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Cortina Accommodation

Pros: easy access to the fabulous Cortina ski area including options for ski-in ski-out accommodation.
Cons: more difficult to access other Hakuba ski areas, little to do in the evenings.

There isn’t really a village per se at the base of Hakuba Cortina Ski Resort or the adjoining Norikura; just a small number of lodgings with the massive Hakuba Green Plaza Hotel dominating the impressive landscape.

One of the huge benefits of staying here is easy access to Cortina Ski Resort (aka Koruchina), which is our favourite Hakuba ski area for powder hounds and it’s also popular with families with small children due to the kids’ amenities and activities.

One potential downside is that Cortina is the most northern area in Hakuba Valley so it can be a little unwieldy to get to the other ski areas from Cortina. There is a limited bus service or a couple of the accommodation providers offer private shuttle services. Similarly it is possible to get to other areas in the evenings but it requires a bit of effort.

Outside of the hotels and lodgings, there are no shops, restaurants or amenities, and very little to do in the evenings.

Echoland Accommodation

Pros: more inexpensive accom options; decent bus connections; good range of restaurants and bars.
Cons: very long walk to slopes (shuttle ride required); village spread out.

The village of Echoland is located in central Hakuba. Echoland is not attached to any of the ski areas but is conveniently located for shuttle buses running between many of the resorts. The village is somewhat spread out but it still has a reputation for being the party zone and is popular with youngsters. Accommodation options here include pensions, inexpensive lodges, boutique hotels and apartments.

Goryu Accommodation

  • Pros: accom generally less expensive; more “Japanese”.
  • Cons: somewhat limited bus connections to other ski resorts; very limited Genki-Go night bus service; not many restaurants.
Most of the Goryu accommodation is located near the southern base of the ski resort (Goryu Toomi) in Kamishiro village where there are lots of hotels, pensions and various condos. There are a few ski-in ski-out properties, but most Goryu accommodation requires a walk to the lifts (or a shuttle).

There are also a few restaurants and bars around this area(e.g. Trax Bar and Bradbury’s Bar).

The northern base of the Goryu ski resort, Iimori, has a few accommodation options. This area is very very quiet in the evenings.

From Goryu there are bus connections to the ski resorts of Happo One, Iwatake and Tsugaike.

Hakuba 47 Accommodation

Pros: accommodation is generally inexpensive
Cons: most accommodation is not walking distance to the slopes; negligible restaurants, bars and shops.

There isn’t really a village at Hakuba 47, but there are some accommodation options in the general vicinity of 47.

Happo Village Accommodation

Pros: accom is either near the slopes or close to the Happo bus terminal; lots of dining options.
Cons: only a small amount of ski-in ski-out accommodation.

The Happo village area is vast. Some Hakuba accommodation is clustered within a short walk of the Happo One Adam gondola (Shirakaba base) where there are various restaurants and bars. There’s only one little green run near the gondola, so this area isn’t ideal if you have novices in your group.

A little further south in Happo is the Nakiyama base, which isn’t particularly ideal for novices either but a huge plus for this area is the large concentration of restaurants and bars, and some shops.

The Happo Village spreads across to the east and any accommodation near the Happo bus terminal has the huge advantage of direct bus access to any of the Hakuba ski resorts (including Cortina).

Iwatake Accommodation

Pros: Kirikubo offers proximity to the Iwatake slopes, retained Japanese vibe. 
Cons: limited restaurants, limited bus connections to other Hakuba ski areas

At the base of the Iwatake Ski Resort is the little hamlet of Kirikubo. A little further away is the small village of Shinden. Both areas are very quiet and other than a soak in the public onsen, there isn’t much to do after skiing and snowboarding.

The Iwatake accommodation is typically inexpensive and consists of rather simple pensions or minshuku (Japanese inns) that have Japanese style rooms with futons on the tatami flooring, and they may or may not have ensuite bathrooms. There aren’t many restaurants in the area so many of the lodgings provide dinner.

Iwatake and the associated villages have remained rather traditional, so this is a nice place to come to escape the westernised tourism of Happo. English is not widely spoken in the village.

Lower Wadano Accommodation

Pros: reasonably easy access to beginners slopes, ski school, & child care; good bus connections.
Cons: moderate number of dining options.

Lower Wadano is very well suited to beginners who want to utilise the Evergreen ski school and also those that need daytime child care; both services are located at the Kokusai base of Happo One Ski Resort. Most accommodation is at least 5 minutes walk from the Kokusai base, but there are lots of buses going past if you don’t want to walk.

