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 11 ski resorts that give you the ultimate snowy getaway.
Transport costs from Tokyo to Hakuba
- By JR Hokuriku Shinkansen: about ¥9,800 with one transfer (covered by the JR Pass)
- By JR Azusa limited express train: about ¥8,000 with one transfer (some Azusa trains go all the way to Hakuba)
- By highway bus: average one-way ticket price is ¥4,850 while round-trip is ¥8,700 – For discounts on buses to Hakuba see the Packages section below
Resorts in Hakuba
Some of the best ski resorts in Hakuba Village are (from north to south):
|Cortina||Mid-December to early April||¥4,000||¥3,000||¥1,500|
|Norikura||Mid-December to early April||¥3,500||¥2,700||N/A|
|Tsugaike Kogen||Late November to early May||¥4,900||¥3,900||¥2,000|
|Iwatake||Mid-December to early April||¥4,200||¥2,900||N/A|
|Happo-One||Late November to early May||¥5,200||¥4,200||¥2,000|
|Hakuba 47||Late November to early May||¥5,000||¥3,980||N/A|
|Hakuba Goryu||Late November to early May||¥5,000||¥3,980||¥1,900|
There is also a lift pass you can purchase starting at 6,000 yen for one day. It gives you access to all the above ski resorts, as well as Hakuba Sanosaka, Kashimayari Sports Village, 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 the deal even sweeter. It hosted several events for the Olympics in Nagano, which is probably the best sign of the quality of the slopes.
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.
Hakuba Goryu and Hakuba 47
A two-for-one deal, buy a ticket at one and use it at both resorts. They are on the same mountain and their slopes are also connected, which makes it easy to take advantage of this special feature.
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 4,800 yen.
Tour packages for skiing in Hakuba
Since we at Tokyo Cheapo believe in good deals, here are some tour packages for all-out skiing on a reasonable budget.
Highway buses are slower than the bullet train but definitely cheaper. Plus, if you need to transport some bulky gear, better to not be cramped in a crowded train. The selling point of this package (besides the ¥6,500 price tag) is that it drops you off at multiple locations including several villages, stations, and resorts. Each of the stops has easy access to the slopes, so no matter where you’re staying you can start having fun right away.
This four-day package includes accommodation, breakfast and your ski lift pass.
For more options, see our guide to skiing and snowboarding near Tokyo.