Cortina is strictly not actually in the township of Hakuba, rather it is part of neighboring Otari. About 30 minutes drive from Hakuba, Cortina is a unique ski area for the quantity of snow it receives, the steepness of the terrain and the more progressive policy regarding skiing off piste (as of the 2009/10 season most restrictions were relaxed).
- 1 Location
- 2 Pros
- 3 Cons
- 4 Contacts
- 5 Planning
- 6 Resort Facilities
- 7 Ride Guide
- 8 Other
- 9 Resources
The northern-most resort in the Hakuba Valley.
Latitude, Longitude: 36.775587804869495, 137.88751602172852 (Base area)
- Steepest inbound terrain in Hakuba
- Highest snowfall in Hakuba
- Some inbound trees are open on an enter at your own risk policy (rescue fees apply)
- Great views from upper lifts
- Some of the in-resort food and coffee in Hakuba
- The resort is designed so that all runs lead back to a common base
- Large onsen with a popular semi-outdoors area offering a view over the resort
- Popular and easy access side-country
- Links with Hakuba Norikura ski resort, which offers extensive beginner skiing that is very uncrowded
- About 30 minutes drive north of Central Hakuba.
- Not much nightlife if staying on site.
- Large ugly out of place hotel dominates the scene.
- Off-piste is very busy on days with fresh snow
- Most off-piste is steep and challenging for intermediates
- Some lifts are scheduled to open late and shut early
Postal: Chikuni 12860-1, Otari Mura, Kita Azumi Gun, Nagano 399-9422, Japan
The closest JR Station is Minami Otari, on the JR Oito Line. Shuttle buses run between Minami Otari Station and the ski resort (timetable needed). The Hotel Green Plaza offers a shuttle service for JR Nagano Station. Check with the hotel for schedule and pricing.
Hotel Green Plaza Hakuba 4-5 star hotel at the base of the Hakuba Cortina Kokusai Ski Resort. 3-4 restaurants, Natural Hot Spring bathhouse. Japanese - Western Rooms (2 beds + futons) or Maisonette Style Website Tel: +81-261-82-2236
Cortina's lift prices are lower than other popular resorts in the valley. They offer Cortina only and Cortina - Norikura combined Lift tickets (for an extra 500 yen)
Special coupon deals including lunch and spa tickets are available and are released prior to the ski season (add when released)
All mountain lift tickets are valid at Cortina.
The Hakuba Cortina Ski School offers Japanese language private and group lessons. If English language lessons are required they should be booked well in advance.
At present there is ski hire available on the ground floor of the hotel (in Japan, the ground floor is called the 1st floor).
Huge free parking right at the resort base.
Kids play area on the flats near the lift base. Included blow up castle type of thing.
There is a relatively inexpensive food hall str up on the 2nd floor. This has a reputation for poor food and being disorganised.
On the ground floor there os a very well known and popular cafe that serves good Italian food and very good coffee. A lot of people enjoy the self-made pizzas and on a busy powder day it usually has a great vibe. Most people consider it a drawcard of Cortina, compared to other ski resorts in hakuba which lack good food and atmosphere. On quiet days, the place is empty.
Bars & Entertainment
Not much. The huge red-roof hotel is the only building at Cortina and it offers limited bar facilities (which is quite normal in Japan)
There is an outdoor fenced pay area for kids near the lift base.
The cat tracks, with all the limitations they entail, and the main run at the bottom of the Cortina basin. Beginners should upgrade their ticket and head over to the connected Norikura resort for a much wider range of suitable terrain.
What ever takes your fancy. Note that some runs are considered too steep to be groomed and can get pretty bumpy.
he off-piste policy is much more liberal than in the main Hakuba resorts as Cortina is not covered by the restrictive Hakuba Local Rules policy of a blanket banning most off-piste.
Out of Bounds
For true out of bounds, head to the top of the resort and look for a 'backcountry sign' indicating that from this point onwards you proceed at your own risk and need to have avalanche equipment. This terrain eventually leads back to the Norikura ski area via a long stream gully.
Parks & Pipes
None. You can find a small park if you head for the far side of Norikua ski resort, which is connected to Cortina with a shared ticket (see ticketing section for extra pricing)
On the runs too steep to groom.
Almost anywhere you can find it.
In the trees and down low. It gets very windy on the main ridge and the connection ridge between Cortina and Norikura.
Being closer to the Sea of Japan, and less blocked by large mountains, Cortina gets much more snow than the main Hakuba resorts.
Cortina is enclosed within a clearly defined basin with all runs funneling back down to the common base, which makes it relatively unique in Hakuba, where most other ski resorts are situated on ridges that widen as you descend. The Cortina basin is generally pretty steep, with the lower section the only place where wide and long low terrain. Again, like most of Hakuba, there is are no rocks or extreme terrain in bounds, however the off-piste is without doubt consistently the steepest in the valley, and the trees offering the best spacing thanks to large stands of mature beech.
After earlier attempts, in 2009/10 season Cortina was the first ski resort in Hakuba to open up most of it's off-piste terrain to freeriders.
PLACE LINKS TO RESORT WEBSITES HERE