Explore the Heart of Japan: Myoko Kogen

PLUS HAKUBA, NOZAWA ONSEN, MADARAO KOGEN, LAKE NOJIRI, TOGAKUSHI, SNOW MONKEYS, TOGURA-KAMIYAMADA & NAGANO

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Looking just for ski, snowboard and Myoko Kogen Ski Resort information? Click here for Myoko Kogen: Ski the the Heart of Japan – the ultimate ski and snowboard guide to the Myoko ski area.

Ski Myokokogen - The Heart of Japan

THE HEART OF JAPAN – AN OVERVIEW

This region of Japan is known as Shinetsu-Kogen and stretches from MadaraoIizuna-kogen and Togakushi nearNagano City to Myoko Kogen and Joetsu City in Niigata Prefecture. When including the areas of Hakuba and Nozawa Onsen the area has become more popularly known in recent years as “The White Triangle”. The area has always been popular amongst locals and foreign residents but now also increasingly from overseas tourists and skiers who are drawn by the unique combination of excellent powder snow and traditional Japanese hospitality and culture.

 

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The area is dominated by Hokushingogaku – a spectacular series of five mountains (Madarao, Myoko, Kurohime,Togakushi and Iizuna) that make up the border of Nagano and Niigata prefectures. There are always plenty of things to do – whatever the season and whatever the age. There are accommodations to suit any budget and we have the greatest range of online booking options available in the area.

We hope you find this site useful and ultimately have a most enjoyable stay in the area. Information can be accessed via the links below, in the sidebar or you can join in with our forum discussions. We are the original and best English guide to the region – so please recommend this site to your friends and let your hosts know you found their information via the Explore the Heart of Japan sites.

SNOWBOARD AND SKI INFORMATION

There are more than forty ski resorts found in the area including several clustered around Myoko KogenHakuba,Nozawa Onsen and Madarao Kogen and Shiga Kogen. Smaller fields include those at Togakushi VillageKurohime and Iizuna. Links and information for the Myoko Ski Fields can be found at Myoko Kogen: Ski the Heart of Japan. We provide the ultimate Myoko Kogen ski resort information guide with weathersnow report emailsvideosweb cams,road conditionsdiscount lift tickets and much more! Hakuba needs no introduction as host of the 1998 Winter Olympic downhill events whilst Nozawa Onsen is famed not only for it’s great skiing but also it’s rustic and traditional Japanese atmosphere. For more information see below…

Myoko Ikenotaira Autumn Scenery at Imori Pond

TRAVEL GUIDES

Myoko Kogen:
Located on the border of Nagano and Niigata Prefectures Myokokogen is within easy reach of Tokyo. Dominated by the mountain for which it is named after it lays in beautiful mountain surroundings near Lake Nojiri (Nojiriko) and the historical entrance to the Echigo Plains. Mt. Myoko (Myoko-san 妙高山) is home to numerous popular ski resort areasand listed as one of the hundred most famous mountains in Japan with it’s summit recorded as 2,454 meters above sea level. This is where Japan’s ski industry was born and each year the area receives an average of 14 metres of snow. In 1916 Myoko Kogen became nationally famous when it came first in a vote taken to find the most popular summer resort in Japan. Read more…

Hakuba:
One of Japan’s most popular ski areas (and the host of the 1998 Olympic Downhill) is Hakuba Village – about 45 minutes by bus from Nagano City. Hakuba Village itself consists of several main ski areas and these are broken into sub-areas. At the southern end of the Hakuba Valley are the resorts of Goryū, Hakuba 47, Sun Alpina, Yanaba, Minekata and the Olympic ski resort Happōone. To the north are the resorts of Iwatake, Tsugaike Kogen, Norikura, and Cortina. There are many different types of Hakuba ski and self-contained accommodation that can be booked. Also check out ourHakuba Maps Guide or Hakuba Google Map which provides a wide variety of information about Hakuba accommodation, restaurants, bars transport, webcams and ski resorts. Our Hakuba weather and snow forecast can be found here, our Hakuba Access Guide is here and Hakuba onsen Information hereRead more…

Nozawa Onsen:
Located just one hour’s drive from Nagano City in the northern part of Nagano Prefecture is Nozawa Onsen – a charming hot spring village located at the foot of Kenashi-yama Mountain which is home to around 4,000 people. Nozawa Onsen is said to date back to 8th century but has been renowned for it’s hot springs since the Edo period. More recently the village has also gained popularity as a ski area that features a great variety of terrain and amazing snow that’s hard to match. Any visitors fortunate enough to be in Nozawa Onsen early in the New Year (January 15th) should not miss the Dosoujiin Fire Festival, one of the most famous and exciting fire festivals in Japan. See our maps pagefor the layout of the village and ski areas or, even better, our extensive google map page. The combination of a traditional village feel and a great ski hill makes Nozawa Onsen a good choice for your ski trip to Japan. Start by checking out our wide range of Nozawa accommodation optionsRead more…

