DESTINATIONS
07. HAKUBA
Hakuba Valley Ski Resorts

Hakuba Valley Ski Resorts

Hakuba Valley is one of Japan’s best-known and most popular winter destinations. Multiple resorts make-up the area collectively referred to as ‘Hakuba Valley’, a spread-out over a wide region with only a handful connected by ski runs.

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Hakuba Happo One Snow Resort is the most central and largest of the resorts. Having hosted several events during the 1998 Winter Olympics and subsequent FIS World Cup Events, Happo One’s pedigree is well-known and draws visitors from all over the world. With the Olympic Ski Jumping Arena nearby, the spirit of 1998 is alive and well in the heart of Hakuba.

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Experiencing between 11 to 13 metres of snowfall each year, visitors are spoilt for choice with the joint resorts of Hakuba Goryu Snow Resort and Hakuba 47 Winter Sports Park combining to rival the popularity of Happo One.

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To the north of central Hakuba Village, Iwatake Snow Field is known for its stunning alpine vistas, while a little further north, Tsugaike Kogen Ski Resort is the only stand-alone resort in the valley to rival the size of Happo One. With its own village and Tsugaike’s size, it’s a great option for many visitors.

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Finally, the most northern resorts of Norikura Onsen Snow Resort and Cortina Snow Resort are connected and offer some of the valley’s best powder, backcountry and tree-runs. With plenty of accommodation spread through the valley – from luxury hotels to small, family-run lodges and private chalets – Hakuba grows in popularity every year.

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Here’s a breakdown of some of the best resorts in Hakuba Valley. All listed resorts are covered by the common ‘Hakuba Valley Ticket’ – scroll down for details:

HAKUBA HAPPO ONE SNOW RESORT


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As the largest and most central resort in the Hakuba Valley, Hakuba Happo One Snow Resort is also the most popular. Within walking distance of the Hakuba Happo Bus Terminal and a short taxi or bus-ride from Hakuba Station, Hakuba Happo One has four base areas from where gondolas and chairlifts ascend to the stations above. Offering more than 1000 metres of vertical and spectacular mountain scenery, Happo One is somewhat unique in that its upper runs are above the treeline. Also known for its excellent backcountry, lively village and suite of services catering to English-speakers, Happo One is the most popular resort in the valley for lots of reasons.

Operating Dates & Times

Dependent on snow conditions, areas of the resort typically open from late-November and remain in operation until early-May. The full resort should be open from the second half of December until the end of March. Lifts operate from 07:30 to 17:00 on weekend and 08:00 to 17:00 on weekdays. Night-skiing will not be available in winter 2020/21.

Ski Runs

The resort has only 13 courses serviced by an excessive 22 lifts, but it totals around 220ha of terrain. Courses breakdown as: beginner 30% / intermediate 50% / advanced 20%. Situated between 760 to 1831 metres, Happo One offers an impressive 1071 metres of vertical with its upper limits above the treeline – somewhat unique for resorts in the area. The longest run is 8km.

Highlights

As one of the main host venues of the 1998 Winter Olympics, Happo One is proud of its pedigree. The Olympic Ski Jumping Arena is located nearby with downhill and super giant courses within the resort. Predictably steep and challenging, advanced skiers and snowboarders will enjoy pushing themselves to the limit. Backcountry is also accessible from the top stations. If you are interested, its best to do so with a local guide. Intermediate skiers and snowboarders have plenty to keep them entertained, with 50% of the resort rated as such. Beginners can enjoy the gentle slopes around Sakka Plaza, with some easy runs in the area perfect for building confidence.

Tickets & Passes

Day-passes for Happo One cost: Adults (13+): JPY5500 / Children (6-12): JPY3200 / Seniors (60+): JPY5000. Multi-day passes, half-day passes, off-peak, spring ski and other passes are also available.

Rental & Ski School

A couple of ski/snowboard schools operate at Happo One, with offices in Hakuba Village, Wadano and Echoland. Group, private and kids lessons are all available with backcountry guides/tours also on offer. In terms of rental, again there are no shortage of options spread through the village and surrounding area, with many hotels also offering in-house rental.

