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Hakuba Valley Resorts Archives - SkiJapan.com

Hello Hakuba! The Best way to enjoy Hakuba and Japan

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If you’re planning to visit Hakuba, we recommend some research to help you make the most out of your trip. Being in Honshu, and just a few hours away from Tokyo, there’s so much to see and do in and around Hakuba, so it can be hard to plan your time efficiently to get the most out of a Japan skiing holiday. 

Tokyo

Japan’s biggest city, and the most common place to fly into Tokyo; it has everything you could want to do in a Japanese city. There’s near-infinite restaurants, shopping districts, Disney Land, Studio Ghibli Museum just to name a few.

If you plan to spend a few days here, once you land in Tokyo, find the luggage services area in the airport terminal and send your ski bags straight up to the ski resort hotel you’ll be staying at. Cost is usually about ¥2,000 per ski bag, but it will save you a lot of effort on trains and transport in Tokyo. Find out more about luggage transport services in our beginners guide to Japan.

Tokyo has a huge variety of hotels, but one of the best is the Tokyo Hilton. It’s right next to the Imperial Gardens, which are definitely a must-see. The gardens are especially nice in the spring-time with flowers and sakura starting bloom. Make sure to try some of Tokyo’s famous restaurants as well as retro arcades, karaoke and more. Check out our top 8 things to do in Tokyo here.

Getting To Hakuba

Getting to Hakuba from the city or the airport is very easy. The most popular method is to get the Nagano Snow Shuttle which runs to and from both Tokyo airports as well as Shinjuku downtown area. The bus can be booked through SkiJapan.com, and is best reserved at least a few days in advance to ensure there is space.

The second option is the train to Nagano station, then a bus to Hakuba. If you’ve got luggage with you, this can be difficult – but is definitely doable. There’s also the option of a private shuttle to take you directly from Tokyo to your accommodation in Hakuba.

Once you have booked your accommodation with SkiJapan.com, be sure to let us know your preferred method of transport or and/or your estimated arrival time to Hakuba, so that we can best advise you on what to do when you arrive and ensure a smooth transfer to your accommodation.

Staying in Hakuba

There’s a wide range of accommodation options in Hakuba, but two of the best choices are The Hakuba Gateway Hotel, and Hotel Hakuba Goryukan. Both are economical and in great locations with facilities inside the buildings. Hakuba Gateway Hotel has NBS rentals, a physiotherapist and a restaurant, while Hotel Hakuba Goryukan has a restaurant, souvenir store, onsen and more. For the ultimate in luxury Hakuba accommodation, there’s the Grand Phenix Hakuba, which offers one of the most comfortable stays in Hakuba.

The Hakuba Valley is made up of a number of resorts – the biggest being Happo One, Tsugaike Kogen, and Goryu 47. There are free shuttle buses that run between the village areas and the resorts that run every day till the resorts close for the day. There are also shuttle buses that run at night to get you around the village and to restaurants.

The Hakuba Valley lift pass is ¥6,000 and allows access to most of the resorts in the area. Holders of the Epic Pass can also redeem five consecutive days of skiing in Hakuba Valley. More info about the Epic Pass in Hakuba here.

What to do in Hakuba

Hakuba is very close to the famous Matsumoto Castle – which is one of the best preserved castles in all of Japan. This historic building is considered a national treasure, and can be easily visited on a day trip from Hakuba. Read more on Matsumoto Castle here.

Nagano’s snow monkeys are an iconic part of the Japanese mountainous landscape. The monkeys sit in the hot pools of water to keep warm during the winter, and are relaxed enough to pose for photos!

Make sure to visit our team in Hakuba Gateway Hotel to find out more about tours in the area.

If you want to visit Hakuba, make sure to talk to our experienced team – we can book every part of your Japan ski holiday so that you get the best deal and service. Contact our team today!

Matsumoto Castle

Historic Hakuba – Matsumoto Castle

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First built in 1504, Matsumoto Castle is one of the best preserved traditional castles in all Japan. This historic site features a dramatic six storey keep that overlooks a huge moat, as well as a total of five separate structures. There is only one other castle in Japan that consists of six storeys, so Matsumoto is definitely a must see while you’re in the Hakuba area. The castle walls are mostly black with white highlights which contrast beautifully against the mountainous backdrop.

When you arrive at the Castle, you can walk around the Inner Moat area before making your way inside the main keep. Once inside you can explore each level, viewing samurai armour and weapons that are on display. On the sixth storey there is a magnificent view out towards the mountain peaks and across Matsumoto town.

The castle was ruled by 23 different lords over a 280 year period up until the Meiji restoration period. The impressive site has been embraced by locals for generations and it was saved from demolition in the late 1800’s because of the love the townspeople have for the castle. The impressive structure still survives in its original design and was designated a national treasure in 1952.

A stay in Hakuba is not complete without a visit to this historic site. If you’re considering a trip to Hakuba, SkiJapan.com’s very own Hakuba Gateway Hotel is in a great, central location with onsite ski/snowboard rental, physio, restaurant and access to the Hakuba Valley resorts, transport to Tokyo and local attractions. Hakuba also boasts one of the best luxury apartment rentals in a ski resort – the Grand Phenix Hakuba is one of the best accommodations in Hakuba just a minute’s walk from the bus terminal, rentals, and a few minutes’ walk to the lifts.

Enquire now to book your stay in Hakuba and experience everything Japan has to offer.