Shiga Kogen is a highland area in Yamanouchi town in the northern region of Nagano Prefecture and part of the Joshinetsu Kogen National Park. The ski and snowboard resort that is known as ‘Shiga Kogen’ is actually made up of 18 mostly inter-connected areas that share a lift ticket. The 'Giant' area is basically one long 1,000m stretch of course with a maximum gradient of 34 degrees which is serviced by a pair lift. Access to the Hasuike area is available at the top; with access to Bundadaira and Nishitateyama at the bottom.
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 alpine skiing giant slalom was held at Higashitateyama. Shiga Kogen may not receive as much snowfall as some nearby regions, but often makes up for it in snow quality. Shiga Kogen is also well known as being close to the famous Jigokudani snow monkey park where you can see monkeys soaking in an onsen hot spring.
Shiga Kogen Giant is one part of Shiga Kogen. It is located in the central area and consists of one 1000m slope. The base of the run is connected with Bundaira and Nishitateyama. At the top you can connect to the Hasuike and Maruike resort areas using the connecting ropetow. This map shows all of the Shiga Kogen ski and snowboard resorts.
A new 'pulse' gondola lift is opening in Shiga Kogen for the 2020-2021 winter season. The new lift features two ‘pulses’ of 3 cabins, each holding 8 people. The short 400m journey from near the Yama-no-Eki building in the Hasuike area down to the Giant area takes just 90 seconds. A new name 'Shiga Kogen Mountain Resort' and logo has also been introduced.
Nagano Prefecture is located in the Chubu region of the main island of Honshu. Most of the Northern Alps, Central Alps and Southern Alps are located within Nagano (along with neighbouring prefectures). Nagano has the second highest number of ski and snowboard resorts in all of Japan and they are spread around the whole prefecture. Nagano city and many of the major ski resorts are located in the northern region.
The tickets shown above are valid at all of the 18 ski areas in Shiga Kogen. Lift tickets include the use of the shuttle bus service within the Shiga Kogen area.
The multiple day tickets can be used for the respective number of one day tickets during the season - the days do not need to be consecutive.
A 500 yen returnable deposit is required for all lift tickets.
'Point Tickets' are also available, sold in blocks of 20-50 at 120 yen per point for adult and 60 yen per point for children. (Different ski lifts within the area require a different number of points to ride - for example, lifts need 2-6 points and Gondolas require 6-9 points).
Children's Day is the third Sunday of the month from December until April.
Early Ski tickets are available until Sunday 20th December 2020.
Spring Ski tickets are available from Thursday 1st April 2021 until closing.
Getting to Shiga Kogen Giant
By public transport
44.6km from Nagano Station on the Hokuriku Shinkansen line
16.7km from Yudanaka Station on the Nagano Dentetsu Nagano Line
33.1km from Iiyama Station on the Iiyama Line
Yudanaka Station on the Nagano Dentetsu Nagano line is the closest station to the Shiga Kogen ski and snowboard resorts and is just under 17km away from Giant.
The Nagano line operates between Nagano Station and Yudanaka Station and the main Nagano line can be found just by the Zenkoji Exit of the main JR Nagano Station.
Iiyama Station and Nagano Station on the Hokuriku Shinkansen (bullet train) line are about 33km and 45km respectively away from Giant.
Buses are available from Yudanaka Station to Shiga Kogen. This bus service bus takes about 30 minutes to get to the central Hasuike bus terminal of Shiga Kogen.
There is also direct bus to Shiga Kogen from the East Exit of Nagano Station. The journey from Nagano Station to Shiga Kogen typically takes around 80 minutes and costs 1700 yen.
Once at Shiga Kogen, a free shuttle bus service that travels around the ski areas operates during the daytime. This service is free to use for everyone with a valid Shiga Kogen lift ticket.
26.8km from the Shinshu Nakano IC on the Joshinetsu Expressway
32.3km from the Obuse PA Smart IC on the Joshinetsu Expressway
33.7km from the Toyota Iiyama IC on the Joshinetsu Expressway
Nearest national route: Route 292 (2.4km away)
Giant is just under 27km from the Shinshu Nakano IC exit of the Joshinetsu Expressway.
At the Shinshu Nakano IC exit traffic lights, go straight ahead on the Shiga Nakano Toll Road. This road is normally 310 yen per vehicle though there are alternative routes through a town area that do not involve a toll if you check maps. Continue straight on this road as it changes to Route 292. About 7km from the IC the road splits - be sure to keep in the right side lane to remain on Route 292. Shiga Kogen is clearly signposted in English. Route 292 heads all the way up to Shiga Kogen, passing close-by the popular Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park on the way.
Route 292 on the way up to Shiga Kogen is a wide and winding road which doubles back on itself a number of times. 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!
Before arriving at the Sun Valley area of Shiga Kogen - about 22km from the IC exit - turn left to head towards the Giant car park.
Important! During the winter season - usually from late November until late April - the section of Route 292 between the Yokoteyama area of Shiga Kogen through to Kusatsu town in Gunma Prefecture is blocked off and closed due to large amounts of snowfall. This means that Route 292 from central Yamanouchi on the Nagano side is the only way to approach Shiga Kogen in the peak winter months.
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