The Hakuba mountain range is the first section of the Japanese Alps that Siberian storms hit after their moisture-absorbing journey across the Sea of Japan. This contributes to the allure of Hakuba 47, and why snow sports enthusiasts from around the globe find there way to its slopes – in part because it is one of the best ski resorts near Tokyo, but also because it is ideally situated behind huge peaks that force these precipitation-filled fronts to drop “white gold” on the slopes of the Hakuba mountains.
Founded in 1990, Hakuba 47 is a relative newcomer to Hakuba Valley, a collective of 10 major ski resorts totaling in 200 runs that serves as Tokyoites’ favorite winter getaway in Nagano Prefecture for skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling and even snow picnics.
Most of Hakuba 47’s slopes are north facing slopes, which means that they typically receive less direct sunlight, which will in turn keep the temperatures cooler. The cooler temperatures will then better preserve the snow, allowing for a longer season of skiing all the way to the valley floor. If anywhere in Hakuba is open for skiing, the chances are that Hakuba 47 will be top to bottom skiing for longer than other resorts in the valley.
Due to the fact the snow stays for longer and you can ski to the valley floor for longer, it reduces the time that the uploading and downloading of lifts is required. In a season such as this, with a yet-to-be-defeated pandemic and therefore a time when we should avoid confined spaces as much as possible – this is no small thing.
In years gone by, early season has seen the valley lining up in droves to get down the mountain at the end of the day, something that people will feel less comfortable with this year. With that in mind, skiing in a resort that will let people ski down – not download in a gondola – will be in everyone’s best interest. Do be sure to check where you are able to ski down vs. download if you are visiting in early or late season.
Find Great Slopes for All Levels of Skiers at Hakuba 47
Hakuba 47’s lift ticket includes two other resort areas – Hakuba Goryu and Iimori. Connected at the top and under the same pass, you can ski all 23 runs in the three areas via interconnecting lifts.
The resort features something for everyone with a convenient beginners park at the mid station as well as wide, consistent intermediate slopes. If you’re of the old school and enjoy carving fast turns from top to bottom on soft-groomed runs (or even better in powder), this hill has some great leg burners. There are slightly less than 1,000 vertical meters from top to bottom, starting moderately, becoming steep mid-mountain—and just when you think your legs can take no more—the steeps give way to more gentle slopes near the base.
Mogul hounds will enjoy the naturally formed mogul course on Route 3 where they can buff up on their bump bashing style. For the even more adventurous, there is a Tree Riding Zone full of great powder, interesting features and steep, exhilarating sections. Hakuba 47 also boasts the best terrain park in the Hakuba Valley with its well-maintained half-pipe and variety of boxes, rails, banks, jumps, waves and berms serviced by two double chairs.
Find Things To Do at Hakuba 47 During Any Season of the Year
While everyone loves cherry blossoms in spring, all four seasons are well-represented with the bounty of nature that surrounds Hakuba 47. Hakuba undergoes a complete transformation in summertime as the valley becomes lush, green and beautiful. There is a plethora of activities for summer guests to enjoy, such as downhill mountain biking (including a kids course), outdoor barbecues, fishing, overnight camping, swimming and an alpine adventure course. Plus there is a large kids’ area with a mini-steam train.
Hakuba 47 is also dog-friendly. There are an array of activities for our canine friends, including beautiful dog run areas and even dog-friendly gondolas so your pup can join in the summer adventure.
Autumn then brings the temperatures back down before revealing truly vibrant and breathtaking colors, arguably the most beautiful time of the year in Hakuba. Hiking is popular in autumn, and the experience is enhanced with cultural activities, such as soba-making and craft workshops.
Where To Eat at Hakuba 47 Winter Sports Park
When you get hungry, there are plenty of options at Hakuba 47. Located right next to the gondola station at the base area, Pizza House Luis serves up crispy, Roman style pizza cooked in an authentic Italian brick oven. Previously selected as the “Gelande Menu Champion,” it offers unique but truly delicious combinations. Takeaways are also available.
The Hakuba 47 base lodge, Euclid, is a one stop shop for convenience; with a kids’ room and nursing room, washroom facilities, lockers, a shop and restaurant. It is a great space for families and individuals alike to base yourself for the day.
Every resort in Hakuba does have its own unique selling points, but when it comes to deciding where to ski this winter, especially in the midst of a pandemic and the uncertainty surrounding snow conditions – Hakuba 47 may just be your best bet.
Getting to Hakuba 47
Access By Train: The closest train station is Hakuba Station on the JR Ototsuki Line. Direct JR Azusa trains run from Shinjuku once daily – departing Shinjuku at 7:30am.
The bullet train goes from Tokyo directly to Nagano Station in 88 minutes. They run frequently through the day.
Direct buses from Nagano station on the Nagano-Hakuba line take approximately 1 hour and run frequently.
By Highway Bus: Direct buses run from Tokyo several times a day to several main stations around Hakuba.
Nagano snow shuttles also run direct buses from Narita airport to Hakuba several times a day.
By Car: From the Nagano Expressway, exit at the Azumino IC and head north towards Hakuba. You will pick up signs for Hakuba after exiting the Expressway.
From the Joshinetsu Expressway, exit at the Nagano IC and head west towards Hakuba. You will pick up signs for Hakuba after exiting the Expressway.
From the Hokuriku Expressway, exit at Itoigawa IC and head south towards Hakuba. You will pick up signs for Hakuba shortly after exiting the Expressway.
Hakuba is approximately 1 hour from each Expressway exit. Once in Hakuba, Hakuba47 is off of the Olympic road; you will see our sign at the turn off opposite Shintani clinic.