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Myoko v Shiga with older kids?

Discussion in 'Japan' started by BigWaveDave, Jun 7, 2019.

  1. BigWaveDave

    BigWaveDave Hard Yards

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    Hi Team - it's about this time each year I make a re-appearance on these forums asking more stoopid questions about Japan. Last time we were there was a few years ago when our kids were younger but now they are 14 and 19 and will be joining us for probably our last ski trip as a family. Planning mid-late January 2020 at this stage.

    Thinking either Myoko or Shiga Kogen at this stage and wondering which option will be more suited to 2 advanced / high intermediate skiers (myself and wife) and 2 slightly older kids (intermediate level) and with an element of other activities available for non-ski days and also a decent selection of restaurants etc. I am there predominantly to clock up as much ski time as I can but the wife and kids might have other ideas, hence the above request

    Suggestions and also recommendations on decent mid range western accom options in those locations would also be appreciated. Cheers. Dave
     
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  2. elSpike

    elSpike I am a Meat Popsicle Ski Pass: Gold

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    Hi @BigWaveDave

    You've got a couple of requirements there that will need prioritising.

    Myoko Pros:
    Some great piste skiing across the various resorts there, with Madarao and Nozawa a short day trip away as well if you get bored or are there for a long time.
    Plenty to do outside of skiing as well, especially if you stay in Akakura. Day trips all over the place.
    Lots of restaurants in the village, onsens etc.
    Accommodation. The ever helpful Red Warehouse is a good place to start. If he is full, @M_G also knows everyone in town so will be able to help with finding somewhere else.

    Myoko Cons:
    You may end up a little tracked out if you stay for a few weeks. If that were the case, I'd look at a week in Akakura and a week in Nozawa or Hakuba.
    You will put on weight from all the crepes you will eat.

    Shiga Pros:
    It is an intermediate's paradise. There will be almost nothing you can't ski across the 85km of piste.
    One ticket for all resorts.
    There is always somewhere that is untracked.
    Plenty of reasonably priced accomodation.

    Shiga Cons
    Unless you stay in Ichinose, there are very few restaurants. And even then, Ichinose has maybe 10 places to eat at night. I'd recommend booking all of your dinners on your first day. That said, check out my trip report from last season, I posted menus from pretty much every restaurant possible.
    Less to do on off days that are close. On public transport, it's an hour or so to get down the mountain to the snow monkeys, and another 30 minutes to get to Nagano.

    Cheers
    elSpike
     
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  3. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Shiga Kogen is a very Japanese style snow resort. There is NO "decent selection of restaurants" there. There is also little to do at night.
    Skiing would suit, but the factors I've mentioned means it's probably not suitable for your family.
     
  4. blowfin

    blowfin One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Personally I wouldn't recommend Myoko straight off the bat because in terms of terrain, there isn't much there that's going to trouble you as a solid skiier. You might get a day or two out of Akakura when it's been snowing, but beyond that you'll want more terrain. It's a good setup in the town of Akakura though, with plenty of food options and bars. You can give yourself more terrain options by hiring a car and visiting some of the surrounding resorts (i.e. Arai, Seki Onsen, Suginohara, Togakushi, Nozowa Onsen (and surrounds), Madarao, Charmant), or sussing out what buses are running in 2020, and working with that.

    Hakuba actually gives you a heap of options for more challenging terrain, and that would be my first suggestion.
     
  5. Crispy013

    Crispy013 One of Us

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    Hakuba....or Myoko with car would be my thoughts.
     
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  6. BigWaveDave

    BigWaveDave Hard Yards

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    Thanks @blowfin / @Crispy013 for the comments. Over the years we've done Hakuba & Niseko - Hakuba WAS great but we are now looking for another mountain experience hence the 2 options listed. Cheers BWD
     
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  7. BigWaveDave

    BigWaveDave Hard Yards

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    Thanks for the feedback mate I was originally thinking Shiga but was concerned about the lack of challenging terrain for myself BUT as it's a family trip I'll probably have to be content with cruising with the fam most of the time. I thought Myoko may have had a little more advanced skiing / tree options but maybe not. I've already checked with @M_G Red Warehouse seems booked out already. Cheers for the feedback
     
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  8. blowfin

    blowfin One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Myoko will be a bit underwhelming if you're used to Hakuba. I don't really have an opinion on Shiga as I haven't been.

