Access to the Joetsu-Myoko region from Tokyo and other major Japanese cities via public transport is straightforward. If you are wanting to travel Tokyo to Myoko via taxi, bus service or Myoko shuttle please see the information here.
Tokyo to Myoko Kogen | Narita to Myoko
Using Public Transport
From Narita Airport
After your arrival, passport and customs clearance, head downstairs to the train stations at the basement levels, located in Terminals 1 & 2 of the airport. The most convenient train is the JR Narita Express (N’Ex), which leaves roughly every half hour for a 53-minute trip to Tokyo Station. Tickets for the entire trip up to Nagano or JoetsuMyoko Stations can be purchased at the airport whilst JR East passes and JR Passes can also be exchanged at the JR East Travel Service Centres (see below). Alternatively visitors can take the private Keisei Line to Keisei Ueno Station and change to the shinkansen at nearby JR Ueno Station (roughly 7-9 minute walk).
Here’s how you change trains to the shinkansen in Ueno
If you are wanting to travel Tokyo to Myoko via taxi, bus service or Myoko shuttle please see the information here.
From Tokyo Station
At Tokyo Station, head upstairs for the Hokuriku or Nagano Shinkansen (the station is always busy, but all lines are well marked – just follow the signs). The walk is roughly 7-10 minutes at regular pace. These trains depart from platforms 20 through 23; all trains stop at Nagano Station, and some terminate. If you’re heading on to JoetsuMyoko Station make sure to check your schedules (we recommend hyperdia.com).
Here’s how you change trains to the shinkansen in Tokyo
Tokyo to Myoko: JRPass information
Please be aware that the legs from JoetsuMyoko and Nagano Station to Myoko-Kogen are no longer covered by the JR Pass. It’s now a private line.
JR East Travel Service Centres at Narita Airport
JR East Travel Service Centres can be found at both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 at Narita Airport. The centres are open every day from 11:30 am to 7 pm, and handle the sale and exchange of the JR East Pass (available only to visitors from overseas on short-term visas of no longer than 90 days) as well as the Japan Rail Pass (covering all six JR regional companies, and which can only be pre-purchased overseas). Other services include ticket sales and sightseeing information.
Hours of operation: 10 am to 6 pm (closed during the New Year holidays)
If the JR East Travel Service Centre is closed, go to the JR ticket office.
Hours of operation: 6:30 to 11:30 am, 7:00 to 9:45 pm
From Osaka, Kyoto and Nagoya to Myoko
There are two choices for getting to Myoko and Joetsu.
1) From both Osaka or Kyoto, take the Tokaido Shinkansen to Nagoya. At Osaka, go to Shin-Osaka Station to catch the train; the trip to Nagoya will take 55 minutes. From Kyoto Station, the trip to Nagoya will take 40 minutes. At Nagoya Station, transfer to the Chuo Line for the Shinano Limited Express train to Nagano Station, a roughly three-hour trip that travels through the delightful Kiso Valley. At Nagano, basically follow the instructions below.
2) Take the express train to Kanazawa Station and then change to the Hokuriku Shinkansen. This journey goes via the Japan Sea coast. Get off at JoetsuMyoko Station (not all trains stop at JoetsuMyoko so check your schedules). After exiting the shinkansen exit change to the local ETR line to Naoetsu (Joetsu direction) or to Myoko-Kogen (Myoko direction). These are clearly marked (see JoetsuMyoko Station Map). Purchase your ticket at the entrance.
Getting to Myoko Kogen | Nagano Transfer
When you arrive in Nagano:
With the March 2015 extension of the Nagano Shinkansen to Kanazawa, and its renaming as the Hokuriku Shinkansen, the local line from Nagano Station to Myokokogen Station was privatised, making the transfer at Nagano Station a little more challenging.
If coming from Osaka, Kyoto and Nagoya:
At Nagano, basically follow the instructions above, except that you may need to exit once from the local train platforms, not the Shinkansen platforms, to purchase your ticket on the Shinano Tetsudo to Myokokogen Station.
To Myokokogen Station via Nagano Station
At Nagano Station there are several car rental companies based nearby. Check here for Nagano car rental prices.
From JoetsuMyoko Station to Myoko Kogen
JoetsuMyoko Station is the name of the local shinkansen train station (although ‘local’ is a relative term). It is located roughly 25 kilometres to the north of the Myoko Kogen ski resort areas and about 10 kilometres from Lotte Arai Ski Resort. There is a regular shuttle from the East Exit of JoetsuMyoko Station. For visitors staying in Akakura Onsen or one of the other Myoko Kogen ski resort areas this can be a more convenient option than changing in Nagano.
At JoetsuMyoko Station there are three car rental companies based nearby. Check here for Myoko car rental prices.