Tsugaike3.5 out of 5 based on 3 reviews
  • Recommend
    100%
  • Would Revisit
    100%

Hakuba Tsugaike Ski Resort
Hakuba Tsugaike Ski Resort
Tsugaike Kogen has pretty good tree skiing
Tsugaike Kogen has pretty good tree skiing
Tsugaike Village
Tsugaike Village
Tsugaike Kogen
Tsugaike Kogen
Hakuba Tsugaike Japan
Hakuba Tsugaike Japan
The Tsugaike Gondola travels most of the vertical
The Tsugaike Gondola travels most of the vertical
Tsugaike sidecountry with GoodGuides
Tsugaike sidecountry with GoodGuides
Tree Skiing Tsugaike Hakuba
Tree Skiing Tsugaike Hakuba
Near the base of the Tsugaike Gondola
Near the base of the Tsugaike Gondola
There are lots of slopeside eateries
There are lots of slopeside eateries
Plenty of daytime dining options
Plenty of daytime dining options
Tsugaike Kogen is great for beginners
Tsugaike Kogen is great for beginners
Hakuba Tsugaike
Hakuba Tsugaike
Lots of slopeside eateries and lodgings
Lots of slopeside eateries and lodgings
Simple Tsugaike restaurant
Simple Tsugaike restaurant
Ski in ski out restaurants and lodges
Ski in ski out restaurants and lodges
Tsugaike Ski Resort Hakuba
Tsugaike Ski Resort Hakuba
The foot onsen at Tsugaike
The foot onsen at Tsugaike
Tsugaike Gondola
Tsugaike Gondola

Tsugaike

Tsugaike Kogen Ski Resort

Tsugaike Kogen is one of the ski resorts of the Hakuba Valley, and it takes the crown of the “Queen of Green” with a massive beginner area with no gnar. An international ski school offers private lessons in English, or it’s an ideal spot to teach the kids yourself on super wide mellow slopes without the fear of running into anyone else.

The associated Tsugaike Village is a great spot to stay if you’re looking for a peaceful ski holiday where you can become absorbed in a Japanese ski village, away from the westernised hub-bub of Happo and Echoland. Or if you want a holiday with vibrant nightlife and the ease of being able to speak English, stay in Happo Village and just visit Hakuba Tsugaike for a day trip or two.

Pros and Cons of Tsugaike Kogen

Pros
  • The resort is fantastic for beginners and good for intermediates.
  • Hakuba Tsugaike tends to attract fewer crowds than some of the higher profile Hakuba ski resorts.
  • Many of the lifts are high speed so you can get plenty of vertical under your boards each day.
  • Tsugaike has excellent tree skiing and above the resort is nice hike-to backcountry.
  • Hakuba Tsugaike has lots of ski in ski out accommodation, which makes it popular with families.
  • A form of heli skiing is available during spring which is worth it for the scenic helicopter ride.
  • Tsugaike Kogen Ski Resort is easily accessible by free bus for day trippers from Happo and Wadano.
Cons
  • There is negligible on-piste terrain to keep advanced riders entertained and donuts for experts (on-piste).
  • Whilst there are some restaurants and a few bars in Tsugaike Kogen, the evenings are rather quiet. Most of the Japanese folks have an onsen, eat dinner in their hotel, and then go to bed.
Pro or Con Depending on Your Perspective
  • Tsugaike is only moderately geared up for international visitors. For example there are no group snowsports lessons for Anglophones (yet) and cash is king, but the advantage is that the village is more Japanese and traditional.
  • Accommodation is generally geared towards the simple end and there is more Japanese than western style lodging.

Tsugaike Ski and Snowboard Terrain

Hakuba Tsugaike is a decent sized resort with 156 hectares of piste spread across 904 metres of vertical (800 – 1,704 metres) with 20 lifts. The lower part of the mountain consists of the gigantic beginners’ area that is serviced by multiple chair lifts and is ridiculously wide.

The official trail statistics are 50% beginners, 30% intermediate and 20% advanced, although this probably underestimates the amount of beginner terrain and overestimates the advanced on-piste terrain.

A highlight of Tsugaike Kogen Ski Resort is the lift accessed tree skiing. The terrain is gated and requires you to sign in, listen to a short lecture, and wear an armband - a small price to pay for such lovely tree skiing. The backcountry above the ski resort is also highly coveted.

See the Tsugaike ski resort page for more information on the skiing and snowboarding.

