Hakuba Ski Resort

For an authentic Japanese skiing experience, look no further than the Hakuba Valley with its 10 ski areas.

Niseko might have better powder, but the Hakuba Valley gets more than its fair share &nash; which is great news if you’re planning a trip to ski at its three main ski areas. Happo-One is the largest of these, covering 52km of pistes, including the 1998 Olympic ski racing pistes. Hakuba 47/Goryu is around half the size but a fun ski area and Iwatake has access to 50km of further slopes, but a much smaller vertical. Traditional guesthouses are the order of the day in terms of accommodation and as you might expect, the food is fantastic and there are numerous hot spring onsens to unwind in at the end of the ski day.

Join us on the 14-day Ski Club Freshtracks Japan Powder Adventure holiday, which takes in the best of the Hakuba Valley as well as the resort of Nozawa Onsen.

Our Hakuba Resort Ratings

  • Beginner ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
  • Intermediate ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
  • Advanced ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
  • Snow Reliability ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
  • Fast Lifts ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
  • Resort Activities ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
  • Après ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
  • Value ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Pros

Fantastic variety in the valley with 10 ski areas

Great snow record and access to some of Japan’s best powder

Authentic Japanese experience and great food

Cons

Language barrier can be an issue

Driving between ski areas is required and this can be tricky in snow

Off piste skiing is very heavily regulated, hire a guide for the best access

Hakuba Skiing and Snowboarding

All of the ski areas have options for beginners and intermediates, but the plentiful snowfall means that most will want to be confident skiing powder before heading half way around the world to go skiing. This also means you will make the most of the Japanese Alps’ epic terrain and big vertical.

For advanced and expert skiers and boarders, the tree skiing here is second to none. Hiring a mountain guide and carrying a pair of touring skins will make a big difference, but within the ski resorts there are some good inbound areas. In particular the Hikage zone at Iwatake, the open bowls at the top of Hakuba 47/Goryu and the Kurobishi off piste area at Happo-One.

  • Total Pistes: 126km (Happo-One, Iwatake & Hakuba 47/Goryu)
  • Green: 50%
  • Red: 30%
  • Black: 20%
  • Lifts: 56 (Happo-One, Iwatake & Hakuba 47/Goryu)
  • Altitude: 750m – 1831m

Hakuba Piste Map

The local area map can be downloaded here.

Hakuba Resort

We’d recommend basing yourself in Hakuba itself rather than at one of the resorts as this will give you the freedom to travel around. The town of Hakuba has a great atmosphere with a wide range of bars and restaurants. There are good western options but the main attractions are the excellent Japanese food and izakayas (Japanese bars).

By far the best way to unwind after a day on the hill is in a traditional Japanese onsen – these are littered throughout the valley so don’t worry about finding one!

How to get to Hakuba

The transfer from Tokyo take a little less than three hours, via bullet train to the city of Nagano and then an express bus service up to the resort.

  • Tokyo airport: 2.5-3 hours

Hakuba Contact Details

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