From Singapore - Reviewed 31 December 2015 Stayed December 20
We stayed at Chalet SHiga at the very start of the season. We may have been the first guests in. Snow was not great but that has been the case for this season across Japan. Nevertheless, Ichinose Family, takamagahara and Yakebitaiyama slopes were open, the first being walking distance from Chalet Shiga and the other two a very short bus ride away with the bus-stops close to Chalet Shiga. We feel very lucky to have chosen to stay where we did as we originally were planning to stay in Hasuike (with bus connections with Yokoteyama) and that would have been a bad choice as none of the slopes were open there.
Back to Chalet Shiga: Sato San and his team run a welcoming, homely place. Unpretentious, full of Japanese hospitality. Tolerated our rather loud (non-Japanese) kids with much patience and some amusement. Good wifi on every floor, not just in the lobby. We took the Western/Tatami combo room which meant that the parents had somewhere to hang out after the kids went to bed. Rooms were basic but clean and well-serviced. The hotel is not new but lovingly kept. I doubt that a chain hotel could look as good as this given the property's age.
Once the Teppa Bar on the ground floor opened in the middle of our stay, we had another option to hang out after the kids were in bed! Run by three lovely young Japanese ladies, one of whom worked as a pastry chef for two years in Paris, they offer great beer (and mulled wine), a cheery disposition and some fantastic food coming out of their tiny kitchen!
Some might say that Chalet Shiga isn't really ski-in, ski-out, and it isn't. There is a bit of clomping in your skiboots to get to diamond or family, about 5 minutes. But the Teppa Room more than makes up for this and Izakaya Time is only two doors down.
All in all, we had a great time at Chalet Shiga.
Thank you to Sato-san and his amazingly hardworking team!
From Sydney Australia - Reviewed 28 February 2015 Stayed Febr
We booked two rooms at chalet shiga, one a western and the other a Japanese western.
Both were a good size with single western beds and private bathroom.
The rooms were not luxurious but very functional, with the Japanese western having a lovely japanese sitting area, the western a table and chairs.
Internet in the lobby was faster than most other places we visited, and the lobby had a great view and was spacious and comfortable.
What really made our stay delightful was the friendliness of the owner Sato and his family, who could not do enough to make sure our stay was perfect, an added bonus his perfect English.
The onsen was large and well equipped, so the shower got little use, great for relaxing after a great day skiing.
The breakfast a mixture of western and Japanese, the dining room large, and the dinner very enjoyable but be warned the dining room opens at 6 pm and your dinner is waiting for you on the table at that time
The location is superb, right across from the bus stop, 50 meters to lifts that connect you to a massive area to ski, several mountains interconnected so the range and variety of ski runs is unlimited. With the added altitude of Shiga Kogen, the snow was superb and when raining elsewhere still snowing here.
There is no village at shiga but Ichinose has several restaurants to choose from and there is a funky bar downstairs with craft beer, snacks and deserts but not open every night and very busy the night we were there, so quite a wait for food.
Will definitely be returning to ski the endless runs and enjoy the wonderful hospitality that Sato, his family and Chalet Shiga welcomed us with.
From Sydney Australia - Reviewed 28 January 2015 - Stayed Janua
Stayed at Chalet Shiga for the third time in last 10 years recently with my wife and some friends. Chalet Shiga is very central in the Shiga-Kogen resort, located in the Inchinose area with good access to the slopes, literally on the other side of the road. Mr Sato and team are very friendly and helpful. Rooms ( Japanese style or Western style) are very comfortable, some with bathrooms or else the public bath there is entirely fine. Dinners are excellent if you're eating in ( recommended) and chalet has a great bar on ground level ( one of the few) with good local beers. Well recommended.
Room Tip: Rooms out the front have the views, although the snow clearing machinery that starts around 430-5 am...
From Jindabyne, Australia - Reviewed 19 January 2014 via mobile
This turned out to be a great spot to stay with my kids. We chose shiga as there is no nightlife as such, so no drunken Australians like many other Japanese ski resorts. ( I am an Aussie so think I can say this)
The bathhouse (onsen type) is great and quite traditional. We had a meal package and it is certainly worthwhile, however can be repetitive. At shiga there are few restaurants, dinner at this chalet was entirely japanese authentic. They cater for large groups of Japanese and westerners are few in number at this chalet.
