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The resorts of Nozawa Onsen and Madarao are to the northeast of Nagano City – with Nozawa approximately 50KM (<1 hour drive) and Madarao approximately 40KM (<50 mins) to the northeast of the city – and within easy reach to the northwest of Tokyo – with Nozawa approximately 260KM (<4 hours drive) and Madarao approximately 275KM (3.5 hour drive) away, respectively. Nozawa Onsen is well-established as a favorite destination for international visitors given its excellent terrain, relatively compact size, and lively village while Madarao is increasingly popular and now firmly on the winter radar due to its excellent powder and ungroomed tree runs.

Both resorts are easily accessible from the following points of origin:

From JR Iiyama Station

Buses service both Nozawa Onsen and Madarao from JR Iiyama Station with space to carry luggage including ski gear and snowboards.

For Nozawa Onsen: exit the stations main exit and head to your left. You will see the Nozawa Onsen Liner Bus stand straight in front of you. There are numerous buses each day taking approx. 20 minutes and costing JPY600 for adults / JPY300 for children. Refer to the latest edition of the Snow Monkey Resorts Magazine (p.16) for the bus schedule to Nozawa Onsen.

For Madarao: exit the stations main exit and move to your right. You will see the Madarao bus stop immediately in front of you. There are several buses each day taking approx. 30 minutes and costing JPY700 for adults / JPY350 for children.

From JR Nagano Station

Train: the Hokuriku Shinkansen runs from Nagano to Iiyama Station, taking only 11 minutes and costing JPY1360. There are numerous trains per day. A second option is taking the local Iiyama Line from Nagano to Iiyama, taking approximately 45 minutes and costing JPY530. Once at Iiyama Station, follow the directions above.

Nagano station

From Tokyo stations – Tokyo / Ueno / Shinjuku

Train: take the Hokuriku Shinkansen line to JR Nagano Station from either Tokyo or Ueno Stations. The journey takes between 90 to 110 minutes (depending on which train you take) and costs approx. JPY8000-9000 (one way).

The Kagayaki and Hakutaka services starting from Tokyo Station are the fastest while the Asama service, which originates at Ueno Station, is slower, stopping at more stations en route to Nagano.


There are numerous services each day and all trains can be used with JR Rail Pass, noting that seats on Kagayaki services must be reserved in advance. Once at JR Nagano Station, follow the directions above.

tokyo station

From Narita Airport

Train: two express train services connect Narita to central Tokyo:

The Keisei Skyliner runs from Narita to Ueno Station. It takes approx. 4o minutes to reach Ueno Station and costs JPY2450 for adults (13+) and JPY1240 for children (6-12). Once at Ueno Station, follow the directions above.

Narita Skyliner

The Narita Express (NEX) runs from Narita to Tokyo Station. It takes approx. 1 hour to reach Tokyo Station and costs JPY3020 with trains departing every 30 to 60 minutes. Once at Tokyo Station, follow the directions above

Bus: operating from Narita’s Terminal 2, an express bus connects the airport with Nozawa Onsen through winter – from Dec. 18th 2018 to Mar. 17th 2019. There are up to 4 services each day, taking approx. 5.5 hours and costs JPY10,600.

From Haneda Airport

Train: take local lines to Tokyo Station or Shinjuku Station and follow the directions above.

Bus: operating from Haneda’s International Terminal, an express bus connects the airport with Nozawa Onsen through winter – from Dec. 18th 2018 to Mar. 17th 2019. There are 2 services each day, taking approx. 5¼ hours and costs JPY10,600.

Haneda Airport

Private Charter to and between the Nagano ski resorts

Snow Monkey Resorts is Nagano’s No.1 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, JR Nagano Station, and other popular points of origin  including transport between the resorts.

charter between Nagano ski resorts banner

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 the best way to make your way to Nozawa Onsen and Madarao with ease and comfort including drop-off at your accommodation. For booking requests and charter quotes, please contact us via our reservation page.