Skiing at Hakuba

There is everything on offer when it comes to skiing at Hakuba. All the resorts are great for both learners and intermediates. Freestylers and those who love bumps and moguls will be in paradise at Hakuba. Advanced skiers have steep terrains at some of the resorts to look forward to. There is a strict off-piste skiing policy at most Hakuba resorts, which will disappoint powder lovers.

What makes Hakuba really stand out is the large selection of terrain throughout the Valley. The main Hakuba Ski Resort consists of 6 unique resorts. Although only two are connected, all of them share one common lift pass. The rest of the valley has another 5 resorts that can be easily reached by shuttle bus on a day tour.

The facilities at the valley are fantastic. The entire area provides over 900 hectares of skiing terrain, which make up 9 terrain parks and 137km of piste on over 200 courses. These are well served by 135 lifts, including 5 gondolas. These are some of the best facilities in the country, making Hakuba the go-to destination for the perfect winter holiday.

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The resorts at the Hakuba Ski Resorts are:

Happo One: This is the main resort at Hakuba, with an active village below it. It is a large resort, with 13 courses and 220 hectares of skiing area. There are many perfectly groomed areas, ideal for intermediates looking for speedy runs. The vertical drop at Happo One is great for advanced skiers, who will also find the moguls here perfectly formed. There is a lot of beginner terrain at the four bases as well. Above and behind the resort are the Happo North Faces, which have fantastic backcountry terrain with steep bowls.

Hakuba 47: This is relatively small compared to the other resorts. It has 6 lifts, 80 acres of piste and 8 runs. It is connected to the Goryu resort, and offers the best uncrowded slopes, terrain park and on piste terrain for advanced skiers in Hakuba.

Goryu: Connected at the top with Hakuba 47, Goryu is slightly bigger, with 16 courses and 13 lifts. They include a gondola and 3 quad chairs. It has 3 skiing zones, and is best known for its uncrowded slopes, great terrain park, and advanced skiing runs.

Iwatake: This resort is famous for 360 degree spectacular views of the Japanese Alps, Mt Iwatake and Happo one. It has great ski terrain for intermediates, with a few off-piste areas for powder skiing. It consists of 15 courses with two ski areas that meet at the summit of Mt Iwatake.

Tsugaike Kogen: This resort has the best beginner terrain, and the best lift infrastructure of the Hakuba resorts. It is a family friendly resort, with a snow park for the kids. Be sure to try out Tsugaike heli skiing, a fantastic springtime activity. The base of the resort also features a Japanese hot spring, or onsen.

Cortina: Located 14km north of Hakuba town, it is the northern most resort .It has the steepest terrain, with the best powder skiing. There is a less restrictive skiing policy, which will allow you to get away with some off-piste skiing unlike at other resorts. Cortina is therefore the best ski resort in Hakuba for tree skiing, off-piste, and expert terrain.