Monday, January 14, 2013

Skiing in Hakuba

I am going to start with the snow as S is yet to sort out all his photos and these are the only ones on my computer.

Before we went to Japan in 2011/2012, I was not thrilled with the idea of spending a week skiing. I thought it would be more of a trip that S would enjoy and I would just tag along. Then I realised it was just Australian snow I didn't like. The snow in Japan is powdery, deep and hardly icy. We were home a week before we decided we'd head back again 2012/2013...and head back we did.
This time, S and I spent a week in Hakuba and skied for 6 days. To say I was exhausted at the end is an understatement!
At Hakuba, there are 4 or 5 different areas you can choose to ski/snowboard. Around the little villages, there is a free shuttle that runs every morning and afternoon to drop you off and pick you up. Such a convenience! Each ski area is so unique to the next so even after a week skiing at the different areas we still felt like there was more to discover. I definitely recommend skiing/snowboarding in Hakuba if that is your thing.

S and I stayed at B&B Koyuki. We wanted to try Japanese style accommodation and this was the perfect mix of Japanese and Western. We chose the Japanese style room with a loft. Downstairs, we had a tatami floor living area and up the ladder/stairs, was the bedroom with futon mattresses. The room also had plenty of storage (for 2 suitcases!) and an ensuite toilet. The accommodation only has 5 rooms and there are three shared bathrooms (that you can lock the door in).
Our view
Most restaurants in the area are Japanese with the exception of a few Western style. We went to one pub and ended up paying the most for our meal (lasagne, a pizza and drinks about $85) than we did in any meal for the rest of the trip. Lesson learnt - when in Japan, eat Japanese food. 

One of the best dinner experiences was at a restaurant called Sumo Tei. It is run by a retired Sumo who serves a traditional dish that Sumo's eat called Chanko Nabe. Basically, you are served a pot of dashi (stock) which boils on your table and a huge bowl of meat, veg and udon. Once you have cooked and eaten the meat and veg, the leftover dashi is used for the udon. It was healthy and so tasty.

The week skiing was so so worth it. I am now much more confident and by the end of the trip was confidently skiing down intermediate slopes. The steeper and more powdery, the better!

Have you been skiing in Japan? 


  1. I haven't yet gone skiing in Japan. The pics look awesome though. Glad you had a great holiday!

  2. I thought I had already commented on here :-S Hurry up and show us more photos!

    PS. My laptop is happy again and I didn't lose anything :-)

  3. I would definitely love to go to Japan to ski and visit the different sights that it has to offer. Also, while the accommodation may seem minimalistic, it certainly looks charming and seems to not compromise comfort. Hopefully I could visit Japan soon!