Shiga Kogen 2022

skivet

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Good morning. Getting a bit excited, thinking we will be able to ski 22!
We always have loved staying Shiga Kogen At the OkushigaKogen area on our many trips. This time thinking we might stay at Okushiga Kogen then do a few days on acccom on the south side SunValley or Shiga Palace Hotel for a few more days to explore that area more thoroughly. Sandy and all can you recommend any accomodation this area and is it a feasible idea?also how busy is it Sun Valley/ Shiga Palace hotel area on the weekend?
 
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Heinz

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We skied over to Sun Valley from Ichinose one day last season and it looked pretty dead. I remembered it from when I visited over 30 years old and it had hardly changed, just rather run down. We looked to stop there for a coffee, only found one place open. For getting around to most areas Ichinose being central is probably the best location, with most of the hotels and restaurants if you want to go out.
 
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skivet

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Thankyou Heinz! We have stayed at Ichinose and didlike the area. Maybe split between Okushiga and Ichinose instead. Last time over decided to do Madarao and Hakuba which unfortunately for that year was a non event, bad snow and low elevation made for a very mediocre two weeks. Fortunately for us a final week in Shiga resurrected a very sad holiday. On top of this we both came down with a severe virus first week of holidays thinking now with symptoms that we both had COVID.
 

BobGnarly

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Okushiga resort has progressive french owners and the vibe is much better than other shiga locations which come across like pirate ships run by ghost monkeys :D:D
If you really want to move away from the nicest place to stay in shiga then consider 2 nights up at Yokoteyama for the high mountain experience only Yokote can deliver.
 

skivet

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Bobgnarly Shiga palace hotel at Yokoteyama looks perfect. We will spend the majority of time at OkushigaKogen area and then a few days here. I agree Okushiga Kogen is a fantastic place to stay!
 

Sandy

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I've spent around 45 days at Shiga Kogen, and realistically, it's best to stay at Ichinose. I've stayed at 7 different places at Shiga Kogen.
- 2 places around Maruike (not far from Sun Valley), and truthfully, you tend to move away from that area quickly, as there's not much there, as Heinz said. You need to have breaky/dinner there
- One place at Yokoteyama/Kumanoyu. It was actually Shiga Palace Hotel, it's ok, very Japanese hotel with tatami, a bit run down. Not much to do out there in the evening, and you need to have breaky/dinner there.
- Prince Hotel a few times at Yakebitaiyama.
- 3 places at Ichinose: Shiga Diamond, Hotel Japan Shiga, Villa Ichinose. Best location for food are the 2nd two, and the Japan Shiga is better... ideal as there two restaurants there, including the Nepalese place.

I've heard the OkushigaKogen Hotel is great, but it's out of the way. Okushiga is good, not as crowded, but there's limited pistes: The main 2 runs off the Gondola, and the 2 chairs near the hotel. (plus the slow access chairs up the top)
I can get from Ichinose to the bottom of the Okushiga gondola in about 25 min(2 chairs & one gondola). But from Okushiga Hotel, it takes maybe 45min to Ichinose, because you need to ride 4 slow chairs and a 150m flat slog. i.e. If you stay at Okushiga Hotel area, it takes ages to get anywhere else (3 slow chairs and a 150m flat slog to Yakebitai, maybe 25min).

OTOH, it's easy to get from Ichinose to Sun Valley(5 chairs, maybe 30 min), so it's not worth staying around Sun Valley.

If you want to go to Yokoteyama/Kumanoyu, ski to Giant from Ichinose (3 chairs), then the new Gondola and bus.
(or a couple of nights at Yokoteyama Summit Hutte, as BG said)
 

skivet

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Thankyou all for all the great info. Think will split accomodation between Okushiga and Ichinose and might spend the weekend in between at an Onsen town close by, any suggestions?
 

Sandy

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Thankyou all for all the great info. Think will split accomodation between Okushiga and Ichinose and might spend the weekend in between at an Onsen town close by, any suggestions?
When staying at Okushiga, what's your normal skiing do you do?
Up the two slow chairs, a few runs there, then to the Okushiga Gondola for a while, or??

I ask, because if you find yourself just riding around Okushiga for most of the day, then it makes sense to stay at Okushiga.
But if you do a couple of runs, and then head to Yakebitai, and further, then it doesn't necessarily make sense to stay there, then later stay at Ichinose.... I'd just stay at Ichinose.
 

