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Shiga Kogen Ski Resort

18 ski resorts and 50 lifts covered in one lift pass — variety is the spice of life at Japan’s largest ski and snowboard area.

If you like variety in your ski resorts, then Shiga Kogen will be one of your favorites of all time. This expansive resort in the Nagano highlands has a grand total of around 50 lifts spread across 18 different resorts, all of which decided to pool their resources and become one massive world-beating entity. Amazingly, buying the 5500 yen all-mountain common pass grants you access to every single run, at every resort.

With altitudes ranging from 1340 to 2307 meters, the season lasts especially long here. You can expect a good number of runs to open as early as November and stay open until May. If it all seems a bit much to take in, then you might want to book a few extra days than you usually would for a ski vacation! The accommodation options are many and varied, and the hotels are the main hubs of after-ski action in the area.

It’s little wonder that the northern section of Shiga Kogen was chosen to play host to the giant slalom events at the 1998 Winter Olympics. To follow in the footsteps (and ski-tracks) of those Olympic athletes, hop on a bus at Nagano Station. Once in the Shiga Kogen itself, you can take free shuttle buses which connect the resorts and mountains throughout the season.

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