Shiga Kogen Travel Guide - By car

Shiga Kogen by car

Shiga Kogen is a highland area to the east north east of Nagano City in the northern region of Nagano Prefecture. 'Shiga Kogen' is actually 19 (mostly) interconnected ski hills which share a common lift ticket.

Shiga Kogen was host to some of the events of the Nagano Winter Olympics in 1998 - the alpine skiing slalom and snowboarding giant slalom were held at the Yakebitaiyama area, while the alping skiing giant slalom was held at Higashitateyama. (The snowboarding half pipe was held at the now closed Kanbayashi Snowboard Park)

Shiga Kogen is also well known as being the nearest ski resort area to the snow monkey park at Jigokudani.

Shiga Kogen area by car
Getting to resorts from Expressway
Shiga Kogen region map
Getting from Shiga Kogen to nearby areas
Joshinetsu region map
Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park
Additional Shiga Kogen resources
Shiga Kogen area by public transport
Go to our guide for getting to the Shiga Kogen area using public transport

What is Shiga Kogen?

  Shiga Kogen is a highland area in the Joshinetsu Kogen National Park Shiga Kogen 志賀高原
  Shiga Kogen is part of Yamanouchi Town Yamanouchi Town 山ノ内町
  The ski and snowboard resorts in the Shiga Kogen area are collectively known as 'Shiga Kogen' and they share a common lift ticket, but they each have their own name. See a full list of the resorts below.    
  Most of the resorts in Shiga Kogen are interconnected. The resort areas in the south area - Kumanoyu, Yokoteyama, Shibutoge and Kidoike - are seperate from the rest.
A free shuttle bus connects all of the areas.
   

 

Getting to the Shiga Kogen area by car

  Main expressway and exits:  

  Joshinetsu Expressway (toll road) 上信越自動車道
  Shinshu Nakano IC 信州中野IC
  Main roads:  
  Route 292 国道17号
  Prefecture Road 471 県道471号

Route 292 passes through the Shiga Kogen area and connects Nagano Prefecture with Gunma Prefecture in the summer months - from late spring until November. 

Important! During the winter season - usually from late November until late April - the section of Route 292 from the Yokoteyama area of Shiga Kogen through to Kusatsu Town in Gunma Prefecture is closed due to large amounts of snowfall. This leaves Route 292 as the only way to get to Shiga Kogen via road in winter.

From the Nakano city and Yamanouchi town area, Route 292 heads up to Shiga Kogen, passing by the popular Jidokudani Monkey Park on the way.

Route 292 is a wide and winding road which doubles back on itself a number of times, eventually arriving at the first ski hill of Shiga Kogen called Sun Valley. On a clear day with dry roads it is an easy journey but in mid-winter in snowy and icy conditions it can be much slower, especially if you find yourself behind a struggling large vehicle!

The main Hasuike road junction is just 1km further on than Sun Valley. At this point, the choice is to continue straight ahead on Route 292 (signposted as Kusatsu and Kumanoyu Onsen) or turn left onto Prefecture Road 471 (which is signposted as Sakaemura and Nozawa Onsen - though note that you cannot get to Nozawa Onsen using this road during the winter months). The ski and snowboard resorts in Shiga Kogen are accessed either off this main Route 292 or the Prefecture Road 471 road.

Information on how to get to the individual resort areas of Shiga Kogen can be found below.

Shinshu Nakano IC is the nearest exit on the Joshinetsu Expressway.

From Tokyo

From the northern Tokyo area, take the Kanetsu Expressway heading north from Nerima IC to Fujioka JCT. At Fujioka JCT turn left onto the Joshinetsu Expressway and head towards Nagano. Exit at the Shinshu Nakano IC.

From western Tokyo

From the Chuo Expressway to the west of the Tokyo region, continue until Okaya JCT. At Okaya JCT head towards Nagano on Nagano Expressway. Continue on the Nagano Expressway until the Koshoku JCT where the road changes into the Joshinetsu Expressway. Exit at the Shinshu Nakano IC.

From the Nagoya and Western Japan region

From the Nayoya region, travel east on the Chuo Expressway until you arrive at Okaya JCT. From this point, refer to above.