    You could always base yourself in Iiyama with a car too, then you can access Nozowa, Myoko, Mt Kosha, Madarao, Ryuuo, and Shiga, all within an hour or so drive.

    Your other decent option might be basing yourself around Yuzawa (again I'd suggest a car). We were based in Ishiuchi this year and you have a resort at your door there, plus a heap of other options. There's endless variety for Apres there too, and less westerners than Hakuba (and probably Myoko by now).

    So many options, so little time.
     
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  9. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    @BigWaveDave , how long are you skiing?
    Going to Yuzawa would be a good option, ease of access, many mountains. If staying in one resort is important, and you want a "western style" hotel, I'd recommend the Naeba Prince Hotel. Lots of facilities, Shops, convenience stores, quite a few eating options there, and in the close by small town(~500m). I stayed there for a week last season (after not visiting there for a few years... probably spent a total of 20 days there, all up), with a group of newbies to the area.
    If two weeks, you could stay there one week, and maybe another close to Yuzawa itself.
    And Naeba is linked to Kagura, so there's maybe 40+ lifts together.
     
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  10. elSpike

    elSpike I am a Meat Popsicle Ski Pass: Gold

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    Any terrain is challenging if you make it so. I bet you can't do all the terrain in Shiga on one ski or you boots on the wrong feet LOL

    That said, the suggestion of Yuzawa is not a bad option either. You can stay in either Yuzawa proper, or Ishiuchi like suggested and have plenty of the apres stuff, and access to a stack of resorts from there. Busses run from Echigo-Yuzawa station to pretty much everywhere. Naeba Prince is very good too. A little village as well as all the usual options in a Prince snow hotel. Naeba / Kagura will have a good mix of intermediate and some steeper stuff up top too.
     
  11. mauricem

    mauricem Addicted

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    What’s shigas off piste policy these days? When we were there last a few years ago anything tasty was roped off and we saw patrol enforcing it a couple of times;(
     
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  12. elSpike

    elSpike I am a Meat Popsicle Ski Pass: Gold

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    You can do anything you like on your last day skiing at Shiga... (you might not know it is your last day at the time)
     
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  13. Lucky Pete

    Lucky Pete One of Us

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    Some epic skiing in Shiga, whilst there is a LOT of intermediate terrain there is some great advanced riding for sure. I'd love to spend some real time over there one day.
     
  14. BigWaveDave

    BigWaveDave Hard Yards

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    Thanks Sandy - about 9 days on snow at this stage 18-27 Jan, looks like lots of accom is already heavily booked for that period so we will be trying to lock something in asap (flights are alreday booked). I hadn't heard of Yuzawa so I'll check it out. Thanks for the helpful advice as always mate, appreciate it.
     
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  15. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Most accomm will most probably not be heavily booked, it's just that most Japanese places don't take bookings more than 3 months out
     
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  16. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    View from the Naeba Prince Hotel. Powder! Ski in ski out.

     
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  17. elSpike

    elSpike I am a Meat Popsicle Ski Pass: Gold

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    Some will if you directly contact them. Unsure what the rules are for linking to booking companies, but the Australian based lady we use to book our accommodation each year has us locked in for our trip to Shiga, Myoko and Yuzawa already. Happy to share the contact directly.
     
  18. zarik

    zarik Hard Yards

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    Why not Nozawa? It has some really fun steep runs, on powder day it is heaven, town is great, you can go to Nagano easily, there is a dozen free public onsens to try in town.

    I would stay near Nagasaka gondola. However there is also fun to be head near Hikage gondola, the steep accessed by lift are right in front of the hotels there. Problem is getting to town and back at night, you have to take a tracked van.
     
  19. BigWaveDave

    BigWaveDave Hard Yards

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    Definitely looking at Nozawa as well. Don't know much about it yet but will do the research. So many options!
     
  20. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    I did send you a heap of good options Dave. None of interest?
     
