Season mid December – mid April
Temperature range Peak Season typically -2 to -12
Numerous Onsen and Rotenburo (indoor & outdoor hot springs), Tours to see the Macaque (Snow) Monkeys


Average Snowfall 11 metres per season
Lift pass covers 8 Resorts connected by free shuttle bus, 135 lifts , 200 runs for all levels, Longest Run 5.9 km
Sight of the 1998 Nagano Olympics, Back country skiing (Guide essential), Snow cat tours, Large village


Average snowfall 12 metres per season
21 interlinked resorts spread across 16 kilometres, 67 Lifts, 80km groomed slopes, Longest Run 5 km, altitude of 1300 to 2300 metres. Includes the 1998 Olympic Giant Slalom Course.
Huge ski area (Japan’s largest), High altitude ensures great snow quality, Guided Back Country tours available.


Average snowfall 13 metres per season
3 resorts, Suginohara, Akakura and Ikenotaira (connected by free shuttle bus) comprising 43 lifts, 74 main runs, Longest Run 8.5km. Views to Mt. Fuji.
Includes Akakura Kanko Resort - favourite of the Japan Royal family.
Large snowfalls, Big vertical drop, Variety of terrain for all abilities, Night skiing.


Average snowfall 12 metres per season
22 Lifts, 20 main runs. 50 km groomed slopes, Longest Run 10 km
Traditional village with numerous free Public Hot Springs, Large vertical drop, Variety of terrain, Indoor water park.

The Hakuba Valley

The Hakuba Valley is a huge expanse of resorts offering an incredible variety of terrain for skiers and snowboarders alike. Situated in the heart of the Japan Alps, the alpine scenery is truly spectacular with huge rugged peaks towering above the town below. From one end of the valley to the other with 10 resorts accessing over 200 runs, Hakuba is the skiing mecca of Japan. From the southern end of the valley Sun Alpina incorporates 3 ski areas to the linked resorts of Hakuba 47 and Goryu-Toomi and the Olympic ski resort of Happo-One situated in the heart of Hakuba. To the northern end of the valley, Iwatake, Tsugaike, Norikura and Cortina resorts are all impressive and rate highly amongst skiers and boarders alike.

Hakuba is situated in the heart of the Japan Alps; the mountain scenery is spectacular, and huge rugged peaks tower above the ski resorts throughout the valley. The combination of world class skiing and state of the art lifts and gondolas, with excellent grooming facilities, makes Hakuba a place that has to be experienced to be truly appreciated

The Olympic Spirit

Nagano and Hakuba have recently received international attention in the form of hosting the 1998 Winter Olympic Games. In international ski circles Hakuba is widely known as being a first class international resort with some of the best and most demanding ski/board terrain in all of Japan. Happo-One was the venue for the downhill, the slalom and the ski jumping, and has hosted various FIS World Cup events. It boasts over 1080m of vertical skiing, which is equivalent to many of the more widely known resorts of North America and Canada. The Olympic spirit continues on in Hakuba each year with international ski jumping, alpine, cross-country and biathlon competitions and events taking the spotlight.

For the skiers

From the complete novice to the expert skier, Hakuba provides some of the best skiing in all of Japan. It offers everything from gentle beginner slopes to steeps, bumps and long groomers and of course plenty of fresh powder. The Happo-One resort, boasting some of the highest snowfalls and longest vertical pitches in all of Japan is Hakuba’s premier skiers mountain. Hakuba 47 and Goryu-Toomi challenges everyone from first timers to experts. Tsugaike and Iwatake are well suited to the beginner to intermediate, with long cruising trails providing an opportunity for non-stop uninterrupted skiing. Hakuba's reputation as a serious skiers destination is well balanced across all levels and offers something for everyone.

