Where to stay
Morino Lodge Myoko
585-23 Akakura, Myoko. 011-81-261-85-9098, morinolodge.com/lodges-chalets/morino-lodge-myoko
This bright, three-story hotel features a ski-snowboard room, separate gear-drying room, and spalike 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 Western-style breakfast for lodgers, and, at least once a week, serves dinner. Staffers are often available to shuttle guests to nearby resorts. Double rooms from around $155.
115 Akakura, Myoko. 011-81-255-87-2036, myoko-kougakuro.jp/english
A delightful, Japanese-style hotel with English-speaking staff, spacious rooms, indoor-outdoor onsen, buffet breakfast, and small bar. A three- minute walk to the slopes of Akakura Onsen. Rooms from $88.
Where to eat
721-1 Sekikawa, Myoko. 011-81-255-86-3052
A small, family-run restaurant featuring the best sushi we found in the area and a warm, accommodating staff. Full sushi meals, with a range of fish, from about $20.
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.
Udon No Fu
585-83 Akakura, Myoko. 011-81-255-87-2088
Famous for udon noodles in black squid ink, this small place also has top-tier tempura. Entrees from $8. Cash only.
Myoko Kogen Ski Resort Area
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 on-mountain dining, a row of small wooden and houselike restaurants serving ramen, seafood, meats, and fresh salads.
A one-day lift ticket to access 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.
Madarao Mountain Ski Resort
Route 117, Madarao-kogen, Iiyama, Nagano. 011-81-269-64-3214, madarao.jp/ski/_en
A fair-size 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.
Evergreen Tours, 4377 Hokujo, 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, which start from about $150 per person per day, with group discounts available. Gear rental is extra.