Why Hakuba Cortina Is A Must Visit - MountainWatch Travel

Cortina | Japan

Why Hakuba Cortina Is A Must Visit

Cortina is one of the best ski resorts in the Hakuba Valley for many reasons. From its amazing tree skiing to its onsens, it is a must-visit ski destination while you’re in Japan.  

Cortina is located about 16km (20-30min) from Happo-One village and can be accessed by the free bus service from the main Happo and Hakuba areas. One of the best things about this resort is its sheer volume of snow! Cortina often receives twice as much snowfall as other resorts in the area, making it a great choice for powder lovers. The only drawback is that Cortina is very much known for its powder. Which in turn, can mean that most of the valley turns up on a big powder day.

Snowy tree canopy in Cortina, Hakuba
Snowy tree canopy in Cortina, Hakuba


The ski area of Cortina is 124 acres (50 hectares), has 17 trails, 503 meters of vertical, and seven lifts. The terrain at Cortina is closed in a bowl. The ‘highway-wide’ beginner run runs through the resort’s center, with intermediate and advanced runs off to either side and crossing through the resort. Essentially, the resort is designed so that all runs lead back to a common base.

Cortina is also connected to Norikura at the top and can be accessed with a common lift ticket. If the crowds are starting to build at Cortina, this gives you plenty of options – as Norikura is often overlooked. As well as extensive beginner skiing, Norikura also has access to plenty of backcountry terrain and deep powder!

The 'highway-wide' beginner run
The ‘highway-wide’ beginner run


The best part about Cortina is the relaxed off-piste policy, as well as the fun tee lines and steep terrain. There is a collection of lines that drop in from medium to steep angles and plenty of back-and-side country opportunities. Some may say the best in Japan! Ridgeline runs that drop into near-perfectly spaced trees will delight those wanting to earn their turns and get waist-deep in pow. Cortina also features some inbound trees that have an enter-at-your-own-risk policy (rescue fees do apply). 

Ski-In Ski-Out

Cortina is also home to one of the best ski-in ski-out hotels in Hakuba, Hotel Green Plaza. The hotel has extensive onsen facilities – featuring 11 kinds of hot tubs! Relax in the beautiful highland after a day on the slopes, looking out to views of the mountains. Or book in for a massage if you really want to treat yourself. It also has everything else you need while in Hakuba. From restaurants to a ski school, equipment rentals, a ski shop, a games arcade, a karaoke bar, and even a convenience store. Next to the hotel is a large kids’ area with play equipment, a jumping castle, tubing, tobogganing, mini snowmobiles, and childcare facilities.

Hotel Green Plaza Cortina
Hotel Green Plaza Cortina

If you’re ready to experience Cortina, the powder paradise for yourself, complete an enquiry form, and our team will happily create a custom package for you. Or discover our packages below:

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HAVE ANY QUESTIONS? Speak to one of our ski travel specialists today!