Hello from Myoko!
I first came to Myoko more than 30 years ago, when I first began working in Japan. I was staying in a local ryokan, or Japanese-style hotel, so it felt very Japanese. At the same time, it was also unexpectedly Alpine, with birch trees, high blue skies—and, of course, beautiful mountains. Later on I discovered that while summers here are cool, pleasant and beautiful, the winters and incredibly deep snows are really something special. I’m from the snowy part of the States, but I never really saw snow until I got here.
So when I was leaving a job in Tokyo and thinking about what I wanted to do next, I decided to spend one season in Myoko to just work on my skiing and do a little work while I considered that next step. Nearly 20 years later, I’m still here. I became a much better skier thanks to good friends I met here and all that good snow, and now guide other skiers into the backcountry. And I definitely became a better powder skier!
I’m still here because Myoko offers so much: the wonderful natural world (we get bears passing through the yard in the summer—most people probably don't have that image of Japan!), food and culture, and easy access to the ocean to the north, and the more urban attractions of Nagano City and Tokyo. I’ve brought a lot of friends here, most often in the winter, and everybody always has a good time.
Hope to see you, too, on the Myoko slopes! Summer or winter, be sure and say hi—this is a friendly, local place where you’ll soon feel like a regular.
Bill Ross is a nature lover, ski and mountain guide, and long-time resident of Myoko.