For the snowboarders

Endless half-pipes, terrain parks, gullies, hits, powder bowls and steeps are awaiting you this season in Hakuba. From Sun Alpina to Hakuba Cortina the variety of terrain on offer is guaranteed to satisfy all levels. For the beginner, learn to snowboard with great views, helpful instructors and gentle slopes at all of the resorts. For the experts, fantastic powder conditions, berms, jumps, half-pipes, terrain parks and plenty of freestyle action is waiting to be had. Take your pick, as every resort has plenty on offer for snowboarders this winter in Hakuba. Favorites among the resorts are Hakuba 47 and Happo with their challenging and diverse terrain, Tsugiake's board park and Cortina with its light, dry, deep powder and ungroomed trails.

Alpine Alternatives

Hakuba provides an abundant variety of alpine alternatives and adventures for everyone to enjoy. Groomed cross-country courses wind their way through some of the most spectacular terrain to be found in the Japan Alps. Ski the Olympic cross-country courses or the scenic nordic courses at Minekata and Tsugaike ski resorts. Experience guided ski/snowboard and snowshoe tours in the Alps or try out snow tubing, tobogganing, snow rafting and spring heli-skiing that is available at various resorts in the valley. For those wanting to have a break from the Alps, take in the history and culture of Nagano with tours departing from Hakuba to Matsumoto Castle, Nagano's famous Zenkoji Temple and the snow monkeys at Jigokudani hot springs.

Apres Entertainment

The town has a wide choice of Japanese and western restaurants and bars that cater to just about all tastes. Hakuba, by Japanese standards, has some of the best apres-ski entertainment around. Most hotels have lounge/ bar areas where customers can enjoy a drink after skiing. Restaurants and bars outside of the customers' hotel open from around 6pm. Popular at night with the Japanese are Isakaya's. These traditional style restaurants/bars offer a wide range of Japanese dishes and drinks which are always satisfying and unique. The Isakaya's offer a very welcoming atmosphere to all those who visit.

Hakuba also has quite a few bars which provide those who want to party till late the opportunity to do so. Alcohol prices average around 500yen per drink. Several nightclubs can be found in Hakuba, with the biggest situated at Omoshiro Hasshinchi resort hotel.

Getting around Hakuba

Hotels and ski resorts offer complimentary shuttle services to the closest ski resorts, being Hakuba 47, Goryu Toomi & Happo-one, and some hotels are within walking distance to the slopes. There is also a public bus service that operates along the valley, providing access to all of the ski resorts. A return trip costs 500 yen.


Hakuba has several taxi companies. Taxi fares begin at 680 yen, and additional charges are incurred after 2 kilometers. Taxis can take up to 4 persons including luggage and skis. Hakuba station to Happo One ski resort costs around 1000-1500yen depending on your location


Night skiing is available at four of the resorts in Hakuba, usually from the end of December to the end of March. Courses are fairly limited in Hakuba compared to Niseko, the latter offering superb night skiing in the world's largest night skiing area.


There are 7 ski resorts in the Hakuba valley and 3 interlinked resorts in Niseko. All resorts operate a main Gondola lift that is fully enclosed, seating between 6 and 10 people, providing access to the main slopes. Express quad lifts are also common, and provide fast access to runs. Double chairs are widely utilised, especially for providing access to the more advanced slopes. Most resorts are operating new and modern lift facilities, supported by professional grooming and snowmaking services.


All of the ski resorts in the Hakuba Valley use an electronic lift pass system. The pass is a re-programmable computer chip encased in a small plastic covering. Placed into customer's ski clothing or gloves, it allows guests to pass through the electronic gates at each lift. When a lift pass is purchased, or a lift exchange pass redeemed, a 1000 yen deposit is required. The 1000 yen is refunded when the pass is put into an automatic exchange machine located near the ticket selling booths.


Most hotels have a limited stock of mid range ski and snowboard rental equipment. For the latest range of performance equipment and full range of sizes the specialist ski rentals shops offer a far superior service. The largest ski and snowboard boot sizes available in Japan for rental are 32cm or US 13.

English language ski and snowboard instruction can be organized for customers. Lessons that are taught in English must be pre-booked as private lessons. Group lessons are also available but are not given in English, they are only taught in Japanese


There are ample rest stations on the mountains where food can be purchased, although it is mostly of the fast-food variety. Meals such as fried rice, noodles, and curry are well priced, and are usually large and filling. Beer and other alcoholic beverages are widely available.