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Ultimate Hakuba Ski Resort Guide: Family-Friendly Fun and Adventures for Kids!

The Hakuba Guide For Ski Passes, Lessons, Accommodation, And Restaurants

Hakuba Ski Resort With Kids And Families

Welcome to Hakuba, the perfect destination for a family ski trip! The ski season in Hakuba offers a fantastic experience for kids, combining snowy adventures with family-friendly facilities. With its breathtaking mountain scenery and well-developed ski resorts, Hakuba is a haven for little ski enthusiasts. Hakuba boasts a range of family-friendly ski resorts that cater to children of all ages and skill levels. Happo-One, Hakuba Goryu, and Hakuba 47 are popular choices, offering dedicated kids’ ski areas, gentle slopes, and ski schools with English-speaking instructors. When it comes to accommodations, Hakuba offers a variety of family-oriented options, including hotels, lodges, and self-catering apartments. Many establishments provide amenities such as playrooms, kids’ clubs, and child-friendly dining options, ensuring a comfortable stay for the whole family.

  • Ski Season In Hakuba – Make sure to check the ski season dates in Hakuba, as it typically runs from December to early April, with peak snow conditions in January and February. Don’t forget to pack appropriate winter clothing, including warm layers, waterproof gear, and helmets for the kids.
  • Need a place to stay?  Here is your guide to the top chalets, hotels, and resorts in Hakuba to stay at with kids!
  • Ski Rental Packages + Delivery To Your Hotel: Click here

In addition to skiing, Hakuba offers a host of activities to keep kids entertained off the slopes. From snow tubing and snowshoeing to snowmobiling and hot spring visits, there’s no shortage of winter fun. Some resorts also offer childcare services, allowing parents to enjoy some quality time on the mountain while their little ones are in safe hands. With its kid-friendly ski resorts, beautiful surroundings, and exciting activities, Hakuba is the ultimate destination for a memorable ski vacation with your little ones. Get ready to hit the slopes and create unforgettable family memories in the winter wonderland of Hakuba!

How to get to Hakuba for skiing?

Departure PointMode of TransportationEstimated Travel Time
SingaporeFly to Tokyo (NRT/HND) and transfer to HakubaApproximately 10-12 hours
Hong KongFly to Tokyo (NRT/HND) and transfer to HakubaApproximately 5-7 hours
MalaysiaFly to Tokyo (NRT/HND) and transfer to HakubaApproximately 9-11 hours
IndonesiaFly to Tokyo (NRT/HND) and transfer to HakubaApproximately 9-11 hours
  • Please note that the estimated travel times provided are for flights to Tokyo’s Narita Airport (NRT) or Haneda Airport (HND) from the respective departure points.
  • From Tokyo, you can take various transportation options to reach Hakuba, such as bullet trains (Shinkansen), express buses, or private transfers.
  • The travel time from Tokyo to Hakuba can range from approximately 2 to 4 hours depending on the chosen mode of transportation and the specific route taken.

 

  • The Basics: Visiting Hakuba's Best Ski Resorts And Snow Activities

    Skiing In Hakuba During Winter Season

    The Hakuba Valley is a bucket-list destination for skiers from across Asia and reviews with kids say it's one of their favorites in Japan. It’s home to 10 resorts and well over 200 runs of various levels and lengths. Every winter wonderland lover will find new challenges in Hakuba. The 1998 Olympic Games put Hukuba firmly on the map with downhill, alpine skiing, super giant slalom, combined slalom events, ski jumping, and combined Nordic. The ski destination is now a collection of villages influenced by Japan and the West. Hakuba Valley hosts several international events, including the Free Ride World Tour and Snowmachine Music Festival. During the warmer months, the valley transforms into a hiking destination and an escape for urbanites looking to recharge and relax in the paradisiacal mountains.

    Hakuba Valley has various ski resorts and impressive peaks that rise 3,000 meters above sea level. The largest and most popular resort is Happo-One which offers incredible powder skiing over different level runs. The Sakka Ski Slope is the designated area for first-time skiers or snowboarders. Other resorts include  Hakuba 47, which is connected to Hakuba Goryu and offers leisurely cruisers and the most popular snowpark in the area. Iwatake is excellent for kids with a small snowpark and easy-to-manage runs. Tsugaike is a large ski area with 27 lifts!

