April is hay fever, all year round are shooting stars. The glassy Okusiga sky was a prime spot for sighting the recent meteor shower.



April is melting snow, all year round is the itch to ride. Thanks to this year’s abundant snow fall, Okushiga Kogen has extended its lift operation from what was originally May 7 to May 14.


詳細はホームページよりご覧いただけます。You can check the details at our website.





引っ張られ揺られ • pulled and swayed




スネーク グリス 




毎日 16:00より営業しています。

2名 (要予約)  料金: ¥2,500/人 お問い合わせ: 0269-24-2007


Soft spring snow =

Snake Gills

Go down the cascade-etched slope during the after hours with a sled that binds with one another into a snake-like formation.

Get pulled and swayed!

Expect to be surrounded with a stomach-aching laughter and screams!

Open everyday from 4PM.

Starts with minimum heads of two. Cost: 2500 yen/head. Call 0269-24-2007



Sunrise to Sunset Snow

Day by day, the hours of sunlight increase, which has always meant the hours of skiing does too. From 6:30 until 4:30, lifts are running and groomers are grooming, and on top of that, the sky keeps snowing. As of the 25th of March, we finally hit a season high with a sustained base snow depth of 310cm and rising. How does this happen you may ask? How is this possible in Okushiga? Well, I think it is fair to now say that the Siberian winds seem to have seemingly chosen favorites—as the Alps become evermore desolate, Okushiga Pow just becomes more pow… And with a change of winds comes a change in migration patterns guaranteed… Okushiga pow has spoken for itself!






From breakfast to dinner, flowering edibles nourish our bellies to fuel our legs through the snowy mountains of Okushiga. Healthy living seems to be the mountain way as we gorge ourselves with only the best quality mountain food in Shiga Highlands. Our international staff brings authentic fine Japanese and French dining with all the in between snacks mastered and included for the hungry go-getters. And we are even given the freedom to create our own goofy breakfast dishes (bottom left).


When you think digesting food on top of more food is enough, we have to wakeup to mesmerizing sunrises casting light on layer after layer of fresh powder, just waiting to be sun struck, but those smart enough to hit the Okushiga pow in its softest form wakeup for the early bird chair to ski out as many fresh lines as possible before heading in for a hefty breakfast and maybe even nap. Ladies and gentlemen, it does not matter when you come, for the picture perfect snow keeps on coming.







March Madness • 弥生の粉雪

Everyday we wakeup thinking that it is our last winter skiing and that it was time to put on the wetsuit for some spring slush, but every time that hint of warmth, crust, ice, or wetness baits us into the sad mentality of needing to wait another year for Japow, we just get completely dumped on. What is this madness? Climate change maybe…but at least that means more snow in 2017!



After a solid 30cm of overnight snow, blistering winds have kept the powder untouched this morning, leaving powder packed pistes wide open for the few venturing over from Yakebitaiyama for one perfect run. Despite what the photo above shows in terms of conditions, visibility was not even a necessary factor when every turn was aided by equally weighted knee deep powder that left you with a taste of heaven and sorrows forgotten.


Regardless of the weather, evenings are full of craze and enthusiasm for magic, music, medals, and even marriage. Gwendal never ceases to impress with his singing and guitar playing as guests simultaneously admire and even take sneaky opportunities to touch olympic gold for their first time (without even needing to put in the hard work!) Meanwhile hordes gather for weekend magic as Fred and new guest star magician Sylvia put on never before seen duet performances for Okushiga guests! And even newly weds looking for and receiving a blast of excitement up in the Japanese mountains. With guests who have spent the winter season skiing all over the world, everyone is in agreement that March in Okushiga will bring nothing but the best snow at this time of the year. Time to go ski some powder—this is truly madness!





The Birds and the Bees • まだ冬もう春

Cherry blossoms are blooming throughout Japan, signaling the turn of the season, and usually, the decline of snow quality throughout the region too, but not in Okushiga! The snow keeps on coming (another 20cm in 36 hours), well at least enough to keep us satisfied and the slopes in perfect skiing condition (see below), while the Okushiga trees stay unbelievable (as you can see from the photo above).



