With loads of ski resorts and an abundance of powder snow, Japan has rapidly grown into one of the world’s leading skiing destinations! Once the winter season begins, travelers from all over the world flock to Japan to enjoy a stellar range of winter sports. In this article, we’ll be introducing 4 ski areas in the Myoko Kogen region of Niigata Prefecture, one of Japan’s best and most accessible winter paradises!

Myoko Kogen, One of the Heaviest Snowfalls in Japan

Mt. Myoko in winter.

It takes about two and a half hours by shinkansen and railway from JR Tokyo Station to Shinano Railway Myoko Kogen Station, and about 4 hours by car. The landscape and attractions here change depending on the season, and in winter, you can enjoy plenty of unique winter activities and sports alongside excellent snow.

The Snow of Myoko Kogen

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Myoko Kogen is celebrated for its remarkable high-quality snowfall. This is largely due to the seasonal winds coming from Siberia through the Sea of Japan, which create snow clouds that become cooled at 2000m around Mt. Myoko and other mountains.

The Best Time to Ski at Myoko Kogen

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The ski season in Myoko Kogen is from mid-December to late March. Some ski resorts are opened until mid-May.

What Kind of Ski Resorts Are at Myoko Kogen?

A hot spring feeding directly from its source.

Thanks to the natural landscape, snow, and ease of access, Myoko Kogen has become a hot spot for skiers from all over the world. Alongside this winter wonderland, the beauty of Myoko Kogen also lies in its vast collection of gorgeous onsen hot springs, which draw natural thermal waters from the base of Mt. Myoko and are often connected with inns allowing guests to bathe in their nourishing waters. After skiing, be sure to take a soak in the area’s luxurious hot springs!

4 Recommended Ski Spots in Myoko Kogen

1. Myoko Suginohara Ski Resort: Wide and Long Slopes Safe for Beginners

Wide and gentle slopes for beginners. Panorama Slope (Photo courtesy of Suginohara Ski Resort)

The first resort we’ll introduce is Myoko Suginohara Ski Resort, about a 10-minute drive from the Myoko Kogen IC, on the Joshinetsu Expressway. Suginohara Ski Resort has excellent access.

Its main feature is the wide and long slopes with a maximum skiing distance of 8.5 km, perfect for beginners. About 80% of the 17 courses are for beginners/intermediate, making this ski resort an ideal choice for children and adults who want to enjoy skiing safely.

Currently, measures against coronavirus are being implemented (installing separatory panels, limited use of lifts and gondolas, disinfection of rental equipment, spaced seating in dining areas).

Shakunage Course: good quality snow and great view (Photo Courtesy of Suginohara Ski Resort)

Each course is characterized not only by the size of the slope, but also by the snow’s quality.
The different courses also each have their unique beauty, like the white birch course surrounded by beautiful birch trees, and the downhill course marked by its famous linden…

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