Minakami town is the gateway to Minakami Kogen Ski Resort which is perfect for families, Houdaigi suited to both powder hunters and families, Tenjin famous backcountry area for advanced skiers / boarders. Minakami town is also home to Takaragawa Onsen and many more.
The entire area is less discovered by western people and offers a more local Japanese experience.
From Tokyo, the fastest route to Minakami is the Joetsu Shinkansen (bullet train) to Jomo Kogen Station, which takes only 66 minutes or 2 hours by car.
If you are using the public transport, we will help you plan the itenerary and also assist with the route and timetable. There is an economical 3 day bus pass which you can use in the Minakami town, which you can buy online. The bus pass is also avaialble at the tourist office at Jomo Kogen station or Minakami station.
Having your own car is the best if you would like to travel to different resorts with no hassle. You could hire a car in Minakami or Tokyo.
Minakami Kogen Ski Resort : Minakami Kogen Hotel 200
Minakami Kogen Ski Resort is a family friendly ski resort.
For beginners, there is a 2,500 metres long gentle course to cruise down with beautiful views. If mums and dads would like a bit of adventure, there are two challenging non-groomed runs too!
Minakami Kogen Ski Resort has two kids parks as well as lots of snow activities such as dog sleighs, kids & adults snow mobile, snow rafting, snow coaching, all different kinds of unique sleighs and snow rides, cross country, air boarding and snow shoeing. The snow activity passport is available for you to enjoy all these activities at a reasonable price!
The place to stay is Minakami Kogen Hotel 200 which is a convenient ski in ski out hotel.
To get to Minakami Kogen Ski Resort, there is free shuttle from Jomo Kogen station if you are coming from Tokyo by Joetsu Shinkansen, which would take about 60 minutes to Minakami Kogen Ski Resort. There is also free shuttle from JR Minakami station which would take about 50 minutes.
Minakami Houdaigi Ski Resort : Chalet La Neige
Minakami Houdaigi Ski Resort has 16 courses. The longest course is 2,600 meters and the elevation is 1,400 metres high. Most of the runs are facing north and the snow quality is great! There are challenging non-groomed black runs with 40 degrees vertical! There are green and blue runs from beginners to intermiddiates to enjoy!
The palce to saty is Chalet La Neige which is a very cozy & relaxing ski in ski out lodge owned by a local family in Houdaigi Ski Resort. The accommodation style is western but you will feel the real Japanese hospitality in this small community with no western crowds.
To get to Houdaigi by public transfer, you can catch the public bus from JR Minakami station to the bus stop called "Kubo". Then the staff at Chalet La Neige can come to pick you up from the bus stop.
Tanigawadake Tenjindaira as known as Tenjin : Hotel Juraku
Tenjin is probably the most known mountain in Minakami. It is famous for backcountry skiing/boarding.
There is a tiny ski resort up at the top after a 15 minute ropeway ride. But, not many people come to ski at this resort. People come to do sidecountry or backcountry at this sacred mountain. It is known as a very dangerous mountain. So we would strongly suggest to have a backcountry guide to enjoy the backcountry skiing & boarding safely. It is also very open to te weather and conditions are not always suitable. So, we suggest staying in Minakami town which is only 20 minutes away. This way you can pick the best days for Tenjin and when conditions dont suit you can go to one of the other resorts or visit the sites in and around Minakami town.
We reccomend staying at Hotel Juraku which is located near Minakami station and close to everyting that comes with staying in the midlle of a Japanese town including dining, shopping and exposure to the local Japanese culture.
It is a very sophisticated hotel with nicely renovated modern rooms, great Onsen and delicious food!
Tenjin is only 20 minutes by car or public bus from Minakami station. And Takaragawa Onsen is is only 35 minutes by car or public bus from Minakami station.
Minakami is home to a variety of restaurants, bars, sushi, ramen, izakaya, shabu shabu, yakitori, italian, French, burgers and more.
During your stay in Minakami, Takaragawa Onsen is a MUST experioence.
It is one of the largest outdoor Onsen (Rotenburo) surrounded by the sound of a stream flowing in Takaragawa and diversified views in beautiful Okutone. Both men and women have to wear special Onsen bathing suits, so there is no need to be shy! Takaragawa Onsen is about 35 minutes by bus from Minakami station.
You can experience other cultural activities while you are in Minakami such as making your own glass work.