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This review is based on only half a day of skiing at the resort but based on the very strict off piste policy there is no need to spend more time there.  You will lose you ticket after only a few runs if you don’t follow the rules.

About half an hour drive to the other side of the valley, from the Alp Hotel at Akakura Onsen, you will find the two linked resorts of Tangram and Madarao.  When you arrive at the base of Tangram you right away get a very good feeling about the potential of some amazing tree skiing.  After a bit of a hard time on our first run we agreed to blame the quality of the snow, but in reality it is just the number of days we ski powder day after day without giving our legs a good rest. After our legs warmed up, the second run was simply awesome. Nicely spaced trees, 35 degrees on top and a bit less lower down – just what the doctor ordered.  After that we went for another run from the very top, all the way to the base area and again very happy.

On the next ride up to the top we noticed a ski patroller following us. We did not know what the rules were but we found out sooner then expected.  After skiing on the groomer for a bit we escaped into the trees for another awesome run, but then right on popping out of the exit, we got stopped by 2 patrollers.  They explained to us in a very friendly way that Tangram does not allow ANY tree skiing. Too dangerous and they do not have enough staff to open this area for the public. We had a nice chat and told them that this place probably has some of the best tree skiing in Japan.  We told them that we were only there to ski trees but alas they said they could not turn a blind eye.  Instead they ripped an edge off our paper ticket, told us that the whole mountain staff knows how we look and we would lose our ticket if we were caught in the trees again. The usual cat and mouse game would probably not work for long here as it’s always pretty easy to be spotted dropping back onto the groomers.

Very disappointed, but nothing we can do. Instead of pressing our luck we decided to head to the linked resort of Madarao Kogen.

Read also in the “Tip” section about the hassle to get to this resort.

Accomodation

No matter if you are on a low buget or prefere to stay in luxory. You will always find the right accomocation for your needs. Ski in ski out also available.

Discounted Tickets

Ask at your lodge. There are package deals (Ticket plus food) for most resorts.

Food

Myoko offers a wide range of different restaurants. From a short 4 day stay I can recommend the following small selection of restaurants located along the main street. “Alps Undo” noodles at Fu, downstairs of the Italien Pomodoro which is also pretty good. Keep walking “uptill” along the main street till you have to turn left or right. Right on the corner on your left hand side there are two small Izakaya restaurants KEI and Hoheto downstairs. Both totally different but with fantastic food. If you are a group of several people order many of the small dishes and share.

How To Get There

Details and text taken from the book “Snow Search Japan” by WSG media:

By Train: Myoko is fairly accessible for those travelling within Japan and arriving from abroad. The town of Myoko Kogan is in Niigata prefecture, although it’s just over the boarder from Nagano prefecture. Nagano City is the main access point for Myoko, allowing you to take advantage of the high-speed Shinkansen (bullet train) from Tokyo (about 90min). After the smooth Shinkansen ride you must take the slightly bumpier local train to Myoko Kogan Station, 40min on the Shin-Etus line. From Myoko Staiton local buses connect throughout the day to the resort base areas of Suginohara, Ikenotaira and Akakura. Nearly all accommodation will pick you up from Myoko Station as part of their service, and the Myoko tourist office also runs a minibus pick-up service from Nagano City.

By car an easy 2.5h drive from Hakuba, from Nagano about 1h, about 4h from Narita Airport

Resort Homepage

Tangram_logo

Prices

$$/$$$

Weather Affection

Moderate

Trees

Yes

Linked with

Some linked by skiing others by bus