This weekend me and a couple of friends went on a trip to Hakuba Valley, a beautiful town in Nagano prefecture. A friend of mine from college owns a log house there, and we enjoyed ourselves with snow and nature. *The term “Hakuba” literally translates to “white horse” in the current era, but the name originates in a deliberately funny misspelling of another term back in the old days.
We had a full day to ski/snowboard at the Hakuba47 WINTER SPORTS PARK. The Hakuba Valley has several different slopes including Hakuba Happo-One Resort (used in the 1998 Nagano winter Olympics for Alpine Skiing) and the Hakuba Goryu Resort. The slopes of the Goryu Resort and the Hakuba47 are close, and can be fancied simultaneously. Not only is the Valley popular to Japanese, but it is highly beloved internationally by guests from Australia, HongKong, Malaysia, New Zealand, and more (to be honest I saw more foreigners than Japanese people).
One of the main attractions to foreigners is the soft powder snow higher up in the slopes. Lower in the mountains the snow is a lot mushy and make great snowballs.
Hakuba Valley is roughly 5 hours away from Tokyo. Highway buses leave Shinjuku and arrive in the middle of Hakuba Valley which makes it extremely convenient for short weekend trips. If you come to Japan in the winter and take delight in snow activities, Hakuba is definitely a place worth checking out.
Hakuba47 WINTER SPORTS PARK