Hakuba Valley- Everything You Need To Know - MountainWatch Travel

Japan | Hakuba

Hakuba Valley- Everything You Need To Know

Ever wondered why thousands of people travel to Hakuba year after year? From the insane powder snow, to memorable cultural experiences, and incredible food – the hype is real. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about travelling to the Hakuba Valley. 

Just over three hours from downtown Tokyo in the Northern Japanese Alps – Hakuba is an experience incomparable to others. It’s a cluster of mountains with wide ranging terrain, delicious restaurants, great bars, huge snowfalls and the steepest runs of the country’s 600 alpine resorts. Plus, it can claim more sunshine than its neighbours. For those who have rightfully decided to tick Hakuba off their bucket list, start by watching the below video to learn a little more about this snow paradise. 

How To Get There

Flying in to Tokyo, Narita Airport you have two options for transportation to Hakuba. The fastest route requires two trains and a bus. The first train will be from Narita airport (these leave frequently), delivering you to Tokyo Station within the hour. From there you take the bullet train – famously known as the Shinkansen – to Nagano Terminal. Pre-book for the Shinkansen so you can assure yourself of a seat. It will likely be the nicest train trip you’ve ever taken. Experience scenic views of the Japanese countryside and pure modern amenities (wait till you see the bathrooms). From Nagano Terminal you take a one and a half hour bus which will deliver you safely to Hakuba Station. In total this route will take no more than four hours. The second option is to take the Nagano Snow Shuttle from Narita airport into Hakuba. This trip is the most direct and will take you just over five hours. If you don’t want to have to lug your things around from station to station, this one’s for you. 

Where To Stay

As far as ski towns go, Hakuba is definitely on the vast side and therefore has plenty of accommodation options to choose from. The valley is separated into various boroughs including Goryu, Kamishiro, Echoland, Happo Village and Wadano. There are plenty of options for those who are doing Hakuba on a budget as well as those who want to take the five-star route. When it comes to Accommodation we recommend staying in the Echoland, Happo and Wadano areas of Hakuba. This will give you easy access to more ski resorts, more après options, bars, restaurants, cafés and shops.

Restaurants and Dining

Hakuba is blessed with an array of restaurants to suit the budget conscious and the fine dining enthusiast. Sifting through the various online reviews may leave your head in a spin, so we thought we’d take the time and offer up our take on some of the best restaurants to dine at in Hakuba. For Western eats, head to The Rabbit Hole in upper Wadano. Serving up everything from Aussie-style breakfasts, to burgers and plenty of happy hour deals at the end of the day it’s not to be missed. If soul-warming dumplings sound like you, make sure you check out Yamagami in Hokujo. Or, if fine-dining is your preference Mimi’s Restaurant and Bar offers a memorable tasting menu that we’d go back for time and time again.

Ready to experience Hakuba?

Read our complete guide to Hakuba if you want to find out more about what’s happening this season, the best spots to ski and ride, things to do and so much more. Or if you’re ready to experience this powder paradise for yourself, complete an enquiry form, and our team will happily create a custom package for you. Discover our packages below:

Discover Hakuba Packages


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