The Resorts

Happo OneHappo

Lifts 33
Runs 30% Beginner 50% Intermediate 20% Expert
Longest run 8km
Steepest run 38
Elevation base 760m Top 1831m
Night skiing Yes

Happo Website

From the lodge a 5-minute walk or a 1-minute free shuttle bus.

Beginners Beginners can start in either the Sakka area to the right of the photo, the Shirakaba area in the middle or the Nakiyama area to the@left. The Sakka area is close to the lodge and offers runs through stands of cedar with a roped off nursery area for kids to practice safely under supervision. The Shirakaba and Nakiyama areas also offer a variety of runs with cafes surrounding the base to enjoy a coffee or a beer. Once beginners have cut their teeth in these areas they can progress higher up the mountain to the intermediate areas above the kokusai lift and return at the end of the day down the variety of long snaking cat-track trails.

Intermediates Intermediates are spoiled for choice with plenty of wide cruisers that seem to go on and one. Particular picks are Skyline and the runs down from the Riesen quad lift.

Experts There are great opportunities for experts at Happo. First of all after the frequent dumps of powder only the middle part of the runs on the lower half of the mountain are groomed and almost the entire upper mountain are ungroomed leaving plenty of easily accessible powder to play in. The mountain adopts a ski at your own risk policy so the off-piste areas in the trees are also great after a dump. Expert skiers can see how their times compare to the greats by hitting the Olympic downhill and Super G course, both thigh burners that start near the top and end over 1km below. Mogul skiers can test their mettle in the Kurobishi area at the top of the mountain.

Backcountry Happo has great access to fantastic backcountry. A range of steep bowls on the northern side of the happo ridgeline extend away above the resort from Kita-one to Happo-zawa, to Garagara-zawa and Mume-zawa and beyond. All of the extensive bowls lead down over a km of vertical into Saru-kura valley and back to Obinata onsen where you can skate back round to the base of Happo. It is recommended that you go with a guide (Evergreen Outdoor centre just round the corner from us offer this service) or be fully versed in Avalanche theory and carry a shovel, probe and beacon and ride with friends who carry the same if you venture into the backcountry.

Hakuba 47/GoryuHakuba47Goryu

Lifts 19
Runs 30% Beginner 40% Intermediate 30% Expert
Longest run 5km
Steepest run 40
Elevation Top 1676 Night skiing Yes

Hakuba 47 Website
Goryu Website

From the lodge 10 minutes by free shuttle bus
These two resorts form effectively one big resort almost the same size as Happo. Both sides offer fantastic views of the big peaks behind and great skiing. The Goryu side is more open and has a long thigh burners running from top to bottom with ample nursery areas both on the top and the bottom of the mountain. Hakuba 47 is more about winding runs through the forest with a great beginner area and the best jump-park in the valley located mid-mountain.

Beginners There are three great areas for beginners at Goryu/47. The area around Escal plaza at the Goryu base station has a large wide expanse of piste which also sweeps down to iimori base station. This area is fantastic for complete beginners as there is never a worry about having to turn too early as the run is so wide and evenly gentle. Hakuba 47 also has a great beginner area at the mid-mountain level with a series of beautiful runs through stands of deciduous trees. On the second day beginners can take the Goryu gondola to the top of the mountain where a great piste runs down the length of the ridge between the two resorts. The views from this run to the big peaks behind are stunning!

Intermediates Intermediates will enjoy themselves on the long winding reds at Hakuba 47 or at the top of Goryu at the Alps-Daira area. Iimori area also has some good runs.

Experts Experts will love route 3 at Hakuba 47 and expert and Champion courses at Goryu. All these runs are completely ungroomed so expect bottomless powder on powder days and steep mogul skiing on non powder days

Freestyle Hakuba 47 has the best park in the valley. They have a pipe dragon shaped halfpipe and usually a 12-16m kicker, a 8-10m kicker, a hip, a variety of rails including rainbow, s-shaped and pipes, boxes and a variety of other smaller kickers plus even some tiny ones for beginners in the art of being airborne. This is a good place to meet some of the local pro riders in the line for the halfpipe or on the two pair lifts that exclusively access the park.

