Winter in Hakuba
Located along the ancient Salt Road connecting the city of Matsumoto with the Japan Sea, Hakuba was historically a town of farmers and traditional village life. Yet with 12m of annual snowfall it was a matter of time before this ski destination was discovered.
In 1998 it leapt onto the international stage as a major player in the Nagano Olympic Games hosting all the downhill events and becoming the home of the 120m ski jumping station, which can still be visited by those with a head for heights!
Despite the increase in visitors and tourism, Hakuba has managed to retain a strong sense of community. The quality and variety of skiing on offer here is world class and when combined with Japanese tradition and the seemingly infinite warmth and hospitality of the local people, it is impossible not to realise how special this little mountain town really is.
The winter is truly spectacular with consistent and reliable powder skiing on offer from December through to April. Hakuba is famed for the deep powder, accessible back country, terrain parks and a consistent 11 meters of snow per season. One of the best kept secrets in the snow-going world! The mountains offer an array of runs from wide open powder fields and long groomed trails set amongst stunning alpine views to the more challenging mogul fields and deep powder runs for the experts. There are also terrain parks for the avid snow boarders. With a choice of 10 resorts in the area there is a suitable option for skiers and snowboarders of all levels.
Whether it is catering for families enjoying their first snow experience or satisfying the fearless skier wanting to explore the mountain backcountry, Hakuba is the perfect ski destination. The après-ski activities are equally numerous with plenty of stunning hot spring baths, or onsens, that Japan is so famous for, many with incredible views over the mountain range, usually placed high on most visitors to-do lists.
Nearby sights also include Matsumoto Castle, Zenkoji Temple or the famous Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park, all of which can be explored as day trips from Hakuba.