Goryu is one of the Hakuba ski resorts
and it shares a common lift pass and is interconnected at the top with the Hakuba 47 Ski Resort. The Hakuba Goryu Ski Resort and Hakuba 47
are good to visit as a day trip from other areas of Hakuba, or there’s a village at Goryu offering a peaceful and family friendly option for a Hakuba holiday.
The nearby Goryu-dake (Mt Goryu) is named after dragons and/or diamonds that can be seen up on the mountain, possibly only by tired skiers whose goggles are fogged up a little?!
Hakuba Goryu Ski and Snowboard Terrain
Goryu Ski Resort is a little larger than neighbouring Hakuba 47
but it’s still modest in size with only 16 courses and 13 lifts (including a gondola and 3 quad chairs). The elevation is from 950 to 1,676 metres, with 726 metres of vertical drop.
The Hakuba Goryu Ski Resort has three skiing zones, two of which have corresponding base areas. The Goryu Toomi Zone is largely for beginner runs and night skiing, and the Iimori Zone primarily has beginner and intermediate runs. The Alps-Daira Zone in the upper reaches of the resort provides mostly intermediate runs.
The official trail stats are 25% beginner, 40% intermediate, and 25% advanced, yet as is often the case, the statistics don’t quite reflect reality. Goryu has an abundance of great intermediate terrain, but the amount of beginners’ terrain is underestimated. There is loads of space for beginners to learn near the Iimori and Toomi base areas, and the latter extends a decent way up the mountain and is super wide. For fine days there’s also a more challenging green run at the top of the gondola.
Goryu only has 3 black piste trails; a short groomed run that is often icy (so perfect for racing!), and the Champion Expert and Adventure Course that have an undeserved double black diamond status. Mind you, I’ve seen these runs covered in bullet-proof icy moguls much higher than your nipples (depending on where they are?) when the runs are worthy of triple black diamond status. Give me powder any day!
Unfortunately off-piste skiing at Goryu is prohibited and whilst very tempting, the areas around the avalanche fences is understandably really frowned upon. There is some good off-piste skiing to the skiers’ right of the Adventure Course and some great “sidecountry” on the other side, but you’ll probably need to appear invisible or risk losing your lift pass. Goryu also has some great backcountry access above the resort.
Where is the Hakuba Goryu Ski Resort?
The Goryu Ski Resort is located 6km southwest of the Hakuba train station and the Goryu Toomi base is about 1km from the Kamishiro train station on the JR Oito local line. The Iimori base of Goryu is another kilometre on by road. Regular free shuttle buses are available between Kamishiro station and the base areas of Goryu. There are also shuttles connecting Goryu with Hakuba 47, and buses to other Hakuba hubs such as Happo, Echoland and Wadano.
See our getting to Hakuba
page for information on the location of Hakuba Japan
and for options to travel there.
There is a small village near the Goryu Toomi base which has several hotels, lots of pensions, various condos, and a lodge. There are a few ski-in ski-out properties, but most Goryu accommodation requires a short walk to the lifts. The Goryu village has a handful of restaurants and bars (e.g. Trax Bar and Bradbury’s Bar).
There is also a little bit of accommodation closer to the Iimori base.
Hotel Abest Hakuba Resort
is a deluxe hotel in a great location right near the slopes. The hotel offers a range of rooms for 2-8 guests including Japanese style, western style, or combo rooms.
You can search for availability of Goryu accommodation
||Bears Den Mountain Lodge
|4-star deluxe 5br (all with ensuites) lodge with live-in English speaking hosts. Book a twin room (some triples) or the entire lodge (up to 13 guests). Hot tub, wifi, luxury fit-0ut & just 300m from Goryu gondola...
||Hotel Stelle Belle
|2-star hotel located 3 mins walk to the lifts. Twin western style rooms with ensuite with bath. Restaurant, bar, hot springs (onsen), free wifi in public areas and parking (extra cost)...
|2-star pension with twin western style beds (some with private ensuite), free wifi & flat screen TV. Located 650m from lifts, free shuttle from station, free parking and breakfast included (dinner also available)...
|2-star pension located 350m from lifts. Western & Japanese style twin rooms all with ensuites, free wifi & TV. Continental b/fast includes (hot western b/fast & dinner available at extra cost)...
Ski Resort Facilities
Most of the ski resort amenities are located at the two base areas, with Toomi and the associated Escal Plaza being the larger of the base areas. This hub includes the big Salomon Station ski and snowboard rental shop.
There is no shortage of places to eat on-mountain with izakayas and eateries flanking the Toomi slope, cafeterias at the base areas, the 360 cafeteria up the top of the mountain, and there’s even a Mos Burgers at Iimori!
Hakuba Snowsports School is located at the Iimori base and provide ski lessons for kids (5 and up) and adults, and snowboard lessons for ages 7 and up, for novice through to advanced levels. Private and group lessons are conducted in English.
Hakuba Snowsports also offer day care for kids 2 and up, but not from 12-1pm when parents have to pick up the kids for lunch (so no heading over to Happo One for a ski!). The staff are fully qualified but they do not speak fluent English. There is also a day care centre at the Toomi base.
Summary of Pros and Cons of Goryu
- In combination with Hakuba 47, Goryu offers decent sized terrain and a variety of slopes.
- Goryu Ski Resort itself is very good for beginners and intermediates.
- Goryu is rather family friendly with kids play areas and child care facilities. And somewhat rare for a Japanese ski resort, a private company offers group ski and snowboard lessons in English.
- Goryu is westernised enough to make a holiday there straightforward for English speaking guests, yet it hasn’t lost the essence of Japan.
- If staying at Goryu, it’s easy enough to use the buses to get to Happo One ski resort, but more difficult to travel to the other resorts (relative to other Hakuba accommodation bases such as Wadano, Happo and Echoland).
- The prohibition of off-piste skiing and snowboarding can be rather restrictive for powder hounds.
Pro or Con Depending on your Perspective
- Goryu is a nice spot to stay if you’re happy with a quiet village with minimal nightlife, restaurant options, or shops.
Tours that may include Goryu