Located in the Japanese Alps near Nagano, Hakuba Valley features a number of ski resorts, 11 to be exact, and attracts international skiers. On average every winter, 11 meters of snow blankets Hakuba. The snow isn't quite as dry as Hokkaido, but it's still very worthy of the name "Japow"!
While the resorts aren't connected via slopes, with the exception of Hakuba 47 and Goryu and Cortina and Norikura, there is a shared lift ticket option and shuttle busses make it easy to get to and from.
When compared to its northern neighbor Hokkaido, Hakuba on average boasts steeper terrain with slightly less in terms of average annual snowfall.
Combined the Hakuba Valley resorts offer skiers 960 hectares of terrain, 137 km, 200-plus trails and 135 lifts. Plus, jibbers and freestylers can explore nine different terrain parks!
In general, the wide variety of ski resorts ensure every stripe of skier and snowboarder can find their preferred slope, however certain Hakuba resorts are ideal for certain interests/ability levels. All the Hakuba resorts offer ideal beginner and intermediate slopes, and there's moguls aplenty. However, if you're seeking powder, be sure to head to Cortina, which takes a more relaxed approach to tree skiing. Many of the resorts ban tree skiing.
That said, if you don't mind putting in some sweat equity for your powder turns, the Hakuba backcountry is a don't-miss experience. Be sure to hire a guide (which we can recommend to you) for optimal safety and enjoyment.