Japan is made of nearly 73% of mountainous land and even possesses its own alps, including several peaks exceeding 3,000m close to Tokyo. Among them, Hakuba which caught the world's attention during the Winter Olympic Games of 1998 is without a doubt the actual Best Rated Ski Resort of the region. A well-deserved success as you will see.
Snow Kingdom right behind Tokyo
Although this snow paradise looks like a remote region almost cut off from civilization, Hakuba is in fact not that far away from Tokyo. Thanks to the futurist shinkansen, the Japanese bullet train, the journey from the capital only takes three hours. Furthermore, due to its geographical position just in front of the Japanese Sea, Hakuba is a natural rampart to the Siberian winds. Result when these cold winds meet the warm Japanese coast? A lot of exceptional high-quality powder snow for the happiness of ski and snowboard lovers.
In addition, the area is composed of no less than ten ski resorts of all kinds so everyone can have a great time here. By example, even Happo-one, where the Winter Olympic Games of 1998 were hosted, is not exclusively reserved to professionals and provides different options for beginners as well as intermediate levels too.
Hiking in the Japanese Northern Alps
Usually, as soon as the snow starts melting in spring, high mountains always unveil various wonderful aspects that keep changing according to the weather until the end of autumn. Hakuba is no exception to the rule. Spring and summer are the ideal seasons to climb Japanese ascents through wildflowers fields under a warm and shining sun.
Yet, autumn is by far the most appreciated time to go for Japanese people since mountains are completely covered with their golden-red foliages, the momiji. Both periods really worth it so if you are staying in Tokyo and are looking to escape for a short trip into the wild, this is the place to go.
Panorama on Majestic Peaks from Natural Hot Springs
Is there anything better to relax one’s tired body in a hot bath after a good day of hike or ski? For those who already tried onsen before, the answer is obviously not. It’s even better outside in the middle of the mountains and Hakuba, which counts some pearls considered among the best ones in Japan, is the perfect place for that.
Also, for peoples who would like to spend a more intimate moment, it’s possible to book a private bath to go together with one’s lover, family or friends. Imagine yourself contemplating the outstanding snowcovered peaks overlooking the valley right in front of you from your natural hot spring. Definitively an unforgettable experience that everyone should try at least once when visiting Japan.
Snow Monkeys in the Hell Valley
This natural park located in Nagano prefecture, at one hour from Hakuba, has been the home of Japanese macaques since 1964. To give them a natural habitat was first thought as a way to prevent their damages in the surrounding populated areas and to limit clashes with humans.
Also known as snow monkeys since they are living in cold areas unlike most of their cousins of tropical countries, these primates shortly realized how to make good use of onsen around like us. Nowadays Jigokudani is a popular spot for tourists who like to observe the happy apes lounging in hot springs forever.
Transportation, Accommodation & Equipment
To make the most of one’s stay in Japan, it’s always better to be fully prepared. It’s even truer when it concerns some well-unknown little towns in high-altitude since things can sometimes become more difficult with fewer peoples talking good English.
Fortunately, GOYOH is here to help. Through our customized services, we adapt to our guests’ needs and desires in order to offer them the smoothest travel possible here.