Nestled high above the Snow Monkey Park within the beautiful surrounding of Joshinestu Kogen National Park, there is a ski resort which is Nagano’s sleeping giant and the next big destination for winter 2019/20!
Shiga Kogen is officially Japan’s largest and highest resort. Comprised of 18 different ski areas – some large, some small – Shiga is immense, offering skiers and snowboarders more interconnected terrain than any other resort in Japan. In fact, Shiga Kogen lays claim to being the largest resort in Asia!
The numbers vary depending on the source, but officially Shiga boasts 79 runs connected by 51 chairlifts and gondolas and covered by one all-mountain pass. Over such an expanse of terrain you’ll find runs suitable from all levels – from newbies including those at the International Ski School through to intermediate and advanced skiers and snowboarders – with the longest run covering 6.5km in the resorts Central Area. But it’s not just Shiga’s size that is bringing it to the attention of international visitors…
Starting at around 1640 meters and maxing-out at 2307 meters, Shiga Kogen is Japan’s highest ski resort, boasting the country’s highest chair-lifted ski run at Yokoteyama. Why does this matter? Very simply, Shiga gets snow earlier other resorts – often long before! – with some areas open from as early as November and the season typically stretching into late-April and even early-May. Just ask the locals! They’ll tell you that Shiga has the longest and most reliable season in Nagano and whether you want to start early in November or be carving up the mountain in the spring sunshine of April and May, Shiga Kogen stands alone as Nagano’s best!
But what about the powder? How does it compare to other resorts?
This is perhaps the big question and one that prompts a lot of debate as to which resort has the deepest snow, the best, and most reliable year-in, year-out. Shiga’s claim to having Nagano’s best powder is actually backed-up with good old-fashioned facts – and it’s all down to its location and height. Situated further away from the coast than the resorts of Myoko, Hakuba, and Nozawa, Shiga Kogen receives its snow a little later as the winter weather moves in from the Sea of Japan and moves east. As the weather moves over land it steadily loses the moisture it collected from the ocean making the powder of Shiga very, very dry.
Once on the ground, Shiga Kogen’s height and colder temperatures keep the powder in better condition for longer, protected from the wind by the natural topography surrounding the resort. Even in a lean season (by local standards), you can be confident that Shiga Kogen will be going strong as Nagano’s biggest, best, and highest ski resort!
Time of plan you visit to Shiga Kogen!
Snow Monkey Resorts is Nagano’s No.1 tour operator and we are again offering our Ski/Snowboard & Snow Monkey Package Tours in winter 2019/20!
With packages covering 4 days/3 nights, 4 days/5 nights, and 5 days/6 nights, we have you covered! Our packages are designed to take the hassle out of your visit so you can concentrate on the fun stuff – hitting that powder!
Each package includes:
- All-mountain lift tickets covering all areas of Shiga Kogen for the duration of your stay
- Transport from/to JR Nagano Station and Shiga Kogen
- Accommodation at Hotel Mount Shiga in the resorts central, Ichinose Village
- Breakfast every morning and dinner on the first night at Hotel Mount Shiga
- A guided visit to Nagano’s world-famous Snow Monkey Park on Day 1
- Dinner at Hotaru-tei – a renowned local restaurant – on Day 2
With additional options including ski and snowboard rental and lessons at Shiga Kogen’s International Ski School (lessons are conducted in English), packages cover all the essentials and more – with your guided visit to the Snow Monkey Park and dinner at Hotaru-tei sure to round-out a fantastic winter adventure at Nagano’s biggest and best resort!
Our package tours operate every Tuesday, Friday and Sunday between December 22nd 2019 and March 20th 2020, with extended availability everyday through December 22nd until January 5th (excluding Dec 25th & 26th).
Starting at JR Nagano Station, you will be met by a guide who will have you quickly aboard your tour bus and on your way to the resort, but first stopping at the Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park. Your guide will take you along the forest trail into the park and introduce you to Nagano’s favorite furry residents, explaining just what makes the monkeys so unique and famous. Your visit to the park is combined with lunch at a local restaurant, to enjoy warming winter lunch before it’s time to continue into the mountains and your arrival at Shiga Kogen.
Our staff will help you check-in, arrange your day passes, and assist you with getting your bearings before wishing you well and saying goodbye. From that point on, you are left to yourself to enjoy the resort but not left alone!
Dinner on the first night is included at your hotel (followed by breakfast every morning of your stay) and again on the second night, with a multi-course dinner arranged for you at one of the region’s best restaurants, Hotaru-tei. Housed in a 160 year old traditional mansion and acclaimed for its meal service, this is guaranteed to be a highlight of your stay in Shiga Kogen and a little thank you from us, for choosing Snow Monkey Resorts.
Day passes are provided to cover every full day of your stay and give you access to all ski areas, a huge expanse of terrain that will keep you more than entertained! Whether you choose a 4, 5 or 6 day package, there’s always something new – a fresh course of powder, a new trail – to discover and explore.
When the last day rolls round and its finally time to leave, we’ve also got you covered. Your package includes a ticket for the Nagaden Express Bus that will take you directly from the resort back to where it all began, JR Nagano Station. You will be unaccompanied on this leg of your journey but again, not alone! We will make sure you have your tickets, timetable, and bus stop location (nearby your hotel) to have you on your way back down the mountain at a time that’s convenient for you!
So whether you need to get going early or want to spend every minute on the mountain and take the last bus of the day, you can set a schedule that works for you. Bookings for our Ski/Snowboard & Snow Monkey Package Tours for winter 2019/20 are now open!
Why choose us?
Recently awarded a 2019 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Award for our 1-Day Snow Monkeys, Zenko-ji Temple & Sake Tour – recognised as one of the Top 10 Experiences in Japan – Snow Monkey Resorts is Nagano’s No.1 tour and charter operator.
Locally-based and operating all year round, we offer the local knowledge, support, and service that you need to get the most out of your winter adventure in Japan.
We want all of our guests have the best possible time in Nagano, so good, that we hope you’ll come back again! We love our home region and want you to love it to… we’d love to see you here in Nagano this winter!
Got a question about our ski/snowboard packages or any of our services? Don’t hesitate to get in touch! Please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.