Hakkaisan3.5 out of 5 based on 1 reviews
  • Recommend
    100%
  • Would Revisit
    100%
Tenjindaira Backcountry Tours

Muikamachi Hakkaisan Photo: Prince Resorts
Muikamachi Hakkaisan     Photo: Prince Resorts
Hakkaisan Ropeway
Hakkaisan Ropeway
Hakkaisan Ski Resort
Hakkaisan Ski Resort
Muikamachi Hakkaisan Powder
Muikamachi Hakkaisan Powder
Hakkaisan has amazing tree skiing
Hakkaisan has amazing tree skiing
Hakkaisan is a great powder hound ski area
Hakkaisan is a great powder hound ski area
Dumping with snow at Muikamachi Hakkaisan
Dumping with snow at Muikamachi Hakkaisan
Hakkaisan is near Yuzawa and its many ski resorts
Hakkaisan is near Yuzawa and its many ski resorts
You could stay in Yuzawa hotels such as the Takahan Ryokan
You could stay in Yuzawa hotels such as the Takahan Ryokan
Or stay near the Echigo-Yuzawa train station: Yuzawa Grand Hotel
Or stay near the Echigo-Yuzawa train station: Yuzawa Grand Hotel
You could stay at Joetsu Kokusai
You could stay at Joetsu Kokusai
Beginner skiing at Muikamachi Hakkaisan
Beginner skiing at Muikamachi Hakkaisan
Muikamachi Hakkaisan Ski Resort Japan
Muikamachi Hakkaisan Ski Resort Japan
The base camp building houses most of the facilities
The base camp building houses most of the facilities
The retail shop has the obligatory confectionary gifts!
The retail shop has the obligatory confectionary gifts!
There is a small ski shop selling basic ski and snowboard accessories
There is a small ski shop selling basic ski and snowboard accessories
Hakkaisan is famous for its sake
Hakkaisan is famous for its sake
The shop also sells Hakkaisan souvenirs
The shop also sells Hakkaisan souvenirs
The restaurant on the top floor of the day lodge
The restaurant on the top floor of the day lodge
Hakkaisan ski and snowboard rentals
Hakkaisan ski and snowboard rentals

Hakkaisan

Muikamachi Hakkaisan Ski Resort

Hakkaisan is so much more than just an award winning sake. The mountain itself is home to the Muikamachi Hakkaisan Ski Resort, which is primarily serviced by the Hakkaisan Ropeway. Muikamachi Hakkaisan is just a small little ski area, but it’s reasonably steep and if you’re into moguls then you’ll be in heaven. Moguls aside, there is also some other fun terrain for powder hounds to explore….. so long as you can appear invisible.

Hakkaisan Ski and Snowboard Terrain

With 792 metres of vertical and only 16 courses and 4 lifts, Muikamachi Hakkaisan is mostly a long and narrow ski resort. The base area has a few beginner runs and a baby terrain park, the middle part has a couple of intermediate runs, whilst the top third is steeper and dominated by a couple of black runs.

The Hakkaisan Ski Resort has some fun off-piste skiing near the cable car and the short cuts between the snaking green trails, but the real fun is the sidecountry terrain that includes interesting tree skiing as well as chutes, rock littered slopes, and cliffettes. It can be rather avalanche prone so avalanche safety equipment and know-how and great care is needed, although you’ll also need care to stay away from the ski patrol.

In true Prince Resort style, off-piste skiing is not permitted and it’s strictly policed at times. An exception is made for a guiding service that seems to be cahoots with ski patrol to “try” to “force” people into tri-forcing it! In fact the guides claim that the Hakkaisan backcountry is their private space!

Hakkaisan Snow

Muikamachi Hakkaisan Ski Resort receives 10 metres of snow on average per season so it does well in the quantity stakes. On a powder day it’s generally awesome, but at times the Hakkaisan snow quality can be rather lacking.

Where is Muikamachi Hakkaisan?

The Muikamachi Hakkaisan Ski Resort is located near Mt Hakkai, 15km southeast of the city of Minamiuonuma in the Niigata Prefecture. The ski resort is 13km northeast of the town of Muikamachi, 30km northeast of Yuzawa, and 228km northwest of Tokyo.

See the Hakkaisan travel page for information on getting there, although it’s easiest if you have a car or are on a multi-resort tour.

Accommodation

There isn’t a village at the base of the ski resort. There are a few rustic pensions nearby. Otherwise you can stay in the town of Minami Uonuma, or stay in Yuzawa if you’re planning to visit other nearby ski areas. In addition to having lots of ski resorts, Yuzawa has an abundance of restaurants to explore. You can look at more information on the Yuzawa hotels here.

