The Hakuba valley consists of 9 separate ski areas with most of the terrain concentrated in three principle areas; Iwatake, Hakuba47-Goryu and Happo-One which hosted the 1998 Nagano Olympics downhill. Home to a fantastic collection of luxury chalets and world renowned for the vast quantities of annual snowfall Hakuba is the perfect base to enjoy some of the best skiing in Japan, all within easy reach of Tokyo by train.
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The Japanese Alps are located on the main island, just a short distance on a bullet-train from Tokyo. Once ensconced in this mountainous terrain, where rugged peaks tower over 3,000 metres, skiing intuition leads you to the Hakuba valley where even the valley floor is blessed with an average annual snowfall of over 12 metres per annum.
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There are 11 separate ski resorts in the valley, all unified under one lift pass, namely (from north to south): Cortina, Norikura, Tsugaike Kogen, Iwatake, Happo-One, Hakuba 47, Goryu, Sanosaka, Kashimayari, Jigatake, and Minekata. This equates to 960 hectares of skiable terrain, 90 miles of piste, 200 plus courses, 135 lifts (5 gondolas) and at least nine terrain parks. Although there is a huge amount of terrain for beginners through to advanced skiers and snowboarders, visitors will need to be prepared to catch a shuttle bus each day if they want to sample it all. The Hakuba Valley also has great backcountry with opportunities to hike/skin up from the top of some of the ski resorts. Backcountry skiing and snowboarding can be absolutely phenomenal, we have the contacts and local knowledge to secure the best guides.
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The main hub of the valley is Happo, where most of the luxury accommodation is found. The ski village has a great vibe and caters well to English speaking guests with a wide range of restaurants including Western style dining as well as plenty of opportunities to sample the fabulous Japanese food. Happo One, the ski mountain on your doorstep is the largest in the valley. Featuring wide open pistes, intersected with vast ungroomed sections making it a breeze to dip your skis into the deep powder.
- Favourite run: Olympic Course 1 on Happo One
- Best off-piste: Cortina (northernmost ski area in the valley)
- Mountain lunch: Roots Cafe on Happo One
- Après Ski: Echoland
- Nightclub: Tracks Bar
- Dinner: Mimi's in the Phoenix Hotel
- Non-skiers: Visit the snow monkeys at Jigokudani and Zenkoji Temple in Nagano City
- Ski Schools: Evergreen
- Childcare: Available on request
- Massage: In house masseuses can be arranged
- 143 lifts
- Over 250 runs
- Base elevation of 760 metres
- Top elevation of 1,831 metres
- Pistes: Over 240 (across the entire valley)
- Blue: 30%
- Red: 50%
- Black: 20%
Nagano Station (2 hours 45 minutes on the bullet train from Tokyo) - 44 km, 1 hour
Tokyo Narita - 350 km, 5 hours
What makes us different?
We have been designing and delivering luxury ski holidays for 22 years. Our experience in the industry is unparalleled. You can trust us to create the perfect trip for you and your family.
Our team live and breathe skiing and are passionate about the destinations we sell. We work with only the best chalet and hotel providers. All are regularly inspected to ensure our exacting standards are met.
Each Oxford Ski Company booking includes our complimentary pre-arrival concierge service. Your specialist will help arrange the all-important finer details that are part of planning the perfect ski holiday.