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The Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field, where you can enjoy the best view in Hakuba

# Ski & snowboard
June 25, 2020
The Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field is a ski resort located in Happo One, on the north side of Hakuba village. Unlike other ski resorts which are located within a mountain range, this ski resort is famous for being located on the only mountain summit in the Hakuba area. The expansive powder snow from the solitary mountain summit differentiates it from others, and many people report on the excellent scenery found on every course. On a sunny day, you can get a clear view overlooking all the ski resorts in the Hakuba area. With its breathtaking scenery, the Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field is a place where many fans gather every year. In this article, we would like to cover what makes this resort so excellent.

Top-class scenery!

Scenery from the sole mountain summit

Everyone who visits the Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field is in agreement that the scenic view that overlooks every nook and corner of the Hakuba mountains is stunning.

The reviews for the scenery are overwhelmingly positive, especially for the course that extends from near the mountain summit - many skiers particularly love that they can ski on an expansive course while enjoying a spectacular view.

With a maximum altitude of 1,289 meters, the Hakuba area sits relatively low, however the snow quality is that of fluffy powder snow. Thanks to the low altitude and lack of stormy weather, the area is blessed with sunny weather on most days. However, you shouldn’t expect much in terms of snow quality in the lower areas.

The view becomes increasingly scenic the higher you go, so the upper areas tend to be more popular than the lower areas. There are many short range courses geared towards intermediate and advanced skiers in the upper area, but beginners can also give it a try if they really practice.

Although there aren’t many, beginner courses are also available in the upper area, so you can find the majority of beginner skiers up there too. If you'd like to experience a snowy scene that spreads as far as the eye can see from the lone mountain summit, be sure to take on the upper slopes.

An assortment of short yet lively courses

Courses that are short yet full of variations

The group of courses in the upper area is called Mountain Side, and is a vast mountain area spreading across the summit. It features a tricky course that overlooks the magnificent view of the North Alps. This is a location that even beginners should try at least once.

Village Side, which spreads out at the base of the mountain, has many beginner courses with wide and gentle slopes. It’s perfect for practicing as there are competitive courses used for ski competitions and cross-country courses that run through forests.

Since the courses tend to be short overall, there aren't any courses where you can enjoy a long run in the upper or lower area.

Even though they may be short, there are plenty of high-quality courses with plenty of variations, so the usual thing is to practice skiing multiple times on the course you’ve taken a liking to.

With a total of 26 courses, it has one of the highest number of courses in the Hakuba area, meaning there are plenty of ski variations available.

You can enjoy taking it easy on a wide course, and also enjoy skiing on a thrilling steep incline course. The slopes are composed in such a way that skiers of all skill levels can fully enjoy them.

Take a gondola lift directly to the summit!

Large-scale gondola lift

The large-scale gondola lift, Noah, runs from the base of the mountain to the summit and carries guests over a distance of 2,183 meters with excellent stability and reliability.

You only need to take this one ride to reach the summit, where you’ll find an assortment of high-quality courses! It’s an efficient way to reach the courses in the upper area.

It can get crowded during the peak season, so during those times, it’s a good idea to utilize the high-speed two-person lift. If you ride the upper area gondola lift once, you’ll be able to go around the slopes using the ski lifts, so we recommend those who want to take on the tough courses to head up early.

Skiers enjoying snow rafting

Access to the ski slope is a little inconvenient. It takes about 60 minutes by bus from Hokuriku Shinkansen Nagano Station, so it’s not realistic for a day trip.

If going by car, it’s 50 kilometers from the Joshin-Etsu Expressway Nagano Interchange. This method also takes about 80 minutes.

Although access is inconvenient, one of the perks is that it doesn’t get as crowded during the peak season. We recommend this ski resort to those who want to casually enjoy skiing on the pretext of spending the night.

Sky Arc, a restaurant on the summit where you can enjoy your meal with a view

Image of Sky Arc, a large-scale food court

*Image is for reference only.
This large-scale restaurant facility, Sky Arc, is located in the summit area with a wonderful view, and boasts 520 customer seats. Grab a window seat and you can enjoy gazing at the Hakuba scenery while enjoying a fancy lunch.

There’s a full lineup of meals available, from Japanese, Western-style food and pasta, to desserts. The nearby facilities, including coin lockers and sports shops, make it a popular facility that symbolizes the summit area.

The popular cafe restaurant can get a bit crowded during lunch time. Try visiting at a different time, or returning to the dining village at the base of the mountain.

Iwatake no Yu, an onsen only a 2 minute walk from the slope

Onsen

2-minute’s walk from the Gondola Sanroku Station lies Hakuba Himekawa Onsen Iwatake no Yu, located on the opposite side of the parking lot in front of the slope. Inside the facility, there’s just one single bath for men and one for women, making for a simple set-up that’s popular among day trip and overnight guests.

There are a lot of positive reviews in particular for the onsen’s quality, such as “This onsen is perfect for recuperating after skiing!” and “It’s close enough to go immediately after you finish skiing.”

One of its convenient features is that, by car, you can quickly reach the dining and accommodation districts.

This is a famous onsen that many skiers stop by at least once, so we recommend you definitely pay it a visit and try it out.

The only place to enjoy sole mountain summit scenery

The mountains of Hakuba

This ski resort has excellent scenery and high-quality courses, extensive facilities and services, and is consistently one of the top-class ski resorts in the Hakuba area.

As it’s relatively difficult to access, the best way to enjoy your visit is to stay overnight. One thing it has going for it is that, compared to other locations in the Hakuba area, the slopes don’t get as crowded.

At the Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field, even beginners can casually enjoy the Hakuba scenery. We definitely recommend this ski resort to those who want to ski in a location with excellent scenery!

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

Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field Nagano Prefecture

Dec 18 - Mar 28
Courses26
Lifts9
Longest run distance3,800 m
Maximum gradient35 °
Courses26
Lifts9
Longest run3,800 m
Maximum35 °

Adult 2 people1 night

2020-12-15
USD 70〜
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