Hike up an active volcano, ski on powdery snow, and relax in a hot spring
Located in the center of Niigata snow country, Myoko is a haven for snowboarders and skiers, while the active volcano and incredible waterfall make it a must-visit spot for nature lovers.
- Gliding down excellent ski fields
- Bathing in the milky-white Tsubame Onsen water
- Taking in the beauty of Naena Falls
How to Get There
You can reach Myoko from Tokyo and Niigata via JR train or car.
Myoko is accessible from Tokyo and Niigata. From Tokyo Station, take the Hokuriku Shinkansen toward Kanazawa and get off at Joetsumyoko Station. The train ride takes roughly three hours. From Niigata Station, take the Joetsu Shinkansen toward Tokyo and transfer to the Shirayuki Limited Express at Nagaoka. The ride takes about two hours.
Driving is the easiest way to get around since some spots are quite remote. The drive from Tokyo takes four hours on the Kanetsu and Joshinetsu expressways. From Niigata, it takes about two hours on the Hokuriku Expressway.
Bus and shuttle services are available at Joetsumyoko Station to take you to popular points in the area, such as Akakura Onsen.
Mt. Myoko is a 2,454-meter active volcano listed as one of Japan's 100 Famous Mountains. It is a popular hiking spot. Be ready to start hiking at dawn since the hike, which can be steep and rocky, takes around four hours each way. In the winter, hiking is considered too dangerous since the top of the mountain is prone to avalanches.
Located at the foot of Mt. Myoko is Tsubame Onsen , which receives a ready supply of hot spring water from the mountain. Although the area is host to several ryokan, Tsubame Onsen has a secluded milky-white bath that is completely outdoors. There is no entrance fee, but a donation is customary here. The spot gets quite crowded on the weekend because the bath is only big enough for five to six people.
Seki, Akakura, Ikenotaira, and Suginosawa are other popular hot spring villages in the area.
Powder snow heaven
Niigata is known as snow country, and Myoko is right in the heart of Niigata, making it the ideal place for snow lovers. The snow in Myoko is dry, powdery, and fluffy, perfect for skiing and snowboarding. There are nine skiing grounds in the area, the most famous being Akakura and Ikenotaira on the slopes of Mt. Myoko's foothills.
The colors and tastes of the seasons
Myoko is gorgeous in all seasons. To the south of the ski resorts lies Naena Falls , a perfect spot for cooling down in the summer and viewing a colorful tapestry in the fall. On the way there, stop by the local somen noodle shops, where you grab the noodles as they flow past you in a stream of water contained in a half bamboo. The trick is to catch them with your chopsticks. Another beautiful spot is Imori Pond, which draws keen photographers. The pond's mirror-like water reflects Mt. Myoko and the vivid colors of the trees.