BobGnarly

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When staying at Okushiga, what's your normal skiing do you do?
Up the two slow chairs, a few runs there, then to the Okushiga Gondola for a while, or??

I ask, because if you find yourself just riding around Okushiga for most of the day, then it makes sense to stay at Okushiga.
But if you do a couple of runs, and then head to Yakebitai, and further, then it doesn't necessarily make sense to stay there, then later stay at Ichinose.... I'd just stay at Ichinose.
Horses for courses LOLLOLLOL
Okushiga is north facing, far less crowded, has a kids area, has a great park, has a nice steep groomer or a forest course on the side, sidecountry access gates.
Okushiga is my fav area probably for the same reason you don't bother with it, and tell me where the high speed chairs are in shiga lol, they are all as slow as each other.
 
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Sandy

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Horses for courses LOLLOLLOL
Okushiga is north facing, far less crowded, has a kids area, has a great park, has a nice steep groomer or a forest course on the side, sidecountry access gates.
Okushiga is my fav area probably for the same reason you don't bother with it, and tell me where the high speed chairs are in shiga lol, they are all as slow as each other.
If you took the time to look, you would know that I DO ski at Okushiga ( I just told you it takes 25min to get to the Okushiga Gondola from Ichinose), and yes, I know about the gates.
Only the chairs servicing the steep run area at Okushiga faces north (actually NE), and the "steep groomer" there next to the forest run is not a groomer most of the time. The gondola faces east, but the runs off the Okushiga gondola face ESE same as the main gondola #2 run at Yakebitai. Nishiteteyama & Higashitateyama are the main areas that face south.

3 double chairs at Okushiga are super slow, (as is the one from Prince West to Diamond), and the Okushiga gondola, they only seem to run the gondolas about 50m+ apart, which makes the loading really slow.
The Quads at Yakebitai, Takamagahara, Nishiteteyama, Ichinose, Hoppo are all faster than most of the doubles at Okushiga.
Example:
- Yakebitai Quad #2: 4m/sec
- Yakebitai Quad #3: 4m/sec
- Okushiga pair #1: 1.6m/sec
- Okushiga pair #2: 4m/sec
- Okushiga pair #3: 4m/sec
- Okushiga pair #4: 2m/sec
- Okushiga pair #6: 1.8m/sec
i.e. They are not all as slow as each other.
:p
 
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BobGnarly

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If you took the time to look, you would know that I DO ski at Okushiga ( I just told you it takes 25min to get to the Okushiga Gondola from Ichinose), and yes, I know about the gates.
Only the chairs servicing the steep run area at Okushiga faces north (actually NE), and the "steep groomer" there next to the forest run is not a groomer most of the time. The gondola faces east, but the runs off the Okushiga gondola face ESE same as the main gondola #2 run at Yakebitai. Nishiteteyama & Higashitateyama are the main areas that face south.

3 double chairs at Okushiga are super slow, (as is the one from Prince West to Diamond), and the Okushiga gondola, they only seem to run the gondolas about 50m+ apart, which makes the loading really slow.
The Quads at Yakebitai, Takamagahara, Nishiteteyama, Ichinose, Hoppo are all faster than most of the doubles at Okushiga.
Example:
- Yakebitai Quad #2: 4m/sec
- Yakebitai Quad #3: 4m/sec
- Okushiga pair #1: 1.6m/sec
- Okushiga pair #2: 4m/sec
- Okushiga pair #3: 4m/sec
- Okushiga pair #4: 2m/sec
- Okushiga pair #6: 1.8m/sec
i.e. They are not all as slow as each other.
:p
Damn you just owned me on the internet LOLLOLLOLLOL
 
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skivet

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We love Okushiga Kogenskiing and often spend all morning skiing there before continuing to the prince hotel ski runs. I think it will suit us fine to spend 5 days around that area then spend another four at Ichinose hotel for that area and further south.
 

