Ski & Snowboard



Ski & Snowboard Resort Review

Happo One , HAKUBA is one of Japan’s top ski and snowboard resorts. Relatively undiscovered by the western travel markets it has an excellent record of deep dry powder snow offering some of Japan’s best terrain.

One of eight resorts in the picturesque Hakuba Valley Happo One is most famous for hosting the men’s downhill skiing and slalom events in the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics.

Happo One Skiing and Snowboarding Terrain

The terrain at Happo One caters mainly to advanced and intermediate skiers and snowboarders with wide open powder fields and long groomed trails all set amongst stunning alpine views.

On fresh powder days Happo One does not seem to suffer from the mad rush for first tracks unlike many other ski and snowboard resorts around the world. Early risers will be rewarded with the pick of the powder stashes and the joy of having terrain to themselves for the early part of the morning.

Happo One powder

Happo one powder snow

The Happo One lift pass is valid for use at any of the surrounding 7 Hakuba ski and snowboard resorts.

Advanced Skiing and Snowboarding at Happo One

The upper areas of Happo One consist of wide open powder fields of varying difficulty.
At the top of Happo One the famous descent down the Kurobishi Olympic Downhill takes you down the same path as past Olympic champions. However rather than negotiating tight technical gates at high speeds you are more likely to be confronted with knee deep powder snow!

For more powder head to Reisen Grat and through the powder towards Kurobishi being careful not to go too far left as there is a dangerous drop over a cliff band.

On the lower mountain slopes for some steep fast runs turn left at the top of the Adam Gondola and head towards the Champion trail making your way down to Hakuba Kokusai.

If there has been a big snowfall often the areas around Reisen Grat and Kurobishi will be closed early in the morning while the ski patrol slip for avalanches so make your way to Sky Line which offers some fun intermediate level powder and enables you to keep an eye on the upper mountain when it opens.

Worth a visit are the interconnected resorts of Hakuba 47 & Goryu Toomi about ten minutes drive away from Happo One. Experience Hakuba Valley’s best mogul terrain and fantastic terrain park.

Intermediate Skiing and Snowboarding at Happo One

The upper areas of the Happo One lead down into finger like trails of varying difficulty. Most of these are wide and tree lined winding their way towards the lower sections of the mountain.

Intermediates looking for fresh powder go to the terrain around the Sky Line trail offering excellent challenging skiing and snowboarding especially following the chairlift line. The fastest way to access this is from the Saka Area.

For a really long run catch the Adam Gondola to the top then take Reisen Slalom trail all the way back to the base of the Gondola. The mid section has some advanced terrain to negotiate but nothing that should trouble a confident intermediate.

Beginner Skiing and Snowboarding at Happo One

The beginner trails are on the lower section of Happo One. It is possible for beginners to ski or snowboard down from the top of the Adam Gondola; turn left onto the Panarama trail for gentle linked winding trails leading all the way down to the Saka Area. If you still have plenty of energy after this long run the Saka Area has a number of smaller lifts to play on.

The Happo One Ski and Snowboard School has some bilingual instructors offering group and private lessons for all ability levels.

Other Activities at Happo One

The Hakuba Valley has many great activities available; snow rafting, hot air ballooning, snow shoeing, cross country skiing, mountain biking and trekking tours.

After skiing or snowboarding all day be sure to you go to an onsen. Onsens are hot springs usually located outdoors. Nothing will sooth your aching muscles better! Just be warned that generally you are not allowed to wear bathers and the sexes are normally separated. Onsens are scattered throughout the Hakuba Valley; check with your hotel for the nearest one.

Happo One Shopping

Happo One has ski and snowboard equipment and rental shops, souvenir and gift stores.

The main bulk of shops are in the town of Hakuba just five minutes down the road. They have well stocked supermarkets, large sports stores, a laundry mat and the post office which has an international ATM accepting most foreign credit and debit cards.

Happo One Restaurants

japanese food

Korean BBQ at Happo One

A large selection of restaurants and bars line the narrow streets in the Village of Happo One. Japanese restaurants serve regional dishes focusing on local mountain vegetables, noodle dishes and rahmen.

The Korean BBQ restaurant is very popular; cook your own meat over hot coals at your table it’s great fun with a group of friends. There are also Italian, Mexican and Chinese restaurants in the village.

Happo One Nightlife

At first glance the Happo One and Hakuba nightlife appears not as lively as you may find in other ski and snowboard resorts worldwide. However a little exploring will reveal small cosy bars, beer halls, karaoke bars and fantastic nightclubs – be warned the Japanese know how to drink and PARTY!!!

More About Happo One

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Your Happo One Ski & Snowboard Resort Reviews

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Matthew Yarker, Gold Coast.Went to Happo for the day, got away from 47. Loved it - fast 100km plus skiing down the Olympic Downhill very nice decent 2/3 down the steepest on piste I’ve had so I did it 5 times also on that run you go through a tunnel, when coming out of the tunnel jump to the left the terrain drops instantly 45 to 50 degrees top spot for some big natural air time. The trees are there to ride but Cortina and Tsugaike have incredible tree skiing.

Short tree skiing at Happo. When it’s dumpin down there’s nobody there its nearly a ghost town and when your tired either go to Macas at the top of the gondola or go to Virgin Café for the best hot chocolates at 2000m above sea level or a beer or two.

Hakuba is the real deal; you will be pushed to find a equally better snow resort than Happo or the Hakuba area anywhere in the world eg the Hakuba locals are the most helpful and kindest people in the world. You can only dream off how good this place really is or just book that flight and see for yourself! I’ll be there again all January. 10 out of 10.

Danielle Anderson, Melbourne. I've been to Niseko and didn't think that any other Japanese resort could top it but I was wrong.....Happo One is awesome. We arrived on a Sunday and it started snowing and it didn't stop until the following Saturday. We had deep fresh dry powder everyday along with cold temperatures and not a lot of crowds. Above the tree line at the top of the gondola is just open powder fields, and in the tree line you can just go nuts in and out of the trees. There were so few people on the mountain that we would have made fresh tracks for at least 3/4 of each day. Another great thing about Happo One is it's really easy to get to from Tokyo, you can either catch one train or catch a bus we caught the train, it took about 4 hours. There were few Westerners around, (which makes a nice break from Niseko!) and the Japanese hospitality is wonderful. Our hotel could not do enough for us. And don't get me started on the food, just sensational!

Matthew Boss, Japan. I'm an American living in Tokyo for work and I go to Happo regularly, I catch the bullet train there on a Friday then back on Monday mornings, it's so easy and I know I will always have lots of the white fluffy stuff waiting for me to rip it up!

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Average Snowfall
10 meters
500 acres
Terrain %
Terrain Park
Resort Website