If you go Where to stay

The Denver Post - - TRAVEL -

Morino Lodge Myoko, 585-23 Akakura, Myoko. 011-81-261-859098, mori­nolodge.com/lodgeschalets/morino-lodge-myoko This bright, three-story ho­tel fea­tures a ski-snow­board room, sep­a­rate gear-dry­ing room and spa-like onsen. It is a five-minute walk from the Akakura Onsen ski area and vil­lage cen­ter. The lodge has a small bar, in­cludes a full Western­style break­fast with stays and, at least once a week, serves din­ner on-site. Staffers are of­ten avail­able to shut­tle guests to nearby re­sorts. Dou­ble rooms from around $155. Kougakuro, 115 Akakura, Myoko. 011-81-255-87-2036, myoko-kougakuro.jp/english A de­light­ful, Ja­panese-style ho­tel with English­s­peak­ing staff, spa­cious rooms, in­door-out­door onsen, buf­fet break­fast and small bar. A three­minute walk to the slopes of Akakura Onsen. Rooms from $88.

721-1 Sekikawa, Myoko. 011-81-255-86-3052 A small, fam­ily-run restau­rant in a res­i­den­tial neigh­bor­hood, fea­tur­ing the best sushi we found in the area and a warm, ac­com­mo­dat­ing staff. Full sushi meals, with a range of fish, from around $20. Syokudo Shi­bata, 549-83 Akakura, Myoko. 011-81-255-87-2936 Spe­cial­iz­ing in Ja­panese bar­be­cue, this wel­com­ing restau­rant also of­fers ex­cel­lent ra­men and lighter fare in a fun at­mos­phere. En­trees from $8. Cash only.

585-83 Akakura, Myoko. 011-81-255-87-2088 Fa­mous for udon noo­dles in black squid ink, this small place also has top­tier tem­pura. En­trees from $8. Cash only. Akakura Onsen and Akakura Kanko rise right from the vil­lage, and Sug­i­no­hara and Ikeno­taira are short bus or shut­tle rides away. Seki Onsen, for ex­am­ple, is a 25-minute drive from Akakura vil­lage.

Of these, Sug­i­no­hara of­fers the great­est ver­ti­cal drop — 3,600 feet — and the long­est run in Ja­pan, a five-mile ser­pen­tine de­scent. It also has the most in­ter­est­ing on­moun­tain din­ing, a row of small wooden and house­like restau­rants serv­ing ra­men, seafood, meats, and fresh sal­ads.

A one-day lift ticket to ac­cess both Akakura Onsen and Kanko costs $44, and sin­gle-day tick­ets to the other re­sorts are sim­i­larly priced. Free shut­tle buses run be­tween Akakura Onsen/Kanko, Ikeno­taira and Sug­i­no­hara. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit myoko-nagano.com/ac­cess/myoko_­trans­port. Iiyama, Nagano. 011-81-269-643214, madarao.jp/ski/_en A fair­sized moun­tain with 15 lifts, 30 marked runs and a ver­ti­cal drop of 1,443 feet. Lim­ited on-moun­tain din­ing and après-ski op­tions. Lift tick­ets cost $44. Hakuba. 011-81-261-72-5150, ever­green-hakuba.com/en Qual­ity out­fit­ters pro­vid­ing English-speak­ing guides for all man­ner of moun­tain ad­ven­tures, es­pe­cially back­coun­try ski tours. Back­coun­try tours from around $150 per per­son per day, with group dis­counts avail­able. Gear rental is ex­tra.

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