Beerman

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Okushiga resort has progressive french owners and the vibe is much better than other shiga locations which come across like pirate ships run by ghost monkeys :D:D
If you really want to move away from the nicest place to stay in shiga then consider 2 nights up at Yokoteyama for the high mountain experience only Yokote can deliver.
Good to see you back. ;)
My vote is for Ichinose as you can ski left or right for a lot of variety. Okushiga is good, by why restrict yourself to just this area, when there is a lot more to discover down the road??
 
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BobGnarly

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I took this pic with my phone from Yokoteyama
If you squint you can just see the peak of Mt Fuji center of pic. Mt Asama on the right.
17022115_1141562309303704_7810462500511039808_n.jpg
 

Sandy

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Is Kijimaidara close by??
I'm pretty certain you can't see Kijimadaira from Shiga Kogen.
From the top of the old gondola on Higashitateyama, you can see Yomase Onsen Ski Resort (the parallel slopes just right of centre) on the SE side of Mt Kosha, with Kijimadaira on the northern side (to the right, just out of view).
DSC_0289a.jpg


Off to the left of Yomase, mid distance is Madarao, and behind that is Mt Myoko, with left to right, Suginohara, Ikenotaira, with Akakura Kanko and Akakura Onsen behind Madarao
P4370227b.jpg
 
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Hyst

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@skivet

All what the two locals (hardcore skiers) tell is right, and you know well about Okushiga. Yakebitaiyama is may be the nicest area to ski. Okushiga can sometimes be cut of because of strong winds.

May be you have already made you choice - Okushiga/Ichinose.

However for us who come for short time from fare away may be it is not only about the skiing - it is not quite clear in your post, but also a holiday to fill nice.
At least for us - onsen, food and nice atmosphere is equally important.

In that light I would point at the place I stayed last year - Shirakabaso. I wrote a bit about it in Shigakogen 2019/2020, now highjacked https://www.ski.com.au/xf/threads/shiga-kogen-2019-2020-2020-2021.86082/ by @Sandy :mad: :)D)

The location gives god access to the area by ski - and with the busstop in across the street Yokoteyama/Kumonoyu is not far away nor is the valley.

Is almost ski in ski out.

Nice onsen/rotenburo, nice food - (awoid the big dinning room when booking) and 2 family onsen.

If you would like to stay closer to Yokote I would rather point at the original ski (onsen) hotel Kumanoyu - their onsen is quite sharp! From there you can get to Yokote by the backway (with @Sandy speed to get there ;)).

We had planed to stay one night on Yokote top, but as we had to prebook could not be shure about nice weather at night and were so happy about Shirakabaso and could choose the day to go there in good weather.

I hope they will open the bar for afterski in the future - but we gathered with others for beer in the bar area anyway.ja

It is a very Japanese hotel/inn if you can live with that.

You have to take breakfast and dinner as there is nothing around there - may be now in yamanoeki.

Hope you will have a nice trip - whatever you do. :thumbs:
 

BobGnarly

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I'm pretty certain you can't see Kijimadaira from Shiga Kogen.
From the top of the old gondola on Higashitateyama, you can see Yomase Onsen Ski Resort (the parallel slopes just right of centre) on the SE side of Mt Kosha, with Kijimadaira on the northern side (to the right, just out of view).
DSC_0289a.jpg


Off to the left Yomase, mid distance is Madarao, and behind that is Mt Myoko, with left to right, Suginohara, Ikenotaira, with Akakura Kanko and Akakura Onsen behind Madarao
P4370227b.jpg
All of which bake in the sun. . .
 

Sandy

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@skivet

All what the two locals (hardcore skiers) tell is right, and you know well about Okushiga. Yakebitaiyama is may be the nicest area to ski. Okushiga can sometimes be cut of because of strong winds.

May be you have already made you choice - Okushiga/Ichinose.

However for us who come for short time from fare away may be it is not only about the skiing - it is not quite clear in your post, but also a holiday to fill nice.
At least for us - onsen, food and nice atmosphere is equally important.

In that light I would point at the place I stayed last year - Shirakabaso. I wrote a bit about it in Shigakogen 2019/2020, now highjacked https://www.ski.com.au/xf/threads/shiga-kogen-2019-2020-2020-2021.86082/ by @Sandy :mad: :)D)

The location gives god access to the area by ski - and with the busstop in across the street Yokoteyama/Kumonoyu is not far away nor is the valley.

Is almost ski in ski out.

