If you want a break from the ski slopes, Hakuba is conveniently located near many attractions. Visit historic towns like Matsumoto or Nagano with their impressive castles and temples. Jigokudani is only 1 hour away, where in winter you can visit the famous snow-monkeys bathing in the hot springs.
FOOD AND DRINK
Hakuba has a very lively nightlife: restaurants are numerous, and prices are low due to the tough competition. Many Australians travel here for winter sports, which means that many restaurants offer menus in English, and there is a good “apres-ski” crowd in the local bars and “Izakaya” where drinks are also cheap.
The ski lift stations on the mountain peaks have restaurants, so you can enjoy lunch before taking the trip down the slopes.
WHEN TO VISIT
Japan follows the same seasons as Europe, with the ski season beginning in late November until the beginning of April. The ideal season is in February or March, since the busiest season is over and there are more sunny days. If you plan to come towards the end of March, you could combine skiing here with seeing the cherry trees bloom in Tokyo.
- From Tokyo: take the Nagano Bullet Train (Asama Shinkansen) and then a bus from Nagano to Hakuba (3h)
- From Osaka or Kyoto: catch the Sanyo Shinkansen to Nagoya and transfer to the Chuo limited express (Shinano) from Nagoya Station to Hakuba (4h30)
Hakuba on our Google map