G'Day Japan! / Destinations / MYOKO

The beauty of Myoko

Myoko is blessed with an abundance of high quality ski resorts that are surrounded by nature-rich mountains, hot springs and recreational facilities. The area is also known for its ancient, traditional local food culture which you will surely get to enjoy during your stay. Myoko is mainly known by skiers and snowboarders, and are often promoted as a purely winter season holiday destination, however its ever-changing natural landscape is worth a visit at any time of year.

In spring, you will get to see beautiful flowers blossoming after a cold winter. Climbing and trekking through the mountains is especially rewarding this time of year. As the weather heats up across Japan in summer, Myoko is a great place to getaway from the severe heat and enjoy outdoor sports and nature activities. Before winter arrives, the mountains in Myoko are dyed in all shades of red thanks to autumn leaves changing colour. Myoko will certainly make for a nice little getaway spot, away from Tokyo at any time of the year.

But of course, the biggest attraction in Myoko is the snow. Over its winter season you can enjoy a great variety of winter sports here. Myoko also makes for a fantastic day trip destination; spend the day at one of its ski resorts and finish up by relaxing at a local hot spring before you make tracks. Ski resorts, hot springs and delicious local food and sake are easily accessible to day trippers too.

Myoko is a heavy snowfall area so during winter so you’re almost guaranteed an abundance of snow here. The resorts have each created some fabulous courses that utilize the areas unique natural terrains, there are also tree runs and dynamic powder runs to be enjoyed.

On days that aren’t optimal ski weather, take the tourism shuttle bus to visit Jōetsu; There you can visit traditional Japanese townscapes and participate in various traditional cultural activities.

Myoko is not just a destination for snow sport enthusiasts but for foodies as well. The Italian yakisoba (fried noodles) is famous not only in Myoko but it’s loved by all of Niigata. The popular Hegi soba noodles are made with seaweed rolled into it and you’ll also find many dishes that uses Yaki-fu (baked wheat gluten cut in disc shapes). So if you’re a foodie in search of unique Japanese local foods, you’ll want to try out Myoko’s many unique offerings.

The Myoko area is located right near the border between Niigata Prefecture and the neighbouring Nagano Prefecture. So when staying in Myoko, you will have access to the many ski resorts in the area as well as popular ski destinations such as Nozawa and Hakuba in Nagano.

The area is very easily accessible via Jōetsu-Myoko station and Itoigawa station, thanks to the opening of the Hokuriku bullet train line. With such great accessibility from Tokyo and Nagano, as well as quality snow and local culture, it’s a must-visit spot to add on your Japanese travel list.

For more information, visit:

Myoko Tourism

Akakura Ski

Access from the rest of Japan

Myoko is easily accessible from Tokyo and even easier to get to from Nagano. There are plenty of ski resorts in the area so you don’t have to travel far to try something different each day!


MYOKO has started to run airport shuttles from Narita, Haneda, Niigata and Toyama Airport.
It will make your snow holiday much easier and comfortable.
Check it out now!! >>

Ski Resorts in Myoko

There are a total of seven ski resorts in Myoko, all offering something unique and exciting. Here we have gathered all the vital information you need to know about these resorts.

Ski Resorts

Akakura Onsen Ski Resort

This is a versatile ski resort that accommodates everybody from children to skiers of all levels. Powder hounds will love their powder run and beginners will get to up their skill level practicing on their wide, gentle slopes.

Course levels:
Beginner – 60%
Intermediate – 30%
Advanced – 10%
Maximum slope angle: 43*
Longest skiing distance: 2,800 m
# of courses: 17
# of lifts: 14
# of gondolas: 0

Akakura Kanko Resort Ski

The Akakura Kanko Resort was dubbed as Japan’s very first international ski resort back in December 1937. The 4,500 metre long run from the 5th lift station is a nice cruise down that can be enjoyed by skiers of all skill levels.