Nice onsen/rotenburo, nice food - (awoid the big dinning room when booking) and 2 family onsen.

If you would like to stay closer to Yokote I would rather point at the original ski (onsen) hotel Kumanoyu - their onsen is quite sharp! From there you can get to Yokote by the backway (with @Sandy speed to get there ;)).

We had planed to stay one night on Yokote top, but as we had to prebook could not be shure about nice weather at night and were so happy about Shirakabaso and could choose the day to go there in good weather.

I hope they will open the bar for afterski in the future - but we gathered with others for beer in the bar area anyway.ja

It is a very Japanese hotel/inn if you can live with that.

You have to take breakfast and dinner as there is nothing around there - may be now in yamanoeki.

Hope you will have a nice trip - whatever you do. :thumbs:
Yamanoeki only looks to have a day time restaurant.
 

Hyst

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@skivet

All what the two locals (hardcore skiers) tell is right, and you know well about Okushiga. Yakebitaiyama is may be the nicest area to ski. Okushiga can sometimes be cut of because of strong winds.

May be you have already made you choice - Okushiga/Ichinose.

However for us who come for short time from fare away may be it is not only about the skiing - it is not quite clear in your post, but also a holiday to fill nice.
At least for us - onsen, food and nice atmosphere is equally important.

In that light I would point at the place I stayed last year - Shirakabaso. I wrote a bit about it in Shigakogen 2019/2020, now highjacked https://www.ski.com.au/xf/threads/shiga-kogen-2019-2020-2020-2021.86082/ by @Sandy :mad: :)D)

The location gives god access to the area by ski - and with the busstop in across the street Yokoteyama/Kumonoyu is not far away nor is the valley.

Is almost ski in ski out.

Nice onsen/rotenburo, nice food - (awoid the big dinning room when booking) and 2 family onsen.

If you would like to stay closer to Yokote I would rather point at the original ski (onsen) hotel Kumanoyu - their onsen is quite sharp! From there you can get to Yokote by the backway (with @Sandy speed to get there ;)).

We had planed to stay one night on Yokote top, but as we had to prebook could not be shure about nice weather at night and were so happy about Shirakabaso and could choose the day to go there in good weather.

I hope they will open the bar for afterski in the future - but we gathered with others for beer in the bar area anyway.ja

It is a very Japanese hotel/inn if you can live with that.

You have to take breakfast and dinner as there is nothing around there - may be now in yamanoeki.

Hope you will have a nice trip - whatever you do. :thumbs:
May be Ishould add this:
 
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Zimbooo

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May be Ishould add this:
I like Ichinose, as we can spread our tourist money around. Lodging and breakfast................lunch and dinner elsewhere.
Also great spot to move around from.
 
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Schnaxxy Schnaxxlburger

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one of my fellow geriatrics in a merry band of Japan skiers has lain down the gauntlet
he has a gazillion FF points so always books early - so he gets to set the dates
trouble is, after telling me he was interested in a Shiga leg of our abandoned 2021 trip he has proposed Hakuba and Nozawa only for next year
serves the rest of us right for not getting in earlier
I need a persuasive argument to get the rest of the group on side for a few days at Shiga
this is partly step-family, so it’s a bit sensitive
 
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Sandy

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one of my fellow geriatrics in a merry band of Japan skiers has lain down the gauntlet
he has a gazillion FF points so always books early - so he gets to set the dates
trouble is, after telling me he was interested in a Shiga leg of our abandoned 2021 trip he has proposed Hakuba and Nozawa only for next year
serves the rest of us right for not getting in earlier
I need a persuasive argument to get the rest of the group on side for a few days at Shiga
this is partly step-family, so it’s a bit sensitive
What's the issue with Hakuba and Nozawa, and how long would you spend at each? (and length of the total trip?)
I assume you've been to all 3 before?
 