Lower Wadano is located closer to the Happo Village than Upper Wadano, and it finds a happy medium between good access to the slopes of Happo One and proximity to the restaurants and bars of Happo. In Lower Wadano itself, there is “The Pub” and several restaurants, some of which are located inside hotels.

Near the Mominoki Hotel is the large Rhythm Snowsports shop which rents out quality skis and snowboards.

There are various bus stops in Lower Wadano that service bus routes to Happo One Ski Resort (and Happo village), Goryu, Hakuba 47, Iwatake and Tsugaike. To get to other ski resorts such as Cortina/Norikura, you’ll need to change buses at the Happo bus terminal.

Hakuba Accommodation

Somewhat unique for a Japanese ski resort, Hakuba offers the full range of accommodation types. The most common form of Hakuba accommodation is the (Japanese-run) western style hotel. And there are also lots of Hakuba hotels where you can choose from either western rooms with single beds (queen or king beds are a rarity) or Japanese rooms where you sleep on futons on the tatami flooring. Pensions (inns) are a cheaper form of Hakuba accommodation and these tend to offer simple Japanese or western-style rooms; often with shared bathrooms.

Considering that Hakuba has many westernised concepts, there is also a small range of modern self-contained accommodation such as apartments, villas, and chalets. Budget accommodation in Hakuba comes in the form of several backpackers and lodges, and at the other end of the spectrum, luxury 5 star Hakuba hotels and lodgings are somewhat rare. You can search for Hakuba accommodation availability and rates and make a booking via the listings below.

With Hakuba accommodation, your first decision is which of the villages to stay in. This may depend on which ski resort you most want to readily access, or whether you want proximity to bars and restaurants, or whether ski-in ski-out accommodation is your priority. The most popular villages for international visitors are those near the Happo One Ski Resort: Wadano; Happo; and Echoland. The Goryu area is also gaining in popularity. Other accom in Hakuba can be found at the base areas of Iwatake and Tsugaike and there are also Cortina accommodation options– see these pages for the pros and cons of staying away from the main hub.

NB A lot of the accommodation in Hakuba is very Japanese in nature (it is in Japan after all!). Even western beds may be firm and pillows may be rather dense, and yes if your hotel has shared bathrooms and the onsen is the only place to bathe you’ll need to take your clothes off in front of others, and there might be some strange looking items for breakfast. Embrace the Japanese culture! Some Japanese tatami rooms may cater for a certain number of futons/guests but keep in mind that big burly westerners with lots of luggage may find the room rather tight if you pack 4 or 5 adults in. See the Japanese ski resort accommodation page for an overview of the types of lodging typically found at the ski resorts.

Tsugaike Accommodation

Pros: various options for ski-in ski-out accommodation to beginners’ slopes, not too westernised.
Cons: limited nightlife, limited bus connections to other Hakuba ski areas.

The Tsugaike village (Chikuniotsu) at the base of the Hakuba Tsugaike Ski Resort is ideal for those looking for a quiet holiday with minimal nightlife, and a Japanese experience. In the main street of the little town near Tsugaike are lodgings as well as shops, restaurants and izakayas. In addition, simple pensions and hotels flank the beginner slopes, so there is good choice for ski-in ski-out accommodation.

Tsugaike accommodation mostly consists of pensions and simple hotels with Japanese style rooms (with futons on the tatami flooring) and Japanese meals. Some Tsugaike hotels also have western rooms.

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.

Upper Wadano Accommodation

Pros: lots of ski-in ski-out accommodation; easy access to mellow beginner terrain.
Cons: limited restaurants; less bus connections.

The Wadano area has lots of Hakuba hotels that were built or redeveloped for the 1998 Winter Olympics. Upper Wadano is located adjacent to the northern part of the Happo One ski resort at the Sakka base, which has great mellow beginners’ terrain and a kids’ snow park. Most of the hotels are ski-in ski-out or close to it.

This is the place to stay if you largely just want to ride at Happo One. There are bus stops in Upper Wadano for the Hakuba 47 ski resort but to get to the other ski resorts, you’ll need to change buses at the Happo bus terminal (or in Lower Wadano).

There aren’t many restaurants or bars in Upper Wadano and the northern end of the village in particular is somewhat isolated, so it suits those who don’t want to go out every night. You’ll need to use the night bus or a taxi to get to dinner elsewhere, or you’ll get very fit walking up and down the hill.
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