With the spring solstice arriving soon, everyone around the hotel is getting slightly giddy for what is to come during the official turn of the season. Ski instructors and their students alike are in splendor from seemingly endless fun, from a morning and afternoon on the slopes, split apart by pizza and Uno for lunch, I do not think anyone could be more jealous of such a glorious day. But what about night?



Olympic gold medal winner, Gwendal Peizerat, is here not only to enjoy the snow, but also to showcase another gold medal worthy facet… his singing! From watching him prepare during the day to setting the ambience at night, the hype is in the air, and we cannot wait for many nights of joy to come.


The snow may be still falling, but the birds are already chirping and the bees are definitely buzzing. Spring is coming and love is in the air at Okushiga. When the sunrise snowcat tour brings you unforgettable views of tranquility along with a pink soul warming glow reflecting off the snow, how could you not feel the need to embrace something, someone, or really anything around while on top of the world?



To catch the first sunbeam!       日の出を山頂で迎え、ノートラック・バーンを滑って気持ち新たに  


Today Okushiga Kogen Hotel had organized another amazing sunrise snowcat tour!  At 5:45 AM all gathered guests after the glass of fresh orange juice hit the road with the snowcat truck to conquer the mountain!




In Japanese tradition, the Sun is the symbol of Goddess Amaterasu, who is one of the most important gods in Japanese pantheon. That is why, apart from aesthetic considerations, catching the first sunbeam of the day has a very spiritual value. It is even more sacred to watch the sunrise from the mountain on the first day of New Year or from the holy mountain of Japan: Fuji-san.



IMG_8440 IMG_8420

On the viewpoint up on the Yakebitai mountain guests had a chance to look up to the stunning view of rising sun above Shiga Kogen cordillera, drink hot chocolate and take photos.




After the lofty moment of the passing sunrise, guests had a unique pleasure to shred the first corduroy tracks on the expert or forest run.

IMG_8471  IMG_8465

Really nice way to start a day, am I right?


One Way To Do an Okushiga Day

For those of you who are reading this blog and have yet to experience Okushiga Kogen, here is a brief snapshot of a day that could be yours, even though the true experience of being here is truly impossible to describe. And if you have been smart or lucky enough to venture out into our highlands, maybe you would like a little help remembering some of the happiest times of your life or being jealous of what could have been…Warning: it may have not been the most glamorous of days that could have been, but it sure was a great one!

I may have woken up a bit late today, so breakfast was skipped, but all in order to make it up the mountain on the first chair at 8:30. With the sun already blazing, presenting a 360 degree panoramic view into the horizon, many a picture was taken, even one using the panorama function on the iPhone—the opportunity was just too tempting!


Despite the lack of sustenance in my belly, my legs and body were already awakened by the cool clean air and the non-stop picture perfect views. It was almost dangerous to ski because the views were unbelievably eye-catching, maybe too eye-catchingly distracting. Someone, like myself, could forget where he or she was going— I definitely nearly lost it a couple of times!


Shredding through the perfectly groomed slopes, swishing and edging, trying to find that perfect feeling that comes close to flying, I found myself at the park. Taking a break to asses the options / actually mustering up the courage to get up and jump, I found myself admiring the demo skis rented from the hotel. Couldn’t help it, because they felt good and definitely made me look good at the very least!


Then into the trees of the Okushiga Valley we went. Between the Yakebitaiyama #1 Gondola and Okushiga Gondola, there are countless lines with everlasting powder and trees to dodge, which never ceases to please and challenge even the best of us! There seems to always be room to improve… such is the beauty of the sport.

With tired legs and the feeling of a day well spent, I naturally gravitated towards the comfortable couches in the lounge, where a warm fire, food, snacks, and plenty of drinks were had thanks to the international staff, who knew my needs and even sent me secret messages in my drinks? Or maybe I had too many…