Happo One

Jack Lee
SnowPak Local Insider
Jack Lee
  • 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
  • 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

Happo One Ski Packages

Lodging + Lift Tickets Discount Price
2 x Adult 2-day Lift Ticket
19% off $297
Wadano Forest Hotel
2 x Adult 2-day Lift Ticket
16% off $838
Ryokan Gozu
2 x Adult 2-day Lift Ticket
13% off $1,435

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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. With all this and much more, Happo One quite rightly earns its status as one of the best ski resorts on the main Japanese island of Honshu!

16/17 Historical Snowfall

Best month to go

Late December to April

The slopes at Happo One open as soon as the snow starts falling here, 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!


Narita International Airport


Hakuba Valley (5-6 hours)


Happo One (10 minutes)

Happo Village (Walk)

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

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Wadano Area (Walk)

  • Close to Kokusai base area
  • Slightly more expensive lodging
  • 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 in Happo One but that doesn't mean beginners can't have fun here! The gentle and wide open slopes at the Sakka ski area is best for never-evers and also doubles as a great family skiing spot. Beginners with a bit more experience can head further up the mountain.

More beginners tips

For intermediates

There's plenty of challenging terrain for intermediates higher up on the mountain but our top pick here for intermediates 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

It was right here that the ski jumping, downhill, and super-g slalom events of the Nagano 1998 Winter Olympics were held! You can still ski the downhill and slalom courses to unleash the inner racer in you, and the annual Riesen Slalom Competition gives you exclusive access to the famous course. Take the Riesen Grat Course followed by the Riesen Slalom Course from the summit all the way down to the base. There's also plenty more to keep advanced skiers on their toes!

More experts tips

Find freshies

When it comes to sheer quantity of the white stuff, Happo One (and Hakuba in general) is trumped by Japanese ski resorts like Niseko on the northern island of Hokkaido, though not by much. The same sub-zero Siberian winds blow across the Sea of Japan, picking up moisture and transforming it into magically soft snow. The average annual snowfall here is 36 ft, so there's still plenty to be happy about here! 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! In-bounds, there are two crowd-prone sections to be aware of. Adam Gondola is the main gondola which gives access to the top section of the mountain which can get quite busy in the morning. The Panorama and Kokusai chairlifts can also see some queues as it also serves a busy area of the mountain. Nonetheless, the lift system seems most skiers and snowboarders moving despite the some old and slow chairlifts.

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. At the resort, non-skiers can take the gondola up to enjoy the stunning mountain views of Hakuba Valley.


When it comes to skiing, 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. For lodging, Happo Village has a range of accommodation, shops, bars, restaurants as well as facilities including the Information Center and Bus Terminal, making it a convenient option for families.

Happo One

Happo OneCortina
beginner30 %40 %
intermediate50 %30 %
advanced20 %30 %
total runs13 16
ski area437ac 124ac
summit elevation6,007ft 4,600ft
total lifts23 7
child lift ticketFree Free
adult lift ticket¥5,200 JPY ($48 USD) ¥4,000 JPY ($37 USD)
back country
value for money
average total snowfall176″ 448″

Save up to 31% when you book a Happo One package!

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Happo One Reviews

Fabulous 4.5 / 5
based on 53 reviews

How well the resort caters for beginner skiers / boarders


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


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How family friendly is this resort?

Family Friendliness
Fabulous!4.5 / 5Dec 08, 2017
DFDale F.
expert skier
great powder, great runs, great lifts, great staff and very little queues, what more could you ask for :-) Oh yeah and great lift ticket prices, you can't ask for more than that... More
Very Good!4 / 5Dec 08, 2017
TLTom L.
advanced snowboarder
Great place for enjoying the snow in close proximity to dining accommodation and entertainment. We had a great time here and found the area easy to navigate. As you can expect anywhere in Japan the locals were friendly and helpful and the resort facilities were excellent. Can't wait to return.... More
Very Good!3.9 / 5Dec 08, 2017
TOToshio O.
advanced skier
It is the best ski area in Japan. The largest ski area as with awesome mountain seanery and variety of skiing course. It is valuable enough to visit just to see mountain view. You can enjoy high speed skiing on gloomed course especially early in the morning and deep snow a day after snowing. Town is not developed by a big company, so you can enjoy... More
Good!3.7 / 5Dec 07, 2017
DFDaniel F.
expert snowboarder
Can be epic after a big dump. Often rains to the top also. Gets quite busy mid Jan and Feb. Most lifts quite slow. Good backcountry access from the top if prepared to hike and equipped.... More
Very Good!4.1 / 5Dec 07, 2017
SHSam H.
advanced snowboarder
Huge resort that runs into the town. Wide and full of changes and runs that keeps you occupied for days. Easy access and great food scattered around it make for a great day. Ramen and a beer for lunch halfway down is the best, quickly followed by a quick nap.... More
Superb!4.9 / 5Dec 06, 2017
HAHarry A.
intermediate snowboarder
Great place to take new, intermidiate and advanced skiers or snowboarders with nice long tracks and multiple options and lodging can be within 200 metres from the lifts! Plus the snow is amazing in Japan!... More
Superb!4.8 / 5Dec 06, 2017
JCJohn C.
advanced snowboarder
It has been 2 years since my partner and kids skied and boarded at Happo One. We were in the Hakuba area for 8 days and left knowing it was the best snow holiday we've been on. Everything and everyone in Happo One made our stay memorable. Nothing was too much trouble for the staff in the hire shops, the lifties were patient with all levels of... More
Superb!5 / 5Dec 06, 2017
SBSam B.
intermediate snowboarder
Fantastic resort ! Even before I got into the mountain I was amazed at the place. It such a beatific place and the free bus service is fantastic. Spent 14 days on the mountains and did not want to leave. Some of the best powder I have ever boarded in! Can't wait to get back!!... More
Good!3.9 / 5Dec 06, 2017
DPDaniel P.
intermediate snowboarder
Happo One was the first mountain I visited during my stay in Hakuba. Amazing fields with a broad array of tracks catering for the multitude of different skill levels. The resort is accessible from most of the surrounding town area very easily and often only a short walk to any of the ski lifts. A must visit if you plan to visit Hakuba.... More
Superb!4.8 / 5Dec 06, 2017
ABAdam B.
intermediate snowboarder
Happo One is the best place I have ever ridden a snowboard. There's always great tree runs to be found especially if you know where to look. Even if the top half of the mountain goes on wind hold you can still have incredible riding on the bottom half. The food around town is incredible and there is an awesome night life. You cannot go to happo... More

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