Photo By: Cara Lam
Region
Chubu
Island
Honshu
Largest City
Niigata
Population
2,475,724

Myoko Kogen

Just looking for a day on the ski slopes then a dip in the hot springs? Myoko’s got nine ski resorts and seven hot springs waiting for you.

🌟 This location is in Niigata Prefecture —  GaijinPot Travel’s No. 1 place to visit in 2018! 🥇

Myoko is the place to be if you dig Mother Nature. Even better, if you dig powder snow.

With a bullet train station stop in the area, Myoko Kogen, a highland area in southern Niigata, is quite accessible. It’s possible to do a day trip to Myoko Kogen, but if you’re there for snowboarding or hot springs, but staying a night (or two) in the local resorts may not be a bad idea. Myoko’s got nine ski resorts and seven hot springs waiting for you.

The most iconic symbol of Myoko is undoubtedly Mt. Myoko. Not only is the 2,454-meter active volcano listed as one of “Japan’s 100 Famous Mountains,” it is also a popular hiking spot. Though, some hikers claim the hike up Mt. Myoko to be quite steep and rocky.

Photo by: Cara Lam Imori Pond reflecting Mt. Myoko.

The hike comes with a big reward though. Located right at the foot of Mt. Myoko is Tsubame Onsen, which receives a ready supply of hot spring water from the mountain. Although the area is host to several ryokan, it has an open-air secluded milky-white bath that is completely outdoors and sized only for five-to-six people. Entrance fee is also by donation — a perfect spot to say thanks to your body after a long hike, no?

Seki, Akakura, Ikenotaira, and Suginosawa are other popular hot spring villages in the area. The snow in Myoko is more than snow; it is powder snow. Dry, loose and fluffy; perfect for a slide. There is a total of nine skiing grounds — the most famous being Akakura and Ikenotaira — on the slopes of Mt. Myoko’s foothills.

Photo by: Cara Lam Woah! Myoko Illumination

However, besides winter, Myoko is gorgeous in all four seasons. To the south of the ski resorts lies Naena Falls, a perfect cooling spot in summer and a colorful backdrop in fall. When you’re there, make sure to fill your stomach by catching some flowing noodles in a bamboo gutter. Another point to stop by while driving to Naena Falls is Imori Pond. The pond’s mirror-like water not only reflects Mt. Myoko entirely, but also the vivid colors of the trees in the surroundings.

From July to November each year, more than 1,500,000 LED lights are used to add colorful magic to the big golf course at APA Myoko Resort for Myoko Happiness Illumination. These lights form beautiful patterns, the resort is quite a bit more romantic than it usually is during these few months!

Myoko is an enormous colorful area that is a simplistic yet lively scene of the Japanese countryside.

Check out more top snowy destinations in Japan.

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Trivia

Top 10 Ski and Snowboard Destinations in Japan

Great powder, friendly people and the wonder of hot springs at the end of it all. What's not to love?

More

How To Get There

Address

Myoko, Niigata Prefecture, Japan

By train

From Tokyo, take the Hokuriku-Shinkansen to JR Joetsumyoko shinkansen station. Myoko Kogen station is only a local train station. There’s no direct bullet train there and is about a 40minute ride from JR Joetsumyoko shinkansen station.

By bus

There are buses and shuttle services that will take you to popular points such as Akakura Onsen from JR Joetsumyoko station.

By car

Driving is the recommended method of transportation as some attraction spots are quite rural and out of the way even from the JR Joetsumyoko Station.

  • From Tokyo, it takes about 4 hours to arrive in Myoko Kogen on the Kanetsu and Joshinetsu Expressways.
  • From Niigata, it takes about 2 hours to arrive in Myoko Kogen on the Hokuriku Expressway.

Where To Stay

Hotel Route-Inn Myoko Arai
  • Takayanagi 1-4-8 Myoko-Shi, Niigata 944-0013
  • 8.1/10
  • 1.0 km
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Super Hotel Arai Niigata
  • Inoyama 120-8 Myoko-Shi, Niigata 944-0075
  • 8.5/10
  • 2.3 km
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APA Hotel Joetsu Myoko-Ekimae
  • Yamato 2-3-1 Joetsu-Shi, Niigata 943-0861
  • 8.3/10
  • 6.4 km
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Lotte Arai Resort
  • Ryozenji 1966 Myoko-Shi, Niigata 944-0062
  • 7.9/10
  • 7.5 km
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