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Kita-Shiga Kogen Ski Resorts

Kita-Shiga Kogen Ski Resorts

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Located around an hour from Nagano Station, Kita-Shiga Kogen is one of the nearest and most accessible ski areas from Nagano City. Almost unknown to international visitors and most certainly overlooked, the four resorts in the area attract few foreign visitors but remain very popular with locals, who come each winter to enjoy great snow conditions. On this page you will find the following information:

Kita-Shiga Kogen Ski Resorts: The Stats & Facts

Where to Stay When Visiting Kita-Shiga Kogen

Japan Ski Resorts: Everything You Need to Know

Explore Yamanouchi – Home of the Snow Monkeys

Getting To & Around Kita-Shiga in Winter

Book With Us! Nagano’s No.1 Tour & Charter Operator

Japan Rail Deals: Travel Passes & Discounted Ticket

It is important to note that the four ski resorts of Kita-Shiga Kogen are not connected to Shiga Kogen Ski Resort and the two areas are approximately 45 to 50-minutes drive apart – as seen on the left-hand portion of the map below.

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Of the four resorts, Ryuoo Ski Park has the most to offer with some excellent powder up top and long runs all the way back down. Across from Ryuoo, the joint resorts of X-Jam Takaifuji and Yomase Onsen Ski Resort combine to offer around 100 hectares of terrain including X-JAM’s large park with two half-pipes. Finally, set back from Ryuoo the small Kita-Shiga Komaruyama Ski Resort doesn’t have a lot to offer other than to newbies wanting to practice on wide, gentle runs.

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All four resorts are covered by a joint pass allowing you to enjoy each over one or two days. To do so, and get the most out of your time in the area, we recommended staying in Yudanaka Onsen, from where all four resorts are within 20-minutes drive, with Ryuoo Ski Park operating a free shuttle bus and from Yudanaka Station. Doing so also places you within 20 to 30-minutes of the lowest ski fields of Shiga Kogen Ski Resort – Japan’s largest and highest ski resort. Offering more terrain and great snow with the crowds, expect to hear a lot about the combined destinations of Kita-Shiga and Shiga Kogen in coming years.

KITA-SHIGA KOGEN SKI RESORTS: THE STATS & FACTS


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Easily accessible from Nagano City, the ski resorts of Kita-Shiga Kogen are popular with locals and university students yet remain largely unknown to international visitors. The resorts are in close proximity to each other and nearby Japan’s largest and highest ski resort, Shiga Kogen, however as noted above, the resorts of Kita-Shiga Kogen are not connected to Shiga Kogen. In this section you will find information about the following resorts:

Ryuoo Ski ParkX-JAM TakaifujiYomase Onsen Ski ResortKita-Shiga Komaryuyama Ski Area

Of the four resorts in the area, Ryuoo Ski Park is the best and might appeal to international visitors looking to get away from the more popular resorts of Nagano. While it can’t compete with resorts such as Shiga Kogen, Nozawa Onsen or the main resorts in Hakuba, Ryuoo offers some decent terrain, tree zones and on the right day, good powder. Across the valley, X-JAM Takaifuji also stands-out for its terrain park – one of the best in Nagano! Connected to Yomase Onsen Ski Resorts, X-JAM Takaifuji might appeal to skiers and boarders looking for a good park and like Ryuoo, is best enjoyed as a day-trip and part of a multi-day visit to different resorts. Let’s look at each resort individually, starting with the pick of the four:

RYUOO SKI PARK

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Ryuoo Ski Park is considered the main resort of the Kita-Shiga Kogen grouping and is certainly the most popular, especially with snowboarders. The resort is dominated by the main ‘Skyland Express’ Ropeway that can ferry up to 166 passengers to the top station, from where you can enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding landscape and ever popular Sora Terrace café and observation deck. A long and narrow resort with a lot of vertical – by Japanese standards – the resort has a lot going for it with some very good powder and terrain in the upper areas. When the powder is good it’s fantastic and on weekdays, you’ll most likely have it all to yourself. Largely undiscovered or simply overlooked by international visitors, Ryuoo is worth visiting in combination with other resorts in Kita-Shiga Kogen and nearby, much larger, Shiga Kogen Ski Resort.

