Ski holidays in Hakuba, Japan
Japan may not be one of the most recognisable skiing destinations in the world, but its appeal is growing rapidly as more and more skiers and snowboarders see the resplendent natural beauty of the region. The country may be better known for its unique culture and history, though it has begun to establish itself as one of the world’s leading extreme winter sports resorts and Hakuba is leading the charge.
- Off piste
Hakuba ski resort
Set in the splendid Japanese Alps, Hakuba is made up of eleven separate resorts with a charming village providing a range of brilliant shops and facilities. It is one of the country’s larger skiing areas and has developed a strong international reputation, partly thanks to the amazing on-site Olympic Ski Jumping Stadium.
The individual resorts in Hakuba are Cortina, Norikura,Tsugaike Kogen, Iwatake, Happo-One, Hakuba 47, Goryu, Sanosaka, Kashimayari, Jigatake, and Minekata, each with their own individual charm. Happo-One is the most family-friendly, with plenty of activities for children to enjoy.
Snow conditions in Hakuba
Hakuba’s high altitude benefits from excellent snow coverage and the season runs from December to April, giving skiers plenty of time to explore all the delights the resort has to offer. Ski resorts in Japan are famed for their legendary powder and consistent mass snowfalls each season. Hakuba averages 11m of snow each winter.
Skiing in Hakuba
There are plenty of amazing runs for both skiers and snowboarders to tackle at Hakuba, especially for beginners and intermediates. There are plenty of steeper routes for those in search of a bigger challenge too.
Cortina is the best area for riders in search of some off-piste opportunities, whereas freestylers have plenty of options across all 11 resorts. Overall, there are more than 200 pistes in Hakuba, equating to 137km of piste and nine terrain parks for snowboarders to enjoy across the Hakuba ski areas. Night skiing is available until 10pm at Hakuba
Apres ski, restaurants and other activities in Hakuba
There are plenty of amazing restaurants available to choose from in Hakuba, offering some extraordinary Japanese cuisine. One of the top eateries is Hummingbird, where skiers can enjoy fresh food in a wonderfully charming atmosphere.
As well as this, travellers can visit the Olympic ski jumping hill to enjoy breathtaking views of the Japanese Alps, while tobogganing, snow-rating and the excellent hot springs are other great options.
Other activities to do in Hakuba:
- Historic Matsumoto Castle
- Snow monkey tours
- Off piste tours
Ski accommodation in Hakuba
Transfer times to Hakuba
From the UK you would fly in to Tokyo Narita airport where you could take a bus transfer straight to Hakuba (aprrox 5 hours), or the faster option is the train from Narita to Toyko and then the bullet train (Shinkansen) to Nagano and then a bus on to Hakuba which is 44k m away (one hour drive), totaling 3-4 hours.