    When is the ski season in Hakuba? From December until April

    • All About Hakuba, https://hakuba.com/
    • Getting Around:  There are plenty of taxis in the area. Many of the larger luxury villas have cars and mini-vans that you can use to get around. If you are staying in a hotel, they might have shuttle services available for guests.
    • Babysitters in Hakubahttp://www.hakubababysitting.com/

    How To Get To Hakuba?

    • Hakuba is 44km west of Nagano and can be reached easily via the Tokyo or Narita airports. You’ll take the bullet train from the airport to Nagano and then a car to your hotel. It’s wise to pre-book your transportation to save any delays at the train station, especially if you arrive late or during a holiday weekend.
    • If you want to use the shuttle bus, you should not arrive at Tokyo or Narita Airport any later than 7 pm. Return flights should be out of Tokyo around mid-afternoon.

    Option One – Train, Train, And Bus Up To Four Hours

    Take the train from Narita to Tokyo or Ueno, then the bullet train from Shinkansen to Nagano, and finally take the bus to Hakuba.

    Option Two – Direct Transfer Up To Six Hours

    You can easily arrange a direct transfer from Tokyo Narita airport to Hakuba. You can reserve the Nagano Snow Shuttle or the Chuo Taxi. This is a particularly good option if you arrive late in the day.

    Tips For Visiting Hakuba With Kids!

    Hakuba Ski ResortPerksKid-Friendly Features
    Happo-One- Largest and most popular resort in Hakuba Valley- Dedicated beginner areas and ski schools
    - Hosted the 1998 Olympics and the Free Ride World Tour- Childcare services available
    - Steep pitch, best suited for intermediate and advanced skiers- Kids' play areas and activities
    Iwatake- Great views and consistent snow- Beginner-friendly runs and lessons
    - Good tree skiing and protected from storms- Less crowded for a comfortable family experience
    Tsugaike Kogen- Beginner-friendly paradise with wide green runs- Multilingual ski schools and daycare facilities
    - Lift-accessed tree runs and terrain park for advanced riders- Play areas for children
    Hakuba 47- Family-friendly resort with diverse terrain for all skill levels- Connected to Goryu Resort via gondola for extended skiing opportunities
    - Shares a common lift ticket with Goryu Resort- Ski lessons and programs for kids
    Goryu- Wide range of terrain options for all levels of skiers and snowboarders- Gentle slopes in the Toomi Zone for beginners
    - Perfect for beginners and intermediates- Family-friendly atmosphere
    Cortina- Famous for abundant powder snow and premier tree skiing- Exciting terrain for adventurous kids
    - Scenic views and quieter compared to other resorts- Ski programs and lessons available
    Norikura- Connected with Cortina and can be accessed with a common lift ticket- Less crowded than other resorts
    - Great place to escape the crowds and enjoy the slopes
    Sanosaka- Stunning views of Lake Aoki- Beginner and intermediate-friendly slopes
    - Less crowded compared to centrally located resorts- Dog-friendly resort
    Jiigatake- Gentle and wide runs, perfect for beginners and young children- Peaceful and uncrowded environment for practicing skiing skills
    - Less crowded compared to other resorts in the valley
    Kashimayari- Distinctly Japanese feel and caters primarily to the Japanese ski community- Family-friendly facilities and services
    - Avoid crowds at larger resorts and enjoy a unique experience
  • Snow monkeys Hakuba ski resort guide for families Little Steps Asia

