DESTINATIONS
13. IIYAMA & MADARAO
How to Get to Madarao – Nagano Ski Resorts Info

How to Get to Madarao – Nagano Ski Resorts Info

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The resort of Madarao lies to the northeast of Nagano City, approximately 40KM (<50 mins) and within easy reach to the northwest of Tokyo, approximately 275KM (3.5 hour drive) or around 2 hours using the Hokuriku Shinkansen.

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Known for its powder bowls and tree runs, Madarao Mountain Resort is an increasingly popular resort for international visitors. Offering around 30 courses spread over 75 ha of terrain, Madarao is small. But what it lacks in size is made-up for with the fun and freedom of plenty of tree runs and heavy snow, best enjoyed in the resorts snow bowls.

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Reaching Madarao is straightforward from the following starting points:

From Iiyama Station


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Nagaden operates the following buses from Iiyama Station to the resort, with a couple of services each day also connecting to Nozawa Onsen and Tangaram – a resort which connects to Madarao. A one-way journey from Iiyama Station to Madarao takes approximately 30 minutes and costs JPY700 per adult / JPY350 per child:

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The following services return from Madarao to Iiyama Station:

nagaden-madarao-timetable

Please note, that two services a day connect Madarao and Nozawa Onsen in winter. Often referred to as the ‘NoToMa Express Line’, the service from Madaro to Nozawa – or in the opposite direction – will costs JPY1200 per adult / JPY600 per child.

Outside of winter, the Nagaden Madarao Bus only operates during Golden Week (May 2 to 6) and the summer holiday (July 23 to August 31) at the same cost of JPY700 per adult / JPY350 per child:

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Three buses return to Iiyama Station each time at the following times:

nagaden-madarao-timetable

If you want to visit Madarao outside of those dates, taxis are available at Iiyama Station. All bus services and taxis operate outside the station’s Chikumagawa/Main Exit – it is a small station, so you really can’t miss it. For further information about using Nagaden’s local buses, please refer to our ‘Nagaden Local Bus’ page.

From Nagano Station


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Many visitors heading to and from Madarao, will do so via Nagano Station, enroute to Iiyama. The Hokuriku Shinkansen runs from Nagano to Iiyama Station, taking only 11 minutes and costing JPY1390. There are numerous trains per day. Once at Iiyama, follow the directions above.

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Iiyama Station is also serviced by the local Iiyama Line. The line connects to Nagano Station – via Toyono Station – and then runs the 19.2km route to Iiyama.

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From Iiyama, the line continues north all the way to Echigo-Kawaguchi Station in Niigata. Enroute, it also stops at Togari-Nozawaonsen Station, the nearest station Togari Onsen Ski Resort.

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A second option is taking the local Iiyama Line from Nagano to Iiyama, taking approximately 45 minutes and costing JPY550. Once at Iiyama Station, follow the directions above.

From Karuizawa


A stop on the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line, take the shinkansen from Karuizawa Station to Nagano Station – 25 min / JPY3210 – and follow the directions above.

From Tokyo


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Iiyama Station can be reached directly from Tokyo Station using the Hokuriku Shinkansen. There are four different services on the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line – the Kagayaki, Hakutaka, Asama and Tsurugi. It is important to note that the Hakutaka is the only service that stops at Iiyama Station. If Iiyama is your intended destination, you must therefore us the Hakutaka.

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From Tokyo Station, the Hakutaka takes between 100 to 110 minutes to reach Iiyama (depending on the specific train use choose) and costs JPY8250 one-way. It takes approximately 75 minutes / JPY6710 to reach Iiyama from Kanazawa Station. Once at Iiyama, follow the directions above.

From Narita Airport


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The Hokuriku Shinkansen can be boarded at both Tokyo Station and Ueno Station – both of which have express train services to Narita Airport. Making stops at Narita Terminal 1 and a joint stop for Terminal 2 & 3, the Narita Express (NEX) takes approximately 55 minutes to travel from Tokyo Station to the airport (depending on the specific service and which terminal you are using).

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The NEX also services Ikebukuro, Shinjuku, Shibuya, Shingawa and Yokohama Stations. A one-way journey costs JPY3070 per adult. Departing every 30 to 60 minutes, there are numerous services throughout the day. The earliest train from Narita departs at 07:45 with the final service departing at 21:45.

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Alternatively, the Keisei Skyliner runs from Narita to Keisei-Ueno Station (adjoining Ueno Station). It takes approximately 40 minutes to reach Ueno Station and costs JPY2520 for adults. The Keisei Skyliner also runs through Nippori Station.

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Services operate approximately every 50 minutes, with earliest departures from Narita at 08:22 (weekdays) and 08:30 (weekends), and the latest departure at 23:20 (all days). Heading the other direction, the least service departs Keisei-Ueno Station at 05:40 (all days) and latest at 19:00 (all days). Services are more frequent heading to the airport, operating every 20 minutes early in the morning before running every 40 minutes through the day.

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Once at Tokyo or Ueno, transfer to the Hokuriku Shinakansen bound for Kanazawa, via Iiyama.

From Haneda Airport


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Servicing Haneda Airport, the Tokyo Monorail connects the airport to Tokyo Station via Hamamatsucho Station in around 30 minutes. Overall, Haneda is the busier of the two airports though it handles fewer international flights than Narita. Most international services from Haneda arrive and depart at Terminal 3.

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Unlike the NEX – which is primarily used by passengers travelling to and from the Narita Airport – the Tokyo Monorail is used by many people going about their daily lives. It is designed for general commuters and not as comfortable or spacious as the NEX. Navigating your way on and off with luggage at peak hour ca be a little challenging.

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Nevertheless, the monorail makes the journey to and from Haneda Airport quick and relatively smooth. From Tokyo Station, take the JR Yamanote Line bound for Osaki or JR Keihin-Tohoku/Negishi Line Rapid bound for Ofuna and disembark at Hamamatsucho Station (5 min/JPY160). At Hamamatsucho, transfer to the Tokyo Monorail bound for Haneda Airport (20 min/JPY500) – a journey of around 30 minutes, costing a total of JPY660 one-way.

haneda-tokyo-monorail

Alternatively, visitors can also use the Keikyu Airport Line to reach the airport. To do so, take the JR Yamanote or JR Keihin-Tohoku Lines from Tokyo Station to Shinagawa Station (10 min/JPY170) and then transfer to the Keikyu Airport Line Bound for Haneda (20 min/JPY300). These are conventional train lines. Advanced bookings are not possible.

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Once at Tokyo Station, transfer to the Hokuriku Shinakansen bound for Kanazawa, via Iiyama.

Private Charters to & between the Nagano ski resorts


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Snow Monkey Resorts is Nagano’s No.1-rated tour and charter operator. Locally-based in Nagano, our charter service provides the comfort and convenience of private transport directly to all popular resorts from central Tokyo, the airports, Nagano Station, and other popular points of origin including transport between the resorts.

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Our vehicles and drivers are fully accredited, and as a local operator, we are very familiar with local roads and driving conditions in winter.

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With the ability to carry your ski and snowboard gear without the hassle of public transport, our charter service is a great way to make your way to Madarao with ease and comfort including drop-off at your accommodation.

For booking requests and charter quotes, please contact us via our reservation page.

Why choose us?


Awarded a 2019 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.

Got a question about visiting Madarao? Feel free to contact us at snowmonkeyresorts@machinovate.com and let’s get planning together!