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Staying in Hakuba? Here are the Top 9 Locations to Choose From

Hakuba is an incredible location for a winter ski trip. The first thing you’ll notice is just how big the area is. The valley spans a distance of 25kms from North to South, with 10 ski resorts to choose from. While this is incredibly exciting, it can also make planning your holiday and choosing a location to stay overwhelming. 

That’s why, we’re going to be breaking down the key areas for you to choose from with pros and cons for each, along with our top tips for staying in the area.

After reading this, you’ll be on your way to choose the best location to stay, based on your needs.


If there’s one place you’ve probably heard of in the Hakuba Valley, it’s Cortina Ski Resort. Its unique northern location and topography means Cortina receives more powder snow than anywhere else in the Hakuba Valley. With big open runs, and some of the best tree skiing in Japan, it’s a must-visit on a powder day.

The on-resort hotel provides an impressive array of facilities that can be used by day trippers such as food outlets, a games room, and a beautiful onsen overlooking the ski slopes. 


So why not avoid the bus queues, and travel time and stay right in the heart of the action?


This area will be ideal for you if you desire:




Getting Around


Our Top Tip


Bars and Restaurants


Ease of getting to the ski resorts from Cortina


Adjacent to Cortina Ski Resort is Norikura

Norikura is a much quieter ski resort than the rest, often overlooked due to its small size, and ‘beginner’ runs. However, Norikura embodies the feeling of a traditional Japanese ski resort, with minimal crowds, plentiful snow, traditional food, and its own onsen. And features fantastic back & side country ski terrain for the experienced riders. 

The little village of Norikura has a number of hotels and guesthouses to choose from, many set-up to cater for mountaineers, powder hunters, and backcountry enthusiasts. 


Bars and Restaurants


Ease of getting to the ski resorts from Norikura


Getting around


This area will be ideal for you if you desire:




Staying in the town of Tsugaike is a good central option. The village is reminiscent of a time when good times rolled, and unprecedented wealth fuelled an apparently fantastic time in Tsugaike Village. You’ll see old discos, and decayed housing.

The Japanese still flock here in winter, as the ski resort is large and provides terrain for all levels. Meanwhile recent investment in the town is breathing new life into the area. There are many family-run guesthouses, lodges and hotels, generally cheaper than the busier accommodation areas in Hakuba Village. You can also find great ski-in ski-out options at affordable prices.


Bars and Restaurants


Ease of getting to the ski resorts from Tsugaike


Getting around


This area will be ideal for you if you desire:


Iwatake is the resort for those looking for a bit of everything. It has some awesome runs for intermediate and above, but also has plenty of easy beginner runs that are perfect for families or those just learning and can even be enjoyed by those who don’t plan to ski at all!

The setup of this resort is ideal for those who would like to experience the Hakuba Valley in all its beauty. Head here on a sunny day to sit at the Mountain Harbor Deck, and enjoy the 360-degree views of the Hakuba Valley. 

Particularly popular with young Japanese snowboarders, this ski resort has a very young and vibrant vibe. Staying in Iwatake, which is in the centre of the valley, might be a perfect starting point for discovering all that Hakuba has to offer.


Bars and Restaurants


Ease of getting to the ski resorts from Iwatake


This area will be ideal for you if you desire:


Getting Around

There is a bus stop in front of the Iwatake Resort Gondola, that takes you through to Happo or our to Otari (Tsugaike, Norikura, Cortina).

Hakuba Village 

The Hakuba Village consists of 3 main tourist areas, Happo Central, Wadano, and Echoland. If you’ve done a little research online, you’ll see these areas consistently. That’s because they have the greatest concentration of accommodation, bars and restaurants. 

Here’s an insider’s tip: Proceed with caution. This is a big area. If you decide to stay in one of these 3 areas, choose wisely. Only a few accommodation options provide direct access to a ski resort. The trick is to stay within 5 min walking distance to a lift or bus stop for maximum convenience. You’ll thank us after having a full day on the slopes.


Wadano is situated in a picturesque forest and provides many luxury accommodation options. It’s close to the Sakka and Kurobishi slopes of Happo One, and one of the few spots in Hakuba with ski-in ski-out accommodation.You’ll also enjoy the convenience of some upmarket restaurants and bars. 


Bars and Restaurants


Ease of getting to a ski resort from Wadano


This area will be ideal for you if you desire:



Happo Central

Happo Central is the gateway to Hakuba. This is where you’ll find supermarkets, bus & train stations, convenience stores, cafes, retail & rental shops. You’ll pass through here getting to resorts either side of Happo One and when you’re arriving & departing from the Hakuba Valley.  


Bars and Restaurants


Ease of getting to a ski resort from Happo Central


This area will be ideal for you if you desire:




Echoland village in Hakuba has the biggest concentration of restaurants and bars in one area, and a huge selection of accommodation. Although it doesn’t have direct access to any of Hakuba’s ski resorts, it’s a good place to stay if you’d like to try every ski area using the Hakuba Valley Shuttle system. 

Make sure you book restaurants in advance. During peak season in Hakuba you’ll generally find people wandering the streets trying to find a free table at a restaurant. It seems there aren’t enough restaurants to feed everyone!


Bars and Restaurants


Ease of getting to the ski resort from Echoland


This area will be ideal for you if you desire:




Our Top Tips

Goryu /Hakuba 47

Hakuba Goryu is a great option for beginners, intermediates, and experienced riders. The resort receives large amounts of snow each year and offers one of the longest seasons of any resort in Japan, typically running from December to early May. 

The Hakuba 47 Ski Resort is near the Happo One Ski Resort and is interconnected with Goryu.

Although there is no village or accommodation, there are several Hakuba 47 lodgings close by and a nearby Goryu accommodation.


And when you’re not skiing, head to Hakubounce! 


Hakubounce is Hakuba’s best trampoline park. Great way to burn some fun energy when you’re having a break on the slopes. Make sure you book in advance during peak season, or on rainy days: https://hakubounce.com/.en/


Bars and Restaurants

Apart from eating on the mountain, it’s best to head to Goryu or Echoland for restaurants. 


Goryu Restaurants


Ease of getting to the resort from Goryu & 47 Resorts


These areas will be ideal for you if you desire:






Ultimately, the Hakuba Valley is an impressive ski area in the Nagano Alps, and is a must visit. 

Even the 1998 Winter Olympics were held here! 


It’s crucial to note what you really want to get out of your ski holiday before it begins. 

Do you want to ski crazy everyday? Avoid crowds or get amongst it?

Stay somewhere different, off the beaten track? Maybe you want ample time to relax so you can really feel you’re on holiday before it’s over in a flash? 

Whatever it is, get planning or do your research so you’re not disappointed. 


Remember, a ski holiday can be exhausting. You’re essentially exercising all day when you’re on the slopes! Your body will feel tired. 


Our most helpful hint to you is to minimize your movements during your ski holiday. Allow time to chill out, and buffer time to allow for those fun things that might come your way. 

Reduce your travel time to and from resorts. Snowy roads are unpredictable, a 5 minute drive shown on Google Maps might turn out to 60 minutes in the snow!

Stay somewhere that you can access the resort at your doorstep. 


Our Top Tip

Did you know that Canopy has direct access to Cortina AND Norikura Resorts? 

We even provide shuttles to others for our guests, so they don’t need to worry about driving, parking, or snowy road conditions in a foreign country. 


Sounds nice?

Stay with us, you’ll feel at ease – and have much more time up your sleeve to just be on holiday.  


Check out our rooms, facilities & services, click here


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Email us today! hello@canopycortina.com

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