    Things To Do And Activities For Kids In Hakuba, Japan With Kids

    Activities In Hakuba On And Off The Slopes

    Snow And Ski Activities In Hakuba, Japan

    • NEW!  HAPPO PARKS "NATURES" - Snow Park: A new snow park is coming to the Kita-one area of Happo-one Ski Resort this season!  Discover Happo-One's exciting new surf-ride x freestyle park, designed by Japan's premier park creation team and the local Hachi Crew, offering wide terrain, excellent snow quality, and long runs from Kurobishi Skyline to the park.
    • Snow Shoe Tours: If you are keen to escape the crowds on the slopes and get away from the ski lift queues and want to experience the serene silence of remote Hakuba, there are seemingly endless trails on the mountain ridges or through old mystical forests and shrines with breathtaking views across the alpine landscapes. Choose a half, full-day or a private tour. Little Steps loves the chocolate fondue after the evening tour. Snow Shoe Tours, https://www.evergreen-backcountry.com/snowshoe-tours/
    • Ski Mobiles: Hire a guide and a ski mobile or two and head to the outback of Hakuba and explore virtually undiscovered magical winter wonderlands. The snowmobiles are easy to master, so you'll be off exploring in no time.Ski Mobiles, https://skihakuba.com/snowmobile.htm


    Top Off-Slope Tips For Non-Ski Activities In Hakuba, Japan

    • Snow Monkeys: Whether it’s your first or tenth time to Hakuba, visiting the world-famous hot spring monkeys is always a must. The Japanese macaque, also known as the snow monkey, was jettisoned to fame after appearing on the front cover of Life magazine in the early 1970s. The macaques are the only known monkey to bathe in naturally occurring hot springs. The curious monkeys are located in the beautiful Jigokudani Monkey Park, a scenic 90-minute drive from Hakuba; the tour also includes lunch and a visit to the Buddhist Zenkō-Ji Temple in Nagano.
    • Matsumoto Castle and Matsumoto Art Museum: For Instagram fans, Matsumoto Castle and the surrounding city are well worth visiting. Matsumoto Castle is affectionately known as the Crows Castle. The castle is as black as night, surrounded by a moat in the open plains. The winter illuminations are nothing short of spectacular. You can walk to the castle directly from the train station, and it's free to enter the grounds. Matsumoto Castle is the oldest standing castle in Japan and has been designated a National Treasure by the Japanese government. The Matsumoto Art Museum has an incredible permanent exhibition of world-famed 90-something-year-old Yayoi Kusama, who became an art-world phenomenon in the age of the selfie.
    • Onsen: The natural hot spring experiences are ubiquitous in Japanese culture. Relaxing in an onsen is the quintessential Japanese experience. It's a great way to relax and rest your slope-tired body. The lives of many Japanese families centers around visiting an onsen, whether it's after work, for a dip with the family at the weekend, or even for their holidays. There are onsens throughout Hakuba; you might have one in your chalet or hotel grounds if you are lucky.
    • Sake Brewery Tour: Ichinoya is home to the region's oldest sake breweries, so it makes sense to explore its rich history and sample some sake over lunch. The tour begins at Wachigai Restaurant, a traditional Japanese restaurant with water tasting, sake tasting, and lunch. After lunch, you'll head to the streets for an immersive brewery tour. Your guide will explain the importance of the 'spirit,' the rice, fertile lands, and the clear waters that run from the slopes of the Northern Alps.
    • Festivals There is no better way to immerse yourself into Japanese culture than by attending one of the incredible festivals throughout the winter months.
      • The ‘Nozawa onsen Dosojin’ is held on 15 January yearly, attracting thousands of visitors. It's an impressive festival that revolves around a burning three-story wooden structure, plenty of sake, and two generations of men fighting for their honor. The festival is intended to dispel bad spirits and luck, bring good fortune and fertility to the village and strengthen the community.
      • Throughout February, you’ll also find the Happo Fire Festival, Nagano Lantern Festival, and the Iiyama Snow and Kamakura Festival.
    • Kimono Experience: Discover authentic Japanese culture, learn about kimono dressing and origami, and enjoy a traditional tea ceremony. Your teacher will guide you through the various principles of this customary clothing that dates back over 1,000 years to the Heian period. This is a girls-only tour, so leave the boys to hit the slopes!
    • Iwatake Yahoo Swing: Take a gondola to the top of the Iwatake Resort for some spectacular views and swing on the Iwatake Yahoo Swing, located next to the Mountain Harbor facility.
    • Togakushi Shrine: Located at the foot of Mount Togakushi, the forested mountains northwest of Nagano Togakushi Shrine consist of five shrines: Okusha, Chusha, Hokkosha, Kuzuryusha, and Hinomikosha. It enshrines the gods associated with the Amanoiwato opening myth that originated in Takamagahara. Amaterasu Omikami hid in Iwato due to his younger brother's orgy, and the world became pitch black and confused. There, the troubled gods met and held a song and dance festival to take Okami out again.
  • chalets Hakuba ski resort guide for families Little Steps Asia

