Make an enquiry

The Shiga Safari

Shiga Kogen - Tokyo
10 days

Use Shiga Kogen as your base in the Japanese Alps. This ticks most boxes - stay in ryokan in a pretty Japanese village? tick. The best powder skiing in Japan, either in Shiga Kogen or a nearby resort? tick. Ride on a bullet-train and visit the snow monkeys? tick. A night in Tokyo? tick.

Shiga Kogen is, without any doubt, the most under rated of all Japan's major ski resorts. Indeed, we even overlooked Shiga for many years, and only as a consequence of a recent visit did we immediately realise our error and include it in our programme. No need to go anywhere else - a huge amount of terrain, empty slopes, bottomless powder and a characterful Japanese village (if you choose to base yourself and stay in Yudanaka Onsen).

Obviously, there are countless variations we can make from this itinerary. Shiga Kogen could be replaced by Myoko Kogen, the Hakuba Valley or nearby Nozawa Onsen? Or, instead of 'replaced by' why not consider 'as well as'? Or then why not stay in Japan a little longer and visit the scenic Hakone region or extend your time and travel to Kyoto?

Content & Map

day-by-day itinerary

Day 1
Depart from your home country, flying directly to Japan.
Day 2
You are met at either Tokyo Haneda or Tokyo Narita airport and then take a shared taxi transfer, by road, to your ryokan in Yudanaka Onsen village. Relax in the onsens after the journey.
Days 3-8
Six days skiing or snowboarding. You are with a guide and decisions about where to head each day can be made locally. Most of the days will be spent in the expanses of Shiga Kogen - your local resort, which you have largely to yourselves - but then away days can also feature Madarao, Tangram, Togakushi, Ryuo, Kijimadaira and even Nozawa Onsen. What we can (almost) guarantee - the best, powder-drenched skiing or riding of your life.
Day 9
Visit the snow monkeys in the morning, and then take the Nankai Electric line to Nagano City. From here it is the bullet-train to Tokyo, in which you make your way to the Shinjuku District where you'll find your hotel in the heart of the entertainment district. A celebratory drink in the city?
Day 10
Make your way to Narita or Haneda Airport and fly out of Japan - most flights arrive home the same day.

Suggestions & Variations

With no set departures or fixed dates this itinerary can be extended, or even curtailed, to suit your available dates or match your budget.

Your first choice - stay in the ryokan down in Yudanaka Onsen or stay at a ski-in, ski-out hotel up in the Shiga Highlands? We'll need to talk you through the pro's and con's of both these options, because they do deliver two very different off-the-mountain experiences. We need to get this right.

Then there is the skiing. Quite easily you could spend each and every day in the Shiga Highlands and, without compromise, you've had a great ski holiday. However, with so many other ski resorts in the Japanese Alps within easy striking distance it is perfectly possible to spend time in nearby ski resorts with your guide, letting the snow conditions, the ski ability of your group and your adventurous spirit being the deciding factors. 

This itinerary allows for only one night in Tokyo. However, this is a city which demands more time - a full day at the very least? Alternatively, you could break in Tokyo on the way out (getting over your jet lag?) and then head on to Kyoto after the skiing, flying home of Kansai Airport instead.



How much would this holiday cost?

Obviously, cost depends on which accommodation you choose, how many excursions and activities you want to book, how long you stay in Japan, how many of you are in your group (sharing the cost of ski guides)...etc.

This 10-day itinerary includes hiring a ski guide (plus private local transport) for six full days. An indicative lead-in price would be circa £2,900 to £3,400 per person if there were six of your sharing, including staying in a ryokan, transfers (including bullet-trains), ski guides and transport, and economy class flights from the UK.

If you were to move the dates to January (but still avoiding Christmas & New Year / Chinese New Year), this would then rise by approximately a couple of hundred pounds per person. And, of course, if you wanting the finest, most luxurious accommodation then....the sky's the limit really!

Solo travellers should also be aware that costs increase, as you carry the burden of the accommodation cost alone.

We don't have to include international flights. However, by keeping it all within one package, your arrangements are protected by ATOL.

Different Snow strive to offer the most competitive prices in all instances. However, we pride ourselves first and foremost on quality - we are an independent specialist tour operator and, therefore, are not beholden to any supplier. We make our decisions based only on who's best in each and every instance.

What our customers say

5 star rating

Our customers rate us 'Excellent'

We had a trip of a lifetime holiday

Different Snow presented us with an excellent itinerary to suit our budget and accommodated specific requests. We had a whistlestop tour of Tokyo followed by great powder skiing in Hakuba then a cultural exploration of Kyoto. A fascinating and rewarding trip!

S Macquaker  ·  Scotland

I cannot recommend them highly enough

Once in a lifetime trip to Japan and they where fantastic. The itinerary was the most detailed itinerary i have ever seen, they even included things that they had found while living in japan that would not be in the tourist guide books. They kept in contact with me every step of the way. I will definitely use them again.

Nicola  ·  Scotland

Please visit our Trustpilot page to read the full reviews.

Begin your journey
How to book

It's pretty straight forward. You simply need to take the first step by getting in contact with us...


Give us a call, or fill in the enquiry form, or send us an email. We’ll listen, give advice and make suggestions.


We create a tailor-made itinerary proposal and email this to you. Together, we then refine it until it is just as you want.


A 20% deposit secures the booking. The balance payment is not due until 10 weeks before departure.

Travel Pack

We post out your comprehensive travel pack, which also includes all our local contacts and our invaluable ‘How To…’ guides.