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  1. Akakura Onsen in Myoko (Niigata Prefecture) has joined SnowJapan with a new Resort Spotlight page. You can find all of the information here: https://www.snowjapan.com/japan-ski-resorts/akakura-onsen
  2. (MYOKO) Ski & Snowboard School Information on Go Myoko Adventures in Myoko, Niigata can be found here: https://www.snowjapan.com/japan-ski-resorts/go-myoko-adventures
  3. Hi there, Family ( 3 kids and the Mrs) and I are travelling to Japan, skiing Myoko/Nozawa from Jan 1st 2020. First ever trip to Japan. We arrive Tokyo on December 31st and will head to Myoko via Nagano on trains on Jan 1st. We want to get skiing asap on arrival but would like to purchase some ski gear ( skis for our 5 y/o for example) ASAP on arrival. We wont have time in Tokyo (plus it'll be NYE). I would really appreciate any tips/advice on buying gear in either Nagano or Myoko. Whats best for us to get widest selection, value etc... We are also happy to buy online to collect on arrival if thats possible/better! Thanks in advance!
  4. This is by train / bus. Am I right in thinking that the best way is to get the Joetsu Shinkansen from Minakami to Takasaki, and then the Hokuriku Shinkansen up to Nagano? Thanks!
  5. I used to go to Arai (in Niigata, to the north of Myoko) a bit way back when. Last season my friend went to the newly re-opened Arai and said that while the facilities were impressive and all brand new, it was very very quiet. Anyone get there this last season? I wonder how much of a success they can make of it. Will be trying to go myself next winter.
  6. Guy Zudkevich

    Buying gear in Japan

    Hi Im planning of snowboarding in Myoko for 8 weeks next winter . How are the prices of snowboarding gear in Japan compared to the us ? where do you recommend buying gear in Tokyo or Myoko ?
  7. Hi I am interested in going to Charmant Hiuchi in Niigata when I am in Myoko. It looks like I kind of need a car (or a friend with a car) but thought I might just see if there are any public transport ways to get there I am missing. Thanks for any help.
  8. Guy Zudkevich