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Operating Dates & Times

Dependent on snow conditions, areas of the resort are typically open from early-December until late-April or even into May. Expect the full resort to be open the second half of December to the end of March. Lifts operate from 08:00 to 17:00 on weekends and holidays, opening a little later of weekdays – 08:15 to 17:00. Night-skiing from late-December to the middle of March, from 17:00 to 20:00 or 21:00 on Saturdays (but not available on Sundays or final day of three-day long weekends).

Ski Runs

The resort sits between 850 to 1930 metres, offering an excellent 1080 metres of vertical. A total of 17 ski runs are serviced by 9 chairlifts and 1 ropeway/gondola capable of carrying up to 166 passengers. Courses are split into: beginner 35% / intermediate 40% / advanced 25%. The longest run is 6km with around 100 hectares of terrain on offer.

Highlights

Ryuoo Ski Park is a long and narrow resort that can be split into three general areas: Skyland Area: easy beginner slopes at the bottom, Valley Area: intermediate courses in the midsection, and the Kiotoshi Area: advanced terrain and often excellent powder at the top. Popular with locals and snowboarders, the resort can be crowded in the bottom areas but up top, you’ll have far less competition for some excellent terrain for intermediate and advanced skiers and snowboarders. On days of powder, head to the Kiotoshi area where you’ll also get some fantastic snow, ungroomed runs and great action through the trees. The resort has a couple of terrain parks well-suited to beginner and intermediate riders. One major frustration of the resort is that the main ropeway/gondola only departs every 20 minutes, so unless you descend quickly from the top, you’re likely to have to wait until the next one to head back up.

Tickets & Passes

Day-passes for Ryuoo cost: adults (13+) JPY4000 / children (4-12) JPY2000 / seniors (65+) JPY3900. A joint Kita-Shiga pass (covering Ryuoo, X-JAM/Yomase and Komaruyama) is also available: adults: JPY5100 / children JPY3000 for 1-day or adults JPY8600 / children JPY5100 for 2-days.

Rental & Ski School

Both ski and snowboard rental are available at the resort. Ski and snowboard lessons are also available including lessons in English and Chinese.

Kids & Families

The resorts ‘Adventure Park’ is located in the lower left-hand ski area and provides families and children a fenced-off space to enjoy tubing and sledding. Day-care is available at the resort however it can’t be guaranteed that the service is available in English or languages other than Japanese.

Accommodation & Village Info

The area around the base of the resort offers plenty of accommodation, with most guesthouses being slope-side hotels or traditional guesthouses. While the village is quite spread-out, it is also quite rundown in places and in need of investment. There is little in the way of night-life and don’t expect much English. While staying at Ryuoo is entirely fine, we recommend staying in the Yudanaka Onsen Area, where you will find a wider and better range of accommodation, more dining options, more to do at night and a shuttle bus service running to Yudanaka Station to Ryuoo and back, multiple times each day – see ‘Yudanaka Station’ page for details. For more information, see ‘Where to Stay When Visiting Kita-Shiga Kogen’ below.

Getting to Ryuoo Ski Park

Distance to Yudanaka Station: 12km / 20-minute drive.

The resort is readily accessible by car and for visitors coming via or staying in the Yudanaka Onsen area, a shuttle bus operates from the station to the resort multiple times each day. For information regarding how to get to Yudanaka, see ‘Getting To & Around Kita-Shiga Kogen in Winter’ below.


