Discount lift tickets for Hakuba


This is the type of Lift line I enjoy

To get the best value for lift tickets in Hakuba you should purchase daily using the following discount coupons. Just print them off and present them at the ticket box.. It would still be cheap at twice the price. Just remember at some of the resorts there will be an extra charge of between 500 and 1000 yen for the electronic chip but you can get your money back for that at the end of the day.





Posted in Hakuba, snow | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Nagano Station

Nagano Station

The New Nagano Station facade is almost finished

There are some big renovations going on at Nagano Train Station at the moment with the west exit being totally re modeled. There is a new ticket office for the Shinkansen line however everything else remains the same in regards to the bullet train exit and entry area..

Nagano train station

Turn left for the buses

As you come out of the ticket check stalls you will see this sign. Turn left if you want to catch the Hakuba bus.

Hakuba bus

Catching the Nagano to Hakuba bus

Walk about 50 meters and make your way down the stairs then turn left.

Hakuba to Nagano

Bus Stop no. 6 for Hakuba

Walk down the stairs to the street level and you will see the bus stops. The Hakuba bus is at the end at stop No. 26  You can buy your ticket at the shop just under where this photo is taken.

I have simplified these instructions just to make it as easy to get to as possible. There is an escalator if you turned right at the bottom of the set of stairs. There is also a lift which is in the last photo.

Nagano bus

Bus stop number 26

Here is the Bus Timetable for Nagano to Hakuba

Posted in Information | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Winner – and gets first track. That’s a twinner


Tereza Foulcher – 5th December

Congratulations to Tereza Foulcher for taking out this years prestigious “First Day of the Season Competition”. Good to see she was able to get out on the mountain to celebrate the start of 5 months of skiing Hakuba. Come down to the White Horse Hotel in Echoland anytime from the 18th of December Tereza to pick up your prize.

Posted in Hakuba, Information | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

First day of the season competition 2014/15


22 nd of November 2013 and getting fresh tracks on Goryu

Each year we run a competition to pick the first day of the season. The rules are

  • The first day the lifts open for skiers and boarders at any one of the resorts in Hakuba.
  • One date per person. If 2 or more people choose the same date then we will have a draw out of a hat to choose the winner.
  • The date must be chosen at least one week in advance
  • If a date isn’t chosen then it’s the closest date before.

The prizes are

So go to the bottom of this blog and put your date in the comments section or email me HERE and I will add it. Good luck. Remember that the resorts will open as soon as there is enough snow on the ground so it’s pretty much any time now.

The list so far.

Tony A – 15th November

Stu Cormack – 16th November

Martie – 16th November

James – 17th November

Brendan Keryk – 17th November

Andy McGrath – 17th November

Jonathon Mizen – 18th November

Leigh – 19th November

Michael Lewis – 19th November

Martin Silitonga – 19th November

Morgan Lund – 20th November

Simon B – 20th November

George A – 20th November

Mick Lay – 21st November

Jonesy – 21st November

Nick Meecham – 21st November

Brett Wilson – 21st November

Shane T – 22nd November

Dean Pollock – 22nd November

George Grant – 22nd November

Raphael C – 22nd November

Grant McGarva – 23rd November

Ingrid Grant – 23rd November

Shane J – 24th November

Cath Muecke – 24th November

Michael McGrath – 24th November

Robert L – 25th November

Ian Phipps – 25th November

Arthur Jones – 25th November

Nicole Plozza – 26th November

Hamish – 26th November

Ungracefulplodder – 26th November

Claire Stabler – 26th November

Phillip Kok – 26th November

Leanne – 27th November

Joshua Turner – 27th November

William F – 28th November

Josh – 28th November

Clare – 29th November

Sam Smith – 29th November

Adrian Caspar – 29th November

Scott Menegon – 29th November

Pricey – 30th November

Mike – 30th November

Lora – 1st December

Matt – 1st December

Geoff Forester – 2nd December

Bridget K – 3rd December

Stacey Giles – 4th December

Harriet – 4th December

Tereza Foulcher – 5th December

Jon – 6th December

Brent Giles – 6th December

Posted in Hakuba, snow | Tagged , , , , | 55 Comments

Hiking in Japan


Spectacular views at Happo Ike

Hakuba’s main attraction during the warmer months is the hiking and the most popular day hike would be Happo Ike ( Happo Pond). Each day hundreds of people of all ages ascend up into the mountains to this spectacular viewing platform. I would rate it on a world scale at “as good as it gets”.  The journey starts with a Gondola ride and then 2 chairlifts that are lowered after the winter which brings you closer to the natural foliage. The top of the resort by itself has some amazing views for those not up to the hiking and is certainly worth the trip. For the more adventurous the 45 minute hike along some rocky pathways and boardwalk steps will offer up some breathtaking vistas along the way. The route follows the ridgeline so there are many vantage spots for photos and even the most novice of photographers will be taking professional shots here. The rocky step sections along the way can be a little difficult to manoeuvre so take your time on the hike and absorb the environment. Once you reach the pond the views will amaze you with the stunning back drop of 3000 meter peaks. This is truly a special place.


