Hakuba, Japan
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Hakuba Hotels

Japan’s premier ski resort, Hakuba is situated at the heart of the Japanese Alps. It is located about halfway up the main island in the Nagano Prefecture and is a globally-renowned winter sports destination. With some of the highest snowfall levels in the country, Hakuba boasts 9 separate resorts and 200 runs, so there is enough diversity in terrain and difficulty to keep any winter sports fan happy. The village of Hakuba, meanwhile, offers a lively and cultural après-ski experience.

Things to see

Get kitted up and take one of the 135 lifts up into the mountains, where glittering, pristine-white slopes await. The Hakuba Happoone Ski Area offers some of the best piste conditions, suitable for intermediate and advanced skiers, with enough ski lifts to avoid unnecessary waiting times. The longest slope is an incredibly satisfying 5 miles long. You’ll also find the Olympic Ski Jump Stadium here, and you can take a guided tour. If you want to get off-piste, try a magical snowshoeing trip through snow-laden alpine forests, or get your adrenaline pumping with a high-speed snowmobile adventure through the Hakuba Valley. When your muscles are sufficiently worn out, relax at one of the hot springs, bathing in warm water, while looking up at the mountains. In Hakuba center, explore traditional Japanese crafts and have a go at making your own soba noodles or origami under the tuition of local experts.

Hotels in Hakuba

Hakuba has a wide range of hotels from luxury hotel resorts to budget accommodation offering convenience and simplicity. Most Hakuba hotels are a fusion of European and Japanese style, with modern furnishings and classy design features. At the upper end, spa services, hot tubs, and spacious suites are part of the package, while if you’re looking to save some money, budget hotels provide comfortable rooms, complimentary breakfasts, and easy access to the ski resorts. There are also mid-range apartment-style hotels available with self-catering facilities and often ski-in, ski-out access, allowing you to beat the crowds onto the slopes.

Where to stay

The village of Hakuba offers a central location with easy access to the main Hakuba Happoone Ski Area. Here, you’ll also find most of the cultural attractions, including traditional izakaya, Japanese pubs, which serve local sake. There is a range of budget and luxury accommodation available, so whatever your price-range, there will be a hotel to suit it. If you would prefer to be on the mountainside and have a ski lift right outside, then stay within the Happoone Ski Area. Three and 4-star hotels are available here, with a choice of self-catering chalet accommodation or full hotel service.

How to get to Hakuba

From the main transport hubs on the main island, Tokyo and Nagoya, it’s a 4-hour journey to Hakuba, with numerous options available. International visitors are likely to arrive into either Tokyo’s Narita Airport or Osaka’s Kansai Airport. From Narita Airport, take a shuttle service to Tokyo Station, then a bullet train to Nagano Station. From there, a bus completes the final leg to Hakuba. From the southern cities of Kyoto, Osaka, and from Kansai Airport, it’s an easy bus or train ride to Nagoya Station, where bullet trains connect to Matsumoto Station. A final bus journey takes you to Hakuba.

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