Home  >  Magazine  >  Issue 28 : May/June 2009  > Columns  >  Living Style  >  Resort Hot Spots: Hakuba, Nagano


Living Style


Resort Hot Spots: Hakuba, Nagano



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With more than a dozen quality ski resorts up and down the valley, Hakuba has long been one of Japan’s top ski resort areas. However, there has especially been a buzz in Hakuba over the past few years with the number of foreign-owned pensions and lodges growing steadily as well as an increase in international visitors, especially in winter. However, this is a true year-round resort area. There is excellent hiking, trekking, mountain biking, canyoning, hot springs, golf and other outdoor activities for people with active hobbies.

Most of the employment in the area revolves around the hotel and hospitality industry, although real estate-related companies such as builders, agents and property management companies have been on the rise. The number, and variety, of cafés and restaurants has also grown recently. Since the Hakuba area includes a number of villages spread out up and down the valley, usually near the base of ski resorts, there is a variety of real estate available depending on the buyer’s needs and budget.


Access: It’s about a four-hour drive from Tokyo to Hakuba via the Chuo or Kanetsu expressways and about the same distance from Nagoya. There are frequent bullet trains from Tokyo Station to Nagano Station (approx. 80 minutes) and from there buses run regularly to Hakuba. You can also take the limited express and change in Matsumoto to the local train to Hakuba. Regular buses also run from Shinjuku Station directly to Hakuba (approx. 3.5 hours).

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