Happo One

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Happo one
Jack Lee
SnowPak Local Insider
Jack Lee

Pros

  • Highest vertical, longest run and most trails in the Hakuba Valley!
  • Frequent powder dumps all season long, perfect for powder skiing
  • Diverse terrain, from Olympic ski racing trails to wide gentle groomer plus backcountry gate makes going off-piste easy
  • Easy access to the slopes from most lodgings within the resort
  • Many hotels, restaurants, stores and facilities have English speaking staff

Cons

  • Lack of beginner terrain
  • Less snowfall than Niseko, but still plenty of pow
  • The upper mountain is exposed so windhold can be an issue
  • Only one main gondola to access the upper mountain and there are some old and slow chairlifts
  • Weekends and holidays see plenty of crowds

Overall

4

With Olympic heritage, a mammoth 26,250 ft top to bottom run, and some of the finest powder on earth, Happo One (pronounced oh-neh) is without a doubt the most popular of all the Hakuba Valley ski resorts. The official resort numbers state that the ski area covers a total of 543 ac, but this doesn’t factor in the extensive side country between the runs, which provides the perfect introduction to riding powder for skiers and snowboarders who are ready to go off-piste! Enjoying a healthy 3,514 ft of vertical drop and the steepest slope coming in at 35 degrees, it’s by far the best choice in Hakuba for advanced mountain riders.

17/18 Historical Snowfall

Best month to go

Late December to April

The slopes open as soon as the snow starts falling in Happo One, which can happen by late November! From then on it just keeps coming, with January and February the prime months for powder days. By March things start warming up a bit, with more blue bird days than white outs, but generally the ski season doesn’t completely wind up until the first week of May!Visit anytime time between Christmas and April and you’re pretty much guaranteed top quality, fluffy, soft snow, but there are a few dates you might want to avoid. The Christmas and New Year holidays, along with the Chinese New Year, are certain to have the resort working at full capacity. Also, weekends, especially after a big dump, can see the pistes get packed.When picking your dates, it’s worth noting that from around December 20th to the end of February accommodation in Happo One, and Hakuba in general, will charge peak season prices. Any time before and after those dates could see you save up to 20% off your accommodation costs!
Airplane

FLY TO

Narita International Airport

Bus

BUS TO

Hakuba Valley (5-6 hours)

Car

DRIVE TO

Happo One (10 minutes)

Happo Village (Walk)

  • Made up of two base areas
  • Majority of dining, shopping and amenities
  • Ski-in/ski-out accommodation available

Find accommodations around here

Wandano Area (Walk)

  • Close to Kokusai base area
  • Slightly more expensive
  • Dining and nightlife is more spread out compared to Happo Village

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Sakka Base (Walk)

  • Clusters of lodges and chalets
  • Perfect for families and big groups
  • Great food trucks

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Hakuba Village (1-2 mi)

  • Plenty of accommodation options
  • Main tourist hub like Happo Village
  • Great base for exploring resorts across Hakuba Valley

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For beginners

There's not a huge variety of terrain for beginners to explore but that doesn't mean beginners can't have fun here! The Sakka ski area is best for never-evers.

More beginners tips

For intermediates

There's plenty of challenging terrain for intermediates higher up on the mountain but our top pick here would be the Skyline Course. It has everything from bumps to bounce through, banks to launch off and deep pow between the trees in the sidecountry, our top pick here!

More intermediates tips

For experts

Advanced skiers will have their limits tested at Happo One. For the speed demons, the Riesen Grats Course and the Riesen Slalom Course are musts!

More experts tips

Find freshies

In-bound freshies get tracked out quickly so make your way to the top of the Kurobishi off-piste zone for the fresh stuff before weaving through the powder-filled trees off the Skyline Course!

Ditch the crowds

Go off-piste to avoid the crowds on holidays and weekends. The backcountry is easily accessible via a gate at the top but it's definitely worth hiring a guide who can show you to the gnarliest gullies!

Non skiers

Non skiers (and skiers) will love the activities here! Take a daytrip to Mastumoto Castle, the oldest castle in Japan. You can also hop into an onsen (hot spring) or see snow monkey's soak in their own hot spring at the Jigokudani Monkey Park. In Happo One take the gondola up to enjoy the stunning mountain views of Hakuba Valley.

Families

It's easy for families to ski and stay together at the Sakka ski area plus there's also the Sakka Kids Park here too. Happo Village has a range of accommodation, shops, bars and restaurants making it a convenient option for families.