Schnaxxy Schnaxxlburger

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What's the issue with Hakuba and Nozawa, and how long would you spend at each? (and length of the total trip?)
I assume you've been to all 3 before?
about a week at each
I haven’t been to Shiga, nor have most of the others
there’s a sentimental attachment to Hakuba among some of us but after three or four trips there, and despite the Epic pass advantage I’m interested in trying other places
 

Zimbooo

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one of my fellow geriatrics in a merry band of Japan skiers has lain down the gauntlet
he has a gazillion FF points so always books early - so he gets to set the dates
trouble is, after telling me he was interested in a Shiga leg of our abandoned 2021 trip he has proposed Hakuba and Nozawa only for next year
serves the rest of us right for not getting in earlier
I need a persuasive argument to get the rest of the group on side for a few days at Shiga
this is partly step-family, so it’s a bit sensitive
Few ideas.........
Shiga provides biggest lift linked area in Japan. Lots and lots of variation and areas to explore. Altitude of Shiga provides less chance of rain. Walk out the door and your on a lift in a few steps at Shiga, no bus or shuttle required to get to lifts, no uphill walks to lifts. Less crowded mid week at Shiga. Nozawa and Shiga mix would be much easier / quicker transfer. P.S. you do need to take a bus to explore one area (Yokotehama) which is not linked, but you don’t need to tell them that.LOL
 

Sandy

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about a week at each
I haven’t been to Shiga, nor have most of the others
there’s a sentimental attachment to Hakuba among some of us but after three or four trips there, and despite the Epic pass advantage I’m interested in trying other places
Few ideas.........
Shiga provides biggest lift linked area in Japan. Lots and lots of variation and areas to explore. Altitude of Shiga provides less chance of rain. Walk out the door and your on a lift in a few steps at Shiga, no bus or shuttle required to get to lifts, no uphill walks to lifts. Less crowded mid week at Shiga. Nozawa and Shiga mix would be much easier / quicker transfer.
I'd agree with this ^^.
Because of the elevation, the snow quality is also very good at Shiga Kogen.
You can usually get away from weekend crowds because it's so big. There are lots of nooks and crannies because of the size.
However, these days, the transfer may not be so much quicker and easier for Nozawa and Shiga. There's a direct bus between Hakuba & Shiga Kogen. The bus Nozawa > Nagano st. > Shiga turns out to be about the same, and there's a transfer at Nagano station. The bus from Shiga to Iiyama only runs 2-3 times a day, takes about an hour from Yamanoeki, then transfer to the bus to Nozawa.
(Hakuba direct bus takes about 2.5 hours to Yamanoeki.)
At Shiga Kogen, shuttle bus is required to get to the 3 "resorts" at the Yokoteyama, but the rest is all linked (except for the 50m walk between Hasuike & Giant.)

IMO, Epic pass is not a good reason to go to Hakuba at the exclusion of other places. The multi day Hakuba Valley passes are NOT good value for seniors, especially when you consider the fact that there's no seniors discount on the pass. e.g. Hakuba Valley pass = 6600yen. Iwatake senior's pass = 4100yen. Happo senior's pass = 5000yen.
 

Schnaxxy Schnaxxlburger

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I'd agree with this ^^.
Because of the elevation, the snow quality is also very good at Shiga Kogen.
You can usually get away from weekend crowds because it's so big. There are lots of nooks and crannies because of the size.
However, these days, the transfer may not be so much quicker and easier for Nozawa and Shiga. There's a direct bus between Hakuba & Shiga Kogen. The bus Nozawa > Nagano st. > Shiga turns out to be about the same, and there's a transfer at Nagano station. The bus from Shiga to Iiyama only runs 2-3 times a day, takes about an hour from Yamanoeki, then transfer to the bus to Nozawa.
(Hakuba direct bus takes about 2.5 hours to Yamanoeki.)
At Shiga Kogen, shuttle bus is required to get to the 3 "resorts" at the Yokoteyama, but the rest is all linked (except for the 50m walk between Hasuike & Giant.)

IMO, Epic pass is not a good reason to go to Hakuba at the exclusion of other places. The multi day Hakuba Valley passes are NOT good value for seniors, especially when you consider the fact that there's no seniors discount on the pass. e.g. Hakuba Valley pass = 6600yen. Iwatake senior's pass = 4100yen. Happo senior's pass = 5000yen.
as I said, the Epic pass isn’t enough to make a difference to me, and I’m the only one in the group with that option
the sentimental decision making seems to be immune to my reasoning on any basis - it even includes a fondness for the hotel [admittedly a nice place]
transfers are no issue anywhere
 

Sandy

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as I said, the Epic pass isn’t enough to make a difference to me, and I’m the only one in the group with that option
the sentimental decision making seems to be immune to my reasoning on any basis - it even includes a fondness for the hotel [admittedly a nice place]
transfers are no issue anywhere
Which hotel?
 

