This Myoko Tours page is updated as more information is available. Please contact us if you have specific requests.
Also worth seeing:
Myoko Tours, Day tours from Myoko Kogen
A ski holiday can be rough on your body and sometimes you need a rest day to relax. Or the weather isn’t great and you just can’t be bothered going out on the slopes, but you still want to do something interesting. Perhaps you want to take some time off to explore or perhaps there are non-skiers in your party? Well, there’s plenty to do and see in and around Myoko Kogen.
Cultural activity and food tours
These tours are a great opportunity to dive in and discover the ‘real’ Japan. A series of one-day tours during January and February will offer a variety of great experiences, such as sushi-making with professional sushi chefs, Zen meditation, visiting a sake brewery, a Japanese confectionery workshop and much more! There is a minimum needed of 7 people per tour so get your friends together and go! Check here to download tour brochures. Please use the form here to make an enquiry and/or book a place on a tour.
Cultural activities in Akakura Onsen
For season 2016/17 there are Japanese cultural activities offered right in Akakura Onsen, Myoko Kogen. If what you are interested in is not listed below there may be other alternatives available. All activities are held at Hotel Mumon
- Japanese calligraphy
- Japanese tea ceremony
- Kimono photo op
- Origami making
- Sushi making
In addition to the above there is an option to include a delicious homemade beef stew lunch and a soak in the onsen (hot spring) for an extra ¥2,000.
Myoko Kogen to Japan Snow Monkeys:
Charter car or van
A charter car or van from the local Kogen Taxi company is available ex-Myoko starting at 30,000 (4.5 – 5 hours). Ask your hotel to book this for you.
The Myoko Akakura Snow Monkey Liner is available for charter tours for up to 10 people. Departure from Akakura Onsen between 10:00-11:00 am. Tour takes about 4 hours and costs 45,000 yen. Contact us to book.
Myoko Kogen to Japan Snow Monkeys via Nagano:
Self Guided Tour
Catch a train to Nagano City and then follow the instructions at this page.
Japan Snow Monkey taxi charter (from ￥2,722 per person round trip). Have a hassle-free taxi trip to the snow monkey park from Nagano Station. The cost is 21,500 yen for a regular taxi (4~5 people) or 29,500 yen for a jumbo taxi (~9 people) including transportation to Kanbayashi and back, and stand-by time so you can enjoy the monkeys for an hour. Request a Japan snow monkeys taxi booking here.
One day Japan Snow Monkey tour from Nagano Station – organized by JTB. Ideal for single travellers or small groups.
Please reserve at least one week in advance, to ensure seating and arrangements.
Myoko to Joetsu – Shopping, Castles and Sushi:
Take a day trip to Joetsu, the major city down the road from Myoko toward the Japan Sea. Enjoy a kaitenzushi lunch – sushi on a revolving belt. Take a look at the source of that seafood, the Sea of Japan, or take a trip to the fish market. Check out the scenic temples and shrine area behind Takada Station or walk to Takada Park, with Takada Castle and its moat prominent.
Visitors can take a walk along the backstreets and see the ‘gangadori’. All of the houses and shops have extended and joined verandahs to the street front. In old times this was to allow foot access during days of extreme snow which came off the Japan Sea. The Joetsu gangadori are unique and known throughout Japan.
Need some shopping therapy? Check the Aeon/Wing Market shopping area. Catch the train for 45 minutes to Kasugayama and spend a day checking out all the local shopping area – recycle shops, onsen, ski shops, sushi train, department stores, cinema and lots of other great stuff!
Shopping: Catch the train to Kasugayama (approximately 45 minutes), then walk (approximately 10 minutes) to the shopping area and sushi train. Look for the large bridge across the Seki River.
Takada Castle, Temples & Gangadori: Catch the train to Takada (approximately 40 minutes). The temple area is directly behind the station whilst there is a walk (approximately 10 minutes) to Takada Park. You can see probably new gangadori on the way to the park along Honcho or some older style further along (see map below).
