How to Get to Myoko Kogen – Nagano Ski Resorts Info
Located approximately 30KM (<1 hour drive) directly north of Nagano City and 285KM (3.5 hours drive) to the northwest of Tokyo, the resorts making-up Myoko Kogen are known for their deep powder and relaxed approach to side and backcountry skiing, making them a preferred destination for advanced skiers and snowboarders. On this page you will find the following information:
Most popular in winter, the resorts of Myoko Kogen cater for all levels with the big draw-card being the huge amount of snow you’ll find there. Myoko is also quickly establishing a reputation as an excellent destination all year round. Sitting within Myoko-Togakushi Renzan National Park, the area is blessed with beautiful natural landscapes and a wealth of outdoor activities that combine to offer an escape from the hassle and hum of daily life.
25 Things To Do Around Myoko Kogen & Where To Stay
Sitting at the southern end of Niigata Prefecture, the area known as ‘Myoko…
It is important to note that there are two train stations in the area of Myoko Kogen: 1. Joestu-Myoko Station and 2. Myoko-Kogen Station. Joetsu-Myoko Station is a stop on the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line running from Tokyo to Kanazawa and is therefore directly accessible from the capital. However, Myoko-Kogen Station is the nearest station to most resorts. For most visitors, Myoko-Kogen Station will be the most convenient station to head to and for that reason, is marked on the map below.
WHERE IS MYOKO KOGEN?
Located approximately 30KM (<1 hour drive) directly north of Nagano City and 285KM (3.5 hours drive) to the northwest of Tokyo, the area collectively referred to as ‘Myoko Kogen’ refers to multiple ski resorts within close proximity. The resorts of Akakura Onsen, Akakura Kanko, Ikenotaira, Suginohara and Seki Onsen offer some of Japan’s deepest snow and best backcountry, with some people also including Lotte Arai within this group (although its located further to the north). As noted above, the area is serviced by two train stations. Joetsu-Myoko Station is a stop on the Hokuriku Shinkansen line running from Tokyo to Kanazawa and the smaller Myoko-Kogen Station. While Myoko-Kogen Station is not a shinkansen station, it is the most convenient option for visitors heading to the main ski resorts. When coming from Tokyo to Myoko-Kogen Station, you will need to disembark the Hokuriku Shinkansen at Nagano Station and switch to the Kita-Shinano Line onto Myoko-Kogen – see below for details.
MOVING BETWEEN THE RESORTS
Myoko Kogen is comprised of five separate resorts: Akakura Onsen and Akakura Kanko, Ikenotaira, Suginohara and Seki Onsen. From December until March, the Myoko Kogen Shuttle Bus is the easiest way to get from one resort to the next. One service per day starts at the Myoko Bus Terminal with all others operating between Akakura Onsen and Suginohara from 08:00 to around 18:00. For more information about each resort in the area, see ‘Myoko Kogen Ski Resorts: The Stats & Facts’ below.
HOW TO GET TO MYOKO KOGEN
In this section you will find information on how to get reach Myoko Kogen from the following starting points:
We endeavour to keep this information as up-to-date as possible and in recognition that most international visitors will be using the train network to move around Japan, most directions are for using the trains. If there is alternative option i.e. express or local bus, that is notably faster or economical, we also include that information.
FROM MYOKO-KOGEN STATION / approx. 15 minutes to Akakura Onsen
Myoko-Kogen Station can be accessed from Nagano Station – see below for details. Once at the station, regular local bus services from Myoko-Kogen Station run to and from Akakura village, taking around 15 min / JPY350. Myoko Kogen Station is the nearest train station to resorts including Akakura Kanko/Onsen, Ikenotaira, Suginohara and Seki Onsen. Please note, the Hokuriku Shinkansen does not stop at Myoko Kogen Station.
