All the lifts and gondolas operated in the 18 ski resorts in Shiga Kogen can be thoroughly enjoyed using the resort ‘key card’. The shuttle bus connecting each ski resort is available free of charge within the Shiga Kogen area.
The key card
The key card, giving you access to all the lifts and gondolas, managed by 6 different cableway companies, makes your time in Shiga Kogen enjoyable and convenient. There is also free shuttle buses to connect you with any of the ski resorts in the area. Furthermore, the time you spend on the slopes can be recorded electronically, allowing you to see your vertical descent data via the website ‘skiline’.
All you need to do is register at www.skiline.cc.
Okushiga Kogen Ski Resort
The Shiga Kogen boasts 6 ski resorts with summits over 2,000m: Yokote Yama, Shibutouge, Higashidateyama, Terakoya, Yakebitai Yama and Okushiga. In addition to the best snow on offer, the views from the ridge line courses at Okushiga are simply majestic, including the highest peak of Shiga Kogen, in the Iwasuge mountain system. Although many courses at Okushiga are prepared according to skill level, the expert run and the winding tree run for beginners share the same start and finish points, allowing groups of different abilities to easily meet up after a run.
Okushiga Kids’ Park ■ Admission Free
Yakebitaiyama Ski Resort
Yakebitai hosts the biggest car parking facility in the area, and can be used by day trip guests as a base to access all the other resorts. Two main gondolas deliver you up to a height of around 2,000m, from which point you can hit the 2.5km downhill course, as well as the Olympic course, both of which take advantage of the natural geographic features of the mountain. There are three hotels available at the resort, and all types of guests will find what they are looking for.
Ichinose Yamanokami Ski Resort
Located between Yakebitaiyama and Ichinose Diamond, its northerly facing slopes provide fantastic snow quality. The resort is popular for things like group lessons, and slalom practice.
Ichinose Diamond Ski Resort
This lively ski resort faces the hotel area of Ichinose Diamond. It is located at the key junction point that connects the Ichinose ski resort and the Yakebitaiyama/Okushiga ski resort, with many guests using it to go back and forth between resorts. It is also popular with families riding the adjoining Ichinose Family ski resort. When you make your way down to the base you’ll find a roped off, kids only ski slope, as well as a restaurant located at the front, good for waiting for friends or taking a break.
Ichinose Family Ski Resort
Tannenomori Okojo Ski Resort
Tannenomori offers runs through pristine pine tree and white birch forests, giving a sense of tranquility and freedom. Be sure to enjoy tea in the hotel at the base and take in the beautiful views and atmosphere of the resort.
Takamagahara Mammoth Ski Resort
Come enjoy the thrill of making high speed turns on a perfectly flat groomed slope. There is a slanted mogul run on the left of the resort, which is definitely more difficult to ski than it looks. Takamagahara is a renowned resort and consistently attracts skiers and boarders to its slopes. It is connected to Higashidateyama and Nishidateyama ski resorts.
Terakoya Ski Resort
Take in the unparalleled panoramic view of the ‘Hokushin Gogaku’, the five highest peaks in northern Nagano Prefecture, the Iwasuge mountain system, the highest in the Shiga Highland, as well as the Northern Alps. Given it’s the second highest resort in the area, the powder is exceptional. It connects near the peak of Higashidateyama, and you can ride to Higashidateyama and Takamagahara resorts.
Higashidateyama Ski Resort
The advanced runs at Higashidateyama have been used for major winter sports events such as the Olympic Games and the World Cup, however, it has a great balance between steeps and flats, making it suitable for a variety of levels. The long, winding tree course is great for beginners, and you will occasionally come across wildlife like rabbits or foxes. This fairytale beginners’ course is a one of a kind, ideal for families or couples. The course links up with an advanced course along the way, and meets up again at the base.
Giant Ski Resort
Giant consists of one, wide open slope, and is officially approved by FIS. The entire course is always groomed and maintained in the best possible condition. A new beginners’ course was also recently opened. It was at this ski resort that the legendary Stenmark competed in his last World Cup.
Happo Bunadaira Ski Resort
Nishidateyama Ski Resort
There are a variety of courses at Nishidateyama Ski Resort: flat slopes on the upper part and steep slopes on the lower part. International competitions are sometimes held at Nishi dateyama, as well as slalom training camps and competitions on the noted Giant Slalom course. Night skiing and boarding is also available.
Sunvalley, Maruike, and Hasuike Ski Resort
The Sunvalley Ski resort is located at the entrance to Shiga Kogen, Maruike ski resortboasts the first ever lift system to be installed in Japan, and Hasuike ski resort is known for its forest course. The three resorts are connected and you can move very smoothly between them. Maruike’s ‘slope A’ is renowned for its difficulty, and there is also a kids’ park for small children who trying out skiing for the first time. Although the slopes are compact, all levels of skiers and snowboarders are sure to have a great time. As the resorts are connected to a hotel area, they are often used as a base to explore the wider Shiga Kogen ski and snowboard area.
The Shiga Highland Kids’ Park is open at night.
Yokote Yama and
Shibutouge Ski Resort
These resorts are located on Mt Yokote, whose peak is 2037m above sea level. They boast the highest ski slopes in all Japan, featuring beautiful, frost-covered trees.
The area has been dubbed ‘the resort above the clouds’ and has the best quality, natural powder snow. The panoramic view from the summit of the mountain is superb, taking in Sado Island in the Japan Sea, the five ‘Hokushin Gogaku’ highest peaks in northern Nagano, the Northern Alps, Mt.Fuji, and Mt Asama, of course weather conditions permitting. There is also a rest house on course where you can relax and enjoy this world above the clouds.