We ran into another western couple who were not entirely happy, but gathered this was probably something to do with their high expectations and attitude.
One of our rooms was a real gem, a traditional tatami mat room overlooking the ichinose family ski field. We fought each other for nights in this room (407). This chalet has true ski in out from the front door.
The Teppa bar downstairs is also very good for a quiet drink, it's one of the few bars shiga and of course they serve the local shiga beers.
I would recommend this chalet to those who have kids and want a close to traditional stay. Be warned that few staff speak English, so at least try a few Japanese words.
From Lichfield UK - Reviewed 10 January 2014 via mobile - Staye
Good hotel very close to ski lifts on main road only 100yds from Nagano bus stop. Ideal for ski lifts at top of valley and located well for main ski area. Room consisted of twin bedded room and separate tatami area with small bathroom attached. We were on top floor of hotel with view over the slopes. Breakfast was extra typically Japanese with European assortments. Buffet type although on day we left as there were only a few people staying in hotel received waiter service. The hotel has a bar located on ground floor run independently which serves very good real ale and snacks which are a little pricey for what you get.
From Singapore - Reviewed 16 January 2014 - Stayed January 2014
Like many of the hotels in Shiga Kogen , this one is family owned and run, and the building has been there since the 1960's. Whilst this large, spread- out resort has hundreds of lodges, most of them are not marketed to western guests, most likely because no-one speaks any English. At Chalet Shiga, Mr Sato speaks reasonable English which makes a world of difference. He is very helpful both over the phone and via email. The other reception staff did not really speak much English, but would fetch Mr Sato for us if they couldn't help.
The hotel is on the Ichinose Family side of the road, just across from the Ichinose Diamond carpark and centre. You can rent your gear from Snow Can and buy tickets at the centre there - very handy indeed. There is a "magic carpet" next to the main building which will take you up to the footbridge across the road to Ichinose Family. (Or you can walk up the road from the hotel - about 150 m). Also across from the hotel is a doctor's clinic, which we needed to use. Ask the staff in Snow Can to direct you as it is not obviously signposted. The doctor spoke enough English that we were able to adequately discuss the problem and get the appropriate medication. Finally, the Nagaden bus stop is very close. Just ask for the "Ichinose Ski Field" stop.
The rooms are clean but basic (3 star) and this is reflected in the moderate price. We enjoyed the extra space of a western / Japanese room, but wished there were some extra hooks for towels ( a constant mystery in Japanese hotels) and more places for our suitcases. Beds were comfy, but pillows a bit hard. The "extra pillows" were a small bean bag style, which may not suit everyone.
The onsen was pleasant and simply appointed. It only had shampoo, body wash and one hairdryer (in the ladies). Take your own conditioner, body lotion etc. It has no windows, but on the plus side was not as ridiculously hot as some can be. The laundry mysteriously has no dryer and we dried our washing by draping it all over our room. This is something that Mr Sato assured me they hoped to improve by getting a clothes dryer. I am starting to form a theory that doing washing on holidays is a western thing!
We had a breakfast only package and found this to be fine. A typical mixture of western and Japanese food. Nothing fancy, but this is not a 5 star hotel after all. We had dinner in the dining room on one evening for a nice Japanese meal.
The real star of this place, for us, was the "teppa room" bar on the ground floor. Run by a very hard working and talented pair of young people who speak very good English. They serve local beer, wine and sake and great bar snacks / meals. We ate there twice and found it a very comfortable, friendly place to relax after skiing and chat with other guests. Hardly a riotous night club, this low key spot was family friendly and provided the all important "lounge" atmosphere that western skiers are used to.
Local dining options are few, and some book out due to school groups. We ate twice at the Nepalese restaurant up the road and would happily recommend this place.
A final positive was the in - house ski school. Friends were able to book a very friendly English speaking instructor who made the world of difference to their holiday. Two nervous, middle aged beginners, they ended up really enjoying themselves with this lovely, patient young lady.
I would recommend Chalet Shiga for people looking for a lodge style hotel that is convenient to a number of facilities, including a limited range of outside dining options. The Sato family were gracious hosts, and seem to have attracted a share of the English speaking market.