  21. Eros C

    Eros C Hard Yards

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    Skied Shiga and Nozawa last year. Loved Shiga over Nesiko and Nozawa for its Hugh area and Japanese feel. Having a run to yourself with so one in sight was a first. Pow days were great on piste and groomers were endless. Didnt get off piste much but saw many ducking ropes. Stayed at Chalet Shiga was was old but clean and with its own onsen. Food was included and an amazing spread every day. Loved it. Had a craft beer bar downstairs, enough said! Shiga is quiet which was what I was after. Ski, eat, drink, onsen bed. Nozawa great town but skiing so so. Wouldn’t return. Check out my YouTube in Shiga for a taste of what it has to offer.
     
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  22. BigWaveDave

    BigWaveDave Hard Yards

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    Yes Nic thanks mate - going through all options at the moment, but probably leaning towards Shiga Kogen at this stage. Appreciate your help. Dave
     
    #22 BigWaveDave, Jun 9, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2019
  23. Zimbooo

    Zimbooo One of Us

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    If you go to Shiga, your family will have one activity to do outside skiing. Snow monkeys. After that, nada.
    I like Shiga, but it is what it is. Just for skiing/eating/drinking.
    Myoko with car is the best option IMO.
    Lotsa stuff / resorts within an hour or so..........with car.
    If your keen on Shiga, maybe you could get there Sunday afternoon, ski 4 or 5 days midweek then back to Nagano, rent car and move to Myoko for your 2nd week?
     
  24. Budgiesmuggler

    Budgiesmuggler A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    I’ve been to all the resorts in this discussion (but limited time at shiga). I’d look at Nozawa or Myoko.

    Naeba at Yuzawa is crazy fun and convenient, the place would drive me crazy if I wasn’t there to ski. It’s a self contained hotel
     
  25. Melskius

    Melskius One of Us

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    I concur. Love the convience of Naeba, especially with kids, the foodhall is a godsend when trying to find food to please the family. The Prince is very ski in ski out, and there's the bonus of Kagura. Plus kids ski free. Its hard not to go back. (Skiied Shiga our first trip to japan- less food options)
     
  26. BigWaveDave

    BigWaveDave Hard Yards

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    Yeah thanks @Zimbooo that's my problem, I'm happy to ski all day every day but the wife and daughter will probably want a rest day (or 2) and will want to cruise around a village etc. We've done the Snow Monkeys on a previous trip so that's not really a super-must do activity on this trip either.

    Not really keen to hire a car we are going to (mainly) ski this time so thats why Shiga was appealing as it has the most terrain, but from all accounts it is the most boring place on earth if you are not skiing

    Myoko seems to have more of a village as does Nozawa but not sure if theres enough variety for 9 days on snow at either of those mountains? Anyway, more research!
     
  27. skivet

    skivet Addicted

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    How about Madarao? Great skiing, close to Myoko, Nozawa so you can mix up your skiing and if stay at Active Life Madarao they have free shuttle buses Monday to Friday to different resorts. Otherwise local buses are an option to other ski resorts. It also is a 20 minute tops bus ride into Iiyama for your wife and daughter if they didn’t want to ski. There are quite a few restaurant options as well however not a town as such.
     
  28. Lucky Pete

    Lucky Pete One of Us

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    Myoko + car = all the resorts you need plus some within 90 mins. You could ride somewhere new each day. Down day go sight seeing with your Mrs. Stay with Nic for the win.
     
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  29. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    This is what we did on the ski.com.au girls trip a few years back - it was an excellent option and we ticked off so many places. Shiga Kogen, Akakura Kanko, Suginohara, Ikenotaira, Tangram/Madarao. With more time you could do more places or repeat the ones you love.
     
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  30. Crispy013

    Crispy013 One of Us

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    Don’t get scared off by a car. IMO, it makes the whole trip easier. No bus schedules, options for day trips, shopping, restaurants, etc. Plus you can try a new resort every day!
     
