Action & Adventure
Hakuba Ski Resorts 白馬のスキー場
Olympic-class winter sports on the roof of Japan
Stretching nearly 30 kilometers along the base of the Hakuba Range in Nagano's Northern Alps, Hakuba Valley is home to some of the country's best snow and Japan's biggest ski resort.
- The Hakuba47 Snow Sculpture Festival in February
- Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing courses in Iwatake
- Skiing and snowboarding until early May
How to Get There
Getting to Hakuba is easy, no matter where you're based.
From Tokyo Station take the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line to Nagano and switch to an express bus. You can get to Hakuba from Nagoya by catching the limited express Shinano. From Osaka to Nagano take the JR Thunderbird Limited Express and change at Kanazawa Station to the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line, then make the bus transfer to Hakuba.
Traveling around the valley
Moving between resorts is easy with Hakuba's network of free shuttle buses, some of which also connect to the villages. Maps and schedules are available at the tourist information center. Many hotels also offer their own shuttle services, so it's best to ask.
Fresh powder daily
The resorts receive around 11 meters of annual snowfall. The area has 146 lifts and over 200 runs spread across 11 resorts, a good variety of terrain and excellent powder. While there is no shortage of beginner level runs, the most popular slopes range from intermediate to Olympic level and attract winter sports enthusiasts from around the globe.
Beginners are welcome
Skiing and snowboard instruction is available in English at resorts throughout the valley and schools like Hakuba Ski Concierge. English language childcare is available at Happo-one, Goryu, Cortina, and other locations.
Ten in one
Ten of Hakuba Valley's resorts have teamed up to offer a Hakuba Valley lift ticket available for single or multiple-day use. Slopes open in late November and run until the beginning of May at higher elevations. January and February are peak powder season, and the year-end holidays are particularly busy, as is Chinese New Year.
Happo-one (pronounced Hap-poh-oh-nay) is an expansive resort near the center of the Hakuba Valley and is the closest to Hakuba Station. The 13 courses and 23 lifts offer skiing and boarding options for all levels as well as good backcountry access. The resort holds a variety of events including a New Year's Eve countdown and the Happo-one Fire Festival in February. Happo-one also hosted the downhill and ski jump events for the 1998 Winter Olympics.
Goryu and Hakuba47 Winter Sports Park
These adjacent resorts are the only two in the Hakuba Village area joined by their runs. The same lift ticket serves both areas, boasting a combined 19 lifts and 24 courses. Goryu has plenty of services available at the base and is known for its long, meandering intermediate and beginner slopes.
Hakuba47 is a more advanced option with lots of steep runs. The north-facing slope also extends its season, with runs often accessible until May. The resort hosts the Hakuba47 Snow Sculpture Festival in February.
Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field
With 16 lifts and 15 courses, Iwatake is known for its incredible panoramic view. Intermediate courses are the norm, but there are also a handful of beginner runs and a children's area. Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing courses help make it a fun family resort. It also tends to be less crowded than some of Hakuba's better-known ski areas.
See the Otari Village page for details on Cortina, Tsugaike Kogen, and Hakuba Norikura resorts.