Joetsu Myoko Ski | Snowboard | Snowshoe

joetsu myoko ski

Joetsu Myoko Ski Information

A number of unique ski areas lie across the Joetsu Myoko ski region. There are endless ways to enjoy skiing here, from long, scenic, tree-lined slopes to challenging bump runs—and especially deep, deep powder.

For those who want variety in their skiing, the interconnected Akakura Kanko Ski Resort (Akakan) and Akakura Onsen Ski Resort together provide 32 different courses for all levels. Ikenotaira Onsen Ski Resort provides both wide, gentle slopes and one of the best board and ski parks in Japan. Myoko’s Suginohara Ski Resort has everything from steep bump runs and open slopes to Japan’s longest run — measuring a full 8.5 kilometres in length. Seki Onsen Resort and Huichi Charmant are known for their all-access powder, especially among snowboarders, while Lotte Arai Resort recently re-opened to world acclaim for the quality of it’s Japan ski experience. Further afield is Madarao Kogen Ski Resort – famous for it’s “Mad-A-Pow” and the off the beaten track Cupid Valley. Most resorts now have a number of ski schools with instructors teaching partly or exclusively in English to help you improve your skiing, or to get out into the beautiful backcountry of the area.

joetsu myoko ski map

All the Joetsu Myoko ski areas allow full access to snowboarders, with terrain parks for those who live for the challenge of winter sports. The Joetsu-Myoko area is a paradise for winter sports lovers.

Akakura Kanko Ski Area (Akakan)
Perhaps the oldest true ski resort in all of Japan, the area was founded in 1937, with the signature Akakura Kanko Hotel still right in the middle of the slopes. It’s not just old, though; Akakan boasts a wide range of tree-lined courses that continue to draw the young (and lots of young-at-heart skiers).
Akakura Onsen Ski Area
Connected with Akakan, skiers can enjoy both areas on a combined ticket, or each separately. The area has many runs especially suited for beginning and intermediate skiers. And, with Akakan, it shares the town of Akakura at its base—a traditional onsen (hot spring)town: the perfect place to enjoy traditional Japan after skiing!
Ikenotaira Onsen Ski Resort
There are two sub-areas to this relative gentle area, set in the midst of a romantic birch and beech forest. With long, wide slopes,  Ikenotaira Onsen boasts one of the best snowboard parks in Japan, for skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels.
Myoko Suginohara Ski Resort
Myoko Suginohara boasts a diverse range of ski trails. There are beautiful views of Lake Nojiri and the mountains to the south and east (even Mt. Fuji on a clear day) with long downhill trails for all levels. Suginohara’s 8.5 kilometre run is the longest in Japan.
Seki Onsen Ski Resort
Seki Onsen Ski Resort is renowned its deep, soft powder snow. A smaller area, it makes up for size with interesting topography and massive snowfall — it’s one of the best places in Japan for powder hounds.
Lotte Arai Ski Resort
Lotte Arai Resort re-opened in December 2017 with five ski lifts and is poised to become one of Asia’s best resorts for international travellers. For good reason – two words, untracked powder. Lift, food and accommodation prices are at the higher end of the spectrum here.
Hiuchi Charmant Ski Resort
Charmant Hiuchi Ski Resort is a very small ski resort with just three ski lifts but it does boast a respectable 510 metres of vertical descent and eight trails. Charmant Hiuchi was designed by Mr. Nobuo Otake (a celebrated snow park producer) with powder skiers in mind so therefore is best suited for intermediate-expert skiers and snowboarders. Nonetheless there is also some terrain for beginners too.
Madarao Kogen Ski Resort
Madarao Kogen Ski Resort (斑尾高原スキー場 or a.k.a. Madarao Mountain Resort) is a unique bowl shape resort with 22 separate courses best suited to intermediate skiers and snowboarders, but there is some terrain for beginners and some fairly steep runs for advanced skiers and snowboarders.
Cupid Valley Ski Resort
Cupid Valley is located on the northern slopes of Mt Hishigatake, about half way between Joetsu City and neighbouring Tokamachi City. On a clear day fine views of the Japan Sea looking over layers of rice fields can be enjoyed from the top.