Myoko Suginohara Ski Resort (妙高杉ノ原スキー場) rates highly amongst the legions of ski slopes in Japan with beautiful views of the lakes on the plain below. Suginohara is recommended for those who like long cruisy trails because it possesses the longest ski run in Japan at around a massive 8,500 metres. Elementary school kids (U/13) ski free so it is also a good resort for families.
Myoko Suginohara Ski Resort is a usually quiet resort that is easily accessed from Tokyo. It boasts many varied slopes, great snow, short ski lift lines, the occasional night skiing (nighta) and a halfpipe for snowboarders. Covering 1124 metres in vertical drop Myoko Suginohara dishes up a diverse range of ski trails with plenty of easy, mid-level runs as well as long downhill trails suitable for beginners. The ski lifts at Suginohara ski resort transport riders up to 3 km in one stretch, and it has three connecting lines of quad lifts that can carry skiers to the peak. There are 15 ski lifts in total, with a capacity to lift 16,000 people per hour. The upper reaches of the Suginohara ski slopes have premium snow quality and a magnificent view, even of Mount Fuji on a clear day. Snow compactors are not used on all areas, making it reasonably easy to get amongst some excellent powder.
Myoko Suginohara Ski Resort: Resort Stats
Skiable Area: 90 HA
Longest Run: 8500 metres
Cross-country available: Unknown
Elevation: 1,855 metres
Vertical Drop: 1,124 metres
Terrain Park (‘Big Up Park’): SBX Course – table top, kicker, spine, quarter pipe, hip, box, rail, wave and bank
The Myoko Suginohara Snow Festival will be in December 2016 (TBA) and the Dontoyaki Fireworks Festival (a little similar to the Dosojin Fire Festival in Nozawa Onsen) takes place in January 2017 (TBA). The Dontoyaki Festival kicks off when men and women whose zodiac sign is the same as the new year light a fire. As a way of praying for the well-being of their family, business prosperity, and a rich harvest, participants burn New Year’s decorations and kakizome (traditional New Year’s calligraphy) in the fire. If the flames rise when your kakizome is burnt, it means your handwriting will improve. Mochi, small squares of pounded, chewy rice, is also cooked in the fire, and eating it is said to prevent illness over the next year. Local saké is readily available on this day, and a fireworks show completes the event.
Soratobu Usagi Myoko is very popular, offers comfortable and affordable accommodation and even got a mention in Qantas Travel Insider. The location is fantastic, right in the middle of the Myoko Suginohara ski area trails. There’s a restaurant, ski rental, common bath and internet access. They also have some self-contained accommodation which is very neat and cosy – ideal for a family or small group of friends. See reviews.
Well, everyone is hopeful of getting off to a great start soon – except for the Baron von Dumphausen who has failed to show up with the goodies. There is a reasonable amount of snow on the higher slopes but not near enough to get those lift engines running just yet. Forecast is for some mild falls over the next day or two. Temperatures in Myokokogen are dropping fast and snow is expected above 1000m tonight and tomorrow – but not much after that. The 9-day forecast is somewhat more hopeful.
Opening dates for the resorts are mostly set around December 17 with Myoko Suginohara one week later on 23 December. Hopefully the Baron will turn up in all his glory before then!