Shiga Kogen Area
Shiga Kogen is Japan’s largest and highest ski resort boasting Nagano’s longest season and most reliable snow conditions. The resort covers an expansive area – over 600 hectares of interconnected terrain and trails – with accommodation spread throughout. Accommodation options range from budget to high-end, with many large hotels and smaller family-run ski lodges. For first-timers to Shiga, choosing where to stay can be confusing. Situated in the mountains above the Jigokudani Monkey Park, the ski fields of Sun Valley and Maruike are the first you will come to when approaching from Nagano City. Heading further into the resort, areas including Highashidateyama, Takamagahara and Ichinose are the most central, while further ski fields including Yakebitaiyama and Okushiga are known for the scenery and great powder. Kumanoyu and Yokoteyama are the most distant – the only areas of Shiga Kogen not connected to the rest however boasting Japan’s highest chairlifts at over 2307 metres.
Located with the broader region of Yamanouchi, visitors heading to Shiga can also consider staying in the hot spring towns of Kanbayashi Onsen, Shibu Onsen and Yudanaka Onsen, from where public buses and taxis will transport you to the ski fields. Most famous for its winter, Shiga is just as beautiful from spring to autumn, offering some of Central Japan’s best hiking and nature photography.