    Myoko seasonal

    Hi there We are a couple looking to spend 1-2 months snowboarding in Japan (January 2020 and maybe February as well). We are want to experience the powder japan is famous , experience ‘authentic Japanese’ and also stay on budget. After tons of reading we are thinking about Myoko and we have a few questions: Do Myoko ski resorts allow off piste skiing/ snowboard ? Is Myoko a good place to go to snowboard some good deep powder ? Does Myoko have any joint seasonal ski pass with other ski resorts in Japan? Is Myoko a good place to stay on low budget ? Of course we would love to hear recommendations about other ski resorts that will suit us Thanks !
  9. (MYOKO) Equipment Rental Information on Yukibancho Rentals in Myoko, Niigata can be found here: https://www.snowjapan.com/japan-ski-resorts/yukibancho-rentals-myoko
  10. (VARIOUS) Jobs Available / Employment Information on jobs available at MountainPros can be found here: https://www.snowjapan.com/japan-ski-general-information/employment-opportunites-at-mountain-pros
  11. (MYOKO) Jobs Available / Employment Information on jobs available at Yodel Snow School in Myoko, Niigata can be found here: https://www.snowjapan.com/japan-ski-general-information/employment-opportunites-at-yodel-snow-school
  12. (MYOKO) Jobs Available / Employment Information on jobs available at Echo Lodge in Myoko, Niigata can be found here: https://www.snowjapan.com/japan-ski-general-information/employment-opportunites-at-echo-lodge-myoko
  13. (VARIOUS) Ski & Snowboard Lessons Information on MountainPros can be found here: https://www.snowjapan.com/japan-ski-resorts/mountain-pros
  14. (MYOKO) Ski & Snowboard School Information on Yodel Snow School in Myoko, Niigata can be found here: https://www.snowjapan.com/japan-ski-resorts/yodel-snow-school
  15. (MYOKO) Ski & Snowboard School Information on Myoko Snowsports in Myoko, Niigata can be found here: Akakura https://www.snowjapan.com/japan-ski-resorts/myoko-snowsports-akakura Arai https://www.snowjapan.com/japan-ski-resorts/myoko-snowsports-arai
  16. Accommodation Information on Kogakuro in Myoko, Niigata can be found here: https://www.snowjapan.com/japan-places-to-stay/niigata/myoko/kogakuro
  17. Accommodation Information on Rental Cottage Greenbell Myoko in Myoko, Niigata can be found here: https://www.snowjapan.com/japan-places-to-stay/niigata/myoko/rental-cottage-greenbell-myoko
  18. Accommodation Information on Morino Lodge Myoko in Myoko, Niigata can be found here: https://www.snowjapan.com/japan-places-to-stay/niigata/myoko/morino-lodge-myoko
  19. Accommodation Information on Akakura Central Hotel in Myoko, Niigata can be found here: https://www.snowjapan.com/japan-places-to-stay/niigata/myoko/hotel-kofukan
  20. Accommodation Information on Guest House LAMP in Shinano-machi, Nagano (near Myoko) can be found here: https://www.snowjapan.com/japan-places-to-stay/nagano/shinano/guest-house-lamp
  21. Accommodation Information on Akakura Kanko Hotel in Myoko, Niigata can be found here: https://www.snowjapan.com/japan-places-to-stay/niigata/myoko/akakura-kanko-hotel
  22. Accommodation Information on Akakura Central Hotel in Myoko, Niigata can be found here: https://www.snowjapan.com/japan-places-to-stay/niigata/myoko/akakura-central-hotel
  23. Resort Spotlight The Resort Spotlight for the Akakura Kanko resort in Myoko, Niigata Prefecture can be found here: https://www.snowjapan.com/japan-ski-resorts/akakura-kanko-resort
  24. I used to visit Suginohara often when I first moved to Nagano, as at that time I lived on the northern side of Nagano city and it only took an hour or so to drive across into Niigata and the Myoko area. Now that I live such a short drive from the Hakuba valley, I rarely get across to Myoko and I do miss the place. I was lucky enough to win not one, but two tickets to use anywhere in the Myoko area in the last ‘Unclaimed Tickets’ Giveaway of the 2013/14 season. Thanks Snow Japan! I decided to use the tickets to visit Myoko Suginohara on what turned out to be a big powder day, late in the season. As I had two tickets, I decided to treat a friend of mine to a day out. I hadn’t ridden with him in a good few seasons, so he was very glad for the invitation, and even more so seeing as the ticket was free! As always, my wingman, ‘Bushiman’ came along for the ride. He got lucky on the same giveaway. So it had started puking at around 5pm on Thursday (20th) night and we arrived at Myoko Suginohara car park at around 8:20am on Friday. The drive up there was a little slower than we had expected, as the highway traffic slowed right down around the couple of IC exits before Myoko. After the IC there was not so much traffic at all really. It was the first day of a 3 day weekend, but the parking wasn’t even close to being full. Score! There was maybe 25cm of fresh on the ground when we arrived and it was coming down hard. Really good, light snow too. It certainly didn’t feel like the end of March up there! We met my buddy at the ticket window and got our tickets for the day. It was here that we found out the top ‘Mitahara No.3 High-Speed Qhad Lift’ would not be running today, due to the sudden dump of fresh snow. That kind of put the brakes on our plan to ride the lines over the back of the top lift. That said, those lines are steep and the new storm snow on top of the recent rain crust layer would have been sketchy at best. We decided that the best way to enjoy these late season powder conditions would be on the tree lines with less gradient. No line at the gondola, so we were straight in and on our way to the goods. It was looking deep out there! We took a couple of very mellow powder lines in the trees off the ‘Mitahara High-Speed No. 2 Quad Lift’ that serves the park. The first one was basically a straight line as it was bottomless and gravity was barely enough to get us through! The second one was just using our tracks from the previous line to gain some speed to catapult into the deep and get some nice turns. Pretty fun to warm up but we soon realised that we needed something a little steeper, as there was at least 40cm on the ground up there and our tracks were getting partially covered between laps! We opted for a longer, steeper line the other side of the mountain. Starting a little lower down and ending near the bottom of the gondola, this is the line we rode until we stopped for lunch. The snow was bottomless, light, fast and it was big grins all morning. At around 10am it looked like this: And then by 11am it was more like this: It was snowing so hard that our tracks were almost completely filled in between laps on the gondola. I’d say that it was more like 50-60cm on the ground by the time we stopped for lunch at around 1:30pm. I wouldn’t usually stop for lunch on a powder day like we were having, but I was hungry and ramen was the only thing that could satisfy my hunger. Bushiman and