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 offering the ultimate snowy getaway. Read on for a quick idea of how to go skiing in Hakuba and what it costs.

Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field, Nagano, Japan
Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field, Nagano, Japan | Photo by iStock/Stockphoto52

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. 5: ¥8,050, goes all the way from Shinjuku to Hakuba Station, takes about 4 hours.
  • By highway bus: A one-way ticket costs about ¥5,200, but 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.

For more details, tips and links, see our guide to getting from Tokyo to Hakuba.

hakuba village
Photo by iStock.com/pukamahalo

Ski resorts in Hakuba

Some of the most popular ski resorts in Hakuba Village include (from north to south):

CortinaDecember 19, 2020 to April 4, 2021¥4,200¥3,200¥1,500
NorikuraDecember 19, 2020 to March 31, 2021¥4,100¥3,200N/A
Tsugaike KogenDates to be announced¥5,400¥4,300¥2,400
IwatakeMid-December to early April¥4,600¥3,600N/A
Happo-OneLate November to early May¥5,500¥4,600N/A for 2020/21 season
Hakuba 47Late November to early May¥5,500¥4,500N/A
Hakuba GoryuLate November to early May¥5,500¥4,500N/A

Top tip: There is also an all-resorts lift pass called the Hakuba Valley Ticket, which you can purchase starting at ¥6,600 for one day. It gives you access to all the above ski resorts, as well as Hakuba Sanosaka, Kashimayari Sports Village and Jiigatake.

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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.

Tsugaike Kogen

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.

hakuba ski resort
Photo by iStock.com/7maru

For more slopes, see our guide to skiing and snowboarding near Tokyo.

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While we do our best to ensure it’s correct, information is subject to change. Post first published in January 2018. Last updated in October 2020.

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