Myoko Kogen: Powder Paradise Reimagined

Mar 13, 2024

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The Billion-Dollar Bet to Transform Myoko Kogen into a Global Ski Mecca

Myoko Kogen, nestled in the heart of Japan's Niigata Prefecture, is a captivating destination for ski enthusiasts and investors alike. Renowned for its heavy snowfall, the area actually boasts a variety of ski resorts that cater to all levels of skiers and snowboarders. The Myoko Kogen area is characterized by its breathtaking natural beauty, with towering mountains, serene forests, and hot springs, making it an idyllic winter getaway. Beyond the slopes, Myoko Kogen offers a rich cultural experience, including traditional onsen, fabulous local cuisine, and a glimpse into Japan's storied history and hospitality.

From an investment perspective, Myoko Kogen presents an exciting opportunity in the ski real estate market. The increasing popularity of the area with both domestic and international tourists has driven demand for accommodations, ranging from luxury resorts to quaint guesthouses. The growth in tourism has been bolstered by improvements in accessibility, including better transportation links to major cities like Tokyo, and the ongoing development of local amenities and ski facilities. This upsurge in visitor numbers and infrastructure development signifies a promising potential for high returns on investment in property and hospitality services.

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What's The New Investment?

The recent investment by Patience Capital into Myoko Kogen is a transformative initiative aimed at reshaping the area into a premier global ski destination. Led by Ken Chan, the former head of Singapore's sovereign wealth fund GIC in Japan, Patience Capital Group plans to invest $1.4 billion to turn Myoko Kogen into a luxury skiing paradise comparable to renowned resorts like Aspen, Whistler, and St. Moritz. The investment strategy includes acquiring land at competitive prices, bolstered by the depreciating yen, with plans to introduce international hotels and accommodations for thousands of workers by 2026. This project is envisioned as a key step in placing Myoko on the world tourism map, attracting global investors to Japan's booming tourism sector and celebrated ski slopes​​.

Further elaborating on this ambitious project, Singapore's Patience Capital Group (PCG) has outlined a 10-year, 210 billion yen investment plan. This massive financial injection is aimed at transforming Myoko Kogen into a Whistler-style mega resort. To kickstart this endeavor, PCG has successfully raised 35 billion yen for its 'Japan Tourism Fund One,' with a significant portion allocated for revitalizing Myoko's storied ski industry. Already, the company has secured 350 hectares of land in the Myoko region, including the acquisition of the Madarao Ski Resort. The initial phase of the investment plan focuses on developing luxury accommodations and housing for potential employees, with over 10 global hotel brands showing interest, two of which are expected to proceed. Future development phases envisage the creation of a shopping district with luxury brand stores and fine dining options​​.

This strategic investment by Patience Capital underscores Myoko Kogen's potential resurgence as a ski resort of international repute. With its close proximity to Tokyo, accessible via shinkansen (bullet train), and boasting over 13 meters of snow per season, Myoko Kogen is well-positioned to attract a global skiing audience. This rejuvenation effort is not just about enhancing the skiing experience but also about revitalizing local economies through tourism and providing a model for how Japan's ski resorts can adapt and thrive in the changing global tourism landscape.

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