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Hakuba Happoone Ski Resort

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Trail Map

Hakuba is famous for for being "Where Steep Meets Deep". The Hakuba Valley is home to approximately 9 resorts spread over a distance of approximately 30 kilometres (20 miles). Happo-one is the largest of the Hakuba resorts. It hosted alpine events at the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics and offers a great combination of terrain, deep powder and Japanese culture.
Here is a link to a Hakuba toursim video. It will give you a pretty good idea of what Hakuba is like: http://vimeo.com/4620924 
Hakuba averages approximately 11-13 metres of snow each season. As the snow tends to fall in massive quantities during storms, it is quite common to combine deep powder with bluebird sky days.

Hakuba is easily accessible from Tokyo. There are a range of transport options, however the best is probably the bullet train (shinkansen) from Tokyo to Nagano (90 minutes) and then a connecting bus from Nagano train station up to Hakuba in the mountains (70 minutes).
There are free buses which run between the resorts during the day and a night bus service (the Genki-go bus) that runs within Hakuba Happo-one during evenings.

Name Description Maximum Occupancy Price Range


Hakuba Luna Hotel

Boutique hotel (16 rooms). Terrific location at the base of the Sakka Quad chairlift in Hakuba Happo-one. 3.5 star hotel with great service and lots of guest conveniences. Used by the Italian alpine ski team during the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics. Website www.hakubalunahotel.com 45 Moderate




There is a good selection of excellent restaurants in Hakuba. In addition to a great selection of Japanese restaurants, you will find a reasonable selection of restaurants serving western meals. Eating in Hakuba is very good value.







Hakuba Happoone Ski Resort

Happoone is one of Japan's largest and most famous ski resort, known as competition venue of 1998 Olympic Winter Games Nagano and as a paradise for skiers and snowborders. The exciting slopes extend east from Mt. Karamatsu (evelation 2696m) to base areas - Nakiyama, Shirakaba, Kokusai, Sakka - spread out in a fan-like form with the majestic Northern Japanese Alps rising to 3000m in the background. Thanks for a wonderful 50th anniversary Happoone have been gained a reputation as mountain ski resort since dawn of Japanese modern ski movement, and been engaged people's hearts and minds with pleasure of skiing in magnificent mountain scenery. 50th AnniversaryThis winter, Happoone marks its 50th Anniversary since first aerial tramway started operation in December 1958, and Happoone Ski School also opened same year to give people a new, thrilling, pleasurable experience. Happoone will receive guests from around the world with a smile, keep up efforts of being the fantastic ski resort.

Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC


Pros: LOTS of snow, good incline, not too crowded

Cons: Often snowy (not sunny), Maritime conditions, limited nightlife


Great terrain, world-class waist-deep powder, beautiful scenery.  The mountain provides surprising variety in terrain, with good steeps and a few glades if you know where to look, however it can be quite dangerous if you don't know where to look as they have a lot of often-buried metal retaining walls off the main slopes.  There was ~40" of powder on the slopes when I visited and there was little grooming done.  It made things a bit cruddy in the afternoons once things had been chopped up, but mornings were full of face shots and beautiful lines.  It snowed more or less non-stop for the three days I was there, and was one of the most memorable experiences I've had.  There are tons of accessible cafe/snack shops on the mountain, however the hill's big enough for them not to be too in-your-face.


In terms of off-piste, there are many semi-in-bounds options, however the avalanche risk in this region is tremendous.  I fell in the powder, dug myself out and then realized I was in a moderate incline slide, which I thankfully was able to advance beyond.  This year there have been 4 fatalities in the valley due to avalanches by January, and they were in-bounds at a local resort.  The food in the area, as in much of Japan, is absolutely fantastic, and the people are by and large extremely polite and hospitable. 


 It's a quick trip from the Narita airport (JR express to tokyo station - 45 min, shinkansen to nagano - 90 min, bus - 90 minutes) and you're in Hakuba.  If you land at 5pm on a Friday, you can make it all the way to Happo the same night.