FROM JOETSU-MYOKO STATION / approx. 25 minutes to Lotte Arai
For visitors heading to Lotte Arai Resort, Joetsu-Myoko is the nearest station and a stop on the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line. Lotte Arai operate a shuttle bus outside the West Exit of the station. Bookings are required in advance made through the resort hotel. As mentioned above, visitors heading to Akakura Kanko/Onsen, Ikenotaira, Suginohara and Seki Onsen should head to Myoko Kogen Station. But if you do end-up at Joetsu-Myoko Station, a shuttle bus operates to Akakura – approximately 25km / 60 minutes – and other resorts operates outside of the station’s East Exit. Through winter – Dec 23rd to March 4th – there are 3 shuttle buses per day, costing JPY1,100 to Akakura Onsen/Kanko, JPY1,200 to Ikenotaira, and JPY1,300 to Suginohara.
FROM NAGANO CITY / between 20 to 45 minutes
Nagano City is the nearest major city to Myoko Kogen and the main transport hub in the region. From Nagano Station, visitors heading to Myoko-Kogen Station should take the Kita-Shinano Line. Taking approximately 45 minutes / JPY850 to reach, this is the most convenient option for accessing Akakura Kanko/Onsen, Ikenotaira, Suginohara and Seki Onsen. Joetsu-Myoko Station can be reached using the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line – approx. 20 min / JPY2860 – but is likely only convenient when heading to Lotte Arai Resort. For full details re using the shinkansen to and from Nagano Station, see our ‘Hokuriku Shinkansen‘ and ‘Hokuriku Shinkansen Timetable‘ pages.
FROM TOKYO / between 2.5 to 3 hours
Take the Hokuriku Shinkansen line to Nagano Station – 80 to 110 min / JPY8140 – and transfer to the Kita-Shinano Line bound for Myoko-Kogen Station or directly to Joetsu-Myoko Station – approximately 120 minutes and costs just under JPY9000.
FROM NARITA AIRPORT / between 4.5 to 5.5 hours
To reach Myoko Kogen by train from Narita Airport, you will first need to head into Tokyo itself. Two rapid train services connect Narita Airport to central Tokyo:
1 / the Narita Express (NEX) runs from Narita to Tokyo Station. It takes 55 minutes to reach Tokyo Station (depending on the service) and costs JPY3070 with trains departing every 30 to 60 minutes. Once at Tokyo Station, follow the directions above.
2 / the Keisei Skyliner runs from Narita to Ueno Station. It takes between 40 to 55 minutes to reach Ueno Station and costs JPY2520 with trains departing every 30 to 40 minutes. Once at Ueno Station, transfer to the Hokuriku Shinkansen and follow the directions above.
Alternatively, in winter a shuttle bus connects the airport to Myoko Kogen, stopping at the Akakura Onsen Bus Stop. There are up to 4 services each day, taking approx. 5.5 hours and costs JPY11,600.
FROM HANEDA AIRPORT / between 4 to 5.5 hours
To reach Myoko Kogen by train from Narita Airport, you will first need to head into Tokyo itself. Two train services connect Haneda Airport to central Tokyo:
1 / the Tokyo Monorail connects the airport to Tokyo Station via Hamamatsucho Station in around 30 minutes. From the airport take the monorail to Hamamatsucho Station (20 min/JPY170) and then switch to the JR Yamanote Line or JR Keihin-Tohoku/Negishi Line Rapid bound for Tokyo Station (5 min/JPY160) – a total journey of around 30-minutes / JPY660 one-way. Once at Tokyo Station, follow the directions above.
2 / the Keikyu Railway connects the airport to Tokyo Station via Shinagawa Station. Take the Keikyu Airport bound to Shinagawa Station (approx.11 min/JPY300) and transfer to the Yamanote Line bound for Osaki to reach Tokyo Station- 13 min / JPY170 or a total journey of around 30 min / JPY470. Once at Tokyo Station, follow the directions above.
Alternatively, in winter a shuttle bus connects the airport to Myoko Kogen, stopping at the Akakura Onsen Bus Stop. There are up to 2 services each day, taking approx. 5.5 hours and costs JPY11,900.