Sea: Catch the train to Naoetsu (approximately 50 minutes), then walk (approximately 10 minutes) to the coast and aquarium.
Myoko to Sekiyama and Tsubame Onsen:
Sekiyama Shrine is about 10 minutes walk from Sekiyama Station.
Then take a bus journey to Tsubame Onsen, a tiny hot springs village perched high on the cliffs above Myoko Kogen. Ride up the winding roads that lead to this scenic location via Seki Onsen, then enjoy a relaxing, healing soak in one of the town’s onsen, or hot springs. Makes an ideal after-ski expedition – great for soaking away any sore muscles! Be sure to bring your own towel! See picture
Access from Myoko to Tsubame Onsen
Catch a train one stop to Sekiyama then get on the local bus headed for Seki Onsen and Tsubame Onsen. Ask your hotel for schedules. There are about 6 buses a day.
Myoko to Togakushi:
More information about Togakushi Village
Togakushi is situated in the north of Nagano within the Joshinetsu National Park just 45 minutes drive from Myoko Kogen. This volcanic area has an altitude of 1,200m and is located at the foot of the two volcanoes, Togakushi and Iizuna. The village nestles amongst 900 year old cedars and is not only a beautiful place to visit but it’s delicious soba noodles are also famous throughout Japan. Togakushi-jinja (Shrine) stands in the midst of a wood with cedar trees that are over a hundred years old, just at the foot of the precipice of Mt. Togakushi. It consists of three shrines – the lower shrine is Hoko-sha (Treasure of Light), the second Chu-sha (Middle Shrine) and the third Oku-sha (Deep Sanctuary). They were built at intervals of roughly two kilometres (see Togakushi Shrine map). There is also a small reproduction ninja village and school.
Access from Myoko to Togakushi
Catch a train to Nagano (about 40 minutes) then get on the local bus headed for Togakushi (about 60 minutes). See the Togakushi Village page for more access details.
Myoko to Zenkoji Temple:
More information about Zenkō-ji (善光寺) Temple in Nagano City
A visit to the Nagano area would not be complete without seeing the famous Zenkō-ji Temple, said to have been built in the early 7th century. It consists of 39 buildings including Dai-hongan and Dai-kanjin and is the main tourist spot in Nagano. Since the temple is not affiliated with any one particular sect of Buddhism Zenko-ji is open to everyone regardless of their belief, and it is believed that a visit there once in a lifetime will ensure a passage into the Land of Happiness. The temple has grown on the basis of this popular belief from ancient times and therefore been popular amongst a great variety of people throughout its history.
Access from Myoko to Zenkoji Temple
Take the train to Nagano City from Myoko-Kogen Station (about 40 minutes), then take the Dentetsu line train to Gondo or Zenkoji stations and walk about 10 minutes. Alternatively get on a bus or just walk – it takes about 20 minutes.
Myoko to Matsumoto Castle:
More information about Matsumoto Castle
With 400 years of history, Matsumoto Castle is a National Treasure that every Japan visitor should see. Formerly called Fukashi Castle, it was a branch castle of the Ogasawara family during the long period of the warring states. It is located in the city of Matsumoto, in Nagano Prefecture and is within easy reach of Myoko.
From Myoko to Matsumoto
Take a local train from Myoko-Kogen Station to Nagano. At Nagano transfer to the Shinonoi Line for trains to Matsumoto using a “Shinano” limited express train, which takes 50 minutes, or a local train. Alpico bus takes approximately 80 minutes from the Nagano Station (West Exit) and costs ¥1,000
It takes 90-120 minutes to get to Matsumoto from Myoko-Kogen. Matsumoto castle is located only a fifteen minute walk north of Matsumoto station.
Ice Fishing at Lake Nojiri:
More information about Lake Nojiri
Information coming soon!
