Best Places to Stay in Madarao
Located around 60 minutes to the north of Nagano City, Madarao Mountain Resort is known for its fantastic powder, tree zones, backcountry and friendly hotels and guesthouses. On this page you will find the following information:
Madarao Mountain Resort is a small resort but one that wins lots of devotees. Blessed with lots of powder and a natural bowl topography, Madarao makes use of both with some fantastic tree runs and fun terrain. Visitors can enjoy the resort by itself or choose to buy an all-mountain pass that also covers the adjoining Tangram Ski Circus. The resort offers 75 hectares of terrain – or a total of 125 hectares when factoring in the connected Tangram Ski Circus – spread over 31 courses including 13 official tree runs.
Madarao sits in a natural bowl that receives a huge amount of snow each tree. Unlike many other resorts in Nagano that restrict if not ban side and backcountry, Madarao actively encourages it with its outstanding tree runs, natural snow bowls and leaving more than half of the runs ungroomed. While the resort is small, it has won a devoted set of fans, especially snowboarders looking to get off-piste.
WHERE TO STAY IN MADARAO?
Madarao is a compact but popular resort with a good range of accommodation to choose from. In this section we provide information about accommodation in the following areas:
Madarao has plenty of accommodation to choose from, mostly ski lodges dotted across the resort with several options providing direct access to the ski runs. The compact size of Madarao and spread of lodges, restaurants and bars might remind some Australian visitors of Australian ski resorts. The quality of the lodges and guesthouses varies with many previously Japanese-owned businesses being bought-up by foreign owners in recent years. Some of these are owned from overseas and operated by seasonal staff, which can affect the quality of your stay so it’s a good idea to check the reviews and look for a lodge or guesthouse operated by an owner living on-site.
25 Things to Do Around Madarao & Where to Stay
Located one hour to the north of Nagano City, Madarao is a small resort but…
Madarao Mountain Resort is a relatively compact resort with a small, spread-out village. Madarao Kogen Hotel is the largest accommodation in the resort, located in a central and convenient location and offering a large range of services including in-house restaurants, rental and childcare services. There are a couple of other large hotel in the resort but the majority of accommodation is small, often family-run lodges. Often family-run and very welcoming, visiting Madarao is most popular in winter when its ski resort draws both Japanese and international visitors, while through spring, summer and autumn it is increasingly becoming well-known for its hiking, mountain-biking and autumn leaves. For accommodation listings, see our ‘Madarao Area’ hotel page.
IIYAMA STATION AREA
Many visitors to Madarao will move to and from the resort using the Hokuriku Shinkansen via Iiyama Station. Around 15 to 30 minutes drive from the resort – depending on the weather and road conditions – Iiyama is a quiet rural town most often used as a transit point to Madarao and nearby Nozawa Onsen. Iiyama has few accommodation options therefore unless you have a strong reason to stay in the vicinity of the station, you will be much better served to look for accommodation in Madarao. For accommodation listings, see our ‘Iiyama Station Area’ hotel page.
NOZAWA ONSEN AREA
Where To Stay In Nozawa Onsen?
One of the most popular ski resorts in Japan, Nozawa Onsen boasts some exce…
Nozawa Onsen is one of Japan’s most popular ski resorts, located only 45 to 60 minutes drive from Madarao. As such, you can choose to stay in Nozawa and visit Madarao as a daytrip. Nozawa Onsen village offers a wide-range of accommodation options including large hotels, traditional ‘ryokan’ (guesthouses), private accommodation and budget/basic ski lodges. As one of Nagano’s most popular resorts, accommodation is likely to be fully-booked on weekends and holidays through winter so make sure to plan ahead or aim for weekdays, when the resort should be notably less crowded. For detailed information including links to accommodation listings, see our ‘Nozawa Onsen Area’ hotel page.
MYOKO KOGEN AREA
Best Places to Stay in Myoko Kogen
Best-known for the deep powder of winter, Myoko Kogen offers some of Japan’…
Also located between 45 to 60 minutes drive from Madarao, the resorts of Myoko Kogen are blessed with some of Japan’s heaviest snowfall and best backcountry. The collective grouping of ‘Myoko Kogen’ includes Akakura Onsen, Akakura Kanko, Suginohara, Ikenotaira and Seki Onsen. Akakura Onsen are offers the greatest range of accommodation. The nearby resort of Lotte Arai is not part of Myoko Kogen however given its close proximity, many people also include it in the grouping and is noteworthy as one of Myoko’s few high-end accommodation areas. Should you wish to stay in Myoko and visit Madarao as a day-trip, you will need to rent a car as there is no convenient public transport option. For detailed information including links to accommodation listings, see our ‘Myoko Kogen Area’ hotel page.
25 BEST THINGS TO DO AROUND MADARAO
Located within easy reach of Nagano City and nearby Nozawa Onsen, Madarao is another of the region’s best ski resort. Madarao Mountain Resort is small but has a legion of fans who flock there each winter to enjoy its powder bowls, tree zones and backcountry. Outside of winter, efforts by local residents are transforming Madarao into an attractive all-year-round destination offering an escape from the city, especially in summer when it enjoys a notably cooler climate than Tokyo. For tips and suggestions of what’s on offer, including accommodation listings, see our ’25 Things To Do Around Madarao’ page.
MADARAO MOUNTAIN RESORT: THE STATS & FACTS
Madarao is a small resort but one that wins lots of devotees. Blessed with lots of powder and a natural bowl topography, Madarao makes use of both with some fantastic tree runs and fun terrain. Visitors can enjoy the resort by itself or choose to buy an all-mountain pass that also covers the adjoining Tangram Ski Circus. So though small, Madarao Mountain Resort is a lot of fun and when the snow is good, it’s hard to beat. For all the stats, facts and highlights, see our ‘Madarao Mountain Resort’ main page.
HOW TO GET TO MADARAO
For international visitors, Madarao is most easily reached via Iiyama Station using the Hokuriku Shinkansen line. Shuttle buses operate to and from the station, making the journey to Madarao in 20 to 25-minutes, placing it within easy reach of Nagano City, Tokyo and beyond. For detailed information, see our ‘How To Get To Madarao – Nagano Ski Resorts Info’ page.
BOOK WITH US! NAGANO’S NO.1 TOUR & CHARTER OPERATOR
Snow Monkey Resorts is Nagano’s No.1 tour and charter operator. We have the local knowledge of where and when to go, to help you discover and enjoy the region’s many ski resorts and other fantastic destinations and activities. For guests wanting to access the resorts in the comfort of their own transport, we can arrange a private tour or charter customised to fit your needs, starting and ending at any destination including from/to Nagano Station and any resort in the region.
Our drivers and vehicles are fully certified, allowing us to transport you to and from your preferred destinations in combination with any activity that suits your schedule. All vehicles are fitted with a protective screen – separating the driver from passenger and luggage area – and our drivers wear protective masks, allowing you to move between your destinations in comfort and safety.
We can arrange both private tours with an English-speaking guide or a private charter, including a private vehicle and driver but without a guide. We’d love to be part of that experience and help you discover even more!
Why choose us?
Awarded a 2022 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Award for our 1-Day Snow Monkeys, Zenko-ji Temple & Sake Tour – recognised as one of the Top 10 Experiences in Japan – we have the local knowledge and experience to help you get the most out of your time in Nagano.
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