We took the train from Sapporo to New Chitose airport, then flew Fuji Dreams (booked through JAL) to Matsomoto, took a bus from there to the Matsomoto train station, and from there a train to Hakuba and from there a taxi to our hotel! It was a long day :).
Getting to Tokyo
We had our hotel drop us at the Hakuba welcome center, then we took a bus to Nagano, and from there the bullet train to Tokyo.
We waited too long to book. We ended up staying at the Hotel Rosenheim booked through booking.com.
Conditions on the first day were pretty warm, firm the next two, so we skied Happo One. Big place. But not too thrilling when all there is to ride is groomers. On the last day we went to Cortina which had received over 50 cm of snow. To get to Cortina we walked to the Hakuba info center, and then caught the bus to Cortina. Given that Cortina was the only resort that had received snow there was a massive line. We were lucky to get there a little bit early in order to secure a seat on the bus.
Cortina is smaller, but we had a blast with all the new snow. Sadly we didn’t have a good backcountry map so we weren’t able to take advantage of the backcountry gates which were open. Fortunately the lift lines died down in only an hour or two so for most of the day there was zero lift lines and lots of freshies in the trees.
Even weaker than Niseko! I suspect a big issue with Hakuba is just how spread out the place is. There are many distinct “neighborhoods” all pretty far apart.
Recovery Bar – busy. Full of Aussie’s
Cherry Pub – if you’re looking for a Whistler-style place but with no crowds
Yohei – the most authentic place, and one that has manhattan’s, was Yohei.
Gravity Worx – great pizza
Jack’s – we thought this place was at least 20 years old given the furniture. Turns out it has been only open two years. At least they were showing the Super Bowl!