    Where To Stay In Hakuba - Accomodation Options For Families Of All Sizes

    Hotels And Chalets In Hakuba

    Hakuba is a lovely resort in Japan for families with children. Over the years, it’s become a popular outdoor sports hub and one of the best places in the country to ski. There are seemingly endless soft, powdery slopes and diverse accommodation offerings to suit every pocket. Little Steps provides Accommodation 101 for the definitive list of ryokans, luxurious chalets, or world-class hotels. Let’s hit those slopes!

    Guide To Family-Friendly Accommodation In HakubaClick here!

    HotelStar RatingPrice RangeLocationKid-Friendly PerksURL
    Hakuba Tokyu Hotel★★★★$$$ - $$$$Wadano- Kids' play areaHakuba Tokyu Hotel
    La Neige Higashikan★★★★$$$ - $$$$Happo- Childcare services availableLa Neige Higashikan
    Hotel Goryukan★★★★$$ - $$$Goryu- Family roomsHotel Goryukan
    Hakuba Mominoki Hotel★★★★$$ - $$$Wadano- Kids' play areaHakuba Mominoki Hotel
    Hotel Sierra Resort Hakuba★★★★$$ - $$$Happo- Family-friendly facilities and servicesHotel Sierra Resort Hakuba
    The Happo★★★★$$$ - $$$$ Happo- New and snazzy, hot springsClick here
    Hakuba Alpine Hotel★★★$$ - $$$Happo- Child-friendly amenities and servicesHakuba Alpine Hotel
    Hotel Hakuba★★★$$ - $$$Hakuba Station- Family roomsHotel Hakuba
    Kamoshika Views★★★$$ - $$$Izumikyo- Family-friendly atmosphereKamoshika Views
  • Japanese food Hakuba ski resorts for families little steps asia

    Where To Eat And Drink In Hakuba? - The Best Restaurants In Hakuba

    Delicious Japanese Cuisine

    Japan undoubtedly has some of the best food in the world, and Hakuba is no exception. Little Steps has worked (and eaten) hard to bring you the ultimate family-friendly restaurants in Hakuba.

    Some of the restaurants offer a super convenient delivery service!

    Apres-Ski And Bar Favorites In Hakuba:

    • Hakuba Tap Room - A Microbrewery favorite for craft beer
    • "The Pub" Hakuba - Fun for beers and lively!
    • Tracks - Late-night dancing for mom and dad
    • The Echnoland Village – An area with many bars and restaurants
  • Skiing Lessons For Kids And Adults In Hakuba

    Step-By-Step

    For English-speaking skiing lessons, visit Hakuba Snowsports or Evergreen Ski Schools for the best in group, private, and kids lessons. The Kids Park at Nakayama Slope at Happo One is perfect for your little ones to find their snow legs. The park is on the base of the beginner's slope, so the kids can easily transition. The Happo One Ski School also operates out of this facility.

  • Ski Rental In Hakuba

    Skis, Boards, And Clothing In Hakuba

    Niseko's go-to for skis and snowboards for kids and adults, Rhythm Sports, also has an outlet in Hakuba. It is conveniently located and offers pick-up and drop-off. They also rent the basics, including poles, boots, helmets, jackets, and snow pants. Another popular ski and snowboard rental company in Hakuba is Central Snowsports. They have three stores across Hakuba servicing the gondola areas of Happo-One, the Sakka area of Wadano, and Escal Plaza, Goryu/47. Spicy is another excellent option for ski and snowboard rentals. Ski Hire Hakuba offers a wide range of ski, snowboard and clothing equipment at reasonable prices 100 meters from the ski lift. If you book online, you'll receive a 10 percent discount too!

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