Hakuba Skiing Japan – The Best Place To Ski In Japan

Hakuba Skiing Japan main

You’ve probably heard a lot about skiing in Hokkaido. The powder snow, the immense amount of snowfall and the beautiful mountain view… Believe it or not, Hokkaido is not the only place that has the offer. A little village called Hakuba (白馬) has it all. In fact, I think skiing in Hakuba is even better, especially for beginners. The slopes are gentler, the snow is softer and the crowd is lesser! Read on to explore the beauty of Hakuba Skiing Japan.

Hakuba Skiing Japan – Where is Hakuba?

Situated in the breathtakingly beautiful Northern Japan Alps of Nagano Prefecture, Hakuba stands out as one of Japan’s top winter resort areas.  Abundant snow falls and excellent powder conditions make Hakuba a perennial top choice of skiers and snowboarders from around the world.

hakuba skiing japan ski

During the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics, Hakuba gained worldwide recognition as it hosted several olympic competitions, including alpine (downhill, super g, and combination) and nordic (ski jump and cross country) events.


You’ll Also Like: Is It Fun To Visit Okinawa In Winter?


Hakuba Skiing Japan – How to get there?

Hakuba can be reached relatively easily not only from Tokyo and Nagoya. We personally took a 5 hr coach (270 km) from Tokyo. I highly recommend you to stay overnight in Hakuba, as day trip makes every so rush and not so enjoyable. In addition to skiing and snowboarding, there are hot springs (onsen) available around town. You can view the detailed directions from here.

hakuba skiing japan solo

Hakuba Skiing Japan – Abundant of Ski Resorts

There are in total 11 ski resorts in Hakuba. With over 200 different trails, I’m sure you’ll be able to find one that suits your needs. You can find out all the different trails from the official website.

In general, each resort offers trails that are very well suited to beginners and intermediates with many long perfectly groomed runs and fantastic fall-line. Advanced skiers and snowboarders will also love the steep groomers that some resorts offer.

hakuba skiing japan snow


You’ll Also Like: Hiroshima Travel Guide


Hakuba Skiing Japan – Ski Pass

Ten of the major resorts have teamed up to offer the “Hakuba Valley Ticket” to be used at any of the participating resorts. A one-day ticket costs 5700 yen, while two 1-day tickets (valid over a three day period) cost 10,000 yen and three 1-day tickets (to be used over a five day period) cost 14,900 yen.

hakuba skiing japan cable car

Hakuba Skiing Japan – It’s Better than Hokkaido

Hakuba is blessed with plenty of snow; an average of 11 metres of powder per season. When I went there, I was completely surprised by the quality of snow. It was so soft and powdery. And when I fell from my ski, I didn’t feel any pain at all. It was that soft!

Although many people say that Hokkaido is a better skiing destination, I actually don’t agree. The last time when I went to Hokkaido Niseko to ski, the snow fall was rather little. And when I hit the ground, it was so hard, as compared to a blanket of snow back in Hakuba.

hakuba skiing japan fall

What’s more, the slopes in Hokkaido are so steep. I almost feared to death as a beginner! For a long moment, I really thought I was going to be stranded in the middle of snow mountain as I didn’t dare to go down! On the other hand, the slopes in Hakuba are so long and gentle. It’s perfect for practice if you are a beginner like me.


You’ll Also Like: Hiroshima Travel Guide – Visit Miyajima


Hakuba Skiing Japan – Where to Stay?

Hakuba covers a full spectrum of lodging from backpacker hostels to luxury accommodation. There are lots of hotels in Hakuba. If you want to experience traditional Japanese Tatami, where you sleep on the Japanese style floor, there are many such options too. Happo and Wadano are the two most popular villages to stay in.

hakuba skiing japan gondola

One hotel I recommend is Hotel La Neige Higashi-kan. Featuring a hot tub, massage treatments and tennis courts, Hotel La Neige Higashi-kan offers rooms with a balcony and nature views. The hotel also provides a free shuttle service to/from JR Hakuba Station, Happo Bus Terminal and the Happo-One Gondola. It is a 5-minute drive from the Hakuba Jump Arena.

Hakuba Skiing Japan hotel


You’ll Also Like: How to Find Cheap Accommodation


Another great hotel to stay is Hakuba Mominoki Hotel. Located between snow peaks in Hakuba Valley, the hotel is only a 5-minute drive from Hakuba Station. The 4-star hotel offers an outdoor natural hot-spring bath, free Wi-Fi and 3 restaurants. What’s more, it is a 3-minute walk from Hakuba Happo-One Ski Resort’s gondola lift station.

No matter where you choose to stay, I’m sure you’ll have a great time in Hakuba! Happy skiing. 😀

hakuba skiing japan top

Be an Invest Travel Player

In Invest Travel Play, we believe in power of Value Investing Strategy. We’ve been using this strategy to explore around the world, without having to worry about what many travelers are facing – money and time. We set up this website to inspire and guide you to achieve this goal, as this is not a dream. As you are learning the Value Investing Strategy, do check out our Free Travel Guides for inspirations. The world is too big for us to stop at just a few countries. If you love to Share A Story to inspire others to travel or invest, you know we always wecome you.

I invest to build my future. I travel to define my path. I play to enjoy my life.

I’m an Invest Travel Player.

  • Mags

    I’ve never been skiing, and it makes me a little nervous if I’m being obvious. The scenery is gorgeous though!

  • Sherianne Higgins (SherianneKa

    I can’t ski so I’m all about smaller slopes and softer snow!

  • Brianna @ The Casual Travelist

    The slopes at Hakuba look superb. What really hooked me though was the hot springs, sign me up!

  • Skiing and hot springs sounds like a great vacation combination. 33 Meters snow is a good base, but for fresh powder, that is superb.

  • Sabine @ The Travelling Chilli

    My husband and myself we love skiing and we have been talking before about skiing in Japan. We heard about the powder snow and that it is one of the best skiing places in the world. So I’d really love to go there one day. I guess the choice between both ski resorts is what you level of skiing is. I’m kind of a beginner and I would not go to the steep downhills if I can avoid it. 🙂

    • Yeah safety comes first when it comes to travel. Hakkuba is a great start!