Kids & Families

Happo One caters well to families and children. The ‘Sakka Debut Ticket’ is for newbies who are still finding their feet, providing access to a beautiful part of the resort with gentle slopes perfect for learning on. The Sakka Ski Slope also includes a dedicated Kids Park where children can practice skiing/snowboarding and use sleds and toboggans or simply play in the snow. As stated above, ski/snowboard schools provide lessons for kids and a day nursery is available at Snow Plaza Sakka for kids aged 3 months to 9 years of age.

Accommodation & Village Info   

As the most central resort in Hakuba Valley, the area around the base of Happo One also offers the largest range of accommodation, restaurants, bars, shops and other services. In terms of accommodation, Hakuba Village – including Wadano and Echoland – are all popular choices with plenty of nightlife and dining options. Accommodation ranges from large hotels to small, family-run lodges and private chalets. You’ll find everything from luxury accommodation to budget/backpackers with prices to match. Always popular, accommodation on weekends and holidays can book-out well in advance so make sure to plan ahead to avoid disappointment. For listings. see our ‘Hakuba Village Area’ hotel page.

Getting to Hakuba Happo One

Distance to Hakuba Happo Bus Terminal: <1km / accessible on foot

The resort is accessible on-foot from the Hakuba Happo Bus Terminal or easy bus or taxi-ride from Hakuba Station. For directions to Hakuba Happo One, please see our ‘How to Get to Hakuba – Nagano Ski Resorts Info’ page.

HAKUBA GORYU SNOW RESORT


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Connected to Hakuba 47 Winter Sports Park via its upper runs, Hakuba Goryu Snow Resort is another of Hakuba Valley’s most popular resorts. The two resorts can be enjoyed using an all-mountain pass – covering a total area of terrain comparable to Happo One – but to keep things simple, let’s address each resort in its own right. Hakuba Goryu offers a good mix of terrain and courses suitable to all levels, perhaps best suited to intermediate skiers and snowboarders. Known for its great powder, the resort has opened-up a small ‘Open Tree Zone’ and is the most popular resort in Hakuba Valley for night-skiing.

Operating Dates & Times

Dependent on snow conditions, areas of the resort are typically open from late-November until early May, with the full resort usually open from mid-December until the start of April. Lifts operate from 08:00 to 17:00. Night-skiing is available from 18:00 to 21:30, from opening to close of the full resort.

Ski Runs

The resort sits between 950 to 1676 metres elevation, offering a decent 726 metres of elevation across 16 courses serviced by 13 lifts. The official breakdown is: beginner 35% / intermediate 40% / advanced 25%. From the top, visitors can also head into the connected ski fields of Hakuba 47, which in combination with Goryu offers a total of 24 ski runs. The longest run is 5km.

Highlights

Known for its powder and some steep terrain, Goryu could be a backcountry paradise! Access to those areas is however strictly monitored with visitors confined to the small ‘Open Tree Zone’. Advanced skiers and snowboarders wanting to enjoy backcountry should do so with a local guide. While the resort doesn’t have many black runs, it does boast Hakuba Valleyu’s steepest slope – the Champion Expert Course. Intermediate skiers/snowboarders should head up top and enjoy the area around Alps Daira while beginners can stay around the base, where runs are gentle and well-groomed.

Tickets & Passes

Day-passes for Hakuba Goryu cost: a Hakuba Goryu-only day-pass costs JPY5000 for adults (18+) making the joint Hakuba Goryu/47 all-mountain pass good value at: Adult (18+): JPY5500 / Youth (12-17): JPY4000 / Children (6-11): JPY2900 / Senior (60-79): JPY4500. Infants aged under 5 and seniors over the age of 80 can access lifts and trails free of charge.

Rental & Ski School

Ski and snowboard rental is available inside Escal Plaza – at the base of the resort – and other independent operators in the surrounding area. Burton also operate a brand-store and rental inside the same building. A couple of ski and snowboard schools operate at Goryu, including English-language group, private and kids lessons. A specialist ski school is also available however only provides Japanese-speaking instructors and guides.