View from the top of the lifts

Hakuba Japan

The steps make it quite easy but there is some stone trails too

Japan hiking

The trails are well marked

Happo Pond

Beautiful first view of the pond


Hakuba snow peaks

Amazing peaks in the background

Hiking in Japan

My favourite place

Snow in Hakuba

There can be fresh snow in spring and autumn

Myoko mountain range

The views to the east

Paragliding in Japan

Tandem paragliding can be booked for a birdseye view

Autumn in Japan

The views on the way down are just as stunning

Hakuba autumn

Autumn leaves and fresh snow on the peaks

Tips. Take warm clothing with you. Conditions can change in an instant. Take some food and a drink and enjoy a picnic lunch next to the pond. Even a bottle of wine or champagne has been known to be popped up there. Take your camera, sunglasses and sunscreen.  There is a toilet at the top of the lifts and also 30 minutes into the hike. Kids as young as 4 should be able to complete the hike up and down. There are always many elderly hikers in their eighties so as long as you are sure footed you should be able to get up and back. Take all your rubbish home.


Posted in Hakuba, Sightseeing | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Wine in Hakuba

wine bars in Hakuba

Lots of good wines in Hakuba

Over the years there has been a big transition with wines in Hakuba. When I first came here there was a limited supply of good wines at good prices. I made it one of my goals to change that and we have certainly come a long way. You still may find a red served from the fridge or a dubious cheap french bottle at the supermarket but at least now there are quite a few really good options about. Even the convenience stores have a few cheaper ones to choose from. I have always encouraged the restaurant, bar and hotel owners to learn a little about wines and this year once again I will be holding a tasting before the season on Friday November 21st. This event has always been a popular get together before business gets too busy for the winter.  There are also a few more wine distributors coming to Hakuba this year to introduce themselves and I see that as a great thing. The dining here is exceptional so having the wines to compliment just makes the experience even better.

Azuma Wines will be having a tasting at the Mominoki Hotel on Wednesday the 8th of October, 1-4pm

AWines will be holding their tasting at the Cafe and Bar LION on Wednesday 5th November 12 – 5 pm

Village Cellars will be holding their 9th Hakuba annual wine tasting at the White Horse Hotel on the 28th November 1:00 – 4:30 pm

Drink driving is dangerous and also illegal in Japan and we would like everybody to stay safe so  please spit your wines, catch a taxi,  have a designated driver or take a pleasant stroll home.

Posted in Food, Hakuba apres | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Eating out in Hakuba


Food in Hakuba

Bibimbap.The bowl is scorching hot so mix it up and press it to the sides for 5 minutes for it all to ccok up

Echoland is the main restaurant and bar district in Hakuba and offers a great range of dining experiences. If you are looking at fine dining then I would rate Traumerei as one of the best in Hakuba.  As for izakaya’s I find it difficult to go past Hie and if I do I stroll 100 meters to Sarugaku Shinshu Dining. Either will delight. Marukame is a yakiniku restaurant that offers up some delicious cuts of meats to cook up on your own table top bbq. I can also recommend the bibimbap there (photo above).  Sumotei dish up a magnificent traditional sumo hotpot by a sumo wrestler. Tomatito has some amazing dishes with an Italian style. Taco Taco offers fresh mexican food. Zen is a soba restaurant and offers an izakaya menu also in very traditional decor. Hindi Momo is very tasty Indian food. The Cherry Pub offers some great western style foods with probably the best ribs in town. Syo is Italian and the pastas are brilliant. Enchante is fine dining again and great value for money. White Horse will have an international menu with something for everyone. Alpine Grill have the best Wagyu steaks in town. Non Jaes is a huge izakaya and great for big groups. New this year will be a Gyoza Restaurant and a Teppenyaki Grill. Daytime there is the very popular Sounds Like Cafe and the New Sanno Bakery will be open shortly in a new building on 4th street. That will pretty much cover you for a 2 week stay in Hakuba. Eating out here is one of the best gourmet experiences you will have. Make sure you get out there and try anything that is going. You will be amazed at what is available.

