Hakuba Tsugaike Kogen Ski Resort
One of ten resorts making-up the ‘Hakuba Valley’ and located around 8km to the north of Hakuba Village, Tsugaike is a relatively large, single resort well-suited to beginners. Connected to a decent-sized village itself, Tsugaike can also be used as a base to stay a multi-day visit – although if your intention is to explore multiple resorts, it makes more sense to base yourself in and around the Hakuba Village. Tsugaike is located between 800 to 1704 metres with an impressive 904 metres of vertical. While the resort only lists 11 ski runs, they are serviced by 20 chairlifts and gondolas and cover a total skiable area of just under 200ha – second only to Hakuba Happo One for stand-alone resorts in Hakuba.
Ski runs are broken into: beginner 50% / intermediate 30% / advanced 20%. In reality, intermediate and advanced skiers/snowboarders will have little to entertain them in the lower runs, with a massive expansive of open, flat terrain best-suited to beginners. A popular area for absolute newbies to find their feet, this large area can also feel crowded and sketchy, as first-timers erratically move across ski fields that can pack down and ice-up. Intermediate and advanced skiers and snowboarders will find more fun up top, with some decent long runs and tree runs. To access off-piste areas, you must sign in, listen to a short lecture and wear an identifying armband or risk losing your ski pass. A good village with lots of accommodation, two terrain parks, English language ski school, dedicated kids areas and night-skiing mean that Tsugaike is often busy but good option for families and beginners.