Tsugaike is bit of resort for everyone. With in bounds areas catering 80% for beginner intermediates you'd think that the advanced skier/rider would have little to explore. This is only true if a) you have no hiking gear b) get exhausted from putting your boots on c) have no desire to ignore ropes and ski patrol. For the advanced free skier or boarder the terrain isn't all that challenging. Although there are some areas above the Gondola top station, accessible by rope way, heli, or snow shoe. Yes, they are additional costs not included in the average holidayer's snow experience, but it would make a special holiday that little more unforgettable.
- 1 Location
- 2 Pros
- 3 Cons
- 4 Contacts
- 5 Planning
- 6 Budget
- 7 Resort Facilities
- 8 Ride Guide
- 9 Other
- 10 Resources
Otari Mura, Nagano, Japan
- Wide open beginner slopes.
- Great Hike-able Backcountry
- A Rope-way tram car operates to access high ground
- Heli Skiing towards the Spring months.
- Night skiing and boarding most Wednesdays and Staurdays and throughout the season 07 Dec - 08 Mar. Also Night skiing on one run almost every night of the entire season.
- Big well laid out park at the top. Can sometimes be closed due to weather.
- Smaller beginner park at the North end of the Resort.
- Many Lifts access the same area.
- Not much challenging ski area within bounds.
- This is a CASH ONLY resort so can't buy tickets by credit card
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From Hakuba Train station there is a local bus which costs ¥540 and takes approx 50 minutes to get you to the main car park of the resort. Buses depart semi frequently throughout the day. There is also a Local Shuttle bus service ¥200 from the Gondola Car Park at Happo One which goes to Tsugaike via Iwatake departing twice daily in the morning and twice in the afternoon.
The Hakuba Accommodation Guide offers the widest range of accommodation options available in Hakuba (in English). Instant booking and online confirmation.
Mt Hakuba Backpackers Hostel Mt Hakuba Backpackers Hostelis the newest, cheapest and best located hostel in Hakuba. From the hostel there are free shuttle buses to and from all the 6 major Hakuba ski areas. It is a one minute walk from the closest convenience store, a couple of minutes walk from numerous bars and restaurants, and 5 minutes walk will find you at the closest onsen (hot spring).Mt Hakuba Backpackers is fully equipped with an inhouse bar (separated from the sleeping areas),restaurant,guest laundry,guest kitchen, and an internet cafe (with free wireless). The bar has cozy sofas, a billiard table and a large screen for international sports. You can buy cheap but filling meals at the hostel restaurant.Mt Hakuba Backpackers Hostel has a drying area for gear, and we also rent out ski/boarding equipment at cheap prices. The hostel also sells discounted lift tickets to all of the major ski areas in Hakuba saving you time and money. From 2800 yen per night. Mt Hakuba Backpackers or email@example.com, +81-0261-72-3912.
White Horse Hotels Situated in the heart of the Hakuba Valley, the White Horse Hotels offer free shuttles to and from Tsugaike which takes approximately 20 minutes. The White Horse offers a range of hotels to suit all your requirements and budgets. Their blend of eastern culture and western comforts make it the perfect place to get the most out of your time whilst skiing in Japan. 
- HAKUBA HOLIDAY Hakuba Holiday offers one of the best Hakuba ski-holiday rental houses available for full or part self-catering groups. The holiday house is superbly located right in the heart of Hakuba’s most established ski resort, Happo-One. Happo is the gateway to Hakuba's world class ski runs and Hakuba Holiday’s premiere house is only 150 meters to the Nakiyama lifts entrance. You can actually ski into the house from the lifts and the views of Mount Happo from the house are awesome. REALLY close to Nakiyama lifts. The house is a 180 m2 modern four bedroom home with new western kitchen and appliances. Simply one of the best self-contained rental houses in Hakuba. For more info please google: hakubaholiday.
Please visit www.hakubaholiday.com for more info.
Season Pass is ¥50,000 kids ¥30,000
Two meeting areas for ski school 1/ In front of Skyliner Lift 2/ Behind Ticket Sales near the Gondola station
Various Rental companies at the village including Spicy Rentals, JAM,
Shuttle bus operates 4 times daily to and from Happo One stopping at Iwatake and Sierra Resort Hotel. Local Public buses operates on timetables to Hakuba Station, Minami Otari, and a few others
Small Parking lot right in front of Gondola station, rarely gets filled on weekdays.
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Lots of hotel/restaurants on the ski slope. Serving everything from Curry Rice, Ramen, Okonomiyaki, to Yakiniku. Very few options for western style food. Highlights - The crepe shop below the Cow Belle. Also the Kebab shop/trailer which is often seen parked outside Naughty.
Bars & Entertainment
Naughty - nightclub with dance floor and skate boarding quarter pipe. Mr. Jacks - Pool tables and karaoke room. Club dance floor on basement level only open for events. Inaba 178 - as close as you can get to a sports bar, big screen with fox sports, must try the fried potatoes, yum. (basket of french fries) Kurama - Izakaya Japanese style drinking, snack place.
Convenience Store in town. JA Supermarket with a lot of empty shelves. Make a trip stop at Hakuba for your grocery needs.
Well catered for with the ski school.
Huge area for beginners nice and flat with runs about 6 lifts wide which all seem to service the same height. You'll find a lot of Japanese guys practicing their GURA-TORiCKU (ground tricks)
Most groomed areas are reasonably flat offering a good variety of medium speed runs. There are possibly 3 steeper sections where ski teams use to practice, get up early to beat the ski teams and you'll have smooth corduroy for an hour.
There are some spectacular off piste runs through some trees and under lifts where it is frowned upon by staff if they spot you.
Out of Bounds
Oddly enough if you hike and go out of bounds even while skiing down it is fine. (ex patrolled areas) If you go anywhere near the ropes you are shouted at to go back.
There's a cable car tramway at the top (extra cost) which accesses a good hiking area and some nice powder bowls there is also a trail which skiers can follow down or I've seen skiers trekking through. There is also a lower snow shoe area where beginners trek through some trees to get used to snow shoeing.
Parks & Pipes
The Terrain Park at the top Tsugaike Hit Park caters for all. Including some big kickers, 50ft + a vert wall, a couple longish rails and boxes. 3 smaller kickers, and a short lift ride to access it all.
The smaller park at the North end of the resort also features some nice size kickers, some more interesting rails, including a rainbow, c-box and s-rail. all fairly low to the ground. This park seems to be maintained a little less frequently.
There are some at the top "Expert Run" which never get groomed, so they stay for pretty much the whole season. Fairly short run but challenging enough for the average punter. On the Champion Lift side there's a special bumps course set up for teams to practice aerials. There are also a few bumps at the top section of this run.
The main intermediate run off the skiers right of the top Gondola station has some steeper sections good on Powder days, there's also a small area further right which doesn't get groomed. Hanoki 3rd Lift allows access to some nice runs on that side.