Zimbooo

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as I said, the Epic pass isn’t enough to make a difference to me, and I’m the only one in the group with that option
the sentimental decision making seems to be immune to my reasoning on any basis - it even includes a fondness for the hotel [admittedly a nice place]
transfers are no issue anywhere
Here is a private shuttle option that would make the transfer between Nozawa and Shiga very quick and easy (door to door). Not cheap, but if your sharing the cost between a few....relaxed breakfast in hotel, transfer over to other resort and skiing full afternoon at new resort.

https://www.snowmonkeyresorts.com/charters/transfer-between-nagano-ski-resorts/
 

Sandy

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Well, what I can say is that my stay at Shiga Kogen this season was a 30 second walk to the slopes, two walk in restaurants in the building (along with the eat in restaurant).... really good hotel, great location. (I don't know what the onsen is like, because I thought that was a COVID risk, and I had an ensuite)
 

Schnaxxy Schnaxxlburger

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Here is a private shuttle option that would make the transfer between Nozawa and Shiga very quick and easy (door to door)

https://www.snowmonkeyresorts.com/charters/transfer-between-nagano-ski-resorts/
yep
I’ve researched all that stuff
as I said, transfers aren’t a problem - I actually enjoy them as part of the experience
a complicating factor is that I’ve dobbed myself in as a possible volunteer for Beijing 2022 games, Olympic and Paralympic, so I can’t confirm my plans for a while yet
I think I’ll end up going with the flow
 
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Zimbooo

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Well, what I can say is that my stay at Shiga Kogen this season was a 30 second walk to the slopes, two walk in restaurants in the building (along with the eat in restaurant).... really good hotel, great location. (I don't know what the onsen is like, because I thought that was a COVID risk, and I had an ensuite)
@Sandy, Hotel Japan Shiga looks much nicer than Villa Ichinose where we have stayed previously. Better digs?
 

Sandy

Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
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@Sandy, Hotel Japan Shiga looks much nicer than Villa Ichinose where we have stayed previously. Better digs?
Nice!
Would not recommend Villa Ichinose to your group, it’s clean but old. 2+ star.
Villa Ichinose is clean, but definitely old and run down.
Hotel Japan Shiga is nice, nominally a 3 star, much nicer than Villa Ichinose. The whole place is well laid out, and efficient. The layout of the ground floor, ski room, where to put on your boots, is spacious and well designed. It has the Nepalese restaurant and a Japanese restaurant, so you can go there in your slippers.
My room was a western style twin, with ensuite. There was plenty of room for 1 person, and not too bad for two. (there was an alcove for a desk, and enough room to park my bags.) If space is an issue, it's best to go for a Japanese tatami room, that holds up to 4 or 5 people, and use it for 2.
 
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Zimbooo

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Villa Ichinose is clean, but definitely old and run down.
Hotel Japan Shiga is nice, nominally a 3 star, much nicer than Villa Ichinose. The whole place is well laid out, and efficient. The layout of the ground floor, ski room, where to put on your boots, is spacious and well designed. It has the Nepalese restaurant and a Japanese restaurant, so you can go there in your slippers.
My room was a western style twin, with ensuite. There was plenty of room for 1 person, and not too bad for two. (there was an alcove for a desk, and enough room to park my bags.) If space is an issue, it's best to go for a Japanese tatami room, that holds up to 4 or 5 people, and use it for 2.
Cheers, we will give it a go next time. Instead of taking a few steps along the street for Nepalese, it will be a few steps further to the convenience store.
 

Sandy

Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
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Jan 1, 1998
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Yokohama, Japan, Melb. Expat.
Nice!
Would not recommend Villa Ichinose to your group, it’s clean but old. 2+ star.

they won’t go anywhere else but Mominoki
I stayed at La Neige Higashikan in Wadano in 2014, an excellent deal that I’ll never get again
it’s been Mominoki ever since
as I say, I go with the flow - too difficult arguing
Villa Ichinose is at Shiga Kogen. Ichinose is like a village cluster of maybe 35 hotels, and it's the area that's the most convenient to stay at Shiga Kogen.
 
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