Course levels:
Beginner – 40%
Intermediate – 30%
Advanced – 30%
Maximum slope angle: 32*
Longest skiing distance: 4,500 m
# of courses: 10
# of lifts: 6
# of gondolas: 1

Ikenotaira Onsen Ski Resort
*Please note there is no official English page

This is a family friendly resort that is sure to please everyone in the family. There’s the Kid’s Garden which is perfect for little one’s on the snow for the first time. There are two ungroomed tree-runs that’s sure to please any experienced skier here too.

Course levels:
Beginner – 30%
Intermediate – 60%
Advanced – 20%
Maximum slope angle: 28*
Longest skiing distance: 4,000 m
# of courses: 10
# of lifts: 6
# of gondolas: 0

Myoko Suginohara Ski Resort
*Please note there is no official English page

This is a family friendly resort that is sure to please everyone in the family. There’s the Kid’s Garden which is perfect for little one’s on the snow for the first time. There are two ungroomed tree-runs that’s sure to please any experienced skier here too.

Course levels:
Beginner – 30%
Intermediate – 60%
Advanced – 20%
Maximum slope angle: 28*
Longest skiing distance: 4,000 m
# of courses: 10
# of lifts: 6
# of gondolas: 0

Seki Onsen Ski Resort

The Seki Onsen Ski Resort may be a small boutique resort with just four courses over 2,000 metres, but that doesn’t. take away from the fact that the resort is rich in powder. Plus the resort comes attached with a historic hot spring.

Course levels:
Beginner – 20%
Intermediate – 50%
Advanced – 30%
Maximum slope angle: 45*
Longest skiing distance: 2,000 m
# of courses: 104
# of lifts: 2
# of gondolas: 0

Lotte Arai Resort

This resort is located on Mt. Ogenashi and it boasts a fantastic view, overlooking the ocean on a sunny day. The resort has plenty of off-the-snow different activities available including all day dining facilities, hot spring and pool.

Course levels:
Beginner – 25%
Intermediate – 45%
Advanced – 30%
Maximum slope angle: 38*
Longest skiing distance: 5,200 m
# of courses: 11
# of lifts: 4
# of gondolas: 1

Cupid Valley Ski Resort

The adorably named Cupid Valley ski resort is a gorgeous spot for beginner to intermediate skiers. The 4,000 metre long runs are accompanied by the view of the Sea of Japan.

Course levels:
Beginner – 25%
Intermediate – 60%
Advanced – 15%
Maximum slope angle: 32*
Longest skiing distance: 4,000 m
# of courses: 9
# of lifts: 3
# of gondolas: 1

The non-ski activities you MUST TRY in Myoko

There’s more to Myoko than just powder and nature! So what else can you do while in Myoko? Check out our list of must-try activities below:


Setsugekka is Myoko’s resort train created to take visitors on a little trip to see Niigata’s dynamic ocean and mountain views. Mostly everything about the train, including its interior décor and meals provided was made in Niigata. During your trip on the train you’ll get to enjoy a delicious meal prepared by top chefs, sampling local and seasonal flavours. Each stop provides you with a chance to mingle with the locals. This train trip is sure to give you a great taste of what Myoko is all about.

Echigo Shukura

This is another tourist train available to board in Myoko with offerings of gorgeous views and local food, but there’s a twist! You get to sample the local sake while on board the Shukura train, and not only that your trip is accompanied by live classical or jazz music. You’ll also have a chance to speak to local sake brewers about their sake while you taste test them. They host some fantastic events over the weekend and on public holidays, so be sure to check them out if you’re visiting over a weekend.

Jōetsu Sanpo Walking Tour

The Takada Castle was built back in 1614, and the town of Takada has been thriving ever since. Here you’ll step back into town, with so many heritage homes and townscapes still well preserved and lively with the local community. The Takada Sekai-kan is Japan’s oldest working cinema and it is a treasured heritage location, especially for film fanatics. You can take a walking tour of the town, featuring locations including the Takada Castle and Takada Sekai-kan. Other locations include the local cultural exchange centre known as Takada Komachi and the Tensakaki Shrine. The final stop of the tour is at Takahashi Ameya, which is Japan’s oldest candy shop. This candy shop is not only famous by its own right by it is featured in many Japanese literatures as well.

