Where is Hakuba?
Situated in the breathtakingly beautiful Northern Japan Alps, Hakuba stands out as one of Japan's top winter resort areas, offering some of the best winter sports action in Japan. The host of the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics, Hakuba comprises nine ski resorts stretched across a broad valley, and provides more terrain, vertical rise and advanced ski and snowboard slopes than anywhere in Japan. Abundant snow falls and excellent powder conditions make Hakuba a perennial top choice of skiers and snowboarders from around the world.
For more than 70 years, Hakuba has been providing skiers, boarders and outdoor enthusiasts the ideal conditions for enjoying a superlative winter sports experience. Over 200 different trails, exceptional powder and some of the longest vertical skiing in Japan are just a few of the reasons why Hakuba has earned its reputation as a prime destination for skiers and boarders of all levels.
So many options
How Do You Want to Play Today? Nine ski resorts are located across the Hakuba Valley, all within easy reach of the local towns of Happo and Wadano. Plenty of snow, miles of trails and easy access from major Japanese cities are just a few of the reasons why visitors return to Hakuba year after year.
Here are the mountains included on the 9 valley pass if you choose to purchase.
For website to purchase a full season pass I have posted link here. But if you are just here for the retreat I would suggest purchasing lift passes each day as they are relatively inexpensive at generally no more than 50 USD a day. Some even come with meal coupons or tickets to the Hot Spa Onsens.
First founded in 1928, Hakuba boasts some of the highest snowfall levels in Japan, with an annual base of snow exceeding ten meters. Winter in Hakuba means opportunities to enjoy an incredible array of winter sports against the backdrop of the spectacularly beautiful Northern Japan Alps. In addition to skiing and snowboarding, winter enthusiasts can enjoy telemark skiing, Nordic skiing, snow rafting, snow mobiling, heli skiing and snowshoeing. Thanks to its dry climate and exceptional powder snow, Hakuba provides an unparalleled winter vacation experience in Japan.
To End The Day
After a fantastic day on the slopes, be sure to check out Hakuba’s diverse nightlife, which offers something for everyone. Whether you are in the mood for a quiet pub, live music performance or high-energy dance club, Hakuba’s après ski scene has it all. For a more soothing way to end the day, treat yourself to a massage, or enjoy gazing at the stars as you soak in one of the outdoor hot spring baths.
Not only is Hakuba considered one of the best ski areas in Japan, its location in Nagano Prefecture means that Hakuba chefs have some of the freshest, tastiest ingredients right at their fingertips. Restaurants in the Hakuba area are proud to feature local meats and vegetables, providing an unforgettable dining experience. Visitors to Hakuba can choose from a tremendous range of dining options, from romantic candlelight dinners to home-style meals in casual settings. The wide variety of international cuisine ranges from pizza and pasta to steak houses, Chinese food and Korean barbecue. Whatever you are in the mood for, you can be sure to find it in Hakuba. Hakuba is home to dozens of izakaya, or traditional Japanese pubs, which are known for their casual, friendly atmosphere. Enjoy sampling regional dishes, hand-made buckwheat soba noodles and sake in a comfortable, relaxing environment.
For the retreat week, each day you will have a healthy and filling breakfast served to you before heading up the mountain. There will be three other meals provided throughout the week, and the other meals are left for freedom to explore some of the delicious foods of Hakuba giving guests the chance to socialize and experience local restaurant culture.
Ski Rentals/ Snowboard Rentals
If you have none of your own gear no need to worry there are plenty of options in Echoland and Happo for renting all that you will need. I would consider bringing your own outwear including snowboard pants, jacket, gloves, helmet, goggles, under armor to stay warm in foundational layers.
As for hardware you can easily rent snowboards, skis, adjustable poles (for backcountry trips as well), and snowboard boots. Even goggles, jackets, and pants can be found for rent but not as simple.
Here are a few local outfitters that can help you out.
What is included in the yoga and adventure retreat?
2 yoga classes per day
2 yoga/meditation/writing workshops
Breakfast everyday & 3 BBQ Meals at Lodge (Lunches and other dinners at guests responsibility)
local Hot Spa Onsens
Local transportation to and from any of the 9 mountains in the valley
Local walking tour
Include low altitude hiking
Trip to the coast
Swimming in the lakes
Cold water dunks in the river
Guidance for mid level snowboarders and side country riders
What is not included ?
Airport transfer (although we can help organize train, or bus transport from Tokyo to Hakuba and will pick you up at local station)
One or Two meals a day (this is because most guests enjoy going out for local cuisine at least one meal a day. Lunches are on mountain or you can buy groceries at the grocery and prepare food to take with you on mountain during your day or riding. Three dinners will be at lodge and 4 others will be out so that guests have opportunity to see and experience other local food)
Ski/Snowboard Rental gear, lessons, or guiding (these can be organized at a discounted cost to our guest)
HOW TO GET TO HAKUBA FROM TOKYO NARITA OR HANEDA AIRPORT
Bullet Train + Bus
Bullet train from Tokyo Station to Nagano Station, transfer to the bus from Nagano to Hakuba. This is the fastest way to reach Hakuba from Tokyo. Estimated time and cost for both the bullet train and bus: 3 hours, ¥10,400 per adult and ¥5,200 per child.
Take the Shinkansen (bullet train) to Nagano Station from Tokyo or Ueno. For precise times, fares and platform numbers check with Jorudan or Google Maps. To reserve your Shinkansen from Tokyo to Nagano Station, please use this service.
At Nagano Station, go to the east exit and find bus stop #26. The bus bound for Hakuba destinations leaves roughly every hour from 8:20 to 20:00 and cost ¥2000 per adult and ¥1000 per child. Please check Nagano to Hakuba for the bus timetable.
Please remember that the last departing bus to Hakuba from Nagano Station is around 20:00 and you have no public transport options to Hakuba after this time.
Direct express train (Azusa) from Shinjuku to/from Hakuba. Estimated time and cost: 4 hours, ¥7,900 for adults (12 and older) and ¥3,950 for kids between the ages of 6-11. Children aged 5 and under are free if you are sitting in non-reserved seating.
Azusa 3: Leaves daily at 7:30 from Shinjuku Station (platform 10) and goes directly to Hakuba Station arriving at 11:27.
Azusa 26: The only direct train (no switching) leaving daily Hakuba at 14:37 and arriving at Shinjuku Station at 18:36 (platform 9).
Overall the Alpico Bus is the cheapest method of transportation from Tokyo to Hakuba. Estimated time and cost: 5 hours, ¥5200 per adult and ¥2600 per child.
Without traffic, the ride is 5 hours with two rest stops along the way. During holidays and weekend commuting times, be prepared for delays.
The bus terminal is directly connected to the JR Shinjuku Station New South Gate or right across the street from South exit. For precise times and fares, please check with Japan Bus Online. The Bus departs from the 4F and arrives on the 3F.
Here is bus schedule
Early Bird Special until Jan 1st, 2020
1,300 USD Shared Room
1,600 Private Room