X-JAM TAKAIFUJI

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Lying across from Ryuoo Ski Park, the small resort of X-JAM sits on the eastern slope of Mt Kosha, and is connected to Yomase Onsen Ski Resort to offer a reasonable amount of terrain – in total, just under 100 hectares according to the official stats. Let’s keep things simple however by breaking-down what’s on offer just at X-JAM. Mostly popular with locals, the resort is known for its terrain park including two half-pipes and decent-sized jumps and is dominated by snowboarders. You’re unlikely to run into many international visitors at X-JAM so if you’re looking to get away from the usual Nagano hotspots and enjoying a day of boarding with the locals, X-JAM is worth a visit.

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Operating Dates & Times

Dependent on snow conditions, the resort is typically open from mid-December until the end of March with lifts operating from 08:15 to 16:45. X-Jam Takaifuji does not have night-skiing.

Ski Runs

The resort lies at a low 700 to 1050 metres with a small 350 metres of vertical. A total of 13 courses are serviced by 4 chairlifts with courses split into: beginner 50% / intermediate 40% / advanced 10%. The longest course is only 2km with a total of 43 hectares of terrain.

Highlights

X-JAM is a small and local resort boasting a lot of character. Popular with snowboarders, the resort has a large park including two half-pipes and decent-sized jumps, winning it a loyal following with local boarders who just want to ride. The upper area and right-hand side of the resort includes some ungroomed and tree runs, where intermediate and advanced skiers and boarders can often find some good powder, especially on weekdays when the resort is likely to be very quiet. When combined with Yomase Onsen Ski Resort, X-JAM offers a good change of season and is a good inclusion on a multi-resort visit to Nagano.

Tickets & Passes

Day-passes for X-JAM Takaifuji (inc. Yomase) cost: adults (13+) JPY4000 / children (6-12) JPY2100 / seniors (50-64) JPY3000. A joint Kita-Shiga pass (covering X-JAM /Yomase, Ryuoo and Komaruyama) is also available: adults: JPY5100 / children JPY3000 for 1-day or adults JPY8600 / children JPY5100 for 2-days.

Rental & Ski School

X-JAM Takaifuji has basic rental services and is also covered by a local ski school however lessons may not be available in English. If you need to arrange rental and lessons, nearby Ryuoo Ski Park – also in Kita-Shiga Kogen – or the much larger Shiga Kogen Ski Resort will be better-suited.

Kids & Families

The resort also doesn’t have facilities catering to children and families. If that is important to you, Ryuoo Ski Park or Shiga Kogen Ski Resort will be better-suited.

Accommodation & Village Info

There are good number of guesthouses in the area around the resort, including a larger hotel in the adjoining Yomase Onsen Ski Resort. When staying in the area, expect Japanese-style accommodation and little English. While always welcoming, there is little to do at night with few dining options other than at each guesthouse. As a result, we recommend staying in the nearby Yudanaka Onsen Area, where you will find a wider and better range of accommodation, more dining options and more to do at night – only 20-minutes to X-JAM by taxi. For more information, see ‘Where to Stay When Visiting Kita-Shiga Kogen’ below.

Getting to X-JAM Takaifuji

Distance to Yudanaka Station: 10km / 20-minute drive.

The resort is readily accessible by car and for visitors coming via or staying in the Yudanaka Onsen area, by taxi. For information regarding how to get to Yudanaka, see ‘Getting To & Around Kita-Shiga Kogen in Winter’ below.


YOMASE ONSEN SKI RESORT

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Yomase Onsen is a small a little-known resort that is best enjoyed in combination with the adjoining X-JAM Takaifuji. Beginners and families can enjoy some nice wide runs to practice on however there isn’t much at Yomase to keep intermediate and advanced skiers and snowboarders interested. Usually quiet and exceptionally so on weekdays, Yomase Onsen doesn’t stand-out in its own right, however if you’re staying in the area and want to combine it with X-JAM Takaifuji, it can add some variety and enjoyment to your itinerary.

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Operating Dates & Times

Dependent on snow conditions, the resort is typically open from mid-December until the end of March with lifts operating from 08:15 to 16:45. Yomase Onsen does not have night-skiing.

