FAQs | Japan Ski Experience
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Is Hakuba good for beginners?

Is there a hospital or medical facility in Hakuba?

There are a number of small (non-emergency) medical clinics in Hakuba resort, including the Shintani Clinic, who have English-speaking staff.  If visiting a different clinic, it is advised to bring a translator with you.  For assistance, you can speak to the property manager of your booking (information will be included on your Japan Ski Experience vouchers for travel).  There is no hospital in Hakuba, though the closest one is located in Omachi, about 40 minutes by car.  Azumi Hospital is about 60 minutes, and the Matsumoto hospital is approximately 90 minutes away.

What is the caliber of rental equipment in Hakuba? Should I bring my own?

Hakuba ski resort has a number of well-stocked equipment rental shops to choose from.  Two of the largest include Central Snowsports and Rhythm Japan.  Both of these shops stock the best brands and latest models in ski and snowboard equipment, from fat powder skis to backcountry gear to skis perfect for groomed runs. They also have premium boot-specialists to ensure you've got the perfect fit.  Therefore, unless you really do prefer to bring your own boots or gear, you'll have plenty to choose from at the Hakuba rental shops.  You can add ski or snowboard equipment to your Hakuba booking easily at the same rate as purchasing in-resort, and have them waiting for you upon arrival, either at the shop, or delivered to your accommodation (intermediate and advanced only). Get in touch with us to add equipment to your Hakuba booking.

Where can I buy groceries in Hakuba?

Hakuba Resort has 3 large supermarkets within the ski resort area, as well as a handful of convenience stores which stock a wide variety of ready-made meals, snacks and beverages.  Refer to our Hakuba Supermarket Guide for detailed information about how to get groceries in Hakuba.

How can I visit the snow monkey onsen?

One of the amazing perks of Hakuba ski resort is having the chance to visit the world-famous Jigokudani Monkey Onsen park, which is located about 45 minutes from Hakuba. Day trips are offered from Hakuba which include a visit to the Snow Monkey park, lunch at a sake brewery in a traditional town, and a stop at Nagano city's ancient Zenkoji Temple. The day tour is highly recommended and is an amazing experience for people of all ages. 

For more information on the tour itself, please visit the 'SERVICES' tab on our Hakuba Resort page or get in touch with us at hakubaguestservices@japanskiexperience.com.

Where should I stay in Hakuba?

Hakuba ski resort is made up of several main accommodation areas, but, with a few exceptions, the majority of accommodation clusters are located in and around Happo Village, Wadano, and Echoland.   If you plan to hire a vehicle while in Hakuba (a great idea to easily visit all 10 Hakuba resorts and the surrounding area), then you may prefer a more secluded and quiet setting (eg. Misorano, Mizuho, or near Hakuba47 / Goryu resorts).  Alternatively, if you want to easily walk to some of the Hakuba night life, restaurants, retail and cafes but don't mind hopping on a shuttle to the lifts, then Echoland is a great place to be based.  If however you'd prefer to be able to walk to the lifts, then you might prefer to stay in Happo Village or Wadano, both situated at the base of Hakuba's Happo One Ski Resort.

Is Hakuba good for beginners?

The short answer is yes, Hakuba is great for beginners!  While overall, Hakuba's 10 resorts are most suited to intermediate and advanced skiers and snowboarders, there is plenty of gentle terrain suitable for beginners, children, and those who are a little bit rusty.  While you will fiind suitable runs in all resorts, focus on Hakuba Iwatake, Hakuba 47 and Hakuba Goryu resorts for the most beginner-friendly runs.

What are the restaurants like in Hakuba?

Hakuba Ski Resort has a ton of wonderful restaurants and cafes to choose from. From authentic Japanese to mouth-watering French to good old fashioned Tex-Mex, there is something for every palette. Check out our Hakuba Restaurant Guide to help you narrow down your choices on your next Hakuba holiday.

Should I make restaurant reservations before I get to Hakuba?

Certain popular Hakuba-area restaurants tend to become very busy during the peak season and dinner reservations are recommended.  Most restaurants now have the option to book online, and many have English-speaking staff available to assist you over the phone.

Check out our Hakuba Restaurant Guide for our top restaurant recommendations.

Should I pre-book Hakuba resort services?

We recommend that all resort services (Hakuba Valley lift pass, ski and snowboard equipment, group and private lessons, guiding and excursions) be booked in advance of arrival, as there are a number of benefits to having everything ready to go.  

Airport transfers must be booked at least 10 days prior to arrival in order to ensure a guaranteed seat, as the buses fill up (peak season) or may not operate if there are not a certain number of seats filled in advance (low season).  

Group and private lessons tend to book out early, and a lot of the time if lessons are not booked in advance then it might not be possible to book them upon arrival.  Lift passes when booked in advance will be hand-delivered to your accommodation at no additional charge saving you the time of having to arrange it the next morning.  Ski and snowboard equipment will be set aside and waiting for you so that you don't need to do it all the morning you hit the slopes, and can even be pre-delivered to your accommodation in advance of arrival.  

If you would like to add Hakuba resort services to your Japan Ski Experience booking, please visit your Manage My Booking page or get in touch with us at: hakubaguestservices@japanskiexperience.com.

Can I get around Hakuba without a car?

Unlike Niseko, Hakuba resort is made up of 10 different ski areas and is very spread out, which makes it an incredible destination to experience the vast ski terrain and different village areas. For those who really want the chance to easily discover the local area and easily get around to all of the ski resorts, having a 4WD vehicle can really help. A number of more secluded Hakuba accommodations now include a vehicle for guest' use (International driver's permit required).

If you do plan to hire a vehicle, it is imperative that you get one with snow tires (and ideally is 4WD) as there is usually a LOT of snow in and around the resort.  You can pick up your car either in Nagano city, or in Hakuba Resort (Windy Car Rental, White Fox Car Rental, etc).

That said, the majority of accommodations are still located in areas that have either easy lift or shuttle access (Wadano, Happo Village, Echoland) as well as being walkable to a nice selection of restaurants and cafes and as such, having a vehicle is certainly not essential for a large number of Hakuba apartments, hotels and chalets.

What is the check-in procedure?

All accommodations in Hakuba resort have slightly different check-in procedures, depending on whether it is a hotel, apartment, or chalet, as well as the specific vendor managing the accommodation.

The majority of Hakuba accommodations have a check-in time of 15:00 and a check out time of 10:00 but all will offer a place to store luggage before and after these allotted times. We generally advise our guests that if they are flexible, to arrange their arrival time and departure times to align with check-in/check-out times for their own comfort and convenience.

Exact check-in details pertaining to your specific accommodation are included in your Essential Travel Vouchers which are emailed through to our guests 14 days prior to travel. This information will explain everything you need to do upon arrival in Tokyo or in Hakuba (depending on whether or not Hakuba airport transfers are included on your booking).

How do I get to Hakuba ski resort?

Hakuba Ski Resort is located on the main island of Honshu, Japan. Guests will need to fly first to Tokyo Haneda or Tokyo Narita Airport unless they are already coming from elsewhere in Japan. From Tokyo, the journey is approximately 3 hours to Hakuba. For complete details and step-by-step instructions, please check out our Getting to Hakuba guide.

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