"Hakuba Valley Hakuba Happo-one Ski Resort", known as a mecca for advanced skiers

December 28, 2022
"Hakuba Valley Hakuba Happo-one Ski Resort" is a traditional ski resort where advanced skiers confident in their abilities come from all over the world. As a result of being a competition venue for the Nagano Olympics in 1998, its notoriety among skiers outside Japan is also quite high. Happo-one's greatest features are the advanced courses that boast an exquisite level of difficulty. Nearly all are tough courses that are steep throughout and rich in variation. The outstanding course difficulty that will impress even the most advanced skiers has drawn overwhelmingly positive reviews like, "Ski it once and you’ll be hooked" and "It’s tough, but you’ll want to ski it again and again." Although it’s a ski resort that’s not really friendly to beginners, it’s also a fact that you can enjoy a special skiing experience that you can only get at Happo-one! This time, we will thoroughly introduce the wonderful aspects of the Happo-one Ski Resort.

With the best range of advanced courses in Hakuba

View of Happo-one
If you’re an advanced skier, there’s a range of great courses you’ll definitely want to ski, like the "Reisen Grat Course," which commands a view of the mountains of Hakuba from a height of 1,830 meters, the "Reisen Slalom Course," where you can enjoy downhill skiing on a 30-degree slope, and the tournament course "Olympic Course 2", with a maximum slope of 35 degrees!

Many skiers are captivated by these thrilling courses, and it’s also becoming a mecca for famous advanced skiers from Japan and overseas, who visit every year.

The are 13 courses in all, and 80% of them are intermediate and advanced courses. As the view that can be enjoyed from near the summit is so breathtaking, you could give up on attempting the advanced course and go up there simply for the scenery.

The "Reisen Slalom Course" can be said to symbolize Happo-one

Skier speeding down the slope
The course that typifies Happo-one is the "Reisen Slalom Course." While it’s a long-run course boasting a total length of 3,000 meters, the course width is extra wide and you can enjoy the magnificent scenery.

With a maximum gradient of 30 degrees, this course is also aimed at advanced skiers, but it’s definitely easier to ski than the other advanced courses because it’s so wide.

It’s a course that is so enjoyable to ski, that people say, "You cannot understand the thrill unless you ski it for yourself." You'll be glad to know that there are also detour courses in place, so you can withdraw if you don't feel up to the challenge.

A long run downhill, as you look down upon the superb view of Hakuba. On top of advanced skiers, practicing intermediate skiers should also give it a try.

A difficulty setting a little different from that of other ski resorts

The slopes of Happo-one
As you can tell from the fact that there are so many advanced skiers, the overall course difficulty is quite high. Even the intermediate courses may feel to some skiers to be "as difficult as an advanced course."

With the balance of moguls and the steep slopes, it can be difficult to conquer unless you’re a skier, and it’s said to be a ski resort that is not so snowboarder-friendly.

Flat slope
While there’s a range of courses that will satisfy advanced skiers, there are not many courses for beginners to ski. The only slope at Hakuba-one that beginners can ski on comfortably is "Sakka slope". It’s a wide course with a gentle slope, which is rare in Hakuba-one.

A reasonable plan called "Sakka Debut Ticket" is also on sale, so the ski slopes are overflowing with beginner skiers from overseas.

Given that there are many choices in the Hakuba area, it cannot be said that this is a resort that beginners should choose, but those who say, "I don't feel like skiing on the advanced courses - I just want to have some fun in the snow," can surely enjoy themselves just playing on the Sakka slope.

The view from the ski lift
When going by train, it’s approximately 60 minutes by bus from "Hokuriku Shinkansen Nagano Station," so it’s inaccurate to say it’s easily accessible. It’s only a 10-minute bus ride from "JR Oito Line Hakuba Station," but transferring is inconvenient and the buses are infrequent, so it’s recommended to go by Shinkansen.

If going by car, it’s 50 km from the "Nagano-Azumino Interchange" and takes about one hour.

When traveling by car, you also need to consider parking. There are several free parking lots, but they are generally quite far from the Ski Center and base, so you’ll have to walk with your luggage in many cases. The free parking lot near the Sakka slope is conveniently located close to the base, however, it fills up pretty quickly due to its small size.

As it’s not a ski resort suited to day trips, it’s recommended that you stay overnight if you want to enjoy the snow at a more leisurely pace.

Since there are many onsen hotels and inns near Hakuba village, there are a great many choices available for an overnight stay. There is also an onsen district known as "Hakuba Happo Onsen," so the environment is perfect for you to enjoy a relaxing time in the onsen after skiing.

There are many reviews that say, "It can get hectic if you go on a day trip, but if you want to take your time and enjoy the relaxing mood, it’s the best place to be". You’ll surely be able to enjoy the exceptional landscapes and relaxing atmosphere to your heart's content.

A ski resort for advanced skiers where they can fully enjoy some renowned courses

Skiers taking a commemorative photo on the slopes
The appeal of Happo-one is in its extraordinary landscapes and thrilling advanced courses. Many skiers praise the quality of the courses, and you’ll be able to experience a thrill that is hard to express in words.

Access is inconvenient and the slopes are not beginner-friendly, but Happo-one has its own unique charm that is endorsed by many skiers.

Those who are thinking, "I want to further polish my skills" or "I want to experience a high-difficulty course unlike anything I've skied before," should definitely consider paying a visit to Happo-one.

Pricing information and schedule may not be up to date and are subject to change without notice. Please check before your trip.

Related ski resorts
Nov. 30th to May 6th
Longest run distance8,000 m
Maximum gradient37 °
Longest run8,000 m
Maximum37 °

Adult 2 people1 night

USD 82.16〜 (JPY 13,000〜)