Activities & Tours
Myoko Kogen Ski Tours Myoko Kogen
offers lots of opportunities for backcountry skiing. Above the ski resorts, ascents to the mountain peaks offer some fabulous skiing and snowboarding.
Myoko Snowcat Tours
offer cat skiing day trips, which is a great way to score fresh powder without competition from other powder hunters or the fear of ski patrol getting antsy. The Myoko cat skiing is about 28km northwest of Akakura Onsen. Transfers from Akakura are not included in the package, but it's easy enough to get a private transfer to the snowcat staging area.
Resort Guided Day Trips
Off-piste guiding at local and nearby ski resorts can be incorporated as part of a Myoko Powder Package
. This includes transport to the ski area, morning guiding, lift tickets, and lunch at some ski areas. This is a great way to chase freshies! They can also organise backcountry guiding with local guides at Seki Onsen and Suginohara.
The Nagano Niigata Explorer Tour
is based in Myoko Kogen and includes daily transport to nearby ski areas to score plenty of freshies!
Myoko Kogen Onsens
The various villages of Myoko don’t have “onsen” in their name for nothing. Myoko Valley has an abundance of rejuvenating onsens, thanks to the Mt Myoko volcano, the source of the thermal spring waters. Soaking in one of the onsens 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.
Many of the hotels have their own onsens, some with rotenburo (open air), such as Hotel Taiko
, and the Akakura Kanko Hotel
& Spa. Besides the hotel onsens, the Akakura Onsen village has two outdoor onsens, one of which is free. The quietest of the onsens is probably Tsubame Onsen (you’ll need your own wheels) where the cloudy milky characteristics of the water are accompanied by the stench of sulphur!
Sightseeing Activities near Nagano
For many of the activities near Nagano 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.
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!
IXSM Travel offer daily shuttles from Myoko to the snow monkeys each afternoon.
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.