Overall Rating

Hakuba

Hakuba 3.5/526
Hakuba 3.5 out of 5 based on 26 reviews
  • Recommend
    77%
  • Would Revisit
    73%

Hakuba - Reviews

Hakuba - Reviews

Mixed Experiences

POWDERHOUNDS.COM25/07/2018
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Month Visited:
    January

Mixed Experiences

POWDERHOUNDS.COM25/07/2018
Cortina was surprisingly quiet
The crazy hotel at Cortina
Goryu: freshies momentarily
Having a guide was advantageous
It snowed a lot in Hakuba
Every ski area and village in Hakuba is rather different, so it’s somewhat difficult to make some generalisations about Hakuba. Firstly it was rather busy in most parts. Admittedly we did visit at a peak time but it couldn’t be helped. The queues to get a lift ticket or exchange a HV pass were ridiculously long at a few of the ski areas. The ski areas themselves were reasonably busy, but it’s all relative because they were quiet compared to some Colorado ski resorts but hectic compared to some of the lesser known Japanese ski resorts. Since we last visited, some of the ski areas have opened up designated tree zones. It snowed a lot during our trip, but the in-bounds trees tracked out very quickly at a few of the areas (but not all). It really emphasised that having a guide is useful and that the backcountry is the main strength of Hakuba, and if you want fresh powder and don’t want to earn your turns, go to Tohoku.

The central Hakuba villages have become a little more westernised and more expensive since our last visit. Some of the drinks prices in Echoland were ludicrous and a trendy café at the base of Happo One was charging 900 yen for about 10 corn chips and a mouthful of guacamole. Many more staff spoke English and international ski schools have spread across more of the ski resorts. Echoland was a case of “spot the Japanese”, with the bogan on a budget much more prevalent.

Conversely in the more peripheral Hakuba ski resorts, the “real Japan” was more evident. Food and drink were still cheap, and at a hotel in Goryu the staff didn’t speak one word of English, and at a Norikura hotel only a tiny percentage of staff spoke English, which was a little refreshing. At Kashimayari we saw no gaijin.

Considering each of the Hakuba ski resorts and village differ so much, you can see our reviews from this trip for the individual areas:
Hakuba 47
Goryu
Norikura
Cortina
Tsugaike
Kashimayari
Iwatake

You can see our Japanese ski resort ratings to see how the Hakuba ski areas compare, but keep in mind that Hakuba collectively would score much higher than the individual resorts.