Geisha performances and packages:
Togura Kamiyamada Onsen is about 90-120 minutes by train from Myoko Kogen and has approximately 15 active geisha that continue to entertain visitors to the Japan onsen town. Their services can be arranged through your ryokan or via Tyler at Kamesei Ryokan. The geisha entertain with dance and music performances, drinking games and small talk in Japanese. They are usually hired in pairs for 2-hour periods for 18,000 yen per geisha. They are typically called to liven up dinner banquets with lively, colorful conversation and warm hospitality. By request, they can also perform songs and dances as well as engage the guests in parlor games. For performances, the ‘tachikata’ (dancers) are accompanied by the ‘jikata’ (shamisen and taiko players). Minimum of 2 (1 tachikata and 1 jikata) recommended for performances. For guests that can be flexible with their banquet times, geisha entertainment can be arranged for shorter time periods prior to their other engagements for a lower rate, typically a 30-40 minute period starting at 5:30-6:00pm for 10,000 yen per geisha. With this 30-minute show, the geisha will perform some songs such as the area’s traditional love song Kamiyamada Ko-uta, teach the group how to dance to the ‘Tanko-bushi’ (Coal-Miner) or similar song and have the guests join in dancing around the room. Then the geisha will challenge everyone to Konpira Funafuna or other geisha parlor games, followed by time for pictures with the geisha.
As a separate activity visitors can try on a real-life geisha kimono with assistance by actual geisha. See here for more details.
See more at the Japan Onsen Town Page
Nozawa Onsen Fire Festival:
More information about the Nozawa Onsen Fire Festival. The next festival will be on January 15, 2017.
Fire and snow always go well and the Nozawa Onsen Fire Festival exemplifies this as one of the three great fire festivals in Japan. Tours leave Akakura Onsen at 7.30pm and return approximately 1am. Contact us to book for 2017.
The new Hokiriku Shinkansen offers great new Myoko Day Tours possibilities.
Catch the train from Myoko-Kogen Station to the new JoetsuMyoko Station. The trip takes about 30 minutes. From there you may want to consider visits to one of the following.
Kanazawa is a leading tourist city where 8 million tourists visit every year. It was a great castle town ruled by an influential leader from the 17th century to the second half of the 19th century. Kanazawa has not suffered from any war devastation or large natural disasters. The legacy of this is that Kanazawa has maintained rows of historical houses and various traditional handicrafts and traditional performing arts.
Buried deep in the mountains of Toyama this area is famous for it’s nature, history and hot springs
Itoigawa is a rustic small city on the shore of the Sea of Japan, where mountains of the Northern Alps meet the sea. The home to many farmers and fishermen, Itoigawa never fails to serve a variety of fresh local food. Along Lavender Beach in Omi one can fossick for jade that is washed down from Hisui (Jade) Gorge in the mountains.
Toyama is located at the centre of Japan and serves as a gateway of the Sea of Japan. Surrounded three sides by steep mountains and faced to the deep sea, Toyama is blessed with rich nature where people can enjoy sublime scenery and tasty foods at the same time.
The historic village of Shirakawa-go was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995. Shirakawa-go is famous for preserving the traditional gassho-zukuri style houses with the iconic thatched roofs, some of which are more than 300 years old.
Book a one day tour ex Kanazawa!
Karuizawa has thrived as the most popular international summer resort in Japan since the late 19th century. Restaurants, coffee shops, boutiques and fashion goods shops stand side by side in the Karuizawa Ginza district, making Karuizawa a popular day tour resort destination. There are several rent-a-cycle shops near the station to help the many well maintained tourist attractions are located in the surrounding area. There is a large choice of ‘factory outlet’ shops near the station.
Access from Myoko to Karuizawa
Catch a train to Nagano (about 40 minutes) then get on the shinkansen head for Tokyo (about 20 minutes).
Check your schedules here and remember not to get back too late or you’ll miss the last connecting train.
Terms and conditions for guided Myoko tours and charters
Myoko tours T&C coming soon!