Kids & Families

Located at the Toomi Slope directly infront of Escal Plaza, a dedicated kids area is free of charge and allows children and families to enjoy using sled and other devices, while a daycare centre is available for children aged 1 to 5 and is open from 09:00 to 12:00 and 13:00 to 16:00.The ‘Woodland’ playground and infant facilities are also available inside Escal Plaza.

Accommodation & Village Info   

Centred around Escal Plaza at the base of the ski fields, a good number of restaurants and some bars are available, with accommodation largely centred around the forested village near the Toomi slopes. Several hotels, pensions, ski lodges and self-contained accommodation provide a limited but decent range of choice for visitors staying in and around Goryu. For listings, see our ‘Hakuba Goryu/47 Area’ hotel page.

Getting to Hakuba Goryu

Distance to Hakuba Happo Bus Terminal: 6km / 10-min drive.

The resort is accessible by local bus or taxi from Hakuba Happo Bus Terminal and Hakuba Station. For directions to Hakuba Goryu, please see our ‘How to Get to Hakuba – Nagano Ski Resorts Info’ page.

HAKUBA 47 WINTER SPORTS PARK


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Connected to Hakuba Goryu Snow Resort via its upper runs, Hakuba 47 Winter Sports Park is a relatively small resort but a whole lot of fun. The two resorts can be enjoyed using an all-mountain pass – covering a total area of terrain comparable to Happo One – but to keep things simple, let’s address each resort in its own right. Thanks to its northern-facing direction, Hakuba 47 boasts the longest season of any resort in Hakuba Valley – typically running from December to May. Blessed with fantastic powder and largest and best park in the valley, intermediate and advanced skiers and snowboarders love 47!

Operating Dates & Times

Dependent on snow conditions, areas of the resort are typically open from late-November until early May, with the full resort usually open from mid-December until the start of April. Lifts operate from 08:00 to 16:20. Hakuba 47 does not have night-skiing.

Ski Runs

The resort sits between 820 to 1614 metres with a good amount of vertical – 794 metres. Only 8 ski runs are serviced by 6 lifts, adding-up to a mere 30 to 35ha of terrain. Runs are split into: beginner 30% / intermediate 40% / advanced 30%. The longest run is 3.8km.

Highlights

One of the big attractions of Hakuba 47 is its easy access, great powder and big park including 100-metre halfpipe rails and table-tops. Two chairlifts service the park allowing skiers and snowboarders to keep hitting it quickly and easily. Looking further up the mountain, intermediate skiers and snowboarders will love the slopes around Big Snow Park while advanced can take advantage of a couple of black runs and backcountry accessible above the upper lift stations. The terrain is steep and powder is deep so we recommend always using a local guide. Backcountry should not be attempted by anyone without adequate expertise and gear. Mid-mountain has some nice open slopes for beginners and newbies to find their legs.

Tickets & Passes

Day-passes for Hakuba 47 cost: a Hakuba 47-only day-pass costs JPY5000 for adults (18+) making the joint Hakuba 47/Goryu all-mountain pass good value at: Adult (18+): JPY5500 / Youth (12-17): JPY4000 / Children (6-11): JPY2900 / Senior (60-79): JPY4500. Infants aged under 5 and seniors over the age of 80 can access lifts and trails free of charge.

Rental & Ski School

Ski and snowboard rental aree available at the gondola base station. Visitors are able to switch gear during the day, allowing them to try-out different brands and models. A number of ski and snowboard schools operate at Hakuba 47 including Hakuba’s only schools dedicated to international visitors. Schools offer group, private and kids lessons with a couple specializing in private lessons, snowboarding and advanced skiing.

Kids & Families

Families with children can make use of a range of facilities at Hakuba 47. A dedicated ‘Kids’ Slope’ is conveniently located at the base of the ski fields, allowing families to enjoy sledding and other activities in a fenced-off area. The ‘Kids’ Room’ is located next to the Kids’ Slope, allowing kids to play inside, rest or be changed.

