Nagano Ski Safari
Set on the main island of Honshu, our Nagano Ski Safari has a perfect balance of skiing and culture.
A bullet-train ride from Tokyo, many of the ski resorts near Nagano City are accessible on the Japan Rail East Pass, and you’ll have unlimited train travel during your trip. Some journeys can take up to half a day, creating a sense of adventure that really adds to the experience.
With huge variety, the main ski area of Hakuba Valley has ten shuttle-linked resorts. For a second base, Myoko is best for powder, or the cobbled streets and hot springs in Nozawa Onsen make it great for cultural immersion.
Depending on your preference, we can recommend the best places for piste-skiing and powder, and it’s also worth taking a day out to visit the famous Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park. Finishing with a night in Tokyo is another essential Japan experience and, if you have time, the imperial capital of Kyoto is also well worth a visit.
This sample itinerary is just our suggestion of how you could divide your time between Nagano’s best ski areas and attractions.
All our ski safaris are completely customisable, and you can alter the itinerary to suit your preferences - whether that means more skiing, more time in Tokyo, or following our route in reverse.
Touchdown in Tokyo and travel to the Hakuba Valley via bullet train.
Hakuba - Spend up to five days exploring Honshu’s largest ski area, travelling between local resorts via shuttles. The main resort of Happo-One makes the best base but our favourite places for daytrips are Tsugaike, Hakuba47 and Goryu.
Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park - Take a day out to see these red-faced macaques bathing in hot springs. For the best experience, a full day tour also includes Zenkoji Temple and lunch at a sake brewery.
Nozawa Onsen or Myoko
Spend five days in either of these resorts, choosing Nozawa Onsen for culture, or Myoko for the powder.
Nozawa Onsen - Japan’s oldest ski resort is as famous for its centuries-old onsens (hot springs) and annual Fire Festival (February) as it is for its long, cruisey ski slopes.
Myoko - This off-piste paradise has sensational tree-skiing and the best powder record on Honshu island, while the traditional village has onsens and Japanese bars, alongside English-style pubs.
Finish with a few nights in the capital, staying at a city centre hotel in the heart of the action. Explore the mega-malls, tour the temples and eat as much sushi, soup and katsu curry as you can handle.
Kyoto - To extend your stay, take the bullet-train from Tokyo to Japan’s former imperial capital. Kyoto is best known for its 1,000-plus temples and the famous Geisha district.