Hakuba Ski Resort
Hakuba Ski Resort Guidance and Information
Hakuba Ski Resort
Hakuba Ski Resort in Nagano, Japan is one of Japan’s most popular ski areas and host of the 1998 Olympic Downhill and other events. The valley receives approximately 11 meters of snowfall annually, with most snowfall occurring in the months of January and February. Each resort varies in their appeal from the small and rustic, to family friendly, to suitable for the gung-ho.
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Nestled deep in the Japan Alps, there are ten ski resorts sprawling across the Hakuba Valley, set against an impressive big-mountain backdrop – collectively one of the largest in Japan. The Hakuba Valley consists of three entities – Hakuba Village, Otari Town and Omachi City. It has been a mecca for world-class snowsports events such as many of the 1998 Winter Olympics events and also the FIS World Cup.
The Hakuba Valley is home to ten resorts, including 135 lifts (inc. 5 gondolas) accessing over 200 runs that offer an expanse of terrain and at least 9 terrain parks. There are 960 hectares of skiable terrain which equates to 137km of piste. The skiing offered at Hakuba is varied across the resorts but it’s generally very well suited to beginners and intermediates with many long perfectly groomed runs and fantastic fall-line. There’s also some world class back country skiing on offer.
The Hakuba Valley itself consists of several main ski areas and these are broken into sub-areas. The Hakuba ski resorts aren’t interconnected via the slopes (except for Hakuba 47/Goryu, and Cortina/Norikura), but they can be accessed off a common lift ticket with free shuttle buses to get around to the different ski areas. At the southern end of the Hakuba Valley are the resorts of Jigatake, Kashimayari and Sanosaka. Goryū, Hakuba 47 and the Olympic ski resort Happōone (pronounced Happ-o-ney) lie in the central areas, whilst to the north are the resorts of Iwatake, Tsugaike Kogen, Norikura, and Cortina (as per map below).
Some visitors to Hakuba may be tempted to stay in one resort area for the duration of their stay. However the Hakuba Valley Shuttle Bus connects all resorts and the main accommodation areas. It is also increasingly popular to hire a car which can make financial sense for a family or group. Therefore, with the convenience of the combined Hakuba Valley Lift Pass, it’s relatively straightforward to ski multiple resorts during your visit. This following quick reference guide can hopefully help you decide where to best base yourself in the area.
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Hakuba Resort Information & Guidance