Accommodation & Village Info   

Hakuba 47 does not have a village and only a limited number of accommodation options in the surrounding area. Most visitors to the resort base themselves around Hakuba Goryu or a little further afield in Hakuba Village. Facilities at 47 are notably more limited than a number of other resorts in the valley. There’s enough to get you through the day but not much going on at night. For listings, see our ‘Hakuba Goryu/47 Area’ hotel page.

Getting to Hakuba 47

Distance to Hakuba Happo Bus Terminal: 8km / 10 to 15-min drive.

The resort is accessible by local bus or taxi from Hakuba Happo Bus Terminal and Hakuba Station. For directions to Hakuba 47, please see our ‘How to Get to Hakuba – Nagano Ski Resorts Info’ page.

HAKUBA IWATAKE SNOW FIELD


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Located nearby Hakuba Happo Snow Resort and the central village, Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field was for a longtime, something of a hidden secret. Offering some of the best alpine vistas of any resort in Hakuba Valley and lovely tree-lined runs, Iwatake is hard to beat when the snow is good. Iwatake layout means that trails span-out in all directions including cross-country tracks and lots of enjoyable terrain for beginner and intermediate skiers and snowboarders. When the snow is good, Iwatake is great however its much lower elevation that other resorts means that when the snow isn’t up to scratch, conditions can be very sketchy and some areas may not open. So make sure to check the forecast and head there on days of big snow.

Operating Dates & Times

Dependent on snow conditions, the resort is typically open from mid-December until end of March with lifts operating from 08:00 to 17:00. Iwatake does not have night-skiing.

Ski Runs    

Iwatake has 26 ski runs serviced by 12 lifts with the official breakdown listing trails as: beginner 30%/ intermediate 50% / advanced 20%. The resort is particularly well-suited to intermediate skiers and snowboarders looking to cruise on-piste with a good terrain park adding an extra bit of fun. While Hakuba Iwatake has lots going for it, it is worth noting that that it lies at a very low elevation of 539 to 1289 metres but decent 750 metres of vertical. As noted above, if the snow isn’t good conditions at Iwatake can be sketchy so aim for days of decent snowfall. The longest run is 3.3km.

Highlights

Surrounded by idyllic mountain vistas, one of Iwatake’s strongest features is just how beautiful it is. Tree-lined runs set against dramatic snowcapped mountains are truly beautiful, allowing skiers and snowboarders to glide on trails reminiscent of European resorts. In terms of action on the slopes, beginners will enjoy nice open runs at the bottom while intermediate skiers/snowboarders will get the most out of the terrain, the majority of which is suited to that level. While backcountry is not allowed at Iwatake, advanced skiers and snowboarders will enjoy a couple of black runs and powder in some tree runs.

Tickets & Passes

Day passes for Iwatake cost: Adults: JPY4600 / Children: JPY2800 / Seniors: JPY4100. A range of other tickets are also available including half-day, multi-day and spring-skiing specials.

Rental & Ski School

A number of rental businesses are operating at Iwatake, including right next to the ‘Noah’ gondola, making it quick and easy to arrange what you need then hit the mountain. Two ski/snowboard schools operate at the resort, offering English-language lessons including group, private and kids.

Kids & Families

‘Wood Park’ allows families to play in the snow and enjoy tubing and other activities. Admission is free. Iwatake does not however have childcare facilities and does not match the services available and many other resorts.

Accommodation & Village Info   

Most accommodation in and around Iwatake are operated by local families, who pride themselves on creating homely and welcoming atmospheres. Referred to as ‘pension’ or ‘minshuku’, most offer dinner and breakfast, Japanese-style rooms including on-floor ‘futon’ bedding, and shared bathroom facilities. If you’re after Western-style rooms and the facilities that come with larger hotels, staying in nearby Hakuba Village including the area immediately around the Hakuba Happo Bus Terminal and Wadano puts you within easy reach of Iwatake. For listings. see our ‘Hakuba Village Area’ hotel page.

