Hakuba Iwatake

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Hakuba Iwatake Ski Resort
Hakuba Iwatake Ski Resort
Biblical named gondolas in Hakuba
Biblical named gondolas in Hakuba
Hakuba Iwatake is good for intermediates
Hakuba Iwatake is good for intermediates
Iwatake Ski Resort Hakuba
Iwatake Ski Resort Hakuba
Upper mountain facilities
Upper mountain facilities
Great views from Iwatake Hakuba
Great views from Iwatake Hakuba
Hakuba Iwatake Japan
Hakuba Iwatake Japan
Equipment rentals at the base
Equipment rentals at the base
Cafeteria at the top
Cafeteria at the top
Hakuba Iwatake Japan
Hakuba Iwatake Japan
Skiosk Iwatake
Skiosk Iwatake
Iwatake Hakuba
Iwatake Hakuba
Good terrain for learning
Good terrain for learning
International ski school
International ski school
The base of Iwatake
The base of Iwatake
Brew bar at Iwatake
Brew bar at Iwatake
Lots of mellow terrain
Lots of mellow terrain
Amazing views from the ski area
Amazing views from the ski area
Iwatake can get pretty busy
Iwatake can get pretty busy
Iwatake is one of the Hakuba Valley ski areas
Iwatake is one of the Hakuba Valley ski areas

Hakuba Iwatake

Readers Ratings

Hakuba Iwatake

Hakuba Iwatake3.5/58
Hakuba Iwatake3.5 out of 5 based on 8 reviews
  • Recommend
    100%
  • Would Revisit
    88%

Iwatake Ski Resort

Hakuba Iwatake Mountain Resort is one of the ski areas of the Hakuba Valley. Many of the Hakuba ski areas offer amazing views, but Iwatake is a cut above the rest when it comes to spectacular vistas. From the top of Mt Iwatake there are 360 degree panoramas across to Happo One, the dramatic Japanese Alps, and the Hakuba Valley.

Hakuba Iwatake Ski Resort can be characterised as a great ski area for intermediates. Iwatake Ski Resort also has some steep green runs for confident beginners, a popular terrain park, and a smattering of bumps runs and powder lines for experienced riders, although there’s definitely no terrain that’s a sphincter shrinker for experts.

There is a little bit of Iwatake accommodation so it can be used as a base to visit the rest of Hakuba, or with lots of regular free buses to Iwatake Snow Field from various other Hakuba villages, it’s ideal to visit for a day trip. 

Pros and Cons of Hakuba Iwatake

Pros 
  • Hakuba Iwatake Mountain Resort offers amazing scenery on fine days, especially from the eateries at the top of the mountain.
  • There is plenty of cruising terrain for high-end beginners and intermediates.
  • Much of the lodging is inexpensive.
Cons
  • There’s no terrain to really excite experts and at the other end of the spectrum, there are better Hakuba resorts for novices.
  • The lifts are old and some of them rarely run.
Pro or Con Depending on Your Perspective
  • The Hakuba Iwatake snow quality can be affected by warm temps due to the lower elevation relative to other Hakuba Valley ski areas. The upside is that Iwatake is more protected and can be a good choice for stormy days.
  • Iwatake and the associated villages have remained somewhat traditional, so this is a nice place to stay to escape the westernised tourism of Happo and Echoland, however the nightlife is low key.

Hakuba Iwatake Ski and Snowboard Terrain

With what equates to 6 lifts and 26 courses, Hakuba Iwatake sounds medium sized, but in reality it’s rather small. It’s lower than its Hakuba ski resort counterparts, with a top elevation of 1,289 metres and it has the second shortest vertical at 539 metres, and only a couple of courses go the full vertical of the ski area. So if you tire easily and love short runs, Iwatake could be perfect!

The official trail statistics are 30% beginner, 50% intermediate and 20% advanced, which probably accurately reflects the proportion of piste terrain by ability level. In an effort to be progressive, Iwatake has opened up a few small areas where it’s kosher to ride off-piste and in the trees.

Iwatake Ski Resort is marketed as being quiet relative to Happo One and Hakuba 47/Goryu, however this hasn’t been our experience and we have found the resort to be chock-a-block.

See the Iwatake skiing page for more information on the terrain and snow.

