Liquid Snow Tours senior travel consultant Justine (Justine@snowtour.com.au) has organised countless family ski holidays over the last 10 years visiting and organising trips to this beautiful part of the world. Here she explains her top tips.
Hakuba is one of Japan’s premier winter destinations. Located in the beautiful Northern Alps on the main island of Honshu, Hakuba boasts some of the best skiing and snowboarding in Japan. With 3 main villages and 10 ski resorts in the Valley, Hakuba offers something for everyone! From traditional Ryokan’s (Japanese lodges) to 5 star chalets, beginner ski slopes to some of the longest vertical skiing in Japan, traditional Izakaya’s (Japanese pubs) to delicious burgers, Hakuba has you covered!
Hakuba is easily accessible from the 2 major airports in Tokyo as well as from other Japanese cities. When arriving into either Narita or Haneda Airports there is a direct coach operating a number of daily services to your accommodation. This is the easiest and most convenient option when travelling with children, simply jump on and enjoy the breathtaking scenery. Depending on flight arrival and departure times you may prefer to experience the famous Japanese Shinkansen or bullet train, travelling at speeds of up to 320kms an hour.
Hakuba has some a number of different accommodation options to suit all tastes and budgets. At the cheaper end, you have Japanese and Western run lodges or small villas suitable for families. Mid-range to deluxe accommodation includes hotels and self-contained chalets and if you are looking for something fancy there are a number of 5 star properties to choose from. Some of our favorites are Brownie Villas, Hotel Marillen, Villa Hakuba and Wagaya Chalet.
Taking care of the children is easy! There are fantastic ski schools offering lessons in English for kids 3 years and up. Depending on the location of your accommodation we recommend Evergreen Outdoor Centre or Hakuba Snowsports. If you have little ones Evergreen also has a day care program for children 18 months and up!
There are a number of rental stores in Hakuba, with a range of equipment suitable for all levels and abilities. Our preferred rental company is Central Snowsports, they have 3 stores located throughout Hakuba and offer a complimentary pick up service for fit out. Their equipment ranges from beginner gear to advanced park or powder skis and boards!
The Hakuba Valley lift pass is a non-consecutive pass, therefore you can make the most of a well-deserved day off! From Hakuba there are a number of day tours available, the most popular being the famous Jigokudani Snowmonkeys and Zenkoji Temple. This is a full day tour and includes transfers, English speaking tour guide, entry and lunch at a Sake brewery, an experienced not to be missed! For families with older children there is also a snowmobile and snowmonkey tour operating from Hakuba!