The Japan Snow Monkeys:
A visit to the area would not be complete without seeing the globally known Japanese Snow Monkeys in Jigokudani Monkey Park (地獄谷野猿公苑 Jigokudani Yaen Kōen) in Nagano Prefecture. The Monkey Onsen is located in the valley of the Yokoyu River which is part of the Joshinetsu-Kogen National Park. Despite its relatively remote location, roughly 90,000 visitors trek through the woods of Nagano each year to see Jigokudani Wild Monkey Park. Visitors usually base themselves in nearby Kanbayashi OnsenShibu Onsen or Yudanaka Onsen for at least one or two nights. Read more…

Zenkoji Temple:
Nagano’s most famous and popular tourist attraction is Zenkō-ji Temple (善光寺) in Nagano City. It was said to have been built in the early 7th Century. The road to the temple is lined with shukubo – the kind of lodging that is traditionally attached to a Japanese temple. Overall Zenkoji consists of 39 buildings including Dai-hongan and Dai-kanjin and is the main tourist spot in Nagano. Since the temple is not affiliated with any one particular sect of Buddhism Zenko-ji is open to everyone regardless of their belief, and it is believed that a visit there once in a lifetime will ensure a passage into the Land of Happiness. The temple has grown on the basis of this popular belief from ancient times and therefore been popular amongst a great variety of people throughout its history. Read more…

Togakushi Village:
Situated in the north of Nagano within the Joshinetsu National Park, Togakushi Village is just 45 minutes drive fromMyoko Kogen or Nagano CityTogakushi-jinja (Shrine) stands in the midst of a wood with cedar trees that are over a hundred years old, just at the foot of the precipice of Mt. Togakushi. It consists of three shrines – the lower shrine is Hoko-sha (Treasure of Light), the second Chu-sha (Middle Shrine) and the third Oku-sha (Deep Sanctuary). They were built at intervals of roughly two kilometres (see Togakushi Shrine map or Togakushi Google map). There is also a small reproduction ninja village and school in the village which nestles amongst 900 year old cedars making it not only a beautiful place to visit but it’s delicious soba noodles are also famous throughout Japan. The local ski area Togakushi Snow World is only is a medium sized ski resort but still offers skiers a respectable 548 metres (1798 feet) of vertical descent with good powder conditions often available. Read more…

Lake Nojiri:
Regarded as one of Japan’s best summer retreats, long term Japan residents have been secretly sneaking off to Lake Nojiri (a.k.a. Nojiriko) for years and many own summer houses dotted among the trees in the kokusaimura(international village) area. If you’re not lucky enough to have a host, there are several pensions and small hotels in the main town. With a lively and diverse foreign community, friendly locals, great fresh food and a host of water sports, it’s easy to see why Lake Nojiri has a special place in many Japanophile’s hearts. Read more…

Togura-Kamiyamada Onsen:
Visitors to the area should try a traditional onsen stopover in Togura-Kamiyamada Onsen. The town is located in Chikuma City, a small city of 63,500 people in the countryside of Nagano Prefecture, just south of Nagano City. The Chikuma River, Japan’s longest, meanders through the middle of the city and 1252 meter tall Mt. Kamuruki looks down from above. This is the mountain of the legendary Obasute Mountain story, where the elderly (‘Oba’) where taken and thrown away (‘Sute’). On the flanks of Mt. Kamuriki is also the location of the unique Tagoto-no-Tsuki terraced rice paddies. When the moon (‘Tsuki’) rises, it reflects off each individual rice paddy (‘Tagoto’). Read more…

Iiyama City and Madarao Kogen:
Located deep within the heart of the Japan Alps at the northernmost part of Nagano Prefecture Iiyama City and Madarao Kogen, making it an excellent retreat during any of the four seasons. Here you can experience “ancient” Japan by visiting the many remaining temples or just by viewing its traditional landscapes that are spread across the region.There are a number of high quality ski resorts in the region. These include Madarao SympathiqueMadarao KogenTangram Ski Circus, Togari Onsen, Shinanodaira, Iiyama Kokusai and Hokuryuko. Iiyama City is a former castle town within the Okushinano region of Nagano with many old Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples still standing side by side. The area prides itself on ‘green tourism’ and is known as ‘Japan’s hometown’. Read more…

WEBCAMS

Myoko Webcams:
Shown on this page are a variety of feeds from local live & web-cams in Ikenotaira, Togakushi, Madarao, Myoko and Lake Nojiri. Some are seasonal and therefore may not show at certain times of year.

