Best Places to Stay in Myoko Kogen
Best-known for the deep powder of winter, Myoko Kogen offers some of Japan’s best skiing and snowboarding, warming hot springs and cosy guesthouses that offer a very local experience. On this page you will find the following information:
Sitting at the southern end of Niigata Prefecture and part of the wider Myoko-Togakushi Renzan National Park, the area known as ‘Myoko Kogen’ experiences extremely heavy snowfall each winter, making it one of Japan’s best destinations when looking for powder. You’re unlikely to find ‘Myoko Kogen’ on a map as it doesn’t exist in its own right but is instead a collective name used to cover multiple ski resorts that sit within close proximity to each other, in and around Mount Myoko. Different people include different resorts under the name of Myoko Kogen but generally it refers to the following: Akakura Onsen, Akakura Kanko, Suginohara, Ikenotaira and Seki Onsen for which, the 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.
25 Things To Do Around Myoko Kogen & Where To Stay
Sitting at the southern end of Niigata Prefecture, the area known as ‘Myoko…
This page is intended to be read in conjunction with our ’25 Things to Do Around Myoko Kogen’ page. We hope that both pages inspire you to visit Myoko Kogen and are of assistance in finding the right accommodation for you.
BEST PLACES TO STAY IN MYOKO KOGEN
Most accommodation in Myoko Kogen is found in and around the ski resorts. Akakura Onsen offers the greatest concentration of hotels and guesthouses while nearby Ikenotaira, Suginohara and Lotte Arai also offer a varied range of options. In this section we provide information about accommodation in the following areas:
Staying in Akakura Onsen provides direct access to the joint resorts of Akakura Onsen and Akakura Kanko with shuttle buses running to nearby Ikenotaira and Suginohara. Lotte Arai offers the only real high-end accommodation in the area, while the popular ski resorts of Madarao and Nozawa Onsen are close enough to Myoko Kogen that you can visit as a day-trip (an option best-suited to visitors with their own car). But let’s start in the most convenient and popular accommodation area in Myoko:
AKAKURA ONSEN AREA
The hot spring village of Akakura Onsen offers visitors the greatest range of accommodation options in Myoko Kogen and direct access to the connected resorts of Akakura Onsen and Akakura Kanko. Small hotels, ski lodges and ‘minshuku’ (basic guesthouses) make-up most of what’s on offer. Many are family-run ensuring a warm and welcoming atmosphere with owners typically going out of their way to make sure you enjoy your time with them. It is also home to the large Akakura Kanko Hotel – pictured above – which sits midway up the Akakura Kanko ski runs. Offering ski in/out convenience, great views, hot springs and Western-style amenities, this is the largest hotel in the area and will appeal to many international visitors. The village is showing its age, not having yet enjoyed the renewal of ski areas such as Hakuba and Nozawa Onsen but is blessed with natural hot springs with multiple guesthouses having their own ‘onsen’ for use by guests. The town also has the most restaurants, bars and shops of any area in Myoko Kogen. Again, don’t expect the nightlife of Hakuba or Nozawa but if you are headed to Myoko and would like to head-out in the evening, then staying in Akakura Onsen is definitely your best bet. For accommodation listings, see our ‘Myoko Kogen: Akakura Onsen Area’ hotel page.
IKENOTAIRA ONSEN AREA
Less than 10-minutes drive from Akakura Onsen, Ikenotaira Onsen Resort has a limited number of accommodation options around the resort. Most are family-run lodges and ‘minshuku’ (basic traditional guesthouses). The recent opening of Lime Resort Myoko is a welcome addition and offers high-end, Western-style accommodation on the doorstep of the resort – probably your best bet if you want to stay in this area. There are few outside dining and drinking options at night so if you do choose to stay in the area, we recommend booking a hotel or guesthouse that serves meals. For accommodation listings, see our ‘Myoko Kogen: Ikenotaira Onsen Area’ hotel page.
Myoko Suginohara Ski Resort is also around 10-minutes drive from Akakura Onsen. Accommodation in the immediate vicinity of the resort is limited ski lodges and small hotels, most of which are budget to mid-range with little night-time dining or entertainment available nearby, so again, if you do choose to stay at the resort its best to include all meals with your accommodation. For accommodation listings, see our ‘Myoko Kogen: Suginohara Area’ hotel page.
