10 Resorts to Explore in Hakuba, Japan

Hakuba Valley is not only one of the most prolific ski areas in Japan, but is also famous for having a variety of ski resorts lining its epic mountain range. Each has its own unique views, terrain, food, and public hot springs (onsen), making Hakuba the perfect base for visitors to enjoy the full spectrum of Japan’s outdoor and cultural experiences.

Here is an overview of the 10 resorts that you can explore with an Epic Pass or Hakuba Valley Pass (Day, Multi-Day or Season).

Sunrise over Hakuba Valley
Sunrise from Hakuba Village

Happo One Ski Resort

Happo One (oh-nay) Ski Resort is one of the most visited ski areas in Japan and gained immense popularity for hosting several events during the 1998 Winter Olympics. With its longest run over 8 kilometers, this amazing resort tends to get a heavy dumping of all-natural-pow in early winter. On average, there is good-quality snow until March and the season runs until the beginning of May.

Happo One Website

Great for:

  • long runs
  • moguls
  • challenging & mixed terrain
  • powder hounds

Not for:

  • park lovers
  • beginner riders without an instructor

Hakuba 47 + Goryu Snow Park

Two amazing resorts in one – what’s not to love? Commonly referred to as “47Goryu” these two parks are easily accessible from three entry points: Hakuba 47’s Gondola Station, Iimori Lift Station, and Goryu Gondola. We recommend beginners start on the big green course on the Goryu side of the park.

47 Goryu Website

Great for:

  • long runs
  • moguls
  • challenging & mixed terrain
  • powder hounds
  • tree skiing
  • park lovers (box, rail, halfpipe)

Not for:

  • beginner riders looking for a variety of courses

Tsugaike Mountain Resort

Tsugaike is the best all-around resort in Hakuba Valley for groups that have a wide range of abilities. The beginner area at the base of the resort is the perfect place to build confidence for beginners, and the top of the resort offers amazing tree skiing, double black diamond runs. In between, there are all types of different terrain, including groomed red runs, tree runs, and green winding trails. Tsugaike also tends to be less crowded than resorts like Happo One and 47 Goryu because its location is a little more off the beaten track.

Tsugaike Website

Great for:

  • beginner riders
  • long runs
  • challenging & mixed terrain
  • powder hounds
  • tree skiing
  • park lovers
  • families

Not for:

  • moguls

Iwatake Mountain Resort

Iwatake is a beautiful resort with access to incredible 360 views of the backcountry. It is full of intermediate runs and instagram-able moments, including an adorable dog park, swings, and chic patisserie-cafe near the top station. We recommend checking out Iwatake in the middle of the season (Jan/Feb), as its early and late season snow tends to be scarce compared to other parks.

Iwatake Website

Great for:

  • challenging & mixed terrain
  • tree skiing
  • park lovers
  • epic views and photo opportunities

Not for:

  • spring skiing
  • beginner riders
  • long runs

Kashimayari Ski Resort

One of the most underrated and off-the-beaten track ski parks in Hakuba Valley, Kashimayari is a great place to spend a day out in nature for beginner-intermediate riders. The old-school feel of this park will make you feel like you’ve step back into the 80s, before the big boom of ski frenzy arrived to Japan. Enjoy the truly epic views of the Japanese Alps as well as the beautiful pine forests through this unique park.

Kashimayari Website

Great for:

  • beginner riders
  • intermediate tree skiing
  • nostalgic feel
  • avoiding crowds

Not for:

  • moguls
  • long runs
  • park lovers

Sanosaka Ski Resort

With gorgeous views of Lake Aoki, Sanosaka is an excellent park to visit on a clear day. It has a good amount of variety for beginners as well, allowing riders to take an easy and comfortable pace as they progress from green to red runs. Sanosaka is a great place to catch breathtaking views of the mountain range on the opposite side of Hakuba Valley.

Sanonsaka Website

Great for:

  • beginner riders
  • challenging & mixed terrain
  • good views
  • families

Not for:

  • moguls
  • long runs
  • powder hounds
  • tree skiing
  • park lovers

Jiigatake Ski Resort

Jiigatake’s main slope is a great place for new riders to enjoy the snow. It’s a safe and comfortable park with plenty of amazing nature views, simple trails, and good visibility so you don’t have to worry about beginners or young riders getting lost. Though it’s Hakuba’s smallest resort, it’s also one of the most scenic!

Jiigatake Website

Great for:

  • beginner riders
  • challenging & mixed terrain
  • good views
  • families

Not for:

  • moguls
  • long runs
  • powder hounds
  • tree skiing
  • park lovers

Norikura + Cortina Ski Resort

Norikura and Cortina are two mid-sized resorts connected by an advanced run. Cortina is well known for its incredibly deep powder and tree runs, but can get quite busy on powder days. We recommend getting in line at Cortina as early as possible if you want to catch some of Japan’s best and freshest powder after an overnight snowfall. Norikura, on the other hand, has fewer advanced runs and tends to be less crowded. Both resorts have easy access to off-piste areas, making fresh tracks relatively simple to find. Please make sure that you have the appropriate experience, guidance, and equipment before entering any off-piste areas.

Norikura Onsen Website

Hakuba Cortina Website

Great for:

  • long runs
  • challenging & mixed terrain
  • powder hounds
  • tree skiing
  • off-piste

Not for:

  • beginners
  • park lovers

Skiing and Cycling in the Same Vacation?

Few places in the world can offer world class skiing and cycling in the same week long vacation the way Japan can. With the snowy peaks just two hours from the sunniest and driest winter spots in Japan it is possible to not only carve down the iconic Olympic slopes, but also ride where the cyclist Olympians are training!

Learn more about our premium Bespoke Ski-Cycle Tours.

When to go Ski-Cycle Touring?

Late December through mid-March.

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