Ski Runs

The resort has a low elevation of between 750 to 1215 metres, offering a modest 465 metres of vertical. A total of 13 courses are serviced by 4 lifts, with those courses broken down into: beginner 30% / intermediate 50% / advanced 20%. The longest run is 2km with a total of 54 hectares of terrain.

Highlights

Yomase is another small and very local resort, best suited to beginners and newbies, families and children who can enjoy Yomase’s flat and wide runs. Usually quiet, they provide an ideal area to practice and get your confidence up. Intermediate and advanced skiers and snowboarders want find a lot of joy at Yomase and will find most enjoyment in the terrain park and trees of X-JAM.

Tickets & Passes

Day-passes for Yomase Onsen (inc. X-JAM)cost: adults (13+) JPY4000 / children (6-12) JPY2100 / seniors (50-64) JPY3000. A joint Kita-Shiga pass (covering Yomase/X-Jam, Ryuoo and Komaruyama) is also available: adults: JPY5100 / children JPY3000 for 1-day or adults JPY8600 / children JPY5100 for 2-days.

Rental & Ski School

Yomase Onsen has basic rental services and is also covered by a local ski school however lessons may not be available in English. If you need to arrange rental and lessons, nearby Ryuoo Ski Park – also in Kita-Shiga Kogen – or the much larger Shiga Kogen Ski Resort will be better-suited.

Kids & Families

The resort also doesn’t much in the way of facilities catering specifically to children and families. If that is important to you, Ryuoo Ski Park or Shiga Kogen Ski Resort will be better-suited.

Accommodation & Village Info

There are a small number of guesthouses including a large hotel around the base of the resort. We recommend staying in the nearby Yudanaka Onsen Area – where you will find a wider and better range of accommodation, more to do at night, and only 20-minutes to Yomase Onsen/X-JAM by taxi. For more information, see ‘Where to Stay When Visiting Kita-Shiga Kogen’ below.

Getting to Yomase Onsen Ski Resort

Distance to Yudanaka Station: 7km / 15-minute drive.

The resort is readily accessible by car or for visitors coming via or staying in the Yudanaka Onsen area, by taxi. For information regarding how to get to Yudanaka, see ‘Getting To & Around Kita-Shiga Kogen in Winter’ below.


KITA-SHIGA KOMARYUYAMA SKI AREA

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Very local in character, Komaruyama Ski Area is the smallest and least visited of the Kita-Shiga Kogen resorts and would rarely see any international visitors. Courses are really only suited to beginners and newbies, without nothing to really hold the interest of intermediate and advanced skiers and boarders. Nevertheless, the resort is welcoming and pleasant, a good place to learn or simply, have a change scene when visiting the other resorts of Kita-Shiga Kogen.

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Operating Dates & Times

Dependent on snow conditions, the resort is typically open from mid-December until the end of March with lifts operating from 08:00 to 17:00. Komaruyama offers night-skiing on one course throughout the season from 17:00 to 20:00.

Ski Runs

The sits between 850 to 1250 metres, offering a small 400 metres of vertical and 6 courses, serviced by 5 lifts. Those courses breakdown as: beginner 60% / intermediate 30% / advanced 10%. The longest course is 2km.

Highlights

Komaruyama is a very small resort without much to offer international visitors. Its wide and gentle runs are well-suited to absolute newbies and families with small children, who can enjoy some space and freedom to practice without much competition for space. For intermediate and advanced skiers and snowboarders, the resort doesn’t offer any strong reason to visit. If you’re in the area, heading to nearby Ryuoo Ski Park will be much more worthwhile.

Tickets & Passes

Day-passes for Komaruyama cost: adults (13+) JPY3800 / children (6-12) JPY1900 / seniors JPY2000. A joint Kita-Shiga pass (covering Komaruyama, Ryuoo, and X-JAM/Yomase) is also available: adults: JPY5100 / children JPY3000 for 1-day or adults JPY8600 / children JPY5100 for 2-days.