Minami Uonuma Hotel Listings

Yuzawa Hotel Listings

Facilities

In addition to a mid-mountain restaurant, the ski resort amenities are housed in two buildings at the base, although those in the ropeway station are only open on weekends and holidays. Facilities and services include ski and snowboard rentals (equipment discounted on weekdays), ski lessons in English (private lessons only), a restaurant, and a couple of other eateries. You can sample some of the local beer and sake at the restaurants.

There is also a retail shop selling Hakkaisan sake, Hakkaisan souvenirs, basic ski and snowboard accessories, and the obligatory confectionary gifts. Near the base is a kids’ sledding area.

Summary of Pros and Cons of Muikamachi Hakkaisan

Pros
  • Hakkaisan Ski Resort has amazing off-piste and sidecountry terrain, awesome tree skiing, and a consistently steep-ish fall line that’s a bit of a rarity in Japan.
  • Hakkaisan is far enough away from Yuzawa to keep the crowds to a minimum.
  • The combination of the fantastic terrain and the lack of crowds add up to Hakkaisan being an amazing destination for powder hounds when the snow is on.
  • It seems only apt to sample the award winning Hakkaisan sake (and microbrew) whilst you’re there.
  • Due to its proximity to an abundance of other Yuzawa ski resorts, it’s easy to include Hakkaisan on a multi-resort trip. You can either DIY or go on an organised trip.
Cons
  • This is a small ski area with minimal piste terrain, and there’s very little on offer for beginners or intermediates.
  • The slope orientation is not conducive to great snow quality and it’s a complete roll of the dice with respect to picking the conditions. When it’s on it’s great but when it’s off, it’s a bit sour.
Pro or Con Depending On Your Perspective
  • Muikamachi Hakkaisan is renowned for its moguls if that’s what you’re into, but it only has 2 runs and they quickly get rather boring.
  • You risk losing your lift pass if you head into the very tasty sidecountry. The guiding company has a monopoly on this area and will charge you a lot to be guided in a big group of 12 people.
  • Kids 12 and under ski free, but this isn’t really the most family friendly place.

Tours That May Include Hakkaisan

Safari (Road Trip) Tours
Hokkaido - Honshu Expedition DETAILS
HOKKAIDO & HONSHU GUIDED BC TOUR
12 Nights | 11 Guided Ski Days
From price based on twin/triple-share.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 3,951
10% off advertised price. Must book via Powderhounds.com booking form by midnight Oct 11, 2016 to qualify. Payment of deposit required by Oct 20, 2016 to retain discounted rate.
Ability: Advanced, Expert
This ADVANCED+ ski and snowboard tour starts with 4 days in the Southwest of Hokkaido and then heads south to Honshu where you will ski or ride some of Tohoku's epic hidden gems. The tour includes some ski touring / split boarding (or snow shoeing) but you don't necessarily need to have any experience in this area.
More
See all Safari (Road Trip) tours that visit Hakkaisan here
Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area Tours
Snowcountry Progression Packages DETAILS
GUIDED PROGRESSION PACKAGES
2 Nights | 2 Days Guided Instruction
From price based on twin/double-share room mid-week (Sunday night through to Thursday night) and is based on a 2-day/night package.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 475
Book by July 31, 2016 and lock in last years rates
Ability: Intermediate, Strong Intermediate
Improve your skiing & snowboarding skills with a qualified instructor whilst visiting some of Japan's fabulous ski areas (11 to choose from) in the Echigo-Yuzawa region. This package is ideally suited to low intermediate and above skiers and boarders who want to improve skills on the piste & in powder.
More
See all Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area tours that visit Hakkaisan here
Backcountry Skiing Tours
Tenjindaira Backcountry Tours DETAILS
ADVANCED BACKCOUNTRY TOURS
Fully guided - from 3 days/nights
From price based on 3 nights/days; twin-share tatami room (group 3).
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 810
Book & pay a deposit for a package by Nove 30, 2016 and take 5,000 yen of displayed prices.
Ability: Advanced, Expert
This tour is for hard-core skiers and boarders wanting to ski & ride some of the deepest and steepest terrain in Honshu Japan. Whilst some of the terrain is accessible by lift, there will be a degree of hiking / touring involved. Snowboarders will require either a split-board or snow shoes....
More
See all Backcountry Skiing tours that visit Hakkaisan here