Japan’s Premier Ski Resort Destination
Sprawling throughout the stunningly beautiful Joshin’etsu Kogen National Park is Shiga Kogen, the largest ski resort in Japan. How large? With 18 interlinked ski areas and approximately 50 lifts and gondolas, it would take days to experience them all. Easily accessed from Nagano City by direct express bus, Shiga Kogen is one of the premier resorts in Japan. The season lasts from late November to early May. With altitudes ranging between 1300m and 2300m, it offers some of the best snow conditions and scenic terrain to be found anywhere.
An area-wide lift pass allows you to ride on all of the lifts and gondolas at each ski area and you can take free shuttle buses running between the interconnected slopes as well.
The Snow Monkeys and Hot Springs
The world-famous Jigokudani Monkey Park is found at the foot of Shiga Kogen, where people from all over the world visit to see the wild monkeys bathing in a natural hot spring. You’ll never get tired of watching them bathing happily and grooming each other. And when you feel the cold and want to bathe in a hot spring of your own, there are plenty in nearby Yamanouchi Town to warm you up.
There truly is an adventure waiting for everyone.
See below for Shiga Kogen resort lift information, snow reports, and more.
ENJOY THE PANORAMIC AND
FANTASTIC VIEW OF THE NORTHERN JAPANESE ALPS
Shiga Kogen is one of three distinct resort destinations in Yamanouchi Town.
The Yudanaka and Shibu Onsen spas lie at the base of Shiga Kogen, approximately a 30-minute bus ride away. The narrow streets and traditional wooden buildings of Shibu harken back to an earlier Japan. Overnight guests in yukata and wooden sandals walk down cobbled lanes, stopping at Shibu’s nine public bathhouses along the way. These soto-yu baths are free to hotel guests and promote health and relaxation.
Yudanaka Onsen’s history dates back almost 1350 years. Hang around its quiet streets lined with local houses, traditional ryokan inns, bath houses, restaurants, cafes and bars.
Kita-Shiga Kogen is the other ski area in Yamanouchi Town and home to Ryuoo Ski Park, Komaruyama, Yomase Onsen, and X-JAM Takaifuji ski resorts. Enjoy exciting park features at X-JAM and Komaruyama, or ride one of Japan’s largest ropeway cars to the top of Ryuoo. Experts love the steep, powdery Kiotoshi courses below the ropeway, and there are several gentle runs at the top surrounded by frosted fir trees. Ryuoo also has the Sora Terrace, where you can gaze upon beautiful views including the rare “sea of clouds.”
The onsen area of Jigokudani, or ‘Hell’s Valley’, attracts visitors from all over the world to see its photogenic residents, the two hundred macaques who are affectionately called ‘snow monkeys’.
Whole families of wild monkeys can be observed up close, playing in the snow or better still fending off the winter cold in their own onsen bath. Their faces as they enjoy the warmth of the water are simply unforgettable. Bring your camera!
The summit of Mt. Yokote stands at 2307m, the highest point in Japan with a fixed chair-lift, and offers splendid 360° panoramic views of Shiga Kogen and the Japanese Northern Alps. If the weather permits, you can even see the Sea of Japan and Mt. Fuji. This winter wonderland is also covered in Snow Monsters?trees iced over with wind-driven snow. You can enjoy these beautiful views with coffee and freshly baked crumpets at a cafe on the mountaintop.
Most of the hotels in Shiga Kogen are located extremely close to skiing slopes. Enjoy ski-in/ski-out convenience in a quiet, winter paradise. After a few runs in Shiga’s trees and deep powder, make a pit stop at one of its many restaurants to savor local cuisine and craft beer.