If you intend to visit Shiga Kogen – Japan’s largest interconnected area of ski fields, renowned powder wonderland, and UNESCO Eco Park – it is quite easily done using the local public transportation system. This blog will outline the how get yourself to Shiga Kogen with a minimum of hassle and fuss.
Access to Shiga Kogen is all about taking the bus
- From JR Nagano Station: Nagano Dentetsu (Nagaden) operates express buses directly to Shiga Kogen. This represents the easiest way to get yourself to Shiga Kogen.
- From Yudanaka Station: this is the nearest station to the Snow Monkey Park and popular hot spring villages of Yudanaka and Shibu Onsen. Local buses, originating at the station, run past stops in both Yudanaka and Shibu Onse before heading into the mountains of Shiga Kogen.
Access to Shiga Kogen direclty from JR Nagano Station:
The Nagaden Express Bus departs JR Nagano Station at Stop 23 (as pictured below), found outside the station’s East Exit. The Snow Monkey Park is located at the midway point of this bus route, between Nagano Station and Shiga Kogen – an approximately 45 minute journey. If you want to continue on to Shiga Kogen, it takes approximately 70 minutes (from JR Nagano Station) to reach the Hasuike Bus Terminal – the gateway bus terminal of Shiga Kogen – and 90 minutes to reach Okushiga Kogen Hotel, the most distant ski resort of Shiga Kogen.
Tickets are bought directly from the driver on the bus. Please refer to either our access page or the latest edition of the Snow Monkey Resorts Magazine for the Nagaden Express Bus Line timetable and prices.
Access to Shiga Kogen from Yudanaka Station, Shibu Onsen & the Snow Monkey Park:
From Yudanaka Station, two local buses service Shiga Kogen yet head to different areas of the mountains. While this can seem a little confusing, the journey is easily navigable. The Shiga Kogen Line heads to Shiga Kogen with its final destination being Hotaru Onsen (Suzurikawa) while the Shiga Kogen Express Line also services Shiga Kogen but with a final destination of Okushiga Kogen Hotel.
For example, if you are staying in Ichinose, Prince Hotel, or Okushiga areas, you need to take the Shiga Kogen Express Line bus bound for Okushiga and disembark at the bus stop named after area you are aiming for i.e. Ichinose, Prince Hotel West/South/East, Okushiga Kogen Hotel, etc.
Alternatively, if you are headed to the Yokoteyama area, take the Shiga Kogen Line bus bound for Hotaru Onsen (Suzurikawa) and get off the bus at Hotaru Onsen or Kumanoyu.
It is important to note that both bus lines first stop in Shibu Onsen, the Snow Monkey Park, and at Hasuike – the gateway bus terminal of Shiga Kogen. Therefore, no matter where you are headed to or staying in Shiga Kogen, you can take either bus as far as the Hasuike bus stop in Shiga Kogen, and change lines there if necessary.
You pay the driver as you disembark the bus. Please refer to either our access page or the latest edition of the Snow Monkey Resorts Magazine for the local bus timetable and prices.
Shuttle Bus within Shiga Kogen:
Once you have arrived in Shiga Kogen, you can utilize the shuttle buses that run between the different areas of the mountains – a service which is exceptionally convenient given the expansiveness of the surrounding landscape! Bus services run more frequently in winter than summer given the increased number of visitors to the resorts so please refer to the timetables once you arrive in Shiga Kogen. During winter the bus is free for visitors with ski lift passes and operates from 8:30 to 17:30.
We hope that this information is of assistance and look forward to seeing you soon in Shiga Kogen – Japan’s largest area of interconnected ski fields and venue for the 1998 Winter Olympic Games
For visitors wanting to get the most out of their visit to Shiga in both summer or winter, 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, generous meal service, and in-house ‘onsen’ style bath room.
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 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.
Hotel Mount Shiga is known for its generous meal service including large continental breakfasts and range of Japanese and Western cuisine for dinner. Located in the heart of Ichinose Village, guests also have access to the largest range of restaurants and bars in Shiga Kogen, all within easy walking distance.
Easily accessible by public transport and private vehicle, Hotel Mount Shiga is a great option for those looking for a comfortable and friendly guesthouse conveniently located in the heart of Shiga Kogen!
As Shiga Kogen’s premium accommodation option, Hotel Grand Phenix is our recommendation for guests choosing to stay in the Okushiga and Yakebitai ski fields. Hotel Grand Phenix combines European-style accommodation and comfort with traditional Japanese service and outstanding facilities. Most notably, the hotel features the convenience of ski in/out access to the Okushiga ski fields, secure and spacious ski/snowboard storage, in-house rental and Phenix brand store, and easy access to the nearby Shiga International Ski School.
Offering both Western and Japanese-style rooms, all rooms are spacious with private bathrooms and walk-in closest for easy storage of your gear. Two in-house restaurants serve a mix of Japanese, Chinese and Western cuisine with a spacious but cozy lounge centred around an open fireplace.
Hotel Grand Phenix offers guests a range of meal plans – including Economy, Special and Premium – which are designed to offer the best possible food experience in Shiga Kogen with menus updated for longer stay visitors, so that each day and meal is different.
Segregated mens and womens baths including outdoor pools offer a great way to relax and unwind after a day on the mountain, while saunas and heated indoor swimming pool round-out an unmatched suite of facilities deep in the heart of Shiga Kogen.
Shiga Kogen multi-day ski packages
Snow Monkey Resorts is Nagano’s No.1 Tour operator, offering ski and snowboard packages in Shiga Kogen – the most convenient way to get the most out of your winter adventure in Japan!
Including lift passes for the duration of your stay, accommodation at Hotel Mount Shiga, a guided visit to the Snow Monkey Park, and transport from/to JR Nagano Station, our convenient packages take the hassle out of planning your trip and combine the best of Shiga Kogen with all that this beautiful region has to offer!