Hakuba is situated in the heart of the Japan Alps; the mountain scenery is spectacular with huge rugged peaks towering 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 received international attention when they hosted 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 1071m 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.

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.


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.


Japanese food is of course famous for the best fresh produce, attention to detail and presentation, and a unique range of flavours. What is less well known are the great variety of affordable mini meals – noodle and rice based dishes and more hearty but still very affordable set menu offerings which do a wonderful job balancing budget and diet without compromising the all important ‘taste’. Memorise the word ‘oishii’ (Oh-ee-shee) – ‘delicious’ before you travel to Japan and remember that amongst other foods Japan is famous for fresh seafood and ramen noodles. For the less adventurous Pizza’s and other western food are available. Hakuba is packed with eateries and Izakaya (Japanese pubs). Most restaurants have English menus and English speaking staff, and are within walking distance of your accommodation and the lifts.
Please note that cash is king in Japan and still the only form of payment accepted at many establishments. Thanks to International demand the number of properties in Hakuba accepting credit cards is increasing.

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 Izakaya's. These traditional style restaurants/bars offer a wide range of Japanese dishes and drinks which are always satisfying and unique. The Izakaya'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.

Cash/ Credit Cards And Travellers Cheques

International credit card usage – it may be a good idea to advise your credit card providers you are travelling overseas. Card issuers may put an automatic stop on cards after an overseas transaction occurs in order to reduce the instance/risk of international fraud.

Arrange to have adequate Yen in cash for your stay in Japan. Hakuba is rapidly becoming an international town, but there are still many businesses including most hotels / lodges/ pensions that do not accept credit cards or travellers cheques. Most restaurants and bars do NOT accept cards/ travellers cheques. In Hakuba ATM's are located at the local post office and convenience stores for cash withdrawals.

Tokyo Narita and Osaka Kansai airports also have banking/money change facilities. Operating hours are 06:00 – 23:00 note there are several money change facilities and they rotate their early/late on duty /off duty schedules. At least one facility will be open between 06:00 and 23:00. Purchasing some Yen cash in advance of departure, and Yen travellers cheques for exchange in Japan may be a cost effective strategy.

Mobile Phones

3g mobile phones should work in Japan if you have enabled international roaming, other mobile phones will not. Note charges can be very high when using your phone overseas, check with your provider before travelling to avoid the shock of a large bill on your return. Local pre paid Sim cards can be rented for your 3g phone (except Iphone 4 and other micro sim phones) from the Softbank store at Tokyo and Sapporo airport’s for 105 Yen per day. Buying a pre-paid phone for temporary use is not an option due to Japanese rules and regulations.


For more information on Japan, please visit on Japan Hoppers - Japan Travel Guide.