Rental & Ski School

Basic services are available but nothing catering to international visitors. If you need to arrange rental or ski school, we recommend heading to nearby Ryuoo Ski Park.

Kids & Families

The resort’s wide and gentle ski runs are well-suited to families with children who want to play and practice their skiing and/or snowboarding. But don’t expect much else in terms of dedicated facilities for children and families. If that is important to you, Ryuoo Ski Park or Shiga Kogen Ski Resort will be better-suited.

Accommodation & Village Info

There are a number of guesthouses but little in the way of dining options and things to do at night. For that reason, we recommend staying in the nearby Yudanaka Onsen Area, where you will find a wider and better range of accommodation, more restaurants, more to do at night – and only 20-minutes to the resort by taxi. For more information, see ‘Where to Stay When Visiting Kita-Shiga Kogen’ below.

Getting to Kita-Shiga Komaruyama Ski Area

Distance to Yudanaka Station: 10km / 20-minute drive.

The resort is readily accessible by car or for visitors coming via or staying in the Yudanaka Onsen area, by taxi. For information regarding how to get to Yudanaka, see ‘Getting To & Around Kita-Shiga Kogen in Winter’ below.

WHERE TO STAY WHEN VISITING KITA-SHIGA KOGEN


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While there are accommodation options at each resort, we visiting the ski resorts of Kita-Shiga Kogen we recommend staying in nearby Yudanaka Onsen, Shibu Onsen or Kanbayashi Onsen and heading to your chosen resort using buses from Yudanaka Station, taxi or drive yourself. By doing so, you’ll have far more accommodation options including some fantastic ‘ryokan’ (traditional guesthouses), have acess to hot springs, good restaurants and a couple of bars. For complete accommodation listings in these areas, see our main hotel page. Now let’s look at each area in turn:

YUDANAKA ONSEN AREA / 12km (20-minute drive) from Ryuoo Ski Park

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Spanning-out from Yudanaka Station, the hot spring town of Yudanaka Onsen is the most convenient area to stay when visiting the resorts. Shuttle buses operate from the station to the resort through winter while the town has some excellent accommodation options ranging from high-end to budget. Many hotels and guesthouses have their own ‘onsen’ (natural hot springs) and serve traditional ‘kaiseki’ (multi-course) dinners allowing guests to completely unwind at the end of each day. For accommodation listings, see our ‘Yudanaka Onsen Area’ hotel page. Here are some options:

HOTEL HOUSEI, YUDANAKA

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Best known for its large and indulgent hot springs, Hotel Housei offers guests total relaxation in their indoor and outdoor baths. Japanese-style rooms include ‘tatami’ matting, on-floor ‘futon’ bedding, and traditional features including low tables and amenities such as ‘yukata’ (light kimono).

HOTEL TSUBAKINO

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Located only a short walk from Yudanaka Station, Hotel Tsubakino is a modern ‘ryokan’ that offers both Japanese and Western-style rooms, each with its own private bathroom including shower. All guests also have access to Tsubakino’s natural ‘onsen’, including rooftop and private baths. Boasting some of the best views of any guesthouse in the area, unwinding in the onsen is the perfect way to relax at the end of a day on the mountain.

HOTEL YUDANAKA

Boasting the largest ‘onsen’ in Yudanaka, Hotel Yudanaka is well-suited to guests looking for reasonably priced accommodation nearby the station. All rooms include on-floor ‘futon’-bedding, ‘tatami’-matting along with the option of dinner and breakfast meal service and guests have access to the hotel’s hot springs – including five different baths – with some rooms also including a private bath and shower.

MARUKA RYOKAN

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Located at the top-end of Yudanaka Onsen, Maruka Ryokan offers Japanese-style accommodation within easy reach of the Jigokudani Monkey Park and ski resorts of Shiga Kogen and Kita-Shiga Kogen. As an older guesthouse, Maruka has lots of charm which appeals to guests looking for an authentic yet simple ‘ryokan’ experience while in Nagano.