FROM THE JIGOKUDANI MONKEY PARK / between 1.5 to 2.5 hours
When heading to Myoko from the Jigokudani Monkey Park, visitors have the option of 1. doing so via Nagano Station to Myoko Kogen Station or 2. Iiyama Stations to Joetsu-Myoko Station. Of these options, we recommend doing so via Nagano. Starting from the park, the Snow Monkey Express Bus costs JPY1500 each way and takes 55 minutes to reach Nagano Station. In comparison, taking the local bus from the park to Yudanaka Station followed by the train, takes 15 minutes and costs JPY310 before the limited express train to Nagano takes 45 minutes and costs JPY1290 – a total journey of around 60 to 70 minutes and costing JPY1600. Once at Nagano Station, follow the directions above to reach Myoko Kogen. Alternatively, two daily buses connect the monkey park and Iiyama Station. Departing at 12:21 and 14:20, the journey takes approximately 35 minutes and costs JPY1000 per adult. Once at Iiyama, take the Hokuriku Shinkansen to Joetsu-Myoko Station and follow the directions above.
FROM SHIGA KOGEN / between 2.5 to 3 hours
From Shiga Kogen, use the express bus service – via the monkey park – to return to Nagano Station. Taking between 70-90 minutes /JPY1800-2100 depending where in Shiga you board – including the hub of Shiga Kogen Yamanoeki – the express bus is a convenient way to get back to Nagano Station. Once at Nagano, follow the directions above to reach Myoko. Alternatively, a private charter from Shiga Kogen to Myoko is a great option for groups including families who want to make the transfer as easy and quick as possible. Including transport of all your ski and snowboard gear, we’ll pick you up and drop you off directly at your accommodation – see ‘Book With Us! Nagano’s No.1 Tour & Charter Operator’ below.
FROM NOZAWA ONSEN / approx. 1 hour
The easiest option to reach Myoko from Nozawa Onsen is to take the Nozawa Onsen Liner or taxi to Iiyama Station and once there, switch to the Hokuriku Shinkansen bound for Joetsu-Myoko Station or Nagano Station. Once at either station, follow the relevant directions above. Alternatively, a private charter from Nozawa to Myoko is a great option – see ‘Book With Us! Nagano’s No.1 Tour & Charter Operator’ below.
FROM HAKUBA / between 2 to 3 hours
Visitors combining a visit to the resorts of Hakuba Valley and Myoko can do sue via the Hakuba Happo Bus Terminal. From the terminal, take the express bus to Nagano Station and transfer to the Kita-Shinano Line bound for Myoko Kogen Station or Hokuriku Shinkansen bound for Joetsu-Myoko Station. Once at either station, follow the relevant directions above. Alternatively, a private charter from Nozawa to Myoko is a great option – see ‘Book With Us! Nagano’s No.1 Tour & Charter Operator’ below.
FROM KANAZAWA / between 1.5 to 2.5 hours
Reaching Myoko rom Kanazawa Station is straight-forward. As the northern terminus of the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line, take the Hakutaka service to Nagano Station – 65 to 85 min / JPY8590 – and transfer to the Kita-Shinano Line bound for Myoko Kogen Station. Once there, follow the directions above. Alternatively, head to Joetsu-Myoko Station – approx. 65 min / JPY5720 and once at the station, follow the directions above.
FROM NAGOYA, KYOTO & OSAKA / 5+ hours
All three cities are connected to Tokyo Station by the Tokaido Shinkansen Line. When coming from Nagoya Station, take the Tokaido Shinkansen to Tokyo Station and transfer to the Hokuriku Shinkansen heading north to Nagano Station – and transfer to the Kitashinano Line bound for Myoko Kogen Station – or directly to Joetsu-Myoko Station. Once there, follow the directions above. For visitors coming from Kyoto or Osaka, you have two options to reach Myoko via Joetsu-Myoko:
1 / also take the Tokaido Shinkansen to Tokyo and transfer to the Hokuriku Shinkansen to reach Nagano Station – and transfer to the Kita-Shinano Line bound for Myoko Kogen Station – or directly to Joetsu-Myoko Station.
2 / take the Limited Express ‘Thunderbird’ service to Kanazawa and transfer to the Hokuriku Shinkansen heading south to Joetsu-Myoko Station or onto Nagano Station – and transfer to the Kita-Shinano Line bound for Myoko Kogen. Once at Myoko-Kogen Station, follow the directions above onto your chosen ski resort or other destination.
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.
25 THINGS TO DO AROUND MYOKO KOGEN & WHERE TO STAY
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 & Where To Stay’ 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 and Central Japan.
Got a question about visiting Myoko Kogen? Contact us and let’s get planning together!