Overall Rating

Hakuba Goryu

Hakuba Goryu3.5/55
Hakuba Goryu3.5 out of 5 based on 5 reviews
  • Recommend
    80%
  • Would Revisit
    80%

Hakuba Goryu - Reviews

Hakuba Goryu - Reviews

Simultaneously Busy and Quiet

POWDERHOUNDS.COM03/07/2018
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Month Visited:
    December

Simultaneously Busy and Quiet

POWDERHOUNDS.COM03/07/2018
The new tree zone
Just off the side of the piste
The Open Tree Zone
We visited Goryu during a peak holiday time which couldn’t be helped, but the ski resort and village felt like polar opposites. The ski resort was very busy whilst the village was deathly quiet.

We were really lucky because we were greeted with about 30-45cm of fresh powder on our first day. The powder in the zone off the Cosmo chair was ripped up quickly, mostly by the multitude of Hakuba Snowsports instructors that hadn’t started work for the morning. We queued up for the gondola to open and were lucky enough to be one of the first to get to the Open Tree Zone. This treed terrain was delightfully steep and the powder delicious. However by the time we did another lap, this small area was completely ripped up and the Champion Course a mess of moguls.

Meanwhile the beginners’ area of Toomi was ridiculously congested to the point of being unsafe, and the narrow Woody Course had a high concentration of snow ploughers.

The inter-connection between Goryu and Hakuba 47 was closed due to high winds, so we thought we’d catch the bus across, except that there was a 2 hour gap in the bus schedule. You’d think when they put some lifts on wind hold that they might get the idle bus drivers to do some additional laps.

Other than the addition of the tree zone, not much has changed at the Goryu Ski Resort and no additional piste terrain or lifts have been added since we last visited.

The Goryu ski resort is worth visiting for a day or two in conjunction with Hakuba 47, but unless you’re a beginner there’s not enough terrain variety to warrant a week-long stay at Goryu (and getting buses to other Hakuba ski resorts isn’t as easy from Goryu compared to the higher profile villages).

We stayed at the Hotel Lady Diana (you can see our review). This is the second worst hotel we’ve stayed at in Japan (so obviously we don’t recommend it). Our stay possibly also soured our opinion of the village a fraction, but at this stage we wouldn’t be rushing to stay at Goryu again. The village was pretty, but it was too spread out and there was a shortage of options for evening dining or nightlife. And some restaurants and bars were closed, despite it being peak period. There are lots of other Japanese ski resorts that are quiet in the evenings (which is fine) but at least the slopes are quiet too.

You can look at our Japanese ski resort ratings to see how we compare Goryu to other ski areas.

Goryu

Benjamin02/03/2017
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Snowboarder
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    18-35
  • Month Visited:
    February

Goryu

Benjamin02/03/2017
Spent a week in Hakuba and most of the time at Goryu and the other two resorts that share the pass with it. had a great time no crowds at all just ski right on to the lift.

Hakuba has a great vibe to it; it is still a farming town in the summer so all the resorts are run by the local farmers to a degree and you will quite often meet them working the lifts.

the town of Hakuba its self is still very Japanese which is great, there is many small and cheap restaurants that offer all types of japanese food with big servings; perfect for a day on the slopes. However there is next to no night life and we where quite often the last people out in the town has everything around hakuba closes at 9, the village of Happo 1 stays open a bit later.

Overall i loved it there and would go back better value for money then niseko if you are looking for a cheap ski/snowboard holiday.

Money waster if you want to get powder or off-piste.

Victor13/02/2017
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    18-35
  • Month Visited:
    February

Money waster if you want to get powder or off-piste.

Victor13/02/2017
For anyone looking to catch the famous Japanese powder, this place is useless.

Off-piste riding practically anywhere, which is the only place you'll find real powder, is banned and you'll absolutely get your pass pulled if they catch you. You'll be spending most of your time suspended on the lift looking at all the untouched powder that you would otherwise be riding at other mountains, but which are strictly off limits here.

There are a few small sections of off-piste riding but half of them are "club-members-only" sections where you need to ride with a special bib/vest (I'm not joking) and the remaining small sections are obviously tracked out with zero powder.

For those OK with ducking lines and getting their passes pulled, the powder is deep and untouched, but only do this on a day pass towards the end of the day in case they catch you.

If you want powder but don't want to go through any of this trouble of skiing hours of powderless groomers first before risking a rope duck at the end of the day, save your money and go somewhere else.

Goryu look good

Cam29/06/2015
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Snowboarder
  • Rider Level
    Intermediate
  • Rider Age
    18-35

Goryu look good

Cam29/06/2015
As you climb to the top of the mountain and look over 40cm of fresh powder, across at the surrounding mountains, and down upon the lodges nestled amongst the snow - where those who are too lazy or warm to have gotten up at 6am still sleep - you stop and reflect…

It matters not that your mouth tastes like cigarettes and stale sake. It matters not that the only sleep you’ve had was a two hour power blackout. It matters not that you were chased out of a dormitory by an angry japanese man shouting about his “girlfriend” and “kono yarou” (or something, you don’t remember - you were too busy dodging the cutlery being thrown at you), you realise:
This.

This is why you spent who knows how much money. This is why you spent 12 hours on a plane and 6 hours in a bus. This is why you endured a thorough cavity search (resulting in mixed feelings and a warm smile from the TSA). This, is Hakuba Goryu, one of the best resorts Japan has to offer.

Situated in the northern part of Nagano Prefecture, Hakuba-mura is a small town servicing ten ski resorts delivering versatility rarely seen anywhere in the world. Couple that with a pant-shortening average of eleven metres of snow per season MEANS that when you’re in Hakuba there’s always powder somewhere.

At more than 1,500m Goryu offers a range of runs that cater to all skill levels and having access to Goryu (Hakuba)47 on the same lift pass opens yet more runs which are simply a delight to fall down. There are more popular resorts in the region, but let’s face it, everyone’s sick of hearing about Cortina. As with everywhere in Japan it’s full of snowboarders falling, (okay mostly just me).

Pros
Great range of runs (access to two mountains)
Long runs

Cons
No nightlife (not counting the drunk Australians in your pension)
Lack of transport around the town and surrounds
Off-piste skiing strictly enforced

Very Family Friendly

POWDERHOUNDS.COM07/07/2014
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    36-50

Very Family Friendly

POWDERHOUNDS.COM07/07/2014
Goryu in combination with Hakuba 47 is definitely worthy of a day trip or 2 for those on a Hakuba ski holiday. Goryu also has some strengths as a destination resort. Staying in the little village there provides a quieter alternative to Happo and it’s a little less westernised. Hakuba Goryu is also very family friendly, has ideal slopes for those learning and progressing, and the presence of a ski school that offers group lessons in English is a major bonus.

Goryu isn’t quite my cup of tea as a powder hound destination. Unlike Hakuba 47 and many other Honshu ski resorts where off-piste skiing is banned, it’s difficult at Goryu to get into the off-piste areas and remain under the radar. Some of the best terrain is right under the gondola in plain sight. The sidecountry is a different matter though, and those with lots of route finding experience (and potentially with skins or snowshoes) should be able to have a bit of fun at Goryu.