Akakura Kanko together with its neighbouring resort of Akakura Onsen, is one of the larger and more popular areas of Myoko. Akakura Kanko offers a lot more challenging terrain than Akakura Onsen.
It will take you a while to find the good stuff but unlike other resorts the off piste policy seems to be very relaxed. We skied lift lines and trees all day without even noticing any ski patrol. You can choose from nice moderate long mellow tree runs or go for something steeper but shorter. There are many areas you can leave the resort, ski some very good terrain and then after a short hike out, or even just by following a gully, you will get back to the groomers.
The lift system is very good. High speed gondola and high speed chairs. This is all you need to find the good stuff. We are pretty sure there is more good terrain out there but in only one day, with sometimes white out conditions, it was a bit tricky to find.
Akakura Kanko is on a different lift pass then Akakura Onsen but signs will warn you before you enter the wrong area or you can buy a combined ticket which gives you access to both resorts. Also you can buy the single or multi-day 4 mountain pass.
Akakura is claiming to be the first official ski resort in Japan.
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No matter if you are on a low buget or prefere to stay in luxory. You will always find the right accomocation for your needs. Ski in ski out also available.
Ask at your lodge. There are package deals (Ticket plus food) for most resorts.
Myoko offers a wide range of different restaurants. From a short 4 day stay I can recommend the following small selection of restaurants located along the main street. “Alps Undo” noodles at Fu, downstairs of the Italien Pomodoro which is also pretty good. Keep walking “uptill” along the main street till you have to turn left or right. Right on the corner on your left hand side there are two small Izakaya restaurants KEI and Hoheto downstairs. Both totally different but with fantastic food. If you are a group of several people order many of the small dishes and share.
How To Get There
Details and text taken from the book “Snow Search Japan” by WSG media:
By Train: Myoko is fairly accessible for those travelling within Japan and arriving from abroad. The town of Myoko Kogan is in Niigata prefecture, although it’s just over the boarder from Nagano prefecture. Nagano City is the main access point for Myoko, allowing you to take advantage of the high-speed Shinkansen (bullet train) from Tokyo (about 90min). After the smooth Shinkansen ride you must take the slightly bumpier local train to Myoko Kogan Station, 40min on the Shin-Etus line. From Myoko Staiton local buses connect throughout the day to the resort base areas of Suginohara, Ikenotaira and Akakura. Nearly all accommodation will pick you up from Myoko Station as part of their service, and the Myoko tourist office also runs a minibus pick-up service from Nagano City.
By car an easy 2.5h drive from Hakuba, from Nagano about 1h, about 4h from Narita Airport