We went to Goryu Ski resort in Hakuba on the weekend. I have been snowboarding for more than 15 years and went to many ski resorts such as Niseko (Hokkaido), Utah (U.S.A.), and Whistler (Canada), and I believe that the Hakuba area has some of best ski resorts in the world. The weather is almost always clear when we go there, and the snow conditions are also very good.
What we usually do is get there at around 9am, go skiing or snowboarding until lunch time, have lunch (There are many good places to have lunch on the hill or in town), then do more skiing and snowboarding until 3pm-ish. After that there is one thing left – Onsen (Hot spring) time! We often can buy lift tickets, meal, and coupon packages and can get Onsen discount tickets near the resort. We lastly go to an Onsen and relax after hard day skiing and snowboarding.
This is a blog for foreigners in Japan from all over the world, so here is some extra advice for our visitors.
1. There are many ski resorts in Hakuba, so try to go to a variety of them and enjoy their unique features!
2. Check for package lift ticket prices. You might be able to save a lot!
3. There are some bars and restaurants in Hakuba near the station. Check them out, especially if you are staying the night.
4. Matsumoto, where we live, is only one hour from Hakuba by limited express train. So take one or two days off extra for skiing, snowboarding, and visiting Matsumoto! You can see Matsumoto castle, the museum, and of course eat Soba (buckwheat noodles).
Here are some useful sites for you winter enthusiasts out there:
Hakuba’s official site: http://www.vill.hakuba.nagano.jp/english/index.html
Matsumoto city’s official site: http://welcome.city.matsumoto.nagano.jp/