A Spectacular Bluebird Day at Kumanoyuツイート
Last Saturday, I took a trip up to Shiga Kogen and visited the Kumanoyu Ski Area for my first day of the season. After a heavy snowfall on Friday, the sun shone brightly on the freshly-groomed courses and glittering trees of this charming little resort.
Three of its five lifts were running that day, giving us access to all but one of its courses, an even mix of beginner, intermediate, and advanced slopes. Some of the smaller courses were covered in fluffy powder, and the groomers were soft and fast. The bowl-shaped hill made navigating the courses a breeze and ensured beautiful views from any point on the mountain.
The adjacent Yokoteyama Ski Area opened several courses on Saturday as well, but the connecting ski course wasn’t open on the day we visited. Shortly, skiers should be able to ski directly to Yokoteyama and enjoy its courses as well.
While the resorts of Shigakogen don’t have the verticality of other resorts such as Hakuba or Nozawa Onsen, the range of courses available between its 17 ski resorts is staggering and offers multiple days of adventure. And the views from 2,000m altitudes—not to mention the incredible quality of snow at those heights—are hard to beat.
The snowfall is looking great so far this year, and it won’t be long before Kumanoyu and its neighboring ski areas are fully open.
See below for more additional information on lift tickets, rental prices and more.
Where to Eat
The Bell Dor Restaurant at the base of Kumanoyu has plenty of hearty options to fill up on, like katsu curry, sauce katsudon, or hamburg steak. They also serve a variety of cakes for mid-morning or afternoon snack. Since it’s a Nagano specialty, I couldn’t help but order a sauce katsudon for myself.
While I wasn’t able to visit on Saturday, the Crumpet Cafe at the top of Yokoteyama is a very popular dining option with some of the best views in Shigakogen.
How to Get There
To reach the slopes for a full-day of skiing, take the Nagano Dentetsu train line from Nagano Station to Yudanaka Station. From there, take the Shigakogen line bus (bound for Yokoteyama) to Kumanoyu. Two buses from Nagano Station also travel to Kumanoyu later in the day. See timetables for both here.
Rentals are available at the Kumanoyu Hotel.
Half-Day Rental (Ski/Snowboard, Poles, Boots): Adults/3,000 yen, Children/1,900 yen
Full-Day Rental (Ski/Snowboard, Poles, Boots): Adults/4,000 yen, Children/2,500 yen
Half-Day: Adults/3,000 yen, Children/1,500 yen
Full-Day: Adults/3,800 yen, Children/1,900 yen
Full-Day: Adults/4,100 yen, Children/2,000 yen
Full-Day: Adults/5,000 yen, Children/2,500 yen
Find additional information on the Kumanoyu Ski Resort English Website.
Originally from Maryland, USA, I’ve been living and working in Nagano since 2012. After teaching English for a few years I moved onto the Nagano Prefecture Tourism department to help introduce more of Nagano to the world. I love the mountains here and enjoy skiing, hiking, and bouldering in my free time. There’s nothing quite like a day in the mountains followed by a relaxing dip in the hot spring with friends! （アメリカのメリーランド出身で、２０１２年長野県に引っ越しました。数年英語の先生として働いたけど、去年から長野県庁観光部に入って、より多くの人々に長野の良さを知って頂けるように努めています。長野県の山々が大好きで、暇な時はスキー、ボルダリング、登山などをやっています。山で遊んだ後の、友達と入る温泉はまた格別です。） 【長野県在住/20代/男】