Snowshoe Tours in Shiga Kogen

The following dates are difficult to book and we may not be able to make a booking for you.
January: 4, 5, 6, 10, 11, 17, 18
February: 10, 11, 12
These dates are flexible and will be updated when changed.

Shiga Kogen Guide Association operates English-speaking guided snowshoe tours from January to March.

Snowshoe Tour is a fascinating opportunity to get away from the crowds and get a touch of local wildlife.
“Kogen” means Highland. Our field is at an altitude between 1300m to above 2300m high with Japanese sub-alpine forest.
Do you know the characteristic silence of winter forest? Have you hiked through the native forest? Can you imagine the feeling of strolling around a pristine snow field?
Let’s get back to nature and experience it all!
You can choose either PRIVATE or GROUP Tour. A Guide can take up to 5 people.
Prior booking is essential.

The Snowshoe tour for 2024 will start in January until March or maybe longer if snow conditions are good.

Group Tours: Recommend for people who..

☆ Want to share your experience with someone you met first time
☆ Is able to come on time for the meeting
☆ Is a solo traveller, you’ll save more than on a private tour.

★ If it is difficult for you to make it to the meeting time, please let us know and we will do our best to accommodate you by adjusting the time. Then the next person who books the same group tour may be asked to adjust to the changed time.

Private Tour: Recommended for people who..

☆ Want to spend a special time with just family and friends
☆ Want to go where they want, when they want (only if you have your vehicle)
☆ Are physically fit and willing to walk for more than 3 hours

【Winter Forest Group Tour (AM/PM)】Fitness Level ★★☆☆☆/Tour Time 2 hours and a bit more

Actual walking time on snow is about 1.5 hours.
The tour area is mainly in the forest so that you can enjoy it in any weather. You may walk on the pond where the surface of the water is frozen and covered with snow.

Morning Tour 9:15 to 11:30-ish
Afternoon Tour 13:15 to 15:30-ish

★ If it is difficult for you to make it to the meeting time, please let us know and we will do our best to accommodate you by adjusting the time. Then the next person who books the same group tour may be asked to adjust to the changed time.

〈Meeting Place〉
Shiga Kogen Guide Association Front Desk (Inside Tourist Information Centre)
*Across the road from Shiga Kogen Yamanoeki Sta.
*Free parking is available at Shiga Kogen Yamanoeki Sta.

〈Tour Price for per person〉
Adult: 4,000 JPY /Child (6 to 12 YO): 3,000 JPY
*You’ll get a 500 JPY discount if you have your own snowshoes &/OR poles.

〈Price Includes〉
Guide, Insurance, Snowshoes and poles

【Moutain Top Group Tour】Tour Time: about 3 hours

Gondola take you up! Enjoy the panoramic view from 2,000 m high!

Actual snow walking time is up to 1.5 hours.
Beginners welcome! The gondola will take us up close to the top!

The Mt. Yakebitai Tour starts with walking in the winter jungle towards a large snow field with a panoramic view.
You may be able to meet snow monsters in January and February if conditions are good.
We walk on pretty much flat land with NO up/downhill. Fitness Level ★☆☆☆☆

The Mt. Higashidate Tour needs a little bit more fitness level as we walk uphill & downhill.
From the top of the mountain, you can see all areas of Shiga Kogen.
There is a restaurant at the top of Gondola Sta. You can stay longer after the tour and enjoy lunch with a view if you wish. Fitness Level ★★★☆☆

〈Meeting & Finishing Time〉
9:30 to 12:30-ish

〈Meeting Place〉
Mt. Yakebitai Meeting at Mt. Yakebitai First Gondola Bottom Station (Free Parking is available)
Mt. Higashidate Meeting at Hoppo Onsen Bus Stop (Free Parking is available)

〈Tour Price〉
Adult: 9,000 JPY/Child (6 to 12 YO): 7,000 JPY
*You’ll get a 500 JPY discount if you have your own snowshoes &/OR poles.

〈Price Includes〉
Guide, Insurance, Return Gondola, Snowshoes and poles

【Private Tour】

We will coordinate the tour just for you and/or your special people.

1 guide can take up to 5 people and there are various places you can go to.
We customise your tour according to your requests and the day’s conditions.

