Myoko-Kogen is one of the oldest established ski areas in the world and is a traditional mountain retreat of Japan’s imperial family. The area offers some of the most outstanding skiing in all of Asia with an average base of four metres and snow walls sometimes building up to more than three metres high at the height of the season. In summer it is a popular destination for city dwellers to escape the heat.Read More
Hakuba Ski Resort in Nagano is one of Japan’s most popular ski areas and host of the 1998 Olympic Downhill at Happo-one Resort. The Hakuba Valley hosts many fine ski resort areas including Goryu, Hakuba 47, Iwatake, Tsugaike Kogen and Cortina. The Hakuba area is also famous for it’s hot springs, autumn leaves and summer trekking. Read more to see the fine array of Hakuba accommodation available.Read More
Nozawa Onsen is a charming hot spring village located at the foot of Mt. Kenashi. The village has been renowned for it’s hot springs and traditional inns since the Edo period. More recently it has also gained popularity for it’s famous fire festival (dosojin matsuri) as well as the local ski area that features a great variety of terrain and amazing snow.Read More
A visit to the Nagano area would not be complete without seeing the Japan Snow Monkeys bathing in hot springs at the Jigokudani Wild Monkey Park. Roughly 90,000 visitors trek through the woods of Nagano each year to see the monkeys. Visitors base themselves in nearby Kanbayashi Onsen, the rustic and traditional Shibu Onsen or Yudanaka Onsen. The park is easily accessible from Nagano...Read More
Located close to Nagano City on the banks of the Chikuma River is the traditional Japanese onsen town of Togura-Kamiyamada Onsen where visitors can soak in soothing mineral waters at a traditional Japanese ryokan inn. Togura-Kamiyamada Onsen is blessed with a storied river, mountain and valley plus is central to the best Nagano has to offer.Read More
The charming Togakushi Village is popular year round destination close to Nagano City. The village nestles amongst 900 year old cedars featuring a relative easy hike to the famous Togakushi Shrine. There is a small reproduction ninja village and school, a popular ski area in winter plus try some delicious Togakushi soba noodles.Read More
Lake Nojiri (Nojiriko) has a lively summer community, friendly locals, great fresh food and a host of water sports. If you can’t surrender to the temptation to do nothing, try a spot of fishing, a swim in the lake, a stroll along the Woolly Mammoth trail or go hiking/foraging for wild foods like mushrooms and mountain vegetables. In winter try the uniquely Japanese sport of ice fishing for wakasagi (smelt).Read More
Matsumoto Castle, also known as the “Crow Castle” because of its black exterior, is the oldest existing castle in Japan and one of Japan’s premier historic castles. With 400 years of history, the castle is a National Treasure that every Japan visitor should see. Matsumoto Castle is easy to access from Hakuba, Nagano or even Tokyo.Read More
Zenkoji Temple Nagano is the main tourist attraction of Nagano City. A visit to the Nagano area would not be complete without seeing this renowned Buddhist temple, said to have been built in the early 7th century. It consists of 39 buildings including the famous Dai-hongan and Dai-kanjin. Lodgings for pilgrims called shukobo line the approach to the temple and are also open to foreign guests.Read More
Myoko-Nagano: Explore the Heart of Japan
The Heart of Japan has been the leading English information guide for the Japan Alps since 2003. We are locals and know the region well so trust us for all your requirements. Find extensive information on Myoko Kogen, Nozawa Onsen, Hakuba, the Japan Snow Monkeys, Togakushi Village, Matsumoto Castle, Zenkoji Temple and Lake Nojiri just to name a few. Check the largest number of accommodation choices (500+) for Myoko Kogen, Shiga Kogen, Hakuba, Nozawa Onsen, Nagano City, Snow Monkeys, Togakushi and many more. We also bring you the most up to date Myoko ski info, loads of local maps, as well as daily on the ground snow reports from Nozawa Onsen, Myoko Kogen and Hakuba via the new DailyFlake.
Discover how to get from Tokyo or Osaka to Nagano. Check train times, bus schedules, find fares or rent a car. Use our route finder to get to Myoko, Hakuba, Nozawa, Nagano, Togakushi or the Snow Monkeys.
Heart of Japan offers simply the widest range of accommodation available across the region. Book online a choice of over 400 ryokan, resort hotels, backpacker hostels, ski lodges, pension & traditional inns.
There are over 50 ski resorts in the area that average 12-15 metres of fine Japan powder snow every year. Find ski resort info, locate a ski school, rent ski gear and download discount ski coupons.
Get regular snow reports from our local crew in Hakuba, Nozawa Onsen and Myoko Kogen. Sign up for our snow emails, check the current weather conditions or get the latest area forecasts.
Find out the location of Myoko, Hakuba and Nozawa. Download village and ski trail maps. Interact with our extensive google maps and locate that local bar, hotel or hotspring you’re looking for