Snow Monkey Park

The Snow Monkey Park known as Jigokudani Yaen-Koen is one of Nagano Prefecture’s biggest tourist attractions. Ever since opening in 1964, it has welcomed many visitors from around the world throughout the year. No matter what season you visit, you are able to observe the interesting habits of the Japanese macaque – more commonly known as snow monkey. Observe them as they play and enjoy amongst nature, and bathe in the hot spring during winter. You can reach the Snow Monkey Park via shuttle bus from Myoko.

Local Tourist Information

Tanimura Art Museum

The Tanimura Art Museum displays the work of Japan’s greatest wooden sculpture artist, Masahiro Sawamura. A total of ten Buddha statues created by Sawamura is displayed in the rounded, half oval shaped room that almost feels like a cave. You can take a tour with local volunteers under natural light too (booking required). Right by the museum are authentic Japanese gardens known as Gyokusuien and Hisuien. Here you can walk through the gardens to enjoy seasonable foliage and flowers, or enjoy a cup of tea or two from inside.

Marine Dream Nou

Over in Itoigawa City in Niigata, there’s a roadside station known as Marine Dream Nou. It’s located near the sea of Japan so you can expect to find an abundance of fresh seafood here. The Kaniya Alley here is the largest direct seller of Red Snow Crabs on the Sea of Japan side of the country. You can purchase freshly caught Red Snow Crabs and eat it on the spot. Right next to the Kaniya Alley is a Seafood Market where you can find even more delicious offerings of the Sea of Japan, where again, you can buy and eat on the spot.

Kimino-I Brewery Tour

At the Kimino-I Brewery, you can take a tour and test their various local sakes. Unfortunately the guided tours are only available in Japanese, but it’s still worth the visit so you can see how the sake is created and even sample exclusive and seasonal sakes.

Itoigawa UNESCO Global Geopark

The Itoigawa Geopark is a fabulous place of learning where you can learn all about the Itoigawa area. You can enjoy a bird’s eye view of the area in the Guidance Zone where there is a 70 inch interactive display. There’s also the Experience Zone where there are interactive, educational activities super fun for kids including the slide on the realistic replica of Mt. Myojo and even a bouldering climbing wall. It’s a family friendly park packed full of edu-tainment. There’s even a display of Kiha 52, a local train that was running until 2010. For those who love trains and especially Japanese trains, this is a must-visit spot.

More than just snow: Explore Myoko off the snow – a model itinerary

Model Course: Two nights in Myoko/Tōkamachi area

Day 1
10:00 Arrive at Jōetsu Myoko Station via Shinkansen (bullet train)
10:19 Hop on the Setsugekka resort train from Jōetsu Myoko station up to Itoigawa staion, enjoying delicious local foods along with gorgeous views. (Approx. 180 minutes)
13:10 Arrive at Itoigawa Station
13:35 Immerse yourself in natural and man-made beauty by touring the Tanimura Museum, Hisuien Gardens and Gyokusuien.
15:00 Take the train from Itoigawa Station to Nechi Station
16:00 Turn up the heat on your first day at the Fossa Magna Park. Check out Japan's largest pillow lava here.
17:00 Head out of Fossa Magna Park to Watanabe Sake Brewery
17:10 Stop by the Hojogura at Watanabe Sake Brewery to sample local sake.
17:30 Take the train from Nechi Station to Itoigawa Station
18:30 Arrive at Itoigawa Station

Accommodation: in the Itoigawa station area

Day 2
10:00 Head to Itoigawa shoreline from Itoigawa station
10:25 Go searching for Jade to get a little extra luck on your travels along the Itoigawa shoreline.
12:00 Head to Marine Dream Nou from Itoigawa Station (train and bus)
12:30 Arrive at Marine Dream Nou and have some lunch
14:30 Go back to Nou Station from Marine Dream Nou
14:35 Take the train from Nou station to Tokamach Station.
16:00 Arrive at Tokamachi station Walk around Tokamachi station
17:00 Take a local bus from Tokamachi Station to Matsunoyama
18:00 Arrive at Matsunoyama Onsen

