Hakuba Village was the main venue when Nagano hosted the 1998 Winter Olympics. If that isn’t a testament to the quality of its slopes, we don’t know what is. The village is part of the greater Hakuba Valley where you can find 10 ski resorts that offering the ultimate snowy getaway. Read on for a quick idea of how to go skiing in Hakuba and what it costs.
Getting from Tokyo to Hakuba
- By JR Hokuriku Shinkansen: About ¥10,080 including a transfer to an express bus at Nagano Station, in total takes about 3–4 hours.
- By JR Azusa Limited Express train No. 3: ¥8,050, goes all the way from Shinjuku to Hakuba Station, takes about 4 hours.
- By highway bus: A one-way ticket costs about ¥5,000, while a round-trip starts from about ¥9,000, prices vary between bus companies so some googling is recommended. The trip takes about 5 hours.
Train tip: All JR lines (the trains mentioned above) are covered by the JR Pass, which is highly recommended if you have any other travel planned in Japan.
Ski resorts in Hakuba
Some of the most popular ski resorts in Hakuba Village include (from north to south):
|Cortina||Mid-December to early April||¥4,200||¥3,200||¥1,500|
|Norikura||Mid-December to early April||¥4,100||¥3,200||N/A|
|Tsugaike Kogen||Late November to early May||¥5,400||¥4,300||¥2,400|
|Iwatake||Mid-December to early April||¥4,600||¥3,600||N/A|
|Happo-One||Late November to early May||¥5,500||¥4,600||¥2,100|
|Hakuba 47||Late November to early May||¥5,500||¥4,500||N/A|
|Hakuba Goryu||Late November to early May||¥5,500||¥4,500||¥2,500|
Note: There is also an all-mountain lift pass called the Hakuba Valley Ticket, which you can purchase starting at ¥6,100 for one day. It gives you access to all the above ski resorts, as well as Hakuba Sanosaka, Kashimayari Sports Village and Jiigatake.
Happo-one is the largest and most famous resort in Hakuba. Among the resorts, it is closest to the village center and Hakuba Station, making a visit even sweeter. It hosted several events for the Olympics in Nagano, which is probably the best sign of the quality of the slopes. A one-day pass for Happo-one is ¥5,500.
This is the second-biggest resort, with 26 lifts. It has a lot of nice, wide slopes for beginners and just as many advanced courses. It is also right next to Iwatake. A single-day lift ticket at Tsugaike Kogen costs ¥5,400.
Hakuba Goryu and Hakuba 47
A two-for-one deal, you can buy a ticket at one resort and use it at both. They are on the same mountain and their slopes are also connected, which makes it easy to take advantage of this feature. A single-day pass will set you back ¥5,500.
Hakuba Norikura and Hakuba Cortina Kokusai
These two are on the outskirts of Hakuba. Like Goryu and 47, Norikura’s and Cortina’s slopes are interconnected, and you can get a combination ticket to both resorts for ¥5,000.
Note: You can rent ski gear at Hakuba, if you don’t have your own skis, board, boots etc. Read our full guide on getting ski gear in Japan, with a section on Hakuba.
Tour packages for skiing in Hakuba
Since we believe in good, convenient deals, here are our package picks for all-out skiing on a reasonable budget:
Highway bus tickets
Highway buses may be slower than the bullet train, but they are definitely cheaper. Plus, if you need to transport some bulky gear, it’s better to not be cramped in a crowded train. The main selling points of this ticket package are that it’s easy to reserve, and the tickets can be delivered to your hotel.
2-day Hakuba trip
This this two-day tour includes one night of accommodation, dinner, breakfast, transport and lift passes for an easy way to enjoy the slopes of Hakuba, starting at ¥27,375. This is part of a great bundle of ski tours all over Japan, so if Hakuba doesn’t work for you, check out of one of the other options.
Backcountry guided ski or snowboard tour with professional photography
A local professional photographer will guide you on this private backcountry tour to the best powder spots while taking pictures for you.
For more slopes, see our guide to skiing and snowboarding near Tokyo.
While we do our best to ensure it’s correct, information is subject to change. Post first published in January 2018. Last updated in January 2020.