Nerima IC to Shinshu Nakano IC about 225km 5,450 yen
Okaya JCT to Shinshu Nakano IC about 100km 2,810 yen

Route Finder

>> SnowJapan Route Finder: See below for individual resorts
>> SnowJapan Route Finder: General Route Finder

Kanetsu Expressway
Kanetsu Expressway from Nerima IC to Fujioka JCT
>> Full Kanetsu Expressway details
>> Diagram showing regional expressway connections
Exit name   Prefecture Distance from Nerima Connections
Nerima IC 練馬IC Tokyo >>>  
Fujioka JCT 藤岡JCT Gunma 78.6km Joshinetsu Expressway
 
Joshinetsu Expressway
Joshinetsu Expressway from Fujioka JCT to Joetsu JCT
>> Full Joshinetsu Expressway details
>> Diagram showing regional expressway connections
Exit name Prefecture Distance from Fujioka Distance from Nerima Connections
Fujioka JCT 藤岡JCT Gunma >>> 78.6km Kanetsu Expressway
Shinshu Nakano IC 信州中野IC Nagano 146.5km 225.1km  
Joetsu JCT 上越JCT Niigata 204.3km 282.9km  

See also:

>> Chuo Expressway

 

Getting to ski and snowboard resorts from the Shinshu Nakano IC of the Joshinetsu Expressway

There are two main roads going through the Shiga Kogen area - Route 292 and Prefecture Road 471. At the main Hasuike junction either go straight ahead on Route 292 which is signposted as Kusatsu and Kumanoyu Onsen, or turn left onto Prefecture Road 471 which is signposted as Sakaemura and Nozawa Onsen. Each of the resort areas in Shiga Kogen are well sign-posted.

Note that during the winter months, both Route 292 through to/from Gunma Prefecture and Prefecture Road 471 beyond Okushiga Kogen through to Nozawa Onsen are closed.

Resort name Total distance from Shinshu Nakano IC Distance from Sun Valley area Directions from Hasuike junction Route*
Sun Valley
志賀高原 サンバレー
about 23km >> Turn back on Route 292 to return to Sun Valley
Maruike
志賀高原 丸池
under 24km + about 750m
 
Follow Route 292, Maruike is on the right side
Hasuike
志賀高原 蓮池
about 24.2km + about 1.2km Follow Route 292. Hasuike is on the right side
Giant
志賀高原 ジャイアント
no direct road - about 2km Turn at the sign about than 1km after Sun Valley (in the direction heading back to Yamanouchi)
Bunadaira
志賀高原 ブナ平
no direct road no direct road  
Kidoike
志賀高原 木戸池
about 27.5km + about 4.5km Follow Route 292 towards Kumanoyu. The small Kidoike is about 4.5km on the left - not connected to other areas.
Nishitateyama
志賀高原 西舘山
about 29km + about 6km (top area) Turn left onto Prefecture Road 471 after 1km and follow the road
Kumanoyu
志賀高原 熊の湯
about 29km + about 6km Follow Route 292
Takamagahara Mammoth
志賀高原 高天原
about 29km + about 6km Turn left onto Prefecture Road 471 after 1km and follow the road
Tannenomori Okojo
志賀高原 タンネの森
about 30km + about 7km Turn left onto Prefecture Road 471 after 1km and follow the road
Terakoya
志賀高原 寺小屋
no direct road no direct road Turn left onto Prefecture Road 471 after 1km and follow the road
Yokoteyama
志賀高原 横手山
about 29.5km + about 6.5km Follow Route 292 towards and past Kumanoyu.
Ichinose Diamond
志賀高原 一之瀬ダイヤモンド
about 30km + about 7km Turn left onto Prefecture Road 471 after 1km and follow the road. Ichinose Diamond is on the left side.
Ichinose Family
志賀高原 一之瀬ファミリー
about 30km + about 7km Turn left onto Prefecture Road 471 after 1km and follow road. Ichinose Family is on the right side.
Ichinose Yamanokami
志賀高原 一之瀬山の神
about 30km + about 7km Turn left onto Prefecture Road 471 after 1km and follow road. Ichinose Yamanokami is on the left side.
Higashitateyama
志賀高原 東館山
no direct road no direct road  
Yakebitaiyama
志賀高原 焼額山
about 32km + about 9km Turn left onto Prefecture Road 471 after 1km and follow road. Yakebitaiyama is on the left side.
Shibutoge
志賀高原 渋峠
about 36.5km + about 13.5km* Follow Route 292. During winter the only way to get to Shibutoge is via the Yokoteyama ski lifts.
Okushiga Kogen
志賀高原 奥志賀高原
about 44km + about 11km (Gondola) Turn left onto Prefecture Road 471 after 1km and follow the road. Okushiga Kogen is on the left side.

