The Perfect Location to Experience Nagano’s Longest Ski Season
Located at the base of the Okushiga ski fields in Shiga Kogen Ski Resort, Hotel Grand Phenix is ideally positioned to enjoy the longest ski season in Nagano. As part of the expansive ski fields of Shiga Kogen, Okushiga is just one part of Japan’s largest resort – comprised of 18 ski areas and approximately 80 ski runs. Not only does Shiga Kogen lay claim to being Japan’s largest resort, it is also the highest. Reaching an impressive altitude of 2307m in the Yokoteama ski fields, Shiga’s height means that it is not only the largest and highest resort but also blessed with the longest season in Nagano – the perfect place to enjoy early season skiing in November to early December, the height of winter and followed by delightful spring skiing in April and May.
While the resort’s official opening is on December 22nd, ski areas including Kumanoyu are likely to open from late-November onward. As the snow steadily falls the entire resort, including Okushiga, become skiable and then remain open longer than any other Nagano resort. Shiga Kogen’s altitude also ensures that it stays open long after the other Nagano resorts have closed for the year, with spring skiing and snowboarding available through April and even into May!
Hotel Grand Phenix is ideally located to take advantage of Shiga Kogen’s long season, including early season skiing in November and December. As the snow begins to fall the ski fields open for the season, Hotel Grand Phenix offers a free daily shuttle service to those areas with the earliest snow including Yakebitaiyama, Ichinose and Takamagahara. Traditionally a quiet time at the resort, early season is the perfect time to visit as guests can enjoy empty ski fields. For first-timers and beginners, it’s a great time to head to the resort and book lessons, free of the crowds and busy ski runs of peak season!
Through the heart of winter, Grand Phenix provides guests with the unmatched convenience of ski in/out accommodation in one of the resorts best ski areas. Okushiga is renowned for its powder and its long runs are ideal for skiers and snowboarders of all levels including intermediate to advanced, who can find some fantastic sidecountry here. Backcountry is also accessible with the aid of a qualified guide.
As the winter winds down in March and most resorts are ending their seasons, Shiga Kogen really comes into its own as snowfall alternates with warming sunshine to offer some of the best spring skiing in Japan. Something of an undiscovered secret, the late season is perhaps the best time to visit as the ski fields are empty and shared only with the locals who know what April and May have to offer in Okushiga.
Indeed this is one of the rare regions where you can encounter the most classic of Japanese experiences, as the stunning cherry blossoms come into full bloom in the valley below as the mountains above still hold an impressive amount of snow – a late season playground where you will experience one of the best skiing and snowboarding experiences in all of Japan!