Jimbob were ready to eat too. Our 40 minute rest and feed was well deserved. We stopped at the ‘Restaurant Downhill’ half way down the ‘Suginohara Connection Trail’ and it was basically empty. I inhaled a massive bowl of ramen and it hit the spot! Hunger cured and time for a 15 minute rest to prepare for the post-feed lines. It was around 2:15 when we got back out there, so it was straight down to the gondola again to get a few more of the same line. The run we took down was our only one on a regular course, and the slope was almost empty. In fact, the whole place seemed freakishly quiet for the first day of a three-day weekend….. We called it a day at around 3:30 and got back to the car to find it buried up to the bumpers. Maybe a good 30cm had fallen in the 7 hours we were there. It was still coming down hard when we left! This photo of the car next to ours shows how much had fallen: It was a great day and I always like riding at Suginohara. It’s a shame the top lift wasn’t running, but we managed to get the goods all day on the lines available to us. Thanks for the tickets Snow Japan!
  25. Akakura Kanko, Myoko. – April 5th, 2013. Thanks Snow Japan for sending me these 2 tickets for anywhere in Myoko in your last giveaway of the season! Also, congratulations on the new site. Layout is great and easy to navigate. So here is my review for Akakura Kanko in Myoko. I waited to use the tickets until April, so I could take my brother who was visiting from England. It was his first time visiting Japan and his first time snowboarding in almost 3 years. Living in southern Nagano city, I almost always ride in Hakuba and Otari. I have done a fair few days in Suginohara over the last five seasons, plus a few days ‘snorkelling’ in Seki, but other than those two resorts I haven’t ridden much in Myoko at all. It was my first ever visit to Akakan, and I chose to go there as it was basically the only resort still operating on weekdays in April. I took the day off from school on Friday, April 5th and drove from Nagano city to Myoko on the highway. A reasonable 850 yen with the ETC. Pulled up to Akakan mid-morning and it was already 15 degrees. Basically t-shirt weather, but opted for a shell over the t-shirt just to be safe. Being greeted with blue skies and an almost empty car park was nice. Much nicer than being at school! As it was a weekday and the resort was on spring operations, there were only two lifts running. That was more than enough to provide us with plenty of giggles for the day. The gondola and the quad serving the park were our only options, so we lapped them from 11 am until around 3:45 pm, only stopping for a light lunch around 1 pm. My first impressions of the place were good. The massive parking lot is right at the resort base area, so no need to walk for miles to get to the ticket window or gondola station. My brother needed to rent some boots, but the kind guy at the rental shop next to the ticket counter gave him some for half-day rates. A bargain at only 1000 yen! I exchanged my free passes at the counter for the Akakan paper lift tickets. The staff all seemed really friendly and keen to make small talk and hook us up. Maybe they were just happy we were there, as the base area was basically empty. The gondola is a six-seater and was moving at full speed, as there was no wind. The quad was moving quickly too, and I love the ‘bubble’ cover to keep you cosy on windy days. It was hot and sunny so we didn’t need it though. I would say that in total, there were less than 30 people (including us) on the mountain all day. It was really empty and the guys running the lifts didn’t check our tickets once all day! I guess they are a bit more on it during peak season. We did a couple of top to bottom cruisers on the gondola to get the legs in. Nice slushy spring conditions for the top two thirds of the course, but the last stretch was more like glue, so had to b-line it from the mid-run hotel to the base area to avoid unstrapping. Still good fun though. Spent pretty much the rest of the day lapping the park quad. My brother isn’t much of a park rider, but he did well considering he hadn’t ridden in three years and was out there with one of my boards and some rental boots! The park at Akakan is really good, and spring conditions with slushy landings make for the best park days. There is basically one long line through the park, consisting of small to mid-sized kickers, which were well shaped and well maintained. Towards the end of this line there were a few box and rail items, but nothing too full on. About half way down the park, before the rail section, you can veer left to finish the line with two bigger kickers. They seemed nice but the landings seemed a little short for their size. We didn’t ride them at all. I am not sure if the park layout is different during peak season, but I wouldn’t be riding it then anyway. If you are into riding powder lines and tree lines then it looks like Akakan may have some nice terrain above the top chair during peak season. That chair wasn’t running so hard to tell for sure, but it looks like you can hike along a ridge curving around above the top chair. If I go back to Akakan next season I will check it out for sure. As with most of the resorts in Myoko though, almost everything seems to be south facing. Solar radiation would take it’s toll on these lines I’m sure. We had lunch at the restaurant just below the top of the gondola. It was the only place open on the mountain and the food was cheap and pretty good. I got a sukiyaki type bowl for 850 yen. It was nice and we ate lunch out on the balcony terrace. Nice views of the mountains to the south and a perfect place to take in some rays. We spent a good 30 minutes at this restaurant and left very satisfied. My overall impression of Akakan is that it is great if you are a park rider. We couldn’t really get a proper feel for the resort, as we basically rode the same two runs all day, but I would say the groomed runs would suit mainly beginner to intermediate riders and skiers. The lifts are modern and the staff friendly. I would recommend this resort due to its proximity to the highway exit and massive parking area alone. I would definitely consider going back next season, but would rather go during peak season with someone who knows the terrain to show me some of the side country and powder lines. Thanks for the tickets Snow Japan. We had a great day! Neck.


About SnowJapan

SnowJapan.com is the independent guide to skiing and snowboarding in Japan and has been online since 1999.

SnowJapan.com covers the whole of Japan. We are here to introduce the world to unbiased, honest and detailed information about winter sports in Japan. We publish exclusive and in-depth and daily content throughout the winter season and we add new functionality and content to the site every year.

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