Backcountry Hiking from Jizo no atama at the top of Goryu resort gains you access to a huge area of backcountry including north face runs to the Hirakawa river and south to east facing run outs to the Inugawa river. Both of the rivers have skiable paths that take you back round to the Hakuba 47 and Goryu gondola respectively. This is the most easily accessible steep gladed backcountry skiing in Hakuba and theres everything from halfpipe gullies to steep chutes to Alaskan style spines with a liberal peppering of cliffs to huck off. It is recommended that you go with a guide (Evergreen Outdoor centre just round the corner from us offer this service) or be fully versed in Avalanche theory and carry a shovel, probe and beacon and ride with friends who carry the same if you venture into the backcountry.


Lifts 16
Runs 30% Beginner 50% Intermediate 20% Expert
Longest run 4.5km
Steepest run 35
Elevation – Top 1289m
Bottom 750m
Night skiing no

Iwatake Website

From the lodge 5min free shuttle bus Iwatake is an intermediate skiers dream and boasts the best views in the valley along with one of the best halfpipes. The summit of Iwatake mountain is separated slightly from the main range which gives it those great views. A variety of open to tree lined courses radiate down from this summit to all sides.

Beginners Beginners can cut their teeth on the lower slopes before heading up on the gondola to the wide open expanse of the family course on top of the mountain. This is an ideal place to learn with the stunning views and I nice restaurant at the top of the lift easily at hand. You can then take the gondola down again at the end of the day.

Intermediates A superb place for intermediates. All but a few of the runs are ideal for this level and intermediates will love exploring all sides of the mountain.

Experts There are a few challenges for expert skiers. The front face above the car park is quite steep in places especially on the left hand side. On a powder day expect to get some nice tracks for quite a while after a dump because not many of your fellow skiers at Iwatake will venture into it. Also a little known fact is that Iwatake has some nice powder treed areas in pockets all over the mountain. Fun can be had exploring these areas.

Freestyle There is a great halfpipe at the top of the mountain with a park that gets better every year. The park is especially good for learning jumping

Backcountry There isnt backcountry as such at Iwatake because the resort occupies the whole mountain but fun can be had in the powder in the trees.


Lifts 26
Runs 40% Beginner 40% Intermediate 20% Expert
Longest run 8km
Steepest run 35
Elevation Top 1700m Bottom 730m
Night skiing Yes

Tsugaike Website

From the lodge 20 mins by bus (500yen) or 15 minutes by taxi (3000yen) Tsugaike is actually situated in Otari village, the next village over to the north of here but is fairly easy to reach by bus from the lodge and is well worth a visit. The top half of the resort is situated in National park and the environment is pristine with beautiful silver birches that sparkle when covered in fresh snow. The mountain offers a variety of runs for all levels and there is a village at the bottom with bars, restaurants and shops to explore.

Beginners Tsugaike has probably the best beginner area in the valley with an almost km wide run serviced by no less than 10 lifts. The lower end of the run ends in nursery areas surrounded by restaurants and cafes.

Intermediates This is another great intermediates mountain with long swooping trails that lead all the way from the top of the mountain down to the mid and base station.

Experts The run directly down the ridgeline to the mid station is a thigh burner and Tsugaike also has some of the best inbounds powder riding in the Hakuba valley if you know where to look.

Freestyle Tsugaike boasts a decent halfpipe and a selection of jumps which are ideal for intermediate jibbers

Backcountry After Happo and Goryu/47, Tsugaike has the best backcountry in the valley. Fantastic steep and long descents can be made from Hiyodori and Tengu-para down to either Tsugaike or Norikura. For a much longer expedition from March you can hike to Tengu para and ski down Nakasawa to Renge onsen in Niigata prefecture or alternatively hike to Norikura dake and ski down Nakasawa valley or the ridgeline to the west of the valley. It is recommended that you go with a guide (Evergreen Outdoor centre just round the corner from us offer this service) or be fully versed in Avalanche theory and carry a shovel, probe and beacon and ride with friends who carry the same if you venture into the backcountry.


