Shiga Kogen Ski Resort
Shiga Kogen is in fact a collection of 18 resorts, located high in a beautiful National Park above Nagano, two hours north of Toyko by bullet train.
Other Japanese resorts may attract more foreign visitors, but if you're looking for one base from which to explore numerous resorts, then Shiga Kogen is a great option. It is also very well placed to combine with a trip to either Hakuba or Nozawa Onsen. Snowfall is plentiful, the lift system is good and there's great variety of groomed terrain – plus when there's fresh powder there is some great terrain on offer. Many of the smaller areas are linked and as all are covered by one lift pass, this gives you a great opportunity to travel and move big distances from peak to peak.
There are lots of base options to choose from, with everything from traditional family-run ryokan to big, western-style hotels. Most have great onsen facilities and of course the food is an attraction – expect steaming hot bowls of ramen washed down with glasses of hot, local sake.
Resort website: www.shigakogen-ski.com