Hakuba is an internationally renowned ski resort town in the northern Japan Alps. As the surrounding valley has an annual snow fall of over 11 metres, it is the central hub for 10 ski resorts with more than 200 runs. The village was the main event venue for the 1998 Winter Olympics (Alpine, Ski Jump, Crosscountry).The Hakuba ski resorts aren’t interconnected via the slopes, but they can be accessed off a common lift ticket and there are free shuttle buses to get around to the different ski areas. Ski gear is generally available from hotels, as well as each individual ski resort if you don’t fancy taking your gear with you.
The ski resorts all from north to south are: Cortina, Norikura, Tsugaike Kogen, Iwatake, Happo-One, Hakuba 47, Goryu, Sanosaka, Kashimayari, Jigatake, and Minekata is on the opposite side of the valley from the town of Hakuba. One major advantage of Hakuba is the terrain size on offer with 960 hectares of skiable terrain which equates to 137km of piste and 200+ courses, 135 lifts (5 gondolas) and at least 9 terrain parks.
The Hakuba skiing is varied across the resorts but it’s generally very well suited to beginners and intermediates with many long perfectly groomed runs and a fantastic fall-line. Hakuba ski rental shops are abundant in the main villages (Happo, Wadano, Echoland) and the staff speak English. There are lots of restaurants and the nightlife is very lively. Childcare options are available, in addition to ski and snowboard lessons for both children and adults.