A trip to Myoko Highlands, Niigata
In 1916, Myoko Kogen became nationally famous when it came first in a vote
taken to find the most
popular summer resort in Japan. The area is dominated by 'Hokushingogaku'
a series of five mountains,
Madarao, Myoko, Kurohime, Togakushi and Iizuna, that make up the border
of Nagano and Niigata prefectures.
Mt. Myoko $BL/9b;3(B is listed as one of the hundred most famous mountains in
Japan with its summit recorded
as 2,454 meters above sea level. Myoko Kogen is famed for its ski resorts,
which were founded in the 1930s,
making it one of the oldest established ski areas around the world. The
area includes nine mountain resorts:
the main resorts of Akakura Onsen, Akakura Kanko Resort. Myoko highland
is a plateau spreading at the
eastern foot of Mount Myoko. To the south, there is the border with Nagano
Prefecture, and Lake Nojiri is
close to this highland. Mount Myoko is an active volcano which has a height
of 2,454 meters. The last eruption
was about 3,000 years ago, and it is tranquil now. The highland spreads
at a level of 800-1,400 meters.
Hot spring resorts and ski resorts are dotted on this highland.
Here is in Niigata Prefecture, but it is convenient to visit here from
Nagano. From Tokyo to Nagano
it takes 80 to 85 minutes by super-express train, Hakutaka. Nagano to Myoko-kogen
station, it takes
about 45 minutes by local train of Shinano Railway.
(L) Super-express train, Hakutaka is entering to Tokyo Station. (R) Hakutaka
for Kanazawa is stopping at Nagano Station.
(L) Concourse of Nagano Station (R) An automatic ticket bending machine:
Ticket to Myuokou-Kogen cost 830 yen.
(L) The exterior of Nagano Station: The thermostat outside shows 5$B!n(B. (R)
Concourse of Nagano Station
(L) An electric train of Shinano Railway (R) The train runs along the river
of the snowy mountainous region.
(L) The train runs along the river. (R) The exterior and interior of the
train of Shinano Railway
The train is now approaching Myuokou-Kogen Station.
Myoko Highlands, Niigata
(L) A shuttle bus provided by the Akakura-Kanko Hotel: It will pick up
a hotel guest by appointment at Myokoukogen railway station.
(R) A road running with snow wall to the Myoko Highland and to the hotel
Akakura-Kanko Hotel looked up from a parking lot of Myoko Highland.
A mountain road to Akakura-Kanko Hotel
(L) Road almost buried in snow (R) The lower station of a gondola
(L) A panoramic view from a gondola (R) The upper station of a gondola
There were a lot of bird's nests as they were wrapped around trees.
Next door to Akakura Kanko Ski Resort, Akakura Kanko Hotel features a top-floor
terrace with panoramic views,
three restaurants and hot spring baths. Western cuisine can be enjoyed
at the restaurant Sorbier, while Kura specializes
in sushi, and Shirakaba serves seasonal Japanese cuisine. All restaurants
are smoke-free and offer spectacular views
of the area. Smoking room is provided next to the bar. The old sections
of guest rooms are 60. In December 2016,
the hotel newly constructed 19 rooms. Smoking is prohibited in all rooms.
(L) A sunrise ascending over the snow mountains (R) A protruding aqua terrace
of Akakura-Kanko Hotel
(L) Akakura-Kanko Hotel (R) A snowplough
(L) The entrance hall (R) A free self-service-drink desk
(L) A twin-bedroom (M) The entrance to a Japanese restaurant, Shirakaba
(R) A menu of Japanese course cuisine
A course Japanese cuisine at the evening dinner
A course Japanese cuisine in the morning
A western-style breakfast
(L) Snow and icicles between at the connection aisle (R) A corner hall
of the new Premium section
Aqua terrace in winter time
(L) A spring water fountain (R) A warning sign not to wear a bathing suit
in the hot-spring bath
(L) Instruction how to use a public bath (R) An open-air bath in the new
(L) A smoking room attached to the bar (R) Smoking is prohibited in a bar.
Smoke-free Hotels in Japan
A summary of smoking-room rate studied in local hotels of Japan
Smoking Restriction at Hotels in the World: Actual Survey
The ratio of a smoking guest room to the total hotel rooms was calculated,
based on-the-spot investigation.
Return to Tokyo via Nagano
(L) A railway truck of Shinano Railway (M) Stature of Tengu, braggart is
placed on the platform of Mure Station.
(R) A derailment prevention guard
Railroad is running along a river in snowy mountain area.
Mount Koushasan, also called Takai-Fuji, viewed from Toyono, north of Nagano
(L) Apple farm, Hokuriku-Shinkansen truck line and Sugadaira Highland (R)
Shinano Railway train is entering to Nagano Station.
The super-express train, Hakutaka, is now arriving Nagano Station.
JR's green-car seat is similar to that of the business-class seat of an
(L) A pet bottle receptacle
(M) An electric bulletin board shows this super-express train, Hakutaka,
is heading to Tokyo Terminal.
The Hakutaka passes through Karuizawa Station and runs away from Nagano
and Takasaki nonstop.
(R) Mount Asama, seen from Hokuriku Shinkansen line.
$B!z(BThis Web site is link-free.
This information was provided by the Smokefree Hotel and Travel.
The article was written, and all photography was taken by Dr. Junhaku Miyamoto
in March 2017.
Domestic Travel in Japan
Tokyo Metropolis mini-tour
Japanese inn, 'ryokan' at Kaminoyama Hot spring, Yamagata
Japanese inn, 'ryokan' at Dogo Hotspring, Matsuyama
Miyajima ( Itsukushima shrine ) and Hiroshima
Kagoshima, southwestern tip of the island of Kyushu
Mt.Komagatake and Lake Onuma in the southern Hokkaido
Suginoi Hotel, Hells of Beppu and Yufuin of Kyushu
Yuze-Onsen, Hot Spring in Northern Honshu
Kagaya Rykan, Hot Spring in Noto Peninsula, central Honshu
Hotel Associa Takayama Resort, Hida-Takayama, central Honshu
Minakami highland ski and hot-spring Resort, Gunma
Yoshiike, Hot-spring Resort, Hakone, Kanagawa
Fujiya Hotel, Miyanoshita, Hakone, Kanagawa
Mampei Hotel, Karuizawa, Nagano
Akakura-Kanko Hotel, Myoukou Highland, Niigata
Shiojitei, Toba, Mie