While the sun is shining here in Yamanouchi and we head towards another hot summer, we can’t help but turn our minds to the coming winter and another highly anticipated snow season in Japan… and we know that you’re thinking about it too! As you plan your visit to Japan’s for the 2018/19 season, we wanted to share this tantalizing video kindly provided by Morgan Franc which showcases the best of Nagano and our favorite ski resort, Shiga Kogen.
Shiga Kogen is Japan (and Asia’s) largest ski area offering both skiers and snowboarders an abundance of different terrain, courses, and powder snow to explore and conquer. While Shiga may not hold the same profile as the more famous resorts in Nagano, it blesses visitors with the exact things they may feel they’re missing at its nearby neighbors – the space and freedom of empty runs and a distinctly Japanese experience!
Shiga is less developed than resorts such as those in Hakuba Valley and Nozawa Onsen. Away from the central areas of Shiga Kogen, you’re likely to find open runs of pristine powder snow across its many ski areas including the Central, Okushiga & Yakebitai, and Yokoteyama. Come visit and see for yourself!
Another big advantage of basing yourself at Shiga Kogen is its close proximity to the Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park. It is the closest ski resort to the monkey park, making a visit to see the monkeys in winter easy. No trip to Nagano is complete without a visit to the park and seeing the famous snow monkeys bathing in the onsen and moving through the winter landscape.
Within easy reach of Shiga Kogen and the Snow Monkey Park, numerous cultural and culinary delights are readily available to visitors making any visit to Nagano’s ski fields as memorable for what you will find off the runs, as what is awaiting for you on them. Visitors to Shiga Kogen have numerous accommodation and dining options throughout the ski fields including Ichinose and Shibu Onsen (as pictured below) villages.
Nagano is equally famous for the quality of its produce – especially apples, grapes, soba and sake – as it is for its mountains and powder snow. The beauty of choosing Shiga Kogen as your preferred destination for Japan’s 2018/19 ski season, is the ease with which you will be able to combine your days in the snow with mornings and evenings indulging in the food, drink, and cultural activities that define the region.
We are busy planning for the Japanese winter and looking forward to welcoming more international visitors to both Shiga Kogen and the wider Yamanouchi region. Whether the 2018/19 ski season will be your first visit to Japan or you’ve been before, Shiga should be top of your list. You won’t be disappointed!
Shiga Kogen is accessible from JR Nagano Station by public transport including train and bus. For those looking to make their journey as easy and comfortable as possible, customized itineraries and charter vehicles to and between Nagano’s world-class snow resorts are also available.
For visitors wanting to get the most out of their visit to Shiga, and explore all it has to offer, we recommend staying in the most central area, Ichinose Village. Hotel Mount Shiga is a great choice of accommodation in the village offering guests warm and friendly service, both Western and Japanese-style rooms, meal service, and ski hire and tickets – a great option within easy walking distance of ski runs, shuttle buses, and a range of restaurants and bars.
Hotel Mount Shiga is one of the few guesthouses in Shiga Kogen with its own, in-house ‘onsen’ (natural hot spring) for the exclusive use of guests. At the end of the day on the mountain there is no better way to unwind, relax, and prime yourself for the next day than soaking in the thermal waters, bubbling up from deep below!
Easily accessible by public transport and private vehicle, Hotel Mount Shiga is a great option for those looking for a traditional Japanese ski lodge in the heart of the action.