Where is Iwatake Snow Field?

Although not interconnected via the slopes, the Hakuba Iwatake Ski Resort is situated just to the northwest of Happo One ski resort and to the south of Tsugaike ski resort.

There are shuttle buses between Iwatake and Happo, Wadano, Echoland, Goryu and Tsugaike, although for those staying in Iwatake trying to get to other ski areas, the bus schedules are not very frequent.

See the getting to Iwatake page for more travel information.

Iwatake Accommodation

There are a few Iwatake accommodation options close to the slopes in the little hamlet of Kirikubo. A few minutes walk away is the cute little village of Shinden. There is also a dinky little lift at the top of Shinden village that takes you up to the Iwatake slopes (if it’s running).

The Iwatake accommodation is typically inexpensive and consists of rather simple pensions or minshuku (Japanese inns) that have Japanese style rooms with futons on the tatami flooring. Some establishments include dinner, and they may or may not have ensuite bathrooms. There are also a couple of Iwatake hotels offering the option of western beds and western food. You can look at availability and rates for Iwatake accommodation here.

The other option is to stay in more mainstream Hakuba accommodation.

Facilities

The ski resort has good facilities including eateries at the top of the mountain that offer amazing views, whilst a popular spot for an après snack is the take-away creperie near the base area.

Equipment Rentals

If you haven’t rented your equipment elsewhere there is a Spicy Rentals shop at the base of the ski area.

Also check out other options on the Hakuba Facilities Page.

[AdListings collection="Japan" category="Hakuba" subcategory="Iwatake Rentals"]

Ski & Snowboarding Lessons

There are a few companies offering private English speaking ski & snowboarding lessons in Iwatake.

[AdListings collection="Japan" category="Hakuba" subcategory="Iwatake Lessons"]

Activities

Activities in the area include the small Iwatake No-Yu onsen, snow-shoeing on the trails near the picturesque summit, or cross country skiing on a 3km or 5km course. And kids Iwatake activities include a tubing and toboggan course.

[AdListings collection="Japan" category="Hakuba" subcategory="Iwatake Activities"]

Food & Nightlife

Up until recently Iwatake didn't offer any nightlife for westerners, however there are a couple of offerings including the Hakuba Brew Pub and a few Japanese restaurants around the village.

[AdListings collection="Japan" category="Hakuba" subcategory="Iwatake Restaurants Bars"]
Tours That May Include Iwatake

Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area Tours

Hakuba Backcountry
GUIDED BACKCOUNTRY ADVENTURE
7 Nights | 8 Days | 6 Days Skiing/Riding
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Get away from the crowded Hakuba ski hills & explore the renowned backcountry. Lift assisted backcountry trip where the lifts will be utilised to gain some ascent, but expect to also ascend via ski touring/ splitboarding 1,500 to 2,500 metres per day.
Price p/p Price is per person based on twin or triple-share rooms for 2025 season
Base/invoice currency is CAD
Displayed price may vary slightly to actual due to exchange rate fluctuations
USD 3,559
View Details
 
Hakuba Backcountry Adventure
GUIDED LIFT ASSISTED BACKCOUNTRY TOUR
8 Nights | 9 Days
Ability: Advanced to Expert
This is the ultimate lift assisted backcountry tour in Hakuba for advanced to expert backcountry skiers and split boarders. Hakuba Valley will be your base to some of the best ski and snowboard terrain in Japan. Join as a solo, couple or small group; max 6 guests per tour & guaranteed departures.
Price p/p
USD 4,299
View Details
 
See all Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area tours that visit Hakuba Iwatake here

Backcountry Skiing Tours

Hakuba Backcountry Day Tours
HAKUBA BACKCOUNTRY DAY TOURS
Private Groups Only - Max 5 In Group
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
Reach out above and beyond the boundaries of the Hakuba ski resorts & be guided to the sheer expanse of backcountry with touring gear. Daily rate is 99,000 yen for 1 person up to 5 people (ie solo can't join a mixed group). Day guiding or multi-day guiding.
Price p/p Price is based on a private group of 5 for 2023-24 season
base/invoice currency is JPY (Japanese Yen)
displayed price may vary due to exchange rate fluctuations.
USD 127
View Details
 
See all Backcountry Skiing tours that visit Hakuba Iwatake here
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