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Shiga Kogan

Shiga Kogan

Nestled in the heart of the Japanese Alps, Shiga Kogen stands as one of the largest and most renowned ski resorts in Japan, offering an unparalleled winter sports experience. Located in the Nagano Prefecture, Shiga Kogen boasts an expansive network of interconnected ski areas, making it a haven for skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts of all levels. With a sprawling terrain that encompasses multiple ski resorts, Shiga Kogen provides an extensive range of slopes, catering to both beginners and advanced skiers. The interconnectedness of the ski areas allows visitors to explore a variety of terrains, from gentle slopes ideal for novices to challenging runs that will thrill experienced riders. This interconnected system makes Shiga Kogen one of the most diverse and versatile ski destinations in Japan. One of the distinct features of Shiga Kogen is its abundant snowfall, which is often deep and powdery. The resort's elevation and geographical location contribute to the consistent quality of the snow, attracting snow sports enthusiasts from around the world. The light and fluffy powder snow is a hallmark of the region and adds to the thrill of skiing down the well-groomed slopes. Shiga Kogen's winter offerings extend beyond skiing and snowboarding. The resort provides a variety of winter activities, including snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and even winter trekking. These alternatives allow visitors to explore the pristine winter landscapes at a different pace, offering a unique perspective on the beauty of the Japanese Alps. The après-ski scene at Shiga Kogen is as vibrant as the skiing itself. The resort features a range of restaurants, cafes, and bars where skiers can unwind and indulge in delicious local cuisine. Whether it's savoring warming bowls of ramen or enjoying traditional Japanese hot pot, the culinary offerings at Shiga Kogen are diverse and cater to various tastes. Shiga Kogen's charm is not limited to the winter season. In the warmer months, the area transforms into a lush green landscape, providing opportunities for hiking and exploring the alpine scenery. The resort's year-round appeal makes it an attractive destination for outdoor enthusiasts, ensuring that visitors can experience the beauty of Shiga Kogen in every season.

Accommodation

The Shiga Kogen Prince Hotel West Wing

The Shiga Kogen Prince Hotel West Wing is a ski-in/ski-out hotel located at the base of the Yakebitaiyama ski area in Yakebitai-yama, Japan. It is part of the larger Shiga Kogen Prince Hotel complex, which consists of three wings: East, South, and West. The West Wing is the most affordable option of the three and is known for its family-friendly atmosphere and self-service style. The hotel has 350 rooms, half of which are small twin rooms with two single beds, and the other half are family rooms that can accommodate up to four people. All rooms have private bathrooms and basic amenities such as TVs, tea/coffee makers, and hairdryers.

There are a number of restaurants across the 3 Shiga Kogen Prince Hotels.;

  • Main Dining Room - East Building (seats 222). - For lunch, enjoy Japanese and Western favorites from the a la carte menu in cozy surroundings as you look out over a winter wonderland. For dinner, enjoy a leisurely meal of dishes that make the most of local ingredients, including popular Italian dishes and Japanese favorites such as shabu-shabu.

  • Dining Room - South Building (seats 202).Enjoy a Japanese, Western, Chinese-style buffet in elegant surroundings with a view of a silver birch wood.

  • Restaurant Westside - West Building (seats 804). Enjoy a relaxing meal in the casual surroundings of this spacious restaurant with large windows that look out over the snow

Things To Do

Jigokudani Monkey Park

Only a short bus trip away is the Jigokudani Monkey Park; a unique and captivating destination that offers visitors a rare opportunity to witness wild Japanese macaques, commonly known as snow monkeys, in their natural habitat. Located near the hot spring town of Shibu Onsen in Nagano Prefecture, this park has become famous for the endearing sight of monkeys relaxing in natural hot springs amid a picturesque snowy landscape.

The name "Jigokudani" translates to "Hell Valley," and while the name might conjure images of a harsh and inhospitable environment, the reality is quite the opposite. The park is a serene and beautiful valley with a river that flows through steep cliffs and dense forests, creating a dramatic setting for the macaques.

The main attraction of Jigokudani Monkey Park is the interaction between the snow monkeys and the natural hot springs, known as "onsen" in Japanese. The local macaques have adapted to the cold climate by seeking warmth in the hot springs during the winter months. This behavior is not only a survival strategy but also a fascinating spectacle for visitors who come to observe these playful creatures enjoying a warm soak in the steaming waters.

The park provides a carefully managed environment to ensure the well-being of the monkeys while allowing human observers to witness their natural behavior up close. Visitors can follow a scenic trail through the forest that leads to the hot spring area, where the monkeys congregate. The sight of these furry inhabitants, with their distinctive red faces and expressive eyes, immersed in the warm water against a backdrop of snow-laden trees, is both enchanting and photogenic.

To protect the monkeys and maintain a respectful distance, there are designated observation areas and boardwalks. While the monkeys are accustomed to human presence, it's important for visitors to follow park guidelines and not attempt to touch or feed the animals. The emphasis is on creating a harmonious space where both humans and monkeys can coexist without causing stress to the wildlife.

The park's allure extends beyond the winter months, as the surrounding landscapes transform with each season. In spring, cherry blossoms bloom, and in summer, the area is lush and green. Autumn brings a riot of colors as the leaves change, creating a different but equally enchanting backdrop for the monkey park.

Shiga Kogan Skiing

Snow conditions at Shiga Kogen are generally excellent, thanks to its high altitude and abundant snowfall. The region is known for its deep powder snow, attracting skiers and snowboarders seeking pristine slopes and challenging terrain. The ski resort features a variety of runs suitable for all skill levels, from beginners to advanced skiers.

The weather at Shiga Kogen can vary, with cold temperatures and occasional heavy snowfall. It's essential to check the weather forecast regularly, as conditions can change rapidly in mountainous regions. Frequent snowfall contributes to fresh powder, creating ideal conditions for powder hounds and off-piste enthusiasts.

Shiga Kogen offers an extensive network of interconnected ski areas, making it a haven for winter sports enthusiasts. The ski season typically runs from December to April, with peak conditions often occurring in January and February.

Shiga Kogan Skiing Gallery
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