Getting to Hakuba Iwatake

Distance to Hakuba Happo Bus Terminal: 3.5km / 7 to 10-min drive.

The resort is accessible by local bus or taxi from Hakuba Happo Bus Terminal and Hakuba Station. For directions to Hakuba Iwatake, please see our ‘How to Get to Hakuba – Nagano Ski Resorts Info’ page.

HAKUBA TSUGAIKE KOGEN SKI RESORT


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Located to 8km to the north of central Hakuba Village, Hakuba Tsuigake Kogen Ski Resort is large stand-alone ski resort with lots to offer for skiers and snowboarders of all levels. Large open ski runs at the base of the resort make it an ideal place for beginners and newbies to find their confidence, while intermediate and advanced skiers and snowboarders will find more to entertain them up top, including backcountry. Tsugaike is serviced by a good-sized village with an array of accommodation and dining options. Easily accessible from central Hakuba, Tsugaike is worth including in any extended stay in the valley.

Operating Dates & Times

Dependent on snow conditions, areas of the resort typically open in late-November and remain in operation until start of May with lifts operating from 08:00 to 17:00. The full resort should be open from the second half of December until the end of March. Night-skiing is available on limited dates through the year, usually from 18:00 to 21:00.

Ski Runs    

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 Happo One for stand-alone resorts in Hakuba. Ski runs are broken into: beginner 50% / intermediate 30% / advanced 20%. The longest ski run is 4.6km.

Highlights

As a self-contained resort and village, Tsugaike attracts a lot of visitors and is especially popular with Japanese including families. The bottom ski fields are flat and vast, creating an expansive and gentle area on which to practice. Perfect for beginners, this area will do nothing for intermediate skiers and snowboarders. For intermediate skiers/snowboarders, ride the chairlifts on the left-hand side of the mountain to reach some good terrain, including some decent on-piste action and sidecountry. Advanced skiers/snowboarders can take advantage of backcountry  and tree-skiing accessible from the top of the resort, but make sure to be suitably kitted-out with a beacon and shovel. Multiple parks within Tsuigake make it worth exploring the entire resort, which tends to be very busy in some parts but quiet in others.

Tickets & Passes

Day passes for Tsugaike cost: Adults: JPY5400 / Children: JPY3200 / Seniors: JPY3900. A range of other tickets are also available including half-day, multi-day and night-skiing specials.

Rental & Ski School

Tsugaike has a large number of rental outlets located throughout the village and facing onto the lower ski fields. Prices and quality varying depending on the outlet, so have look around at what’s on offer before committing. Two ski school schools offer English-language group, private and children’s lessons

Kids & Families

On the left-hand side of the resort, the ‘Kane-no-naru-oka’ outdoor area is a space for children and families to enjoy sleds and other winter gear, fenced-off from the surrounding ski runs. Entry costs JPY500 per child and is open daily from 10:00 to 15:00. Located nearby, the Tsugaike Park and Grill Tsugaike buildings have indoor kids areas including change rooms. The ‘Oya-no-hara’ outdoor area is located near the Triple Chairlift, another fenced-off area in which kids and families can play in the snow. The ‘Yuki-no-hiroba’ indoor play area is located inside the middle gondola station near the bottom of the ‘Han-no-ki’ and ‘Shirakaba’ slopes. Daycare is available however English-speaking staff may not be available.

Accommodation & Village Info   

With one of the largest villages of any of the Hakuba Valley resorts, Tsugaike has a lot of accommodation to choose from and in addition, restaurants, bars and shops catering to the many people that stay there. The village is spread along the base of the resort – which runs almost 2.5km across! – so make sure to remember where you a staying and come down to the right area or else you’re in for a long, painful walk! In terms of accommodation, expect family-run pensions and hotels with Japanese-style on-floor bedding, shared bathrooms and Japanese menus. Some hotels cater to Western tastes but if that’s important, you’ll have more luck staying in Hakuba Village and using buses or taxis to head to and from Tsugaike. For listings. see our ‘Hakuba Village Area’ hotel page.

