Japan City Guides: Hakuba, Nagano
Located in the Japan Alps, 60km northwest of Nagano, Hakuba increasingly appeals to the international ski-set from as far afield as Australia, China, Hong Kong and Europe.
The snowfall in the area is heavy and the quality of the powder snow arguably some of the best on Japan's main island of Honshu. Hakuba's slopes offer good skiing for all ranges of ability and every visitor to the area will share the spectacular backdrop of the 3,000m peaks of the Japan Alps.
Happoone was the site of the 1998 Nagano Olympics downhill skiing course and is the largest of Hakuba's ski resorts. One or two-day ski-passes are available here and at the other main resorts in the valley. Gondolas run up to the start of the ski runs and there are chairlifts to the tops of the mountains for fantastic views of the snow-covered peaks.
The linked ski resorts of Hakuba 47 and Hakuba Goryu are the next largest after Happoone and offer up to 5km downhill slopes from the top of the piste. Ski passes are valid for both resorts. Hakuba 47 is a popular spot for snowboarders. Hakuba 47 has 8 pistes, 6 ski lifts and 800m of vertical descent.
Other resorts in the Hakuba Valley are Iwatake, Cortina, Norikura, Sun Alpina, Yanaba and Tsugaike Kogen.
In addition to the skiing, there is also good hiking in the nearby hills and mountains in summer and some fantastic onsen (hot spring baths).
Hakuba is about one hour by bus from Nagano city. The JR Oito Line connects Hakuba to Matsumoto (1 hour). Oito Line trains from Hakuba or Kamishiro station go to Yanaba. It is easy to connect a visit to Hakuba with seeing the amazing Matsumoto Castle in Matsumoto and Zenkoji Temple in Nagano.
Hakuba Tourist Information Center
Hakuba Tourist Office
New places to stay in Hakuba are appearing every year and many of them are foreigner-friendly. Accommodation options include hotels, guesthouses and ryokan (Japanese inns).
Cheaper guesthouses with dorms include the Yama no Oyado Alupu, Backpackers Hostel Ks House Hakuba Alps, Snowbeds, Lodge Tabi-tabi, Hakuba Alps Backpackers, Hakuba Cedar House Terry and Wind Jacket Lodge.
Book Hotel Accommodation in Hakuba Japan
Rent A Mobile Phone