During early spring, it can be quite chilly so please bring an overcoat or something just in case. By the end of the rainy season, Shiga Kogen enters its summer season which compared to the rest of Japan, is cool and refreshing. While in the daytime, temperatures can be quite high, the air is not humid like in Tokyo, Kyoto or Osaka.
It's advisable, due to the altitude, to bring a light overcoat, as it can be a bit chilly in the morning and evenings.
From the end of August to the end of September, Autumn hits quite early for the mountains over 2000m bringing with it a flush of red and orange leaves.
Plants and trees at 1500m normally hit their autumn phase mid-October.
For more information about the past weather information about Shiga Kogen, you can check out the Shinshu University Mountain Research Institute.
There are no gas stations in the Shiga Kogen area (until Shibutoge).
The last gas stations can be found at the foot of the area in Shinshu Nakano, so please prepare well before entering the area, and plan accordingly.
The information for the closest gas stations are :
You can find a map [here].
At the Post Office near the Shigakogen Sougoukaikan 98 in Hasuike, an ATM can be found where you can withdraw money via cash and credit cards.
This is the only ATM on the mountain but it is only available on weekdays, so please bring enough money for the weekends.
Unfortunately, most of the hiking courses are still under snow during the holiday period in May.
They normally clear by mid-May but some areas may still have snow in the higher altitudes up until June.
If you are still concerned, please contact us so that we can help you with your visit.
From June to October, hiking tours are held by the Japan Mountain Guide Association in cooperation with the Shiga Kogen Tourism Association. For more details [click here].
You can check when flowers are supposed to be blooming on the [Shiga Kogen Nature Conservation Centre Website].
You can also call them at +81-269-34-2133 (Japanese only).
Road conditions are pretty predictable with the roads being busiest in the holiday seasons. This means that in May holidays, Obon (August) holidays and weekends that fall during the Autumn Season will be quite busy.
As said there is no gas station in the Shiga Kogen area, so please fill up at the foot of the mountain.
In winter, the roads will be frozen, and while we take all possible precautions and measures, it will be necessary to bring chained tires or so to stop the vehicle from slipping.
In some cases, snowfall may still be found in May and October.
(The Shiga-Kusatsu Route will be closed in winter from mid-November to mid-April).
Autumn comes early in Shiga Kogen due to the altitude, and in late September each year the summits of Hakugane and Yokoteyama slowly burst out with reds, oranges, and yellows.
From there, the lower levels of about 1500-1600m start their change in about October. By November, the colours will have moved further down and the leaves will start dropping.
The first snowfall can be as early as mid-October, so November can be a mix of autumn leaves and white snow.
Lifts start moving in mid-November so you can enjoy these unique views for yourself.
There are no convenience stores or shops where you can buy bento while on the Shiga Kogen mountains.
Please consult with your accommodation if planning on needing lunch while hiking.
For day trips and so on, please consider buying goods while at the foot of the mountain.
If you should have the misfortune of being victim to a theft, or have an accident, you can contact the police station in Hasuike (+81-269-34-2109) who will advise and help you.
If the policeperson is not present, then you should get in contact with the police station in Yudanaka found at the foot of the mountain.
During winter, there are many vehicular accidents so please be careful when driving.
There are no restaurants or eateries on the mountain.
While meals are served at the hotels and cableway stations, most places are only open during the day.
Opening times are normally cut and some places don't open during the off season so please plan accordingly.
Public transportation on the mountain is handled by Nagano Electric Railway in the form of a routine bus.
There is only normally one bus per hour, so before heading out, please plan accordingly.
You can find the timetable for the buses via the [Nagano Electric Railway website].
(The final bus from Yudanaka to Shiga Kogen is around 18:30).
There are no taxis running in the Shiga Kogen Mountains.
When wishing to use a taxi, you can contact the Yudanaka Nagaden Taxi Sales Office (+81-269-33-3161).
Parking spaces are basically free and plentiful around the mountain.
There are plenty of spaces in each area, so please feel free to use them.
*In regards to accommodation parking, please inquire with the respective establishment.
The Shiga Kogen region are shared with the local areas, and it is prohibited for the general public who do not have the rights to enter the mountains to pick the plants and vegetables.
(In the Nemagari Bamboo season, only guests of certain accommodations are allowed to pick edible plants when given explicit permission.)
It is also expressly forbidden to capture, hunt or take animals from the area.