Every year, scores of tourists come just to enjoy Japan’s skiing and snowboarding season. Nagano Prefecture, which previously hosted the Winter Olympics, is one snow resort area skiers and snowboarders can’t miss.

Here, we’ll introduce Hakuba Valley in the Northern Alps of Nagano Prefecture. In this silver winter wonderland, there are numerous ski areas, and it’s where you can enjoy winter sports to your heart’s content! We’ll bring you an all-in-one guide to equip you with essential knowledge of Hakuba Valley.

What is Hakuba Valley?

Hakuba Valley is an area at the foot of the Northern Alps in Nagano prefecture, consisting of ten ski areas, including Hakuba, Otari, and Ōmachi. After hosting the 1998 Winter Olympics, it became a popular mountain resort famous worldwide for its offering of winter sports.

Standing at 3000 meters high, the Northern Alps is a wonder of nature, with its vast mountain ranges and abundance of powder snow. From ski slopes designed for beginners to 8000m long slopes meant for extended cruising, ten different ski areas are available for people of all levels of competency, allowing anyone and everyone to enjoy skiing.

Ōmachi City is the main sightseeing area at the mountain foot of the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route. Hakuba Valley itself contains two ski areas, Jiigatake and Kashimayari. From beautiful natural environments for you to enjoy outdoor sports, to delicious cuisine in Ōmachi, it’s a charming and attractive place through and through. With a lake nearby famous for its selection of lake sports, this is one place that is bustling with visitors regardless of the time of the year.

Hakuba Village is at the heart of the Hakuba Valley area. It contains one of the largest concentrations of ski resorts in Japan, including Hakuba47, Hakuba Iwatake, and Hakuba Sanosaka, with a total of five skiing areas. Its large scale has also gained worldwide acclaim and it is a place frequented by foreign visitors. During the green season, it also serves as the starting base for climbing the Alps.

Otari village sprang up along the “Shio-no-Michi,” or salt trail, which follows the Himekawa river that runs from Kotaniyama mountain to the Sea of Japan. Having preserved their way of living in the mountains from times long gone, this knowledge has been protected and handed down to this day, birthing important tangible and intangible cultural assets. With three ski resorts in the area, including Tsugaike Kōgen Ski, Hakuba Norikura Onsen, and Hakuba Cortina, it boasts some of th…

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