MASUYA YUDANAKA

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Located under 5-minutes drive from Yudanaka Station, Masuya Yudanaka is a traditional guesthouse offering spacious and comfortable rooms, relaxing hot springs and acclaimed meal service. Masuya prides itself on creating a traditional atmosphere and excellent service in order that their guests can relax and unwind.

RYOKAN BIYUNOYADO

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Ryokan Biyunoyado is known for its spacious and indulgent ‘onsen’ including indoor, outdoor, rooftop and private baths. With a range of baths to choose from including rooftop and private onsens, Biyunoyado is a great option for visitors wanting to enjoy the relaxation of a traditional hot spring guesthouse with comfort of Western amenities.

RYOKAN HAKURA

With only nine rooms in the guesthouse, Ryokan Hakura has a welcoming and intimate atmosphere with facilities well-suited to disabled guests. The guesthouse offers both Japanese and mixed Western-Japanese style rooms with Western-bedding and private toilet and shower.

YAMAZAKIYA RYOKAN

Located within easy walking distance of Shibu Onsen, Yamazakiya is a homely ‘ryokan’ known for its warm welcome and particularly friendly owners. The small two-storey guesthouse has only eight Japanese-style rooms, each with its own private toilet and bath. While the guesthouse and meals may not be luxurious, the owners pride themselves on creating a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere – a good option for guests looking for cheaper accommodation close to historic Shibu Onsen.

YUDANAKA SEIFUSO RYOKAN

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Yudanaka Seifuso Ryokan is a popular, family-run guesthouse offering all the comforts of a traditional Japanese inn. Boasting three ‘onsen’, one of which can be booked for private use, Seifuso is known for its comfort and traditional service including Japanese-style rooms and ‘kaiseki’ dining.

YUDANAKA YUMOTO

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Yudanaka Yumoto is a traditional Japanese ‘ryokan’ located approximately 10-minutes walk from Yudanaka Station. Dating back to Japan’s Edo Period, Yumoto is Yudanaka’s oldest guesthouse – known for its welcoming atmosphere, homely comforts and relaxing hot springs.


SHIBU ONSEN AREA / 13km (<25-minute drive) from Ryuoo Ski Park

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Within walking distance of Yudanaka, Shibu Onsen is another historic onsen town with numerous accommodation options including large hotels, ryokan and small family-run ‘minshuku’ (basic guesthouses). Most have their own hot springs with town also boasting nine ‘public’ onsen that can be used free of charge by anyone staying overnight in Shibu. A quaint town with some good dining options and a couple of bars, Shibu Onsen has retained more of its hisotric character and charm then Yudanaka. For accommoation listings, see our ‘Shibu Onsen Area’ hotel page.


KANBAYASHI ONSEN AREA / 16km (<25-minute drive) from Ryuoo Ski Park

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Kanbayashi Onsen is a small hot spring village within walking distance of Shibu Onsen. A handful of traditional guesthouses offer some excellent accommodation, each with their own hot springs. Indeed the guesthouses share the same thermal water source as the Jigokudani Monkey Park, which is located in Kanbayashi and within walking distance of all guesthouses. Busy during the day thanks to the monkeys, the village is quiet at night making the option of eating at your guesthouse attractive. Kanbayashi is the furthest area from the resorts of Kita-Shiga Kogen but only 30-minutes drive to Shiga Kogen Ski Resort, allowing guests to visit multiple resorts over several days. For accommodation listings, see our ‘Kanbayashi Onsen Area’ hotel page. If staying there appeals to you, we recommend choosing:

HOTEL SENJUKAKU, KANBAYASHI

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Hotel Senjukaku is one of the best hotel’s in the region within easy walk of the Jigokudani Monkey Park and around 25-minutes drive to Shiga Kogen. A favourite hotel with members of the Japanese Royal Family, this elegant hotel is known for its exceptional service, traditional comforts, indulgent ‘onsen’ (hot springs)and outstanding ‘kaiseki’ (multi-course) meal service. Guests can choose between Japanese rooms with on-floor ‘futon’ bedding or mixed rooms featuring traditional Japanese design and Western-style bedding. Several rooms also include their own hot spring bath with all guests having access to the hotel’s large indoor, outdoor and private ‘onsen’.

