Photos + video by Jackson Lebsack
Located in the Japanese Alps near Nagano, Hakuba Valley features 11 ski resorts, and in average every winter, 11 meters of snow blankets the valley. The plentiful snow comes from the cold air that comes off the Pacific and Sea of Japan from Siberia, and it’s light, dry consistence makes it worthy of the nickname “Japow”! While the resorts aren’t connected via chairlifts, with the exception of Hakuba47 and Goryu and Cortina and Norikura, there is a shared lift ticket and shuttle busses make it easy to get to and from each resort. The wide variety of terrain ensures that every stripe of skier or snowboarder can find their preferred slope. That said, if you don’t mind putting in some sweat equity for your powder turns, the Hakuba backcountry is a don’t-miss experience for all powder hounds. Be sure to hire a guide (which we can recommend to you) for optimal safety and enjoyment.
Jackson and Justin’s List of the Best Things About Hakuba:
Hiking and skiing Japow in the backcountry with Evergreen Alpine Academy
Climbing an abandoned bridge in the backcountry
Enjoying an onsen (hot springs) soak after skiing
Traditional Japanese cuisine