Hakuba is a small village surrounded by the stunning mountains of the North Alps. The resorts that feed into the Hakuba village area all have their own individual style, multi-resort and single resort lift passes are both available. Resorts within the Hakuba village area. Hakuba’s Happo One hosted the men’s downhill and super giant slalom as well as the ski jump and nordic combined events. Its high elevation and vertical rise make it the steepest of Japan’s resorts.
The best way to get around the Valley is with the inter-resort shuttle. The shuttles are free for those with the Hakuba Valley Lift Pass and cost ¥500 per ride for those without the pass. Be sure to check the time and locations of the schedule as there are dozens of stops across a handful of different bus lines.
Happo-One is the largest and most popular resort in the Hakuba Valley having served as the host for the 1998 Olympics and the Free Ride World Tour. Happo boasts 1701 meters of vertical drop and has a steep pitch making it best suited for intermediate and advanced skiers. Beginners can enjoy the more mellow runs on the Sakka side of the mountain and the popular ski school, Evergreen operates out of this resort.
The interconnected resorts of Hakuba and Goryu Ski Resort flank Goryu and Echoland villages and are only 10 minutes by bus from Happo Village. Both resorts have great snow quality and 47 has a moderately sized terrain park with some nice kickers perfect for non-powder days. Sign up for the Double Black Diamond Club to access the trees and backcountry at Hakuba 47.
Hakuba’s Powder Capital receives twice as much snowfall as other resorts. Combine this with Cortina’s relaxed off-piste policy, fun tree lines and steep terrain, and you have a recipe for an incredible resort experience. The ski area is only 124 acres and has 17 trails, 503 meters of vertical and 7 lifts. Get there early for first lifts on powder day!
Norikura Ski Resort is located to the north of Hakuba Village and is connected with Cortina and can be accessed with a common lift ticket. Many people head to Cortina and overlook Norikura which makes it a great place to get away from the crowds. All the buses heading to Cortina stop at Norikura as well. Catch them at the Happo Info Center.
Iwatake has great views, consistent snow, good tree skiing as well as some nice beginner runs and is more protected on those stormy days. Iwatake is less crowded and is a fantastic resort for intermediate skiers and boarders. Iwatake is just 10 minutes from the Happo Village and can be accessed via the free resort shuttle buses.
Tsugaike Kogen Ski Resort is popular ski resort suited particularly for beginners and families with varying abilities. There are plenty of mellow wide runs and also great tree runs for more advanced riders. The village is much more Japanese than Happo Village and has several great eateries worth a visit.
Jiigatake is a smaller and quieter resort, so if you’d like to avoid the crowds at more popular resorts, Jiigatake is a good place to be. The resort has 4 chair lifts, 7 runs, and is great for beginners as they are wide and gentle. 70% of runs are geared for newbies while 30% are best suited for intermediates.
Kashimayari Ski Resort is the closest resort to Matsumoto and is moderately sized with 16 courses, 8 lifts, and a vertical of 720 metres. From the top of the mountain you can enjoy a 5,000m downhill course with amazing views of Lake Aoki. There are some really fun tree runs accessible from the top of the mountain as well. The terrain breakdown is as follows: 40% beginner, 45% intermediate, and 15% advanced.
Sanosaka may be smaller than its counterparts in the valley, but it more than makes up for that with the amazing views of lake Aoki and less crowded runs. Popular with Japanese weekend visitors, Sanosaka is a great spot to visit on a weekday. The resort offers 5 lifts and 10 courses with the following distribution: 40% beginner, 40% intermediate, 20% advanced