  31. BigWaveDave

    BigWaveDave Hard Yards

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    Thanks guys @Crispy013 @LMB @Lucky Pete but NOT having to travel anywhere to ski is why we want to base ourselves on snow ski in/ski out at a resort and simply enjoy the mountains on offer. We never really enjoyed the hassle of driving up to the snow each day in Australia from Jindabyne so really don't want to go that option on our overseas trip. Hence why Shiga (big area, and you can ski between mountains rather than catching shuttle buses/using cars) seems to make the most sense for us. Now if they could just add a few more other attractions/things to do on non-ski days it would be perfect! Thanks again for all your thoughts, now that the kids are older (one has already left home!) we should be doing more trips with just myself and the wife so hopefully we can get to experience lots of these other options in years to come. Cheers BWD
     
  32. Crispy013

    Crispy013 One of Us

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    Fair enough. Well a Myoko and Nozawa Onsen split is not a bad plan either. With 9 days at your expense, maybe 5 in Myoko, 4 in Nozawa. Option to chuck in Madarao/Tangram as a day trip from either base.
     
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  33. Budgiesmuggler

    Budgiesmuggler A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    I get it, but Myoko area is nothing like driving up from jindy. Its about a 10min flat drive to all the Myoko resorts with ample parking beside the lifts. And enough skiing for 9 days to not get bored.

    The town however is small, but there are onsens and stuff nearby.


    That being said, sounds like Nozawa will suit you better.
     
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  34. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    We're just about booked out for Jan. now Pete. Maybe a couple of rooms for people with the right dates. Have booked in a few people with some friends in the village - mostly Takeda, Wakui and Hunter. Always happy to give a bit of business to the locals.
     
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  35. LaNeige

    LaNeige One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Thread hi-jack, well not quite, my question is pretty similar to @BigWaveDave 's except I have a proper non-skier on board. So, yet another where in Japan should I go question?

    We're a family of 4 with teens (16 and 14) with one non-skier. The rest of us are pretty strong in Australian conditions but the two younger ones not particularly experienced in powder (one even claims to hate it, something I aim to fix).

    We're looking at 9-10 days skiing in late Jan from around the 24th. Not too keen on the idea of driving, I'm on holiday and I just want to worry about all of that. Could split the time between two areas but would prefer to be based at one place for the entire stay. Absolutely happy to catch a bus to nearby hills and towns on non-skiing days.

    From what I've read I've narrowed it down to the following, but having never been to Japan before I'm more than happy to look at something else.
    • Nozawa Onsen - I saw @Donzah 's comment about the fire festival being a dick magnet which has put me off a bit, bit we're mostly avoid those dates
    • Myoko Kogen - looks to be a bit of a smaller town than the other options and given the non-skiier this might not be enough
    • Habuka - I really liked what I read about Hubuka Power Tours and would be keen something like that, but the towns don't seem to be as interesting as either Nozawa or Myoko
    • Shiga Kogen is out on the something for non skiers.
    Also, we'll be doing a couple of days at the beginning and end in Tokyo with the plan to send ski gear on.

    Any accommodation recommendation would be gratefully received as well

    Cheers
     
  36. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    You're straddling Chinese new year. So it may be busy where you choose.
    Personally. Hakuba has a interesting town and plenty to do
     
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  37. Lady Penelope

    Lady Penelope One of some lot ... Ski Pass: Gold

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    @LaNeige , I can second Nozawa as a place that a non-skier would love. Fire Festival antics aside, it’s a very attractive town with many eating options, many vestiges of Japanese culture, onsens (of course!), and a pretty nice ski area with some decent black runs too. However, it is a lot smaller than Hakuba which consists of multiple resorts which are largely not inter-linked (you have to catch shuttle buses to each area, most of which are free). For our first trip to Japan in 2016 we visited both Hakuba and Nozawa, although that meant one day lost to a shuttle transfer. Hakuba also has no shortage of good restaurants and things to do, but is less attractive in a ‘traditional’ sense than Nozawa. Personally, I’d go for both: your children and you would have a ball exploring (make sure your kids get a lesson in handling powder, unless you’re teaching them yourself).
     
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  38. Lucky Pete

    Lucky Pete One of Us

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    Change your dates! CNY is getting really busy in Japan. Week after or before, preferably the former.
     
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  39. LaNeige

    LaNeige One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Bugger, to not much we can do about that. For various reasons those are the date that work best for us. But better to know in advance that it will be busy
     
  40. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    Who is the non-skier? The teen or the adult? If the adult there are plenty of day trips to be had wherever you are based. If the teen you just need to find a place with good wifi. ;)

    Myoko and Hakuba offer better options for getting to a variety of other resorts + I think you'll find it easier to locate a variety of good accomm options.
     
