Activities Nearby Shiga Kogen Yamanoeki
Arriving at Shiga Kogen Yamanoeki, visitors have easy access to the following winter activities:
Skiing & Snowboarding / December to April
Nestled within the Joshinetsu Kogen National Park, Shiga Kogen is Japan’s largest and highest ski resort. Shiga offers an expansive area to explore and conquer – around 80 courses, spread over a huge variety of terrain connected by more than 50 chairlifts and gondolas.
In total, Shiga Kogen offers around 600 hectares of terrain and 80+ km of trails covered by one all-mountain pass. Located in the Haisuike ski fields and housing the ‘Pulse Gondola’, Shiga Kogen Yamanoeki is the earliest and most convenient entry point to the overall result.
Lift passes, ski/snowboard rental, and multiple transport options to and from Yamanoeki make it the easiest point from which to dive into and explore the overall resort.
Given the size of Shiga Kogen, visitors will find courses and terrain suitable for all levels, from beginner to advanced including courses used during the 1998 Winter Olympics. One of only a handful of host venues for the Games, Shiga’s Olympic pedigree lives on with courses still clearly marked for you to challenge yourself on.
Snow Fun Activities / December to March
As Japan’s largest resort, Shiga Kogen has plenty to offer through winter. For families, especially those with younger children, the Maruike Snow Activity Park and Yakebitaiyama Family Snow Park offer fenced-off playgrounds where children and families can use sleds, tubes and other snow gear.
Maruike Snow Activity Park is within walking distance of Shiga Kogen Yamanoeki, open daily through the ski season. Yakebityama Family Snow Park is located further into the resort – directly outside of Prince Hotel West in the Yakebeitai ski fields – requiring use of the public bus or taxi to reach it directly from Shiga Kogen Yamanoeki. Of course, you can also reach it by skiing or snowboarding!
Given its proximity, should you want to enjoy snow fun activities from Shiga Kogen Yamanoeki, we recommend heading to Maruike – only a short walk down the hill. Guests wanting to enjoy snow fun activities in combination with a visit to the Jigokudani Monkey Park, can do so on our 1-Day Snow Monkeys & Snow Fun in Shiga Kogen Tour.
You can meet us at the snow activity park for a morning of fun before we head to lunch nearby the park followed by early afternoon visit to the monkeys – a great way to enjoy the best of Nagano in winter!
Snowmobiling / December to March
Winter visitors to Shiga can also enjoy snowmobiling in the Yakebitai ski fields. One of the most scenic areas of the resort, Yakebitai is the perfect place to enjoy a single or tandem ride, guided by a certified instructor.
Available from December to March, guests must be at least 13 years of age to enjoy single ride and 6 years and older, to join a tandem ride (with an accompanying adult).
Popular throughout winter, this is a great way to enjoy the resort in a different way. Our 1-Day Snow Monkeys & Snowmobiling in Shiga Kogen Tour combines a morning of snowmobiling with lunch nearby the park and early afternoon visit to the monkeys.
Available throughout winter, we offer pickup at several points in the resort including the Shiga Kogen Yamanoeki.
Jigokudani Monkey Park / all year round
As the only troop of monkeys in the world known to naturally bathe in hot springs, the Jigokudani Monkey Park – often referred to as the Snow Monkey Park – is one of the region’s most popular destinations and Yamanouchi’s best known attraction.
With no barriers separating you and the monkeys, this is a unique chance to observe these curious creatures in close proximity and witness the unusual sight of a Japanese macaque relishing the warm thermal waters of the park.
Most famous for their antics in winter, the monkeys in fact come to the park throughout the year. Spring sees the local cherry blossoms bloom and the year’s baby monkeys being born, followed by the lush, hot and humid summer and finally, the beautiful leaves of autumn; all before winter takes hold again and each season offering its own reasons to visit.
Accessible from Shiga Kogen Yamanoeki using local bus services – 30 to 40-minutse during winter – visitors can also head to the park on one of our winter group tours – as listed above – or organise a private tour or charter.
Accommodation / all year round
As Japan’s largest resort, there is plenty of accommodation to choose from in Shiga Kogen. Immediately around Shiga Kogen Yamanoeki, the ski fields of Hasuike, Maruike and Sun Valley have many hotels with even more available further into the resort including in Ichinose, Yakebitaiyama and Okushiga.
For hotel listings, please see our ‘Stay in Shiga Kogen: Recommended Accommodation’ page.
Hot Springs / all year round
Nagano is blessed with countless ‘onsen’ (natural hot springs) and enjoying one in the midst of winter is one of the most enjoyable experiences on offer.
While there are no hot springs in the immediate area around Shiga Kogen Yamanoeki, some hotels in Shiga including in the Sun Valley, Higashidateyama and Takamagahara ski fields have in-house hot springs.
Located directly across from the Takamagahara ski fields, Hotel Sunny Shiga has an in-house onsen which can be used by hotel guests 24-hours a day, or during daytime hours for any other visitor.
Further afield and down from the mountain, the historic hot spring towns of Shibu Onsen and Yudanaka Onsen have numerous guesthouses with their own onsen, while nearby Kanbayashi Onsen has a small number of very good guesthouses – the nearest accommodation to the snow monkeys.
All located within the Yamanouchi area, these towns and Shiga Kogen are connected by local buses running to and from Shiga Kogen Yamanoeki.
For further information about the hot spring towns nearby Shiga Kogen, please see our ‘Explore Yamanouchi – Home of the Snow Monkeys’ page.