* About Route Finder:
SnowJapan Route Finder uses googlemaps to find routes to specific ski and snowboard resorts from other resorts, hotels and points in Japan. Routes are not pre-determined and SnowJapan has no control over any routes displayed.

See also:

>> This map alongside googlemaps
>> Joshinetsu Expressway
>> Hokuriku Shinkansen
>> Nagano-sen train line
>> On the above map click on the resort names for more details

 

Getting from Shiga Kogen to nearby snow resort regions

Destination Distance General directions
Shiga Kogen to Madarao
(Nagano)
about 40km By car:
Take Route 292 back down the mountain towards Nagano and Nakano. Follow Route 292 for about 19km until reaching a turn off for Iiyama - be sure to keep to the left side; 150m later there's a turn to the right towards Iiyama and Tokamachi. This road is actually a continuation of Route 292. Follow Route 292 for another 9km until reaching the Route 117 junction - the signpost mentions Tokamachi and Nozawa Onsen. Turn right here and continue for about 3km until reaching a sign for Madarao. Turn left at the sign and then right again after about 450m. Cross over the train line and then turn left onto Prefecture Road 97. Follow this road and the signposts up to the Madarao area.
>> SnowJapan Madarao Travel Guide - By car : By train
Shiga Kogen to Nagano City
(Nagano)
about 40km By car:
Take Route 292 back down the mountain towards Nagano and Nakano. Follow Route 292 for about 19km until reaching the options of either staying straight ahead for Nagano or keeping to the left for Iiyama, Suzaka and Obuse.  Straight ahead is a 4km or so toll road (310 yen normally, currently offering discounts at certain times) that goes directly to the Shinshu Nakano IC exit/entrance of the Joshinetsu Expressway. This toll road can be avoided by keeping to the left and then turning left towards Suzaka and Obuse at the traffic lights and then right again less than 1km later - that road also arrives at the Shinshu Nakano IC. Either join the Joshinetsu Expressway and exit at either the Suzaka Nagano IC or Nagano IC, or continue straight on and head towards central Nagano using Route 117 and Route 18.
Shiga Kogen to Nozawa Onsen
(Nagano)
about 43km By car:
Take Route 292 back down the mountain towards Nagano and Nakano. Follow Route 292 for about 19km until reaching a turn off for Iiyama - be sure to keep to the left side; 150m later there's a turn to the right towards Iiyama and Tokamachi. This road is actually a continuation of Route 292. Follow Route 292 for another 9km until reaching the Route 117 junction - the signpost mentions Tokamachi and Nozawa Onsen. Continue on Route 117 for about 11km until reaching a sign for Nozawa Onsen. Turn right here onto Prefecture Road 410. After 1km turn left onto Prefecture Road 38 which takes you into Nozawa Onsen village. The resort car parks are clearly signposted on approaching the village.
>> SnowJapan Nozawa Onsen Travel Guide - By car : By train
Shiga Kogen to Myoko Kogen
(Niigata)
about 50km By car:
Take Route 292 back down the mountain towards Nagano and Nakano. Follow Route 292 for about 19km until you reach the options of either staying straight ahead for Nagano or keeping to the left for Iiyama, Suzaka and Obuse.  Straight ahead is a 4km or so toll road (310 yen normally, currently offering discounts at certain times) that goes directly to the Shinshu Nakano IC exit/entrance of the Joshinetsu Expressway. This toll road can be avoided by keeping to the left and then turning left towards Suzaka and Obuse at the traffic lights and then right again less than 1km later - that road also arrives at the Shinshu Nakano IC. Join the Joshinetsu Expressway and head north for about 27km, exiting at Myoko Kogen IC.
>> SnowJapan Myoko Kogen Travel Guide - By car : By train
Shiga Kogen to Sugadaira
(Nagano)
about 51km By car:
Take Route 292 back down the mountain towards Nagano and Nakano. Follow Route 292 for about 19km until reaching a turn off signposted as Iiyama, Suzaka and Obuse - be sure to keep to the left side here as soon there is another junction. At the junction take Route 403 heading towards Suzaka and Obuse. Continue through Obuse (a good place to stop and take a walk round) and then get onto Route 406 which goes up to Sugadaira which is generally well signposted. Alternatively you can take the Joshinetsu Expressway from Shinshu Nakano to Suzaka Nagano Higashi, but the normal roads are more direct and usually fine.
>>
SnowJapan Sugadaira Travel Guide - By car : By train
Shiga Kogen to Hakuba
(Nagano)
about 90km By car:
Take Route 292 back down the mountain towards Nagano and Nakano. Follow Route 292 for about 19km until you reach the options of either staying straight ahead for Nagano or keeping to the left for Iiyama, Suzaka and Obuse.  Straight ahead is a 4km or so toll road (310 yen normally, currently offering discounts at certain times) that goes directly to the Shinshu Nakano IC exit/entrance of the Joshinetsu Expressway. This toll road can be avoided by keeping to the left and then turning left towards Suzaka and Obuse at the traffic lights and then right again less than 1km later - that road also arrives at the Shinshu Nakano IC. Join the Joshinetsu Expressway and exit at Nagano IC. At the Nagano IC exit, turn right onto Prefecture Road 35 for just under 3.5km heading towards central Nagano City. At the Route 19 (Nagano Minami Bypass) junction, turn left - Hakuba is signposted. After about 13.5km on Route 19 turn right onto the Hakuba Nagano Toll Road (210 yen) and from there Prefecture Roads 31 and 33 continue straight into Hakuba.
>>
SnowJapan Hakuba Travel Guide - By car : By train
Shiga Kogen to Yuzawa
(Niigata)
about 97km By car:
Take Route 292 back down the mountain towards Nagano and Nakano. Follow Route 292 for about 19km until reaching a turn off for Iiyama - be sure to keep to the left side; 150m later there's a turn to the right towards Iiyama and Tokamachi. This road is actually a continuation of Route 292. Follow Route 292 for another 9km until reaching the Route 117 junction - the signpost mentions Tokamachi and Nozawa Onsen. Continue on Route 117 for about 46.5km, going past Nozawa Onsen and through Sakae Village and Tsunan Town. After passing through Tsunan, turn right on Route 353 which is signposted as Shiozawa and Route 17. Continue on Route 353 for about 18km until reaching Route 17. From this junction turn right to head into Yuzawa town. (Turn left for some of the resorts in Minamiuonuma).
>> SnowJapan Yuzawa Travel Guide - By car : By train