Posted in Food, Hakuba | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nature abounds in Hakuba

Hakuba Now

Truly spectacular Scenery

The Hakuba Valley is a spectacular mountain region located just 1 hour from Nagano City. Famous throughout Japan for the number one ski resort of Happo One which was the showpiece for the 98 Winter Olympics, Hakuba also shines during the warmer months with an abundance of natural beauty. Sitting at 700 meters above sea level the mountain range towers the village at 3000 meters. There are spectacular views from many vantage points throughout the valley. Pure mountain air, fresh water from our rivers, food from our farms and a huge range of activities await those who want to get away from the summer heat of the big cities. The hiking is world class with absolutely stunning scenery. Other activities include paragliding, mountain biking, fishing for Shinshu Salmon, canoeing, and canyoning. Nature gives us a wild flower extravaganza that combines with a vast array of animal, bird and insect life. Kamoshika is common to see as are kiji pheasant. An early evening firefly canoe trip on Aokiko will certainly surprise your nocturnal senses.
Eating out in Hakuba at anytime of the year is a gourmets delight with so many outstanding restaurants and something for everyone’s taste.
Come and enjoy Hakuba and everything it offers.


Posted in Hakuba, Information | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The cost of skiing in Hakuba

Hakuba : Hakuba Guide


How much does it cost to ski in Japan? Well obviously you can go as high as you like but I will give you a run down on some prices so you can set a budget for your trip. It can be really cheap to ski here in Hakuba and with the infrastructure and our  mountain terrain, combined with the quality and quantity of snow we receive each winter, it is probably the best value in the world.


Bus from Shinjuku  4850 ¥                                                                                                             Bus from Narita – 8500 ¥                                                                                                               Bullet train to Nagano  – 7680 ¥  and bus to Hakuba 1500 ¥

Lift tickets

Range from 3800 – 4800 ¥ per day. Often there are deals with the resorts that offer lunch. Don’t bother with the prepaid all mountain ticket (more info here) as the voucher deals give you much better value.  On the mountain you can eat well for under 1000 ¥. A can of coke will cost you 150 ¥. A beer for 400 ¥.

Season Lift Pass

Hakuba 47 offer an early bird season pass for 48000 yen

Ski Hire

4500 ¥ per day or 22100 ¥ for 6 days hire, Ski wear 3000 ¥ per day or 14700 ¥ for 6 days

Ski & snowboard lesson

2 hour group lesson 6000 ¥                                                                                                               1 Hour private lesson 9000 ¥

Dinner time

One of the great things about Hakuba is the eating out. You can get a very good feed for 1000 yen but I recommend to give yourself a couple of bigger nights out to really enjoy some magnificent dining experiences. A night out at an Izakaya with a few drinks might set you back about 4000 yen per person.


drinks are usually between 500 to 600 yen for beers and spirits as a general guide.


Budget – 4400 Yen per night for a dorm bed. 13600 yen for a twin room room at the Monkey Rider Lodge

Medium – 14400 yen for a twin room at Mon Coeur Yamato

Splurge – 31000 yen for a dbl/twin room at the White Horse Hotel

Double splurge and buy a house – 8,000,000 ¥


Taxi – Hakuba Station to Happo Gondola 1500 ¥                                                                           Fried Chicken from the convenience store 150 ¥                                                                           Walking boots 2000 ¥                                                                                                                         Coffee at Lawsons 220 ¥                                                                                                                     Loaf of bread 140 ¥                                                                                                                             Litre of milk 160 ¥                                                                                                                               Onsen 600 ¥

If you want some other prices then leave a comment below and I will find out for you. Happy Planning

Current Exchange Rates


Posted in Hakuba | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Family holidays in Japan

snowmobiling in Hakuba

Who’s having more fun?

What are your memories as a child? For me I can remember every family holiday from the age of 4.
It’s a busy world out there now and information technology has intertwined the boundaries of work and leisure. That’s ok but don’t forget to take some real time off with the family. Anyone with kids will tell you, “they grow so fast”, and before you know it they will be off doing their own thing. One of the benefits of skiing is the bond it creates within a family. If mum and dad are going to pay for the kids to go skiing they will come along for as long as you want them to, even well into their 20s. I remember this one family we had stay with us this past season. Expats living in Hong Kong – apartment living with ipads as their best friends. The joy I saw as the kids threw their first snowball at their father  was what gives me job satisfaction, “Smiling Faces”, is my mission statement. Dad decides to take revenge and then mum joins in too and this was even before they stept foot into the hotel. The next few days of skiing, building snowmen and igloos, snowball fights full of laughter, tobogganing and snowmobiling was just great to see. The family reconnected and I am positive we will see them all again in the not too distant future.

Posted in Hakuba | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments