Shiga Kogen is Japan’s largest interconnected ski area and home to the highest lifted point in Japan. With 21 interconnected ski areas there is plenty of vast terrain to explore. Find out what each area has to offer with our resort guides and trail maps.DOWNLOAD SHIGA KOGEN INSIDER'S GUIDE
- All Shiga Kogen
- Mt Yakebitaiyama
- Central Area
- Okushiga Kogen
All Shiga KogenShiga Kogen is Japan’s largest interconnected ski area and home to the highest lifted point in Japan. Here there are 21 different interconnected ski areas so there is so much terrain to choose from. In Shiga Kogen you'll find something for all abilities from mellow beginner slopes to steep advanced runs and ungroomed patches. Be aware that if you're looking to head off-piste it is restricted in most areas. Read our guides about each ski area for more details on where to spend your time skiing and boarding.
The All Shiga Lift Pass gives you access to the entire region but some areas such as Mt Yakebitaiyama also offer lift passes specific to that area.
Mt YakebitaiyamaIf you’re staying at the Prince Hotels you’ll be staying right at the base of Mt Yakebitaiyama, giving you ski in ski out access to the biggest area in Shiga Kogen. Here you’ll find a good variety of terrain for all abilities. The 2 gondolas here will take you right to the top of the mountain where you can enjoy the slalom and snowboard giant slalom runs from the 1998 Nagano Olympics. While off-piste here is restricted there are still some dedicated ungroomed runs as well as a dedicated snow fun area which is great for families. From here you’re in between Ichinose and Okushiga.
Central AreaIn the middle of Shiga Kogen you’ll find the Higashidate, Ichinose and Terakoya ski area areas. Like most of Shiga Kogen you’ll find a good variety of terrain here for all abilities. These areas are also unique in that they have some awesome tree runs that aren’t roped off like other parts of Shiga. If you don’t feel confident riding between the trees there is a groomed run which takes you through the trees and you’ll feel like you’re out of the resort.
From the top of the gondola you can access Shiga Kogen’s longest run, providing 6km of winding turns through the trees before opening up to a wide groomer. You’ll also find breathtaking views of the Japanese Alps and the cafe at the top of the Gondola is a great spot for a rest.
Okushiga KogenIn Okushiga you’ll find some great beginner terrain along with the Shiga International Ski School so it’s the perfect place if you’re learning to ski or board. Okushiga is great for advanced riders too, with the only dedicated off-piste area in Shiga Kogen. Be aware you require appropriate avalanche gear to enter here and ski patrol is strict so follow the rules and stick within the area.
You’ll also find the only terrain park in Shiga Kogen here in Okushiga, offering a range of beginner and intermediate jumps, rails, boxes and hips. Also take note that Okushiga is the most exposed to winds so it’s best to check lift statuses before heading here.
YokoteyamaThe last major area is the Yokoteyama Ski Area, unlike the other areas you’ll have to take a 30 minute shuttle bus from the bus terminal at Yamanoeki, so it’s best to plan your day around the buses. The bus terminal at Yamanoeki also features the only ATM in the Shiga Kogen region so it’s best to stock up on cash while you’re there.
In Yokoteyama you’ll find the highest lifted point in all of Japan along with the highest bakery, giving you 360 degree views while enjoying a bite to eat. This is another resort where you’ll find a variety of terrain for all abilities. You’ll also find some of the famous snow monster trees which are a very unique experience skiing through.
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