- Hakuba 47 & Goryu
Happo-OneHappo-one is the largest ski resort in the valley and at is the centre of all the action, walking distance from most accommodation. Being the largest resort in the valley there is something for everyone here. Happo is one of the steeper resorts in Hakuba but if you’re just learning then head over to the Sakka slopes for gentle mellow slopes. Happo-one is also home to Evergreen International Ski School who offer private lessons, group lessons, kids club and daycare.
For powderhounds you’ll find ungroomed runs on the upper slopes and tree skiing at the Skyline area as well as backcountry access at the top of the resort. At Happo-one you’ll also find Happo Banks, which offers some of the most unique terrain in the valley.
The Corona Bar, located at the top of the gondola, is also a must visit if you’re after the ultimate apres experience, have a corona and soak in the stunning views of the valley.
Hakuba 47 & GoryuHakuba 47 and Hakuba Goryu are two of the most popular resorts in the Hakuba, just a few minutes away from the main village of Happo. These interconnected resorts offer a variety of terrain for everyone. If you’re learning head to the Goryu Iimori area for mellow runs as well as Hakuba Snow Sports School which offer private and group lessons for adults and children. Further up Goryu you’ll find excellent groomed runs as well as ungroomed areas up top. Goryu also offers night skiing on the lower slopes from Escal Plaza.
Hakuba 47 is the more advanced mountain of the two, offering steeper runs, tree skiing and a terrain park. There are “Open Tree Zones” and “Tree Riding Members Zones”, to ride in the members zones you’ll need to do a short safety/information course in the morning which runs ever hour on the hour. Once you’ve done the course you’ll receive an ID card and a red bib which you have to wear when riding the trees. The park at 47 is one of the best in Hakuba, offering a variety of terrain separated into a beginner, intermediate and advanced line.
Tsugaike Kogen Ski ResortTsugaike Kogen is a large resort just 15 minutes from the main Happo Village. Here you’ll find an extensive selection of terrain for all abilities. The gondola stops mid way up the mountain which is perfect for beginners who want to learn on the mellow lower. Then from the mid gondola upwards you’ll find plenty for intermediate and advanced riders. If you do the short Tsugaike Powder Double Black Diamond course you’ll receive an arm band and be able to head into the trees for some amazing riding. There are 5 gates that give you access to the trees as well as gates for those looking to head into the backcountry.
Tsugaike also features a terrain park with a variety of terrain for all abilities and a combination of kickers, rails and boxes. At Hakuba mid station you’ll also find a Burger King which is perfect for refuelling during a day of riding, plus a range of western and Japanese options. Once the days over you can also enjoy a foot onsen at the base of the resort while waiting for the bus.
Iwatake Ski ResortLess than 10 minutes from Happo-village, Iwatake is a must visit when in Hakuba. Iwatake offers a vast variety of terrain including some top quality groomed runs from the Gondola for beginners and intermediates, while advanced riders can head over to the back side for powder, tree runs and the Iwatake terrain park. The 3.3km gondola run from top to bottom is one of the most enjoyable runs in the valley.
From the top of Iwatake you have some great runs into the back bowl too. Here you’ll find runs for all abilities but the ungroomed runs are a highlight as well as access into the trees. The Iwatake DC Park is also one of the most popular terrain parks in Hakuba, with features for all skill levels.
When having a break, head to the Hakuba Mountain Harbor at the top of the resort for breathtaking panorama views while you enjoy delicious baked goods and drinks from the city bakery.
Cortina Ski ResortCortina is one of the most well known ski resorts in Japan and for very good reasons. Cortina often receives twice the snowfall of other resorts in the Hakuba Valley, making it the best resorts for snow lovers. When it dumps, get up early and head to Cortina.
Cortina has a relaxed off-piste policy and the best tree skiing in Hakuba. The only downside is this resort is so good on a powder day that everyone heads here. Cortina is also connected to Norikura Ski Resort so you can enjoy both these resorts on the one lift ticket.
The on-piste runs here are a bit limite, which is why it is best on powder days, but there’s enough for beginner and intermediate riders.
The beautiful Hotel Green Plaza sits at the base of the resort and is a stunning sight when you drive into the resort. This hotel also features one of the best public onsens in the valley. We recommend bringing a change of clothes when you ski here so you can enjoy an onsen at the end of the day, the perfect way to relax those ski legs.
Norikura Onsen Snow ResortNorikura Ski Resort is one of the most underrated resorts in the Hakuba Valley. It is interconnected with the neighbouring Cortina Ski Resort and is under half an hour from Happo. Norikura is often overlooked, as everyone heads to Cortina on a powder day, but Norikura receives just as much powder. Norikura doesn’t have the same amazing tree runs as Cortina but the lack of crowds and light, dry powder make this resort a must visit.
There are options for all abilities here at Norikura. For beginners, the Hakunori Family Course and Kids park to the left of the resort are a good place to start. For intermediates there’s an array of runs throughout the resort to keep entertained and for those chasing powder, the upper Ski View area is your best bet. The lift at the Sky View area also connects you with Cortina, so with two resorts you have so much terrain to explore.
Sanosaka Snow ResortLocated at the southern end of the Hakuba Valley, Sanosaka is one of the hidden gems of Hakuba. Sanosaka is one of the more quieter resorts, predominately visited by locals, as foreigners flock to some of the more well-known resorts in the valley. Sanosaka is a small, family friendly resort which is best for beginners and intermediates. For advanced riders there is only one designated advanced run but it is left ungroomed when it snows.
One of the major attractions of Sanosaka are the stunning views of Lake Aoki you can see while cruising down the runs. Sanosaka is also the only resort in the valley where you can take your dog, so you’ll see locals skiing along with their furry friends.
After a day of skiing the Chairlift Bar is a great spot for a drink too.
Kashimayari Snow ResortKashimayari Snow Resort is another hidden gem of the Hakuba Valley, that is often overlooked. This medium sized resort doesn't have the crowds you'll find out other resorts in the valley, and with a good variety of runs it makes for a fun day. This resort is mostly visited by locals on the weekend, so it's best to ski here mid-week to get the mountain to yourself.
Kashimayari offers a variety of run for all abilities. There are some mellow runs and cat tracks which are great if you're just starting out. For intermediates there's a selection of good groomed runs throughout the resort. If you're more advanced there are a selection of runs as well as some dedicated tree skiing areas. The lack of crowds means you have more of these areas to yourself, but being small areas they still get tracked out.
Jiigatake Snow ResortJiigatake is the southern most resort in the Hakuba Valley (30-40 minutes from Happo) and as a result is not often visited by foreigners. Jiigatake is a small resort with a handful of resorts for beginners and intermediates. If you're an advanced rider there's not much here for you, but if you're just learning and looking for a quiet resort Jiigatake will suit you. Jiigatake is also great for kids with a dedicated kids area.
This resort is mostly visited by locals on the weekend, so it's best to ski here mid-week if you're wanting to avoid any crowds.