JAPAN SKI RESORTS: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW


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Did you know that the resorts of Kita-Shiga Kogen are just some of more than eighty ski resorts in Nagano? Needless to say, when you choose Nagano for your winter getaway you are spoiled for choice! Our ‘Japan Ski Resorts’ page has everything you need to know to start planning your ski and snowboard adventure including: LATEST NEWS & DEALS, THE BEST RESORTS IN NAGANO & JAPAN, FAQs and of course OUR SKI PACKAGES, ACCOMMODATION, TRANSPORT & TOURS.

EXPLORE YAMANOUCHI – HOME OF THE SNOW MONKEYS


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The ski resorts of Kita-Shiga Kogen are located in the wider area of Yamanouchi – an area perhaps best known as the home of Nagano’s famous snow monkeys! The Jigokudani Monkey Park is also lcoated in Yamanouchi along with Japan’s largest ski resort, Shiga Kogen, part of the larger Shiga Kogen Highlands – a UNESCO Biopshere Reserve – and Joshinetsu Kogen Natiaonal Park. Also boasting some of Central Japan’s most famous hot spring towns in Yudanaka Onsen, Shibu Onsen and Kanbayashi Onsen, Yamanouchi is a fantastic all-year-round destination, only 45-minutes by train from Nagano Station. For more information about what’s on offer, see our ‘Explore Yamanouchi – Home of the Snow Monkeys’ page.

GETTING TO & AROUND KITA-SHIGA KOGEN IN WINTER


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For visitors wanting to head to the resorts of Kita-Shiga Kogen using public transport, it will be most convenient to do so via Yudanaka Station. Our ‘How to Get to Yudanaka & Shibu Onsen’ page provides information on how to reach Yudanaka from Nagano City, Tokyo and beyond!

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To reach Yudanaka Station from Nagano, take any limited express service on the Nagano Dentetsu (Nagaden) Line – the journey takes only 45-minutes. From Yudanaka Station, all four resorts of Kita-Shiga Kogen are within 20-minutes drive with taxis available immediately in front of the station. For visitors heading to Ryuoo Ski Park, the resort’s free shuttle bus runs to and from the station multiple times each day through winter – see our ‘Yudanaka Station’ page for the timetable.

BOOK WITH US! NAGANO’S NO.1 TOUR & CHARTER OPERATOR


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Locally-based and operating all year round, 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.

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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.

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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.

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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 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 Nagano and Central Japan this winter? Contact us at snowmonkeyresorts@machinovate.com and let’s get planning together!

JAPAN RAIL DEALS: TRAVEL PASSES & DISCOUNTED TICKETS


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Many if not most people heading to the ski resorts of Nagano and Niigata do so via Nagano Station and Echigo-Yuzawa Station. Both are serviced by Shinkansen/Bullet Train lines running from Tokyo, making them quick and easy to get to.

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Any foreign passport-holder – both international visitors and foreign residents of Japan – is eligible for the ‘Japan Rail (JR) East Pass’ for Nagano & Niigata. Covering 5 days of unlimited use within a 14-day period, the pass includes travel on both the Hokuirku Shinkansen and Joetsu Shinkansen lines – a great deal if you’re planning to move between the regions while here.

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In addition, JR East offers a 3-Day ‘Welcome Pass’ for foreign passport-holders. The pass covers multiple shinkansen lines and other major train routes – a fantastic deal and great option for getting to and moving around Central Japan.

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Japan Rail is currently also offering discounted prices on many train services, including shinkansen lines across the country. With discounts of up to 50% available when purchasing online, our ‘Discount Shinkansen Tickets: How to Buy Online’ page includes an English step-by-step guide of how to purchase tickets online.

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