Getting to Hakuba Tsugaike

Distance to Hakuba Happo Bus Terminal: 8km / 15 to 20-min drive.

The resort is accessible by local bus or taxi from Hakuba Happo Bus Terminal and Hakuba Station. For directions to Hakuba Tsugaike, please see our ‘How to Get to Hakuba – Nagano Ski Resorts Info’ page.

HAKUBA CORTINA SNOW RESORT


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Connected to Hakuba Norikura Onsen Snow Resort, Hakuba Cortina Snow Resort lies around 14km to the north of Hakuba Village. As the most northern resorts of the Hakuba Valley, Cortina and Norikura combine to offer skiers and snowboarders some fantastic terrain and awesome powder.  The two resorts can be enjoyed using an all-mountain pass but to keep things simple, let’s address each resort in its own right. Much like Iwatake Snow Field, Cortina was something of a hidden gem among the Hakuba resorts for a longtime. Requiring a little more effort to get there and seemingly small, the distance and trail map belied the resort’s best features – great snow, steep terrain and fantastic backcountry. That secret is however now well and truly out, and while Cortina isn’t as busy as resorts including Happo One and Hakuba Goryu/47, don’t expect it to be that quiet either. Having said all that, if you’re in Hakuba Valley for an extended stay, a visit to Cortina is something of a must-do.

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Operating Dates & Times

Dependent on snow conditions, the resort is typically open from mid-December until early-April with lifts operating from 08:30 until 17:00. Night-skiing is usually available from opening until mid-March, from 17:00 to 20:00 and until 21:00 on weekends and holidays.

Ski Runs

Cortina boasts 50ha of terrain split into 16 courses, serviced by 8 lifts. The resort is located from 870 to 1400 metres in elevation with a small 530 metres of vertical. Though it might not sound much, the upper runs at Cortina are very steep, maxing-out at an impressive 42°! The longest ski run is 3.5km.

Highlights

Open spaces at the bottom of the Cortina ski fields along with the beautifully groomed Ikenotaira beginner run are ideal of beginners and newbies still finding their feet. Just make sure to exercise a little caution as this area can be congested on weekends and holidays as newbies avoid the higher, steeper slopes. But for intermediate and advanced skiers/snowboarders, you’ll see plenty of good stuff above above and after a warm-up run, you’ll want to head straight-up. The Itadaira, Hiedayama and Itadaira One course are great fun to ride back down, over cross over into Norikura. For advanced skiers/snowboarders, some very steep black runs should keep your interest while excellent backcountry is accessible via the top Hieda Gate with tree runs there and other reasons of the resort being a huge reason to visit. On days of big powder, Cortina is very hard to beat.

Tickets & Passes

Day passes for Cortina cost: a Cortina-only day-pass costs – Adults (13+): JPY4000 / Children (6-12) JPY3000 / Seniors: JPY4300. A joint Cortina/Norikura all-mountain pass is also available for: Adults: JPY4800 / Children: JPY330 / Seniors: JPY4300. Half-day, multi-day, single rides and other special tickets are also available.

Rental & Ski School

The majority of facilities on offer at Cortina are housed within the large Hotel Green Plaza, sitting at the base of the ski fields. Ski and snowboard rental is available inside – for use by both day-visitors and hotel guests – along with ski school and shops.

Kids & Families

Directly in-front Hotel Green Plaza the ‘Wonder Village Kids Park’ allows children and families to use sleds and tubes on the snow. Snowmobile rides can also be arranged at the hotel reception. The ‘Kids House Day Care’ is located inside the hotel and available daily for children aged 3 to 6 between the hours of 09:00 to 12:00 and 13:00 to 17:00.

