Snow Monkeys | Guide to Yudanaka Shibu Onsen area
My advices for traveling to Snow Monkey park, Yudanaka Shibu onsen traditional Japanese village full of hot springs and Shiga Kogen.
yudanaka, shibu onsen, snow monkey, nagano, accommodation
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  • 10km from Yudanaka station (25min. by bus from Yudanaka station, By car 20min.)
  • 21 ski areas, 71lifts, 84 courses (all levels from the beginner to the expert)
  • Highes point of the lift is 2307 meter above the see level (Yokoteyama)
  • Open from first Saturday in December
  • Close usualy beggining of May
  • Kids’ Park
  • Snowboarding Park
  • Skiers-only slopes
  • Night skiing
  • Great powder snow
  • Private english speaking Ski Instructors
  • Gorup Ski lessons (mostly japanese only)
  • Guided snowshoe trekking
  • Snow Tubbing
  • 1day ski lift ticket - 4800 yen
  • 1day carving ski rental - 4000yen
  • 1day wear rental - 2500yen
  • Prices are much cheaper if you rent it for 2 and more days
  • !!! there is no worth to bring ski equipmnet !!!

.MAP of Shiga-kogen Heighs
Shiga Kogen MapShow in full resolution


To get to this ski area you have to drive up to the hill trough many curves. I enjoy the look out on the beautiful landscape around during all seasons. Some of the ladies drivers can be scared during the winter, when the road is covered by snow . Anyway you need wheel chains or 4WD with winter tires.
I ski since I was six (Europe, Australia, NZ, Japan-Hakuba) and I found here the best snow quality ever. Shiga-kogen is very famous in Japan, but not discovered by foreign tourists jet.

  • Big advantage - Shiga-kogen is quite large in the size.
  • 21 ski areas are connected by Suttle bus. Shuttle bus is free, if you buy 1day Ski pass or more.
  • One ticket is valid for all 71 lifts.
  • You can really enjoy various slops and choose your favorite one.


In the year 1947 was Shiga-kogen first place in Japan, where was introduced a ski lift. From this time Shiga-kogen was getting more and more popular for ski. The big point in the history was year 1998, when Shiga-kogen participated in Winter Olympic games. In this time all world was focused on first ever snowboard competition in the history of Winter Olympic games. Presented - Alpine Ski Giant Slalom, Alpine Ski Slalom, Snowboard Giant Slalom, Snowboard Halfpipe competitions.

Shiga Kogen
deep powder in Shiga Kogen
skiing in Shiga Kogen


  • To take all of the lifts in all of areas takes 3 days.
  • Interesting is Snow wall, what you can see after April on Shiga-kogen - Kusatsu roud.If you come with car I higly recommend to drive this roud . It is really beautiful, you can stop on Look out points and enjoy beauty of the mountains and nature.

NEGATIVES (what people mostly complain about)

  • There are not many choises of restaurants or bars.
    Zeno: this area is 2000 meter above the see level. You are really in the mountains with great ski conditions, so do not expect night life like in city. Hotels over there are happy, when you eat in their restaurants. Or you can get on bus and come down to Yudanaka-Shibu Onsen where are many choises of restaurants or bars.



  • you stay in village in the botton of Ski slopes
  • is full of Foreigners
  • you do not feel like in Japan many times
  • no hot springs
  • no traditional ryokans
  • many restaurans, pubs, can be more fun for younger people

Shiga Kogen

  • you stay up in the mountains
  • first ski lift starts from 1500m above the see level
  • very mountain atmosphere
  • hotels have JP traditional rooms incl. breakfast and dinner
  • lunch you can eat in restaurants next to ski lifts (open only during lunch time)
  •   no night-life, bars, restaurant (only in the hotel you stay)


By bus
from Yudanaka station, Shibu Onsen stop or Kambayashi stop it takes approx. 35min.
By car
just folow the Olympic road and signs to Shiga-kogen. Signs are in English too. It takes approx. 30min

MAP of Shiga-kogen Heighs

Shiga Kogen Ski resort
Zeno in Shiga Kogen
Shiga Kogen ski lifts

Other seasons

During the other season you can enjoy hiking, river sliding, horse riding, tour the natural environment, or take one of the world’s largest ropeways floating upwards on.

Japanese "Kouyou"
the time when leaves change its colors. Mostly during OCTOBER
Shiga Kogen is one of the best places in Nagano to see this natural miracle. It's one of the busiest time after winter. There are buses and goups of Japanese carring big profi cameras and taking pictures of everything around

Relax next to one of the mountain's lakes, get to the highest point of Shiga Kogen, cool down and enjoy the silent atmosphere.After visiting busy, humid, tourist cities like Tokyo, Kyoto, Nara you will apreciate it !

If you are interested in local plants, trees and flowers, Summer is the best time for tracking between Shiga Kogen flowers bolossom.

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