Lifts 19
Runs 40% Beginner 30% Intermediate 30% Expert
Longest run 5km
Steepest run 42
Elevation Top 1443m
Bottom 693m
Night skiing Yes

Cortina Website
Norikura Website

From the lodge a train ride followed by a free shuttle bus or ask at the lodge to arrange transport. Hakuba Cortina and Norikura resorts share the same ski lift pass and are located on the northern end of the Hakuba valley. They are known for getting the most snow in the valley with a huge total of 15m falling in an average season. Norikura is more for families and intermediates whilst Cortina boasts some of the steepest inbound tree runs in the valley and is a definite hidden gem!

Beginners Beginners will probably feel more at home on the Norikura side but Cortina also has a beginner run at the bottom of the mountain. Norikuras base area is expansive and is surrounded by gentle nursery slopes for learning on.

Intermediates There is a fair range to suit intermediates. You can start on the left hand side of Norikura and work your way around riding a different run each time until heading over to Cortina for some more challenge.

Experts Cortina looks small but is the hidden gem of Hakuba and the whole bowl is nice and steep on all sides. The lifts are slow here (no high speed quads) but the upshot of this is the powder never gets tracked out on a powder day.

Freestyle Norikura has two halfpipes (an 18m and a 20m wide one) which are widely viewed by the locals as the best shaped ones in the valley plus a wave area a few kickers and one big air kicker.

Backcountry Runs are possible down the right hand side of Cortina ending up right down in the valley at Minami Otari where you can get a shuttle bus back up. It is recommended that you go with a guide (Evergreen Outdoor centre just round the corner from us offer this service) or be fully versed in Avalanche theory and carry a shovel, probe and beacon and ride with friends who carry the same if you venture into the backcountry.


Lifts 22
Runs 42% Beginner 35% Intermediate 23% Expert
Longest run 5km
Steepest run 38
Elevation Top 1550m
base 740m
Night skiing Yes

Sanosaka Website
Kashimayari Website

From the lodge 30 minutes by free shuttle bus

These three resorts combine to form a great area accessible from one lift pass and a free shuttle bus ride away. The runs are beautifully set above Lake Aokiko which is one of the cleanest bluest lakes in Japan and Sun Alpina Kashimayari resort at the southern end of the chain has commanding views of Mount Kashimayari. Sun Alpina Kashimayari also has the best night skiing in the valley although it is a bit difficult to get to at night.

Beginner With its wide network of beginner runs Sanosaka and Aokiko are one of the best places in the valley to hit once youve progressed from the bunny slopes with the ever expanding lake vista as you ski further south from Sanosaka.

Intermediates The sanosaka and Aokiki side have some good intermediate runs but Kashimayari is the best place in the area to ski for intermediates with some great long winding runs down from the highest point in the area down to the Kashimayari base station.

Experts There are a smattering of black runs across the area to provide a challenge for the expert skier including some great powder areas in the trees and on a powder day you can have fresh tracks all day because the runs are so empty. At Sanosaka there is an ungroomed black for powder hunters and a specially made Olympic mogul course.

Freestyle The best park in the area is at Sanosaka with a 4-way big kicker a good selection of 9 different rails and a boardercross course on offer.

Backcountry Some good options off the top of the Kashimayari lift. It is recommended that you go with a guide (Evergreen Outdoor centre just round the corner from us offer this service) or be fully versed in Avalanche theory and carry a shovel, probe and beacon and ride with friends who carry the same if you venture into the backcountry.


Lifts 3
Runs 70% Beginner 30% Intermediate 0% Expert
Longest run 1.6km
Steepest run 28
Elevation Top 1140m
Bottom 830m
Night skiing Yes

Yanaba Website

From the lodge a bit tricky a short drive with private transport or a short hop on the train to Yanaba-ski-jo-mae station

Yanaba re-invented itself a few years ago to vie with Hakuba 47 for the title of best park in Hakuba and is where you will find the Hakuba local pro and amateur jibbers in the evening during night skiing hours.

Beginners Yanaba is actually a good place to learn with a long easy slope leading down to the base station.

Intermediates Intermediates will be limited here unless they come for a nighta to practice their first jumps.

Experts Unless you have come to Jib forget it!

Freestyle Great place for jibbers with a ridiculous number of jumps and rails. Basically the whole resort is one big terrain park. Jumps include 2 two way 10 kickers, an 8m stepdown, a 4m high hip, tons of rails and boxes in all shapes and sizes, tabletops, tables and a halfpipe.

Backcountry Nothing here!