Hakuba Happo-one resort review (Hakuba Village, Nagano)

Hakuba Happo-one
Hakuba Village, Nagano
Submitted by thecharliebs on 10th February 2015
Habuba is not your classic European or North American ski resort.

First, the not so great. As is clear before going the hills are not linked in the way you would anticipate them if you ski regularly in Europe, but a handy and easy bus service is there to ferry you to your selected day’s ski area. This while adding to the hassle does create the variety you may seek.

Neither is the lift infrastructure what you might expect. High speed quads are not the norm, indeed rare, rather you chug up the hill feeling like you are in Austria in 1976 with your feet dangling sans foot rest, and on occasion sans safety bar. The compensation is, by comparison, less queues and certainly not like Europe – so what you lose on one hand (the lift speed) you make up on the other.

But then there is the great. Japan is famed for the quality of its snow and rightly so. Consistent quality like you would never believe. Hakuba has it. Lots of it.

Then there is the atmosphere. Given its spread-out nature it is not a party town or place to go shopping in boutiques. But ignore that, it could not be a more different place to visit. Europe and North America, bar a few different accents are very homogeneous. Japan is totally different. Fantastic food abounds. Yes a couple of places will sell you a burger or pizza – but why would you?
The locals could not be more hospital and caring, the quality of service is amazing and with no inbuilt expectations. This is what makes it for me. The fantastic overall experience ensures I will return.
Date visited: No specific date.
Snow condition on visit: Plenty of fresh snow all day every day.
Things I liked: Snow and the people
Things I didn't like: Lift infrastructure, single resort size (but many to chose from)
Recommended for: Beginner riders
Intermediate riders
Authentic Japan experience
Not recommended for: Advanced riders
Off-piste opportunities
Ungroomed courses
General score: 70
Snow conditions: 90
Courses/Terrain: 50
Lift system: 30
Apres ski: 10

Hakuba Happo-one

Hakuba Village, Nagano
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Average Rankings

General score: 79
Snow conditions: 75
Courses/Terrain: 79
Lift system: 75
Apres ski: 61

Basic Resort Statistics

Max. elevation: 1831m
Min. elevation: 760m
Vertical: 1071m
Steepest slope: 35°
Longest course: 8000m
Number of lifts: 23

Location of Hakuba Happo-one