Tsugaike Hakuba Heli Skiing

If you really want to get up into the backcountry quickly there’s always a helicopter! Japan heli skiing is a bit of a rarity, so the Tsugaike heli skiing which starts in spring time is rather popular. It’s reasonably affordable so it’s worth going solely for the thrill of the helicopter ride and the amazing scenery, or if you’re new to heli skiing and are happy to ride a mellow slope. But don’t go if you’re dreaming of steep and deep virgin snow. This is a bit of a mickey mouse heliski operation where they use the same drop zone and route, so unless you’re lucky enough to be the first down, fresh tracks are far from guaranteed.

Where is Tsugaike Kogen?

The base of the Tsugaike Kogen Ski Resort is located about 8.5km north of the town of Hakuba and 9km from Happo Village, the main tourist hub of Hakuba. Otari is the closest town; 7km to the northeast. Although not interconnected, Tsugaike is located between Iwatake and Norikura ski resorts. See the Hakuba travel page for general information on the location of Hakuba Japan and how to get there.

If you’re staying in the Tsugaike Village, the easiest way to get there from the Tokyo airports is to get a Hakuba Airport Bus with Nagano Snow Shuttle (select Otari accommodation). There are 4 schedules per day for the Narita Airport to Hakuba bus, and 2 schedules per day for Haneda Airport.

Nagano Snow Shuttle
To get to Tsugaike from other parts of the Hakuba Valley, there are free shuttle buses operating from Wadano, Echoland and Happo (including the main Happo bus terminal at the Happo Information Centre) that go via Iwatake. There are also buses between Cortina and Tsugaike.

Tsugaike Accommodation

The base of the ski resort is about 2.4km wide which intersects with the Tsugaike village and there is also a piste running parallel to another street, so there is an abundance of Tsugaike accommodation that is slopeside or very close to being ski-in ski-out. Much of the accommodation consists of simple pensions and hotels with Japanese style rooms (with futons on the tatami flooring) and Japanese meals, and some Tsugaike hotels also have western rooms. In the main street of the little town of Tsugaike are restaurants, izakayas and a handful of shops.

Tsugaike Hotel Listings

Facilities & Activities

In addition to a cafeteria near the top of the resort, many of the hotels and pensions that sit alongside the green slopes double as restaurants for lunch, so there are choices galore for Japanese fare. Other options include eateries with western food such as pizza or the obligatory crepes. Or if you feel you’ve absorbed enough Japanese culture, you can always sacrilegiously retreat to KFC.

For the kids there’s a snow park with tubing and play equipment. There is also a day care centre if you need child minding, but don’t hold high hopes for the staff being able to speak English.

At the base is a small ski shop with basic ski and snowboard equipment rentals. The shop also sells some ski and snowboard accessories and a few sundries.





Tsugaike has an onsen near the base of the gondola as well as one a little down the road; perfect for a therapeutic soak after a big day on the slopes. Or if you can cope with the supposed “onsen flowers” (that suspiciously just look like gunk!) you can bathe your tootsies in the foot onsen.

Other Tsugaike activities include snowshoeing and little bit of cross country skiing.Tours That May Include Tsugaike
Safari (Road Trip) Tours
Alps to Coast Tour DETAILS
HAKUBA & MYOKO BC TOUR
9 Nights | Option of 1 Day Cat Skiing | Deluxe Option
From price based on a twin share room for group tour (price displayed is per person).
Base/invoice currency is in JPY inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 2,835
Ability: Advanced to Expert
This backcountry tour includes the HAKUBA region with its steep alpine terrain and the MYOKO area which receives big snow falls. Choose from either a side country tour (lift accessed backcountry) or ski touring/skinning backcountry. Option to include a day of cat skiing & option for deluxe accommodation.
More
See all Safari (Road Trip) tours that visit Tsugaike here
Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area Tours
Hakuba Backcountry Powder DETAILS
HAKUBA BACKCOUNTRY TOUR
9 Nights | 8 Days Guided Skiing / Riding
From price based on a twin share room for group tour (price displayed is per person).
Base/invoice currency is in JPY inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 2,835
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
Most people who visit Hakuba only ever drool at the possible backcountry endless lines from a distance. Explore the steep & deep backcountry terrain of Hakuba with either a lift accessed side country tour or go deep in the backcountry via skinning/split board.
More
See all Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area tours that visit Tsugaike here
Backcountry Skiing Tours
Hakuba Guided Day Tours DETAILS
GUIDED DAY TOURS from HAKUBA
For PRIVATE & MIXED GROUPS of up to 5 people
From price based on a group touring (price displayed is per person).
Base/invoice currency is in JPY inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 162
Ability: Intermediate to Expert
If you are in the HAKUBA area you can't go past a day or more of guided skiing or snowboarding in the backcountry or sidecountry. Tours are for PRIVATE or MIXED GROUPS of up to 5 guests. So get a group together or join a group as a solo traveler, couple or small group.
More
See all Backcountry Skiing tours that visit Tsugaike here