Happo One vs
Happo OneCortina
beginner30 %40 %
intermediate50 %30 %
advanced20 %30 %
expert--
total runs13 16
ski area437ac 124ac
summit elevation6,007ft 4,600ft
total lifts23 7
child lift ticketFree Free
adult lift ticket¥5,200 JPY ($47 USD) ¥4,000 JPY ($36 USD)
uncrowded
snow
back country
value for money
average total snowfall176″ 448″

Happo One Reviews

Fabulous

4.5 / 5

based on 53 reviews

How well the resort caters for beginner skiers / boarders

Beginners

How well the resort caters for intermediate skiers / boarders?

Intermediates

How well the resort caters for advanced skiers / boarders

Advanced

How accessible and convenient it is to get to this resort from a major destination

Accessibility

Quality of the off-piste terrain

Side/Backcountry

Overall value for money of the resort

Value for money

Quality of lifts, lift speed and lift layout in the resort

Lifts

Quantity and quality of the snow

Snow

How uncrowded is the resort

Uncrowded

Après ski and dining options

Town

Services and facilities e.g. child care, tubing, health care, equipment hire

Facilities

How family friendly is this resort?

Family Friendliness
Have your say on Happo One
Superb!

4.7 / 5

Dec 19, 2017
JRJeremy R.
beginner skier
Happo One Hakuba is so much more than fantastic slopes which average eleven meters of snow a season. It has amazing views of the Japanese Alps and sits just minutes from Happo Village filled with souvenir shops, eateries, bars, hotels and yes Japanese Onsen hot spring baths. For an adrenaline rush you these are the same slopes used in the downhill... More
Good!

3.8 / 5

Dec 17, 2017
AGAshley G.
advanced skier
We had a great time at the Mominoki Hotel, it was close enough to the resort to walk (but definitely not ski in ski out), had a great onsen. Happo One is a great resort with one of the best terrain parks I've seen in Japan. On the bluebird days the views are amazing. I feel like the Hakuba area is a bit too spread out though - some times its hard... More
Very Good!

4.2 / 5

Dec 16, 2017
FJFred J.
advanced skier
Massive mountain that’s simply fun. Great snow with a great on piste experience. Good dining options at all base lodges waiting st the end of some of the longest runs around.... More
Superb!

4.9 / 5

Dec 12, 2017
SLStanley L.
expert snowboarder
Happo is an icon in Japanese ski history! Olympic status, fun runs, and unforgettable views from the top. Great village with fun restaurants and bars. Check out happy hour at The Lab!... More
Fabulous!

4.3 / 5

Dec 11, 2017
JGJoel G.
advanced skier
Happo One is like a magical, powdery, pretty, spectacular Japanese oasis. Riding Happo does not compare to any other mountain; the culture, the food, the snow is all out of this world. It's also one of the most rewarding and funnest mountains to ride... in the world!!!... More
Superb!

4.7 / 5

Dec 10, 2017
RARyan A.
intermediate skier
This is a fantastic resort. Clean modern. Makes a really enjoyable holiday! Highly reccomend. Value for money. Not overly busy. There is some fantastic food around the area and some great places to have a couple of drinks!... More
Superb!

4.8 / 5

Dec 09, 2017
CTCal T.
advanced skier
Great ski hill within easy walking distance from hotels to lifts. Great places to have dinners. Great natural spring onsen at hotel we stayed at. Will go back in a heartbeat.... More
Superb!

4.6 / 5

Dec 09, 2017
OCOwen C.
intermediate snowboarder
Happo one being the premier resort in hakuba is filled full of all the bells and whistles, great atmosphere, arrived early season still plenty of snow to be seen and hung out with all the staff and locals before it got to busy. Was a great experience, the mountains where bascially empty which was a delight. Next trip to japan I will be definitely... More
Superb!

5 / 5

Dec 09, 2017
MPMatt P.
advanced snowboarder
Extreamly friendly and great staff. Very neat, tidy and spacious rooms. Perfect transportation. All staff are very knowledgeable about the surrounding areas on where to ride and eat and drink Im just here for the competition.... More
Superb!

4.6 / 5

Dec 09, 2017
MOMatthew O.
intermediate skier
Great access from Tokyo, perfect for a fun cruisy day of skiing with enough difficulty to end the day with sore legs. Something for everyone and some amazing restaurants on and off mountain!!!... More
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