LOTTE ARAI AREA
Lotte Arai Resort is serviced by a single, large hotel catering to the high-end market. The resort’s large hotel offers Western-style rooms and amenities including multiple restaurants, lounges, bars, indoor swimming pool, hot springs and other facilities. Staying at the hotel allows guests immediate access to the ski fields. This is the only real option in the immediate area of the resort and by far, the best option for those headed to Lotte Arai. For accommodation listings, see our ‘Myoko Kogen: Lotte Arai Area’ hotel page.
MADARAO & IIYAMA AREA
Madarao Mountain Resort is located around 50 minutes drive to the east of Myoko Kogen, allowing visitors to stay in Madarao and head to the resorts of Myoko as daytrips – noting that this option is only suited to visitors with their own car. Madarao is a small resort with accommodation spread-out around the base of the ski runs. The main concentration of hotels and guesthouses is found in the central village in the area around Madarao Kogen Hotel. This is the largest hotel at the resort with most other accommodation being small, often family-run lodges and guesthouses. The size and quality of those 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. Much less developed than nearby Nozawa Onsen, Madarao has a relaxed atmosphere with some good restaurants and a couple of bars. For accommodation listings, see our ‘Madarao & Iiyama Area’ hotel page.
NOZAWA ONSEN AREA
Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort is located around 60 to 70 minutes drive to the east of Myoko Kogen, making it another option for visitors with their own car who are happy to visit the resorts of Myoko as daytrips. Nozawa is one of Nagano’s most popular resorts featuring a reasonably-sized village spread-out along the base of ski resort. Accommodation can be found at the base of the ski runs with the majority of hotels and guesthouses found further down the hill in the main area of the village. While you can walk between most areas of the village, when booking your hotel or guesthouse for winter it’s a good idea to be clear on the exact location of your accommodation and how easy it is to access the ski runs including the Nagasaka and Hikage gondolas while also avoiding unnecessarily long walks over ice and snow when heading-out at night. Nozawa Onsen is one of Nagano’s most popular ski resorts meaning that the best accommodation typically books-out well in advance. For accommodation listings, see our ‘Nozawa Onsen Area’ hotel page.
25 BEST THINGS TO DO AROUND MYOKO KOGEN
Blessed with some of Japan’s deepest and best powder, Myoko is loved by skiers and snowboarders who head to the region’s multiple ski resorts each winter. Part of the larger Myoko-Togakushi Renzan National Park, that region has lots to offer all-year-round including fantastic hiking, nature and wildlife photography and access to Japan’s rugged north coast. For tips and of suggestions on what’s on offer, including accommodation listings, see our ’25 Things To Do Around Myoko Kogen’ page.
MYOKO KOGEN SKI RESORTS: THE STATS & FACTS
The resorts of Myoko Kogen offer some of Japan’s deepest powder, best backcountry and a distinctively local experience you might not find at other, more developed resorts. Including Akakuara Onsen, Akakura Onsen, Ikenotaira, Suginohara and Seki Onsen, the resorts of Myoko Kogen have recently be added to with the opening of nearby Lotte Arai. Within easy reach of Nagano City and Tokyo using the Hokuriku Shinkansen, Myoko Kogen is quickly coming to the attention of international skiers and snowboarders who have discovered just how big Japan’s big powder can be! For all the stats, facts and highlights, see our ‘Myoko Kogen Ski Resorts’ main page.
DISCOVER MYOKO-TOGAKUSHI RENZAN NATIONAL PARK
Mount Myoko is one of the major peaks sitting within the wider Myoko-Togakushi Renzan National Park. Outside of winter, Myoko-Togakushi Renzan National Park offers visitors beautiful landscapes to explore on its many hiking trails, fantastic nature and wildlife photography and an escape from the hassle and stress of the cities. Our ‘Myoko-Togakushi National Park’ page has everything you need to know to plan your visit.
HOW TO GET TO MYOKO KOGEN
The Myoko Kogen area is serviced by two train stations. For visitors heading to the main ski resorts, Myoko-Kogen Station will be the most convenient while those headed to Lotte Arai and some other destinations in the area will be best-served to head to Joetsu-Myoko Station. For detailed information, see our ‘How To Get To Myoko Kogen – 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 including ski packages and accommodation in the resorts of Myoko Kogen.
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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