See also:

>> Regional expressways connection map
>> Regional train lines connection map
>> On the above map click on the resort names, train lines and expressway names for more details

 

Jigokudani Monkey Park

The Jigokudani Yaenkoen 'Snow Monkey Park' opened in 1964 and since then people from around the world have visited the park to observe the lifestyle of the Japanese Macaque....mainly the way they enjoy soaking in the onsen hot springs. The Japanese Macaque is a monkey species native to northern Japan, and is the most northern-living non-human primate, surviving winter temperatures of below -15 °C.  They have brown-gray fur, a red face, hands and bottom, and a short tail - and often seem remarkably human like.

Jigokudani (which actually means 'Hell's Valley') Yaenkoen is located a short distance off Route 292 in Yamanouchi town and about 10km from the nearest ski area in Shiga Kogen (Sun Valley).

>> For more information on how to get to Jigokudani Monkey Park, please read this


Additional Shiga Kogen resources on SnowJapan

For detailed information on how to get to Shiga Kogen by train and public transport, please go to this section.

Daily reports Exclusive daily snow and weather reports from Shiga Kogen (Shiga Kogen Now)
Ski and snowboard resorts List of ski and snowboard resorts in Shiga Kogen
Resort Spotlights Okushiga Kogen
Yakebitaiyama
Accommodation Accommodation Spotlights - Shiga Kogen
Online booking for accommodation in Yamanouchi
Ski lessons Lessons in English

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