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

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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
Good!

3.8 / 5

Dec 04, 2017
NRNathaniel R.
advanced skier
Great little resort, good mix of runs. Can be some difficulty going from one side to the other with the lift set up. Snow was a little thin when I went, but it was early in the season, and it bucketted down after that... More
Very Good!

4.2 / 5

Dec 04, 2017
ESEmily S.
advanced snowboarder
Happo One was a great area to stay! We were close to lots of places to eat and it was only a short walk to the lifts. We are snowboarders and really enjoyed the terrain and snow at Happo One!... More
Superb!

4.5 / 5

Dec 03, 2017
TMThomas M.
advanced snowboarder
Happo-One is Located central to town, making it easy to find accommodation close by and getting to and from the lifts a breeze. The on hill food court serves up quality dishes at a reasonable price or duck down to town for any of the pubs/resteraunts. The terrain has a solid mix of green red and black runs, and as always the legendary Japanese pow!... More
Superb!

4.9 / 5

Dec 03, 2017
CVCallum V.
intermediate snowboarder
Happo is excellent for all skill levels, with a couple of amazing scenic runs. Great for skiiers and boarfers. Close to town,and lots of food and drink options on the mountain too. I highly recommend it!... More
Good!

3.8 / 5

Dec 03, 2017
MSMatt S.
advanced skier
All around a great resort with a lot of diversity for different ability levels. I both skied and boarded and found there was great diversity to stay interested for the 10 days I was there. The resources on the mountain were also second to none. ... More
Fabulous!

4.5 / 5

Dec 03, 2017
SSSean S.
advanced snowboarder
We booked our accomodation last minute and it was so easy to get there The runs were great and challenged us and were so simple to get to from our accomodation. We even got to experience a traditional onsens... More
Very Good!

4.1 / 5

Dec 03, 2017
NGNick G.
intermediate snowboarder
Excellent lifts, challenging terrain suited for all experience levels, one of my favourites for sure! Range of accommodations for all budgets and a wide selection of quality restaurants. Powder days are not to be missed! ... More
Superb!

4.5 / 5

Dec 03, 2017
MDMike D.
advanced skier
Hakuba/Happo-One has amazed me with it's snow & views that are unmatched. Happo-one is knee deep in snow, the food is delicious, Japanese are lovely, bring on the season Japan!! ✌️... More
Fabulous!

4.3 / 5

Dec 03, 2017
SMStephanie M.
advanced skier
An awesome resort and location with a whole variety of runs and terrains to suit all abilities. It is super convenient and easy to get around with friendly staff everywhere you go. It is definitely an awesome