Accommodation & Village Info   

The large Hotel Green Plaza is the main accommodation at Cortina. Offering more than 250 mixed Japanese-Western style rooms, in-house restaurants, a hot spring and numerous services including ski/snowboard rental and lessons, staying at Hotel Green Plaza is a great option for many visitors. For those looking for something smaller scale, there are a number of pensions and ski lodges in the surrounding area, including options around the adjoining Norikura Onsen Snow Resort. For listings, see our ‘Hakuba Cortina/Norikura Area’ hotel page.

Getting to Hakuba Cortina

Distance to Hakuba Happo Bus Terminal: 14km / 20 to 25-min drive.

The resort is accessible by local bus or taxi from Hakuba Happo Bus Terminal and Hakuba Station. For directions to Hakuba Cortina, please see our ‘How to Get to Hakuba – Nagano Ski Resorts Info’ page.

HAKUBA NORIKURA ONSEN SNOW RESORT


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Connected to Hakuba Cortina Snow Resort, Hakuba Norikura Onsen Snow Resort lies around 14km to the north of Hakuba Village. As the most northern resorts of the Hakuba Valley, the Norikura and Cortina combine to offer skiers and snowboarders some fantastic terrain and awesome powder.  The two resorts can be enjoyed using an all-mountain pass but to keep things simple, let’s address each resort in its own right. In itself, Norikura is small but known for its excellent powder, quiet ski runs and excellent backcountry. Given its size and relative small price difference between lift-passes, most visitors will choose to buy an all-mountain pass covering both Norikura and Cortina. When the snow is good, the combination of Norikura and Cortina offer some of Hakuba’s best skiing and snowboarding.

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Operating Dates & Times

Dependent on snow conditions, the resort is typically open from mid-December to end of March with lifts operating from 08:30 to 16:30. Norikura does not have night-skiing.

Ski Runs

Hakuba Norikura is located between 700 to 1300 metres elevation with 600 metres of vertical on offers. The resort has 14 courses serviced by 9 lifts, with the official breakdown listing ski runs as: beginner 30% / intermediate 50% / advanced 20%. The longest ski run is 2.5km.

Highlights

Norikura was some gentle and wide runs perfect for newbies and beginners. For intermediate and advanced skiers/snowboarders, the majority of terrain is well-suited with quiet runs and great snow combining to offer some of Hakuba’s best skiing and snowboarding. Norikura offers fantastic sidecountry and backcountry but as always, when it comes to going off-piste in Japan, make sure to follow the rules and consider arranging a local guide. The snow can be exceptionally deep and terrain is steep, a potentially dangerous combination and one best addressed by arranging an experienced guide who knows the area well.

Tickets & Passes

Day passes for Norikura cost: a Norikura-only day-pass costs – Adults (13+): JPY4000 / Children (6-12) JPY3000 / Seniors: JPY4300. A joint Norikura/Cortina all-mountain pass is also available for: Adults: JPY4800 / Children: JPY330 / Seniors: JPY4300.

Rental & Ski School   

Ski and snowboard rentals are available through the Hakuba Alps Hotel however the gear isn’t anything special. A ski school is also available but instructors have limited English. Should you want to arrange these, it’s best to head across to Cortina and take advantage of the services at Hotel Green Plaza.

Kids & Families

A small kids park is located directly outside the Hakuba Alps Hotel, free for use by children and families.

Accommodation & Village Info   

Accommodation options in Norikura are limited but include a couple of good hotels with their own ‘onsen’ (natural hot springs). Hakuba Alps Hotel is a good option for many guests given the range of facilities available. Smaller pensions and family-run lodges are scattered through the area. Given that most visitors to Norikura enjoy it on an all-mountain pass covering Cortina, staying in that area is just as convenient option including Hotel Green Plaza. For listings, see our ‘Hakuba Cortina/Norikura Area’ hotel page.

Getting to Hakuba Norikura

Distance to Hakuba Happo Bus Terminal: 9.5km / 15 to 20-min drive.

The resort is accessible by local bus or taxi from Hakuba Happo Bus Terminal and Hakuba Station. For directions to Hakuba Norikura, please see our ‘How to Get to Hakuba – Nagano Ski Resorts Info’ page.

