (Road Trip) tours that visit Myoko Kogen here
Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area Tours
Myoko Progression Tours DETAILS
GUIDED PROGRESSION TOUR
8 Days | 7 Nights | 5 Days Skiing | Up to 7 Ski Areas
From price based on twin/triple/quad-share room occupancy.
Base/invoice currency is in AUD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 1,975
Ability: Beginner to Advanced
Want to improve your riding to tackle bigger and better terrain? Well this tour could be for you! Get ski or snowboard instruction and learn to ride & ski deep powder whilst immersing yourself in Japanese culture.
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Myoko Powder Packages DETAILS
HOSTED & SEMI-GUIDED PACKAGES
7 Nights / 6 Days
Sample price based on twin/double-share option based on 7-night / 6-day sample package
Base/invoice currency is in AUD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 1,436
Ability: Beginner to Advanced
Get the best out of Myoko Kogen and nearby ski areas and chase the powder with a Powder Recon Myoko Kogen ski package. This hosted package includes accommodation at a quality Japanese hotel/ryokan. Great for families as well! The sample price is for 7 nights, but you can choose your length of stay.
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Myoko Backcountry Snow Venture DETAILS
GUIDED BACKCOUNTRY TOUR
8 Nights | 5 Days Backcountry Skiing/Riding
From price based on twin/triple/quad-share room occupancy.
Base/invoice currency is in AUD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 1,975
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Want to step into the backcountry in the Myoko Kogen area? Well this tour could be for you! Learn about avalanche safety & safely accessing the backcountry (including 1 night BC camping in a hut) & ski deep powder whilst immersing yourself in Japanese culture.
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See all Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area tours that visit Myoko Kogen here
Backcountry Skiing Tours
Alps to Coast Tour DETAILS
HAKUBA & MYOKO BC ADVENTURE
9 Nights | 8 Days Guided Skiing / Riding
From price based on a twin 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 2,691
Ability: Advanced to 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 backcountry tour takes in the steep & deep alpine terrain of the Hakuba Valley and the deep POW around Myoko.
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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 124
10% discount for tours Feb 12-18 & during March
Ability: Intermediate to 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.
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Myoko Deep Tour DETAILS
MYOKO BC ADVENTURE
9 Nights | 8 Days Guided Skiing / Riding
From price based on a twin 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 2,691
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
The MYOKO KOGEN area receives some of the highest snow falls in Japan. This tour takes you to the deep backcountry and sidecountry terrain of Myoko and surrounding ski areas.
More
See all Backcountry Skiing tours that visit Myoko Kogen here