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  41. silva

    silva One of Us

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    Are you arriving in Japan on the 24th? I so I would look at spending the weekend in Tokyo.
    Choose a resort and head there sunday the 26th. Ski 5 days. Transfer to second resort of choice on Saturday 1st Feb, ski there for 4 or 5 days, couple of days in Tokyo then fly home. Plan your transfer day for a Saturday, see the snowmonkeys, do some shopping etc. This will give more options in terms of non-skier activities. Hakuba-Nozawa or Hakuba-Myoko are both great combinations. You can even mix up accomm - one traditional and one western.
    Once you choose which resort/s you wish to go to lots of people on here can offer advice on accommodation and non skier options. I know that you said you would prefer to be at one resort only but it would really give more non skiing options if you moved and its really easy - we have done the Hakuba-Nozawa option. We booked through the guys at Penke Panke and got a long stay discount by combining with their Nozawa property Altitude Nozawa. It was actually very easy to transfer between the two resorts - door to door. Hakuba will keep you interested slope wise for 10 days as you can catch the bus to several different resorts. Nozawa is great for 4 days or so but not as many options.
     
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  42. silva

    silva One of Us

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    Oops posted above at the same time as this reply.
    The transfer was super easy. We went with Nagano snow shuttle. They had 5 buses per day - here is the website:
    https://naganosnowshuttle.com/Hakuba.aspx
    There is also lots of private shuttle options.
    We actually skied in the morning, caught the 13:00 bus, everything ran on time and we had a nice afternoon tea at the oversize tourist store in Nagano before transferring to Nagano and arrived on time at 15:30. From memory the staff at Penke Panke dropped us to the bus station as it was easier but at the Nozawa end we were dropped at our accommodation. We chose to travel in daylight as we wanted to see the countryside which was great. There is a later option though if you don't want to miss a ski day.

    Just my opinion/impression - Nozawa will appeal to the non-skier as its great to wander around, nice shopping etc but there are not as many day trip options as from Hakuba. Hakuba is more spread out and a much bigger area to explore and as there is a train station has more options for day trips and other tourist activities like make your own soba noodles, origami classes, snowshoeing, castle tours etc.
     
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  43. Lady Penelope

    Lady Penelope One of some lot ... Ski Pass: Gold

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    Wot @silva said! Sorry, @LaNeige but I really enjoyed the benefits of two resorts and think this would be an excellent choice. The wadano area (where Penke Panke is) is lovely and close to Happo One. Incidentally I stayed at the Hotel La Neige Higashikan there (can’t go wrong with a name like that, hmm?;)).
     
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  44. Mitchthewitch

    Mitchthewitch Hard Yards

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    @LaNeige, my teens (now 18 and 16) loved Hakuba, Myoko and then Nozawa (in that order). In the last 6 years we've broken up our trips and gone back to Hakuba on 3 separate occasions, mainly because the kids (teens!) enjoy the access to a variety of different areas. As @M_G said on their non ski/board days they were just concerned with wifi reliability and access to food! We've stayed in Echoland (in Hakuba) in self contained accom - Eagle House (nice and quiet but easy access to shuttles and food/entertainment) or Tsugaike (try @Tsugaike, easy walk to slopes and food), Myoko (Red Warehouse - easy access to town and food) and Nozawa we stayed at Schneider Hotel (ski in/out with in house food and drinks etc but still easy to get to town via a great small chairlift or the Yu-road or even walking). Re shuttles we've found just taking the trains (no buses) suits us and are very easy especially when your accomm offers pickup/drop off service. Really can't go wrong anywhere, the non-skier will always find something to do!
     
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  45. LaNeige

    LaNeige One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    It's the adult, so a bit more than wifi might be required, although wifi is the first things the teens check!
     
  46. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    Hakuba, Nozawa, Myoko - all plenty of day trips to be had then. So don't let that part of the planning bother you too much. Hakuba or Myoko for mine to allow for a variety of terrain. Nozawa is a nice place for wandering but they'll need to get out for trips.
     
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