Ski in Hakuba, Japan
Ski in Hakuba, Japan
Relax in Hakuba, Japan

About Hakuba

Hakuba is a ski resort in Nagano Prefecture, just 3 hours from Tokyo by Shinkansen, in the Chubu district of Japan. The name Hakuba, which means white horse, has its origin in the shape of a horse which allegedly forms in the snow on the mountain side during spring time.

As the surrounding valley has an annual snow fall of over 11.1 meters, Hakuba is the hub for the region’s 10 ski resorts with more than 200 runs. The village was the main event venue for the 1998 Winter Olympics (Alpine, Ski Jump, Crosscountry).

In historical times, traders following the famous Salt Road from the Japan Sea to Matsumoto would make an overnight stop in the Hakuba valley.

  • Magnificent view of the Northern Japan Alps
  • The 6-kilometre-long Happo-One Shizen-Kenkyu-ro trekking course
  • Skiing and snowboarding December-March, trekking throughout the year


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.


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.


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.


Practical information:

  • 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)
  • on our Google map

Our packages includes Hakuba



Hakuba is in Nagano Prefecture, in the Japan Alps on mainland Tokyo within relatively easy reach of Tokyo. The JR Hokuriku Shinkansen (Bullet train) takes just 1hr 40mins from Tokyo to Nagano, connecting with a 1-hour bus service to Hakuba. The town hosted several competitions during the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics – and in addition […]

Great powder snow in Niseko


With its reliable falls of powder snow December – March, Japan offers great opportunities for skiing and snowboarding. Equipment hire is readily available in the resorts, and hotels in certain areas have hot spring bathing facilities too. Why not include a few days winter sports in your trip to Japan, or plan a longer stay […]

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