Accommodation: stay at Matsunoyama Onsen

Day 3
8:30 Head to Matsudai Station from Matsunoyama Onsen
9:00 Join the tour of Snowshoe trecking
10:45 End of the tour. Enjoy Ski at Matsudai Family
12:30 Have lunch at Miharashi restaurant
13:30 Head to Matsudai Station By a shuttle bus. Then take a train from Matsudai Station from Tokamachi Station
13:45 Arrive at Tokamachi Station. Head to Kimono Aoyagi
14:00 Join the guided factory tours ( 60 minutes ) Experience of Shibori Dyeing ( 60 minutes)
16:00 Head to Echigo-Tsumari Satoyama museum of contemporary Art KINARI from Kimono Aoyanagi
16:20 Enjoy the Japanese Contemporary Art at KINARI
17:45 Go back to Tokamachi Station from KINARI
18:00 Arrive at Tokamachi station

Model Course: Two nights in Myoko/Nigata/Sado

Day 1
9:00 Depart from Jōetsu Myoko Station and Enjoy Castle town Takada Walk
12:30 Arrive at Jōetsu Myoko Station. Have some lunch in the Jōetsu Myoko Station area
13:30 Take the train from Jōetsu Myoko Station to Niigata Station
16:00 Arrive at Niigata Station. Taste some local sake at "Ponshu-kan" next to Niigata Station
17:00 Head to PIER BANDAI (fish market) from Niigata Station
17:15 Arrive at PIER BANDAI. Enjoy shopping and have some dinner
19:30 Arrive at Niigata Station

Accommodation: in the Niigata station area

Day 2
9:20 Depart from Niigata Port by Jetfoil. 【If Jetfoil be cancelled, take the car ferry at 9:45】
10:25 Arrive at Ryotsu Port. Head to Seisui-temple from Ryotsu port
11:00 Visit Seisui-temple
12:00 Have some lunch at La Plage ( French restaurant )
13:00 Head to Sado Kinzan Gold Mine from La Plage. Join the tour and visit a heritage site of the shogun's Golden Mountaion ( Sado Kinzan Mine )
14:00 Head to Sado Bugyosho Site ( Sado Commisioner's office ) from Sado Kinzan Gold Mine
14:10 Arrive at Sado Bugyosho Site and See the historic buildings
14:40 Head to Kitazawa Flotation Plant from Sado Bugyosho Site
14:45 Arrive at Kitazawa Flotation Plant and see the greatest flotation plant in the east
15:00 Head to Gokudou Kamamoto from Kitazawa Flatation Plant
15:20 Arrive at Gokudou Kamamoto and make your own Mumyouiyaki pottery
16:00 Head to Obata Shuzo Sake Brewery from Gokudou Kamamoto
16:15 Arrive at Obata Shuzo Sake Brewery and see Sake Brewery
17:00 Head to the accomodation from Obata Shuzo Sake Brewery
17:40 Arrive at the accomodation (Hana-no-ki)
Day 3
8:30 Depart from the accomodation
8:40 Arrive at Sado Island's Ogi Folk Museum and see traditional buildings
9:40 Head to Sado Island Taiko Centre (Tatakokan)
9:50 Arrive at Sado Island Taiko Centre. Experience of making Soba and playing the Taiko
12:15 Head to "Tub-Boat" Rikiya Kanko Kisen from Sado Island Taiko Centre
12:25 Arrive at "Tub-Boat" Rikiya Kanko Kisen. Take a Tub-Boat ride and enjoy the beautiful sea of Sado
12:35 Head to Hokusetsu Shuzo Sake Brewery from "Tub-Boat" Rikiya Kanko Kisen
13:00 Arrive at Hokusetsu Shuzo Sake Brewery. Join the Brewery Tour
14:00 Head to Ryotsu Port from Hokusetsu Shuzo Sake Brewery
15:00 Arrive at Ryotsu Port
15:30 Depart from Ryotsu Port by jetfoil. 【If Jetfoil be cancelled, take the car ferry at 16:05】
16:35 Arrive at Niigata Port

※ Transportation is only car in Sado Island