Hakuba Webcams:
Check out snow and weather conditions around the Hakuba Village areas via our Hakuba web cams. You can find live road conditions, see the Olympic ski jumps area as well as some views of Mount Hakuba and Hakuba Village on theHakuba Mountains, Road Conditions and Hakuba Village webcams page. Snow and weather conditions around the Hakuba47, Goryu, Iwatake, Happo-one, Tsugaike Kogen ski resort areas can be found via our Hakuba Ski Resort Webcams here.

Nozawa Onsen Webcams:
See all of the Nozawa Onsen webcams – OgamaYamabikoHikageUenotaira & Nagasaka on this page. Some are only available during the ski season.

Road Conditions – Web Cam:
This page will display, via live web-cam, current road conditions in the area. Some are seasonal and therefore may not show at other times of the year.

SNOW AND WEATHER CONDITIONS

Weather & Snow Conditions:
Here you will find predicted ski & snow conditions, predicted snowfall and local resort weather.

Weather and Snow Reports:
Get the latest snow reports for HakubaNozawa Onsen and Myokokogen

Email Snow Alerts: 
Want to know when snow is falling at your favourite resort in the area? Click here to sign up for snow alert notification emails.

ACCOMMODATION & HOTELS:

We have the greatest range of hotel and accommodation options in the area available. Choose from over 300 hundred places to stay and all bookings can be made online in English with instant confirmation. A full range of accommodation is catered for – from basic hostels and Japanese minshuku (inns) right up to to luxurious ryokan and well known resort hotels. Check out some examples in HakubaAkakura OnsenYudanaka OnsenNozawa Onsen,Nagano City and Tokyo.

ACCESS AND MAPS:

Access and Directions:
See this area for local, access and ski resort maps, train schedules plus airport & station maps, highway bus timetables,taxi bookingsregional bus and shuttle servicesski bus information, and day tour bookings. hakuba Nozawa Onsen

Maps and Guides
We have a wide range of local maps, an area guide, plus ski trail maps for Myoko Kogen, Nozawa Onsen and Hakuba. You might also find our interactive map guide a useful place to start. Also check out our extensive range of Google Maps. hakuba Nozawa Onsen

Tokyo - Great hotels at reasonable prices

TOURIST ATTRACTIONS, ACTIVITIES AND LEISURE IN MYOKOKOGEN:

Onsen and Hot Springs:
Fancy a nice hot soak? A selection of local onsen are listed as well as packages.

Sightseeing: 
Check out all of the things to see and do in the local area – Fun Parks, Snow Monkeys, Ninja Village, Waterfalls, Zenko-ji Temple, Historical Sights, plus much much more!

Attractions:
Outdoor and leisure activities available in the area include hiking, cycling, golf, fishing, shopping, museums, water activitieshot springs (onsen), an amusement park, helicopter rides, wine tasting, walks, traditional ninjitsu training and even sumo wrestling. Links and contacts are provided for many of these

Festivals and Events:
There are a multitude of festivals and events that take place in the area right throughout the year in Myoko-Kogen and the surrounding areas. These vary from traditional matsuri to fire festivals, triathalons and jazz.

Water Sports:
Just about every water activity possible is available including fishing, swimming, pleasure boats, sailing, windsurfing and even an aquarium.

Golf and Golf Courses:
Get information on the numerous local courses.

Shopping:
Discover some of the local specialities – handcrafts, food, sake, beer and much more.

Find the best deal, compare prices and read what other travelers have to say about
hotels and travel in Niigata & Nagano – The Heart of Japan

OTHER FEATURES:

Local Videos:
A selection of local videos, promotional videos and some random You Tube ski videos from HakubaNozawa Onsen,Lake Nojiri and Myoko Kogen

Links:
Most of the various sites linked on this page are in English. However you will find clicking on links directly in each page probably much easier. There are also banners and text if you want to link to us.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ):
A list of frequently asked questions received by the site. Please read these before contacting us.

Tourist Centres:
Locate a local tourist information center in Myoko, Niigata or Nagano.

Feel free to contact us if you know of other useful contacts/links, have experiences to share (good or bad), would like to contribute other events/information, or have just generally found the information on this page useful.

 

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