Located in the Japanese Alps near Nagano, Hakuba Valley features a number of ski resorts, 11 to be exact, and attracts international skiers. On average every winter, 11 meters of snow blankets Hakuba. The snow isn't quite as dry as Hokkaido, but it's still very worthy of the name "Japow"!
While the resorts aren't connected via slopes, with the exception of Hakuba 47 and Goryu and Cortina and Norikura, there is a shared lift ticket option and shuttle buses make it easy to get to and from each unique base area.
When compared to its northern neighbor Hokkaido, Hakuba on average boasts steeper terrain with slightly less in terms of average annual snowfall.
... deep Japanese powder at 11 different ski areas
... via bullet train from the Tokyo Narita International Airport
... overflowing ramen bowls and local sake
... the steeps of the Japanese Alps
... native Japanese whiskey like Suntory, Hibiki, or Nikka
... yourself to an afternoon in hot spring, otherwise known as an 'onsen'
Japanese ski culture at its finest
Combined the Hakuba Valley resorts offer skiers 960 hectares of terrain, 137 km, 200-plus trails and 135 lifts. Plus, jibbers and freestylers can explore nine different terrain parks!
In general, the wide variety of ski resorts ensure every stripe of skier and snowboarder can find their preferred slope, however certain Hakuba resorts are ideal for certain interests/ability levels. All the Hakuba resorts offer ideal beginner and intermediate slopes, and there's moguls aplenty. However, if you're seeking powder, be sure to head to Cortina, which takes a more relaxed approach to tree skiing. Many of the resorts ban tree skiing.
That said, if you don't mind putting in some sweat equity for your powder turns, the Hakuba backcountry is a don't-miss experience. Be sure to hire a guide (which we can recommend to you) for optimal safety and enjoyment.