Approximately 45km to the east of Nagano City, Shiga Kogen can be readily accessed using public transport. Most people will start their journey from Nagano Station or from the nearby monkey park or Yudanaka and Shibu Onsen. All of these locations are connected to Shiga Kogen by buses and trains which make the journey quick and easy.
As Japan’s largest and highest ski resort, visiting Shiga Kogen in winter is one of Nagano’s best experiences.
In the warmer months of spring, summer and autumn, Shiga offers visitors an escape from the heat and fantastic hiking and nature photography. Nestled within the beautiful Joshinetsu Kogen National Park, Shiga was declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1981 due to the importance of its unique flora and fauna.
Particularly spectacular in autumn due to the changing leaves, Shiga Kogen really is an all-year-round destination.
From Nagano Station to Shiga Kogen
When travelling to Shiga Kogen from Nagano Station, you will be using bus or train services operated by the Nagano Dentetsu company. Usually referred to simply as ‘Nagaden’, the company operates an express bus service directly to Shiga Kogen – via the Jigokudani Monkey Park – or taking train services to Yudanaka Station – the nearest station to the resort – and from there, local buses to Shiga.
Using the Snow Monkey Express Bus
The Nagaden Snow Monkey Express Bus takes approx. 70 to 90 minutes and costs JPY1800-2100 per person depending where in Shiga you want to get-off. Running to Shiga Kogen (via the Snow Monkey Park), the express bus is the easiest and most convenient way to get to the resort directly from JR Nagano Station.
To access the bus, exit the station’s East Exit and descend to the ground floor by the stairs or elevator. The Nagaden Express Bus departs from Bus Stop 23 and takes approx. 70 minutes to reach the Hasuike (the gateway stop for the resort) and 90 minutes to reach Okushiga (the most distant area of the resort). Tickets are bought on the bus – directly from the driver with no reservation required – with numerous services each day during winter.
Further details can be found through our ‘Nagaden Express Bus’ page.
Using the Nagaden train and local bus
A second option is to take an express train on the Nagano Dentetsu Line to Yudanaka Station – approximately 45 minutes and costing JPY1290 – and then switch to the Shiga Kogen local bus line. From the station, the ride to Shiga Kogen will take 25 to 75 minutes – depending on which area of the resort you wish to get-off – and cost between JPY780 and JPY1100 accordingly.
To make this two-stage journey:
1 / exit Nagano Station via the Zenkoji Exit and take the escalator heading underground (to your right) to the Nagano Dentetsu Line. Tickets can be bought at the machines or ticket window to the side.
2 / follow the directions below.
From Yudanaka Station to Shiga Kogen
Yudanaka is the nearest train station to Shiga Kogen and the Snow Monkey Park. It is a small station with two local bus lines – the Kanbayashi Line and Shiga Kogen Line – operating from directly in front of the station. During winter, English-speaking staff are usually on-hand to assist with boarding the correct bus.
To reach Shiga Kogen you must use the Shiga Kogen Line. Before reaching Shiga the bus stops at the money park. Due to weather and road conditions, estimated times can vary in winter but expect the following:
You pay the driver as you disembark the bus. For further information regarding how to use local buses, please refer to our ‘Nagaden Local Bus’ page.
From the Jigokudani Monkey Park to Shiga Kogen
Both the express bus from Nagano Station and local bus from Yudanaka Station will stop at the monkey park before proceeding to Shiga Kogen. In doing so, visitors can stop at the park on their way to or from the ski resort. From the park to Shiga Kogen will take 20 to 60 minutes depending on which part of the resort you are heading to.
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.
Accommodation Options in Shiga Kogen
Shiga Kogen is a vast resort with accommodation spread throughout. There is lots of accommodation to choose from including our two recommendations: Hotel Sunny Shiga in Takamagahara and Hotel Grand Phenix in Okushiga.
Hotel Sunny 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 Sunny 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 Sunny 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 Takamagahara, 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 Sunny 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 mineral 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.