ACCESS ALL AREAS: THE ‘HAKUBA VALLEY TICKET’


Visitors to Hakuba can take advantage each winter of the ‘Hakuba Valley Ticket’, a common lift-ticket which provides access to any of the resorts making-up Hakuba Valley. This includes: Happo One, Goryu, 47 Winter Sports Park, Iwatake, Tsugaike, Cortina, Norikura along with Sanosaka, Jiigatake and Kashimayari (not discussed on this page). The following prices apply for the 2020/21 season:

hakuba-valley-ticket

Tickets can be purchased for any window/counter selling lift-tickets anywhere int the Hakuba Valley. For visitors wanting to enjoy more than one resort and/or staying for an extended period, the ticket is great value for money and saves the hassle of purchasing a new pass each day.

GETTING TO & AROUND HAKUBA IN WINTER


hakuba-bus-terminal

Our ‘How to Get to Hakuba – Nagano Ski Resorts Info’ page provides information on how to reach the Hakuba Valley from locations including Nagano Station, Tokyo and the airports. For many if not most visitors, the Hakuba Happo Bus Terminal – pictured above – will be a convenient transport hub from which to move to, from and around the ski resorts.

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Once in Hakuba, the Hakuba Shuttle Bus runs from the bus terminal to many points in the valley including all major ski resorts. Running from mid-December to the end of March, the shuttle bus can be used free of charge by anyone holding a valid ‘Hakuba Valley Ticket’ (as referenced above). Should you not have that ticket, you can still use the shuttle bus by paying the following one-way fares to the driver: adults JPY510 and children JPY260 – cash only.

hakuba-station

Visitors also have the option of moving to and from Hakuba via Hakuba Station. While it isn’t as convenient as most bus services, the station is a stop on the Oito Line running to Matsumoto Station. For visitors arriving at Matsumoto Airport, this might be a convenient option. It is also possible to connect through to Nagano Station and onto the Hokuriku Shinkansen however that option takes a lot of time and we do not recommend it.

Ultimately, most visitors are looking for convenience and comfort in getting to and from Hakuba making a private charter or tour a great option. Based in Nagano, we can provide both private charters and tours including pickup and drop-off at any ski resort in Hakuba and/or any regional destination.

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Our vehicles and drivers are fully certified, with the capacity to arrange transport for individual and couples, families and friends, and large tour groups including multiple vehicles and transport of ski and snowboard gear. Operating all year round we are ready to help you plan and package you trip, so you can time and money and focus on the fun stuff – see below for details!

PACKAGE & SAVE: BOOK YOUR NEXT TRIP TO HAKUBA!


Locally-based and operating all year round, Snow Monkey Resorts is Nagano’s No.1 tour and charter operator. We have the local knowledge of where and when to go, to help you discover and enjoy the region’s many ski resorts including any destination in Hakuba Valley.

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As a registered travel agent participating in the national ‘Go To Travel’ campaign, we can package your next trip to Hakuba (or any other ski resort in Nagano) including transport, accommodation, lift-passes and more!

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For guests wanting to access the resorts in the comfort of their own transport, we can arrange a private tour or charter customised to fit your needs, starting and ending at any destination. Our drivers and vehicles are fully certified, allowing us to transport you to and from your preferred destinations in combination with any activity that suits your interests and schedule.

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Vehicles are fitted with a protective screen – separating the driver from passenger and luggage area – and our drivers wear protective masks, allowing you to move between your destinations in comfort and safety.

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We can arrange both private tours with an English-speaking guide or a private charter, including a private vehicle and driver but without a guide. We’d love to be part of that experience and help you discover even more!

Why choose us?

Awarded a 2019 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Award for our 1-Day Snow Monkeys, Zenko-ji Temple & Sake Tour – recognised as one of the Top 10 Experiences in Japan – we have the local knowledge and experience to help you get the most out of your time in Nagano.

Got a question about visiting Hakuba this winter? Feel free to contact us at snowmonkeyresorts@machinovate.com and let’s get planning together!