Shiga Kusatsu Kogen Route

Shiga Kusatsu Kogen Route

Open from May to mid/late-November, the Shiga Kusatsu Kogen Route is a scenic alpine driving route that winds through the Joshinetsu Kogen National Park. Running from Kusatsu Onsen toward the Jigokudani Monkey Park, the route takes visitors past Mt Shirane, Mt Yokote and other scenic areas deep into the national park.


In winter, much of the area the route dissects is within the boundaries of Shiga Kogen – Japan’s largest ski resort. Outside of winter – the only time that the route is open to the public – the route provides access to a beautiful alpine landscape. Declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1981, the area is home to important and unique alpine flora and fauna.


Walking trails crisscross the alpine valleys and lead toward five mountain peaks spread through the park. The Shiga Kusatsu Kogen Route ultimately leads through Joshinetsu Kogen National Park and down to the Jigokudani Monkey Park – nestled in the foothills of the Joshinetsu Kogen.


Please note – the route takes you past Mt. Shirane, an active volcano. When driving the route your personal safety should be your first priority. The Japan Meteorological Agency provides real-time advice and warnings for the entire country. Prior to visiting Shirane, we recommend checking the following website.