〈Tour operation〉
from 9:00 to 15:00

〈Tour Price for per person/JPY 〉
2 Hours: 12,000 for one / 8,000 for two / 7,000 for three / 6,000 for four / 5,500 for five
3 Hours: 15,000 for one / 9,000 for two / 8,000 for three / 7,000 for four / 6,000 for five
4 Hours: 18,000 for one / 11,000 for two / 9,000 for three / 8,000 for four / 7,000 for five
5 Hours: 21,000 for one / 12,000 for two / 10,000 for three / 9,000 for four / 8,000 for five

〈Price Includes〉
Guide, Insurance, Snowshoes and poles.
*You’ll get a 500 JPY discount if you have your own snowshoes &/OR poles.

〈Meeting Place〉
Depending on which route we go on the day.

【What To Bring】

Outside temperature gets up to -15℃ (5℉) until mid March
・Warm, waterproofed winter outfitting just like going for skiing
・Winter snow boots are necessary to avoid getting wet and cold
・Sunglasses or goggles AND sunscreen. *White snow reflects more sunlight and tans your eyes.
・Waterproofedwinter gloves
・Woollen beanie
・A backpack
・Something to drink
・Lunch or snacks ONLY IF you are on a full-day tour

【For those who need help preparing the above belongings】
★ There are rental stores in Shiga Kogen and some hotels have their own rental shop as well, so contact them first to see if they have the gear you need.
★ A rental store “Alpina Sports” is also easily accessible at Shiga Kogen Yamanoeki Bus Terminal, right in front of our office.
★ Some items are not available at rental stores. For example, beanies and gloves are only available for sale. Non of the stores has sunglasses for either sale or rental.

【Snowshoes & Pole Rentals】

Want to go for self-touring?
We have Snowshoes and pole rentals for one day or a short time.
Available from 9:00 to 16:00

〈Price for per person〉
One Day: 3,500 JPY
3 Hours: 2,000 JPY

【Important Notes】

・We accept ONLY CASH.
・Required fitness level may change with snow depth.
・Shiga Kogen Guide Association have the right to cancel tours due to inclement weather conditions.
・We do not have transportation services. Please use your own transfer or public transportation.
・There is no supermarket or convenience store in Shiga Kogen Area.

【How To Make A Booking】

Please contact us by email at including all the required information below.
◆ Your full name:
◆ Mobile phone number:
◆ Tour Date:
◆ Tour Course:
◆ Accommodation on the day before, and the day:
◆ Length of your stay in Shiga Kogen (d/m to d/m):
◆ How do you come to the meeting place (Shuttle bus / Vehicle / Walk):
◆ Emergency contact phone number:

If you have anyone with you, we require all this information from everyone to prepare snowshoes and poles and to apply for insurance.
◆ Full name:
◆ Date of birth:
◆ Country of current residence:
◆ Your height:
◆ Your boots type (Snowboots / Winter climbing boots/ Snowboard boots / need to rent)
◆ Your boots size:

【Cancelation Policy】

We are very grateful for the many customers who have joined our tours, but we only have a small number of guides.
Bookings are filled on a first-come, first-served basis, so if you cancel without notice, we will be very sorry for the other people we have had to turn down.
We understand that unexpected things always happen when we travel. And if you have to cancel your tour as a result of a change in itinerary or sudden illness, we would appreciate it if you could let us know.

【Getting To Our Base in Shiga Kogen】

Shiga Kogen Guide Association(ShigaKogen Nature Center)
《Address》 Shiga Kogen Sougoukaikan 98 – 7148 Hirao, Yamanouchi, Shimotakai District, Nagano 381-0401
《Driving your Car》
《Public Transfer》
《Regular Bus Time Table》

【Local Weather Forecast】

At our base (Alt.1,485m)
At the Mt. Yakebitaiyama (Alt.2,009m)
At the Mt. HIgashidateyama (Alt.1,994m)

【More about Shiga Kogen】

Please feel free to contact the Shiga Kogen Tourist Association ( if you would like to know anything about Shiga Kogen other than tours. However, since we do not have a full-time foreign language-speaking staff, we would greatly appreciate it if you could contact us by e-mail rather than by phone.

【Up coming informaiton】

⛄ User-friendly and detailed access information to tour meeting points.
⛄ Ski shuttle bus route map and timetable in English
⛄ Difference between Snowshoes and snowboots
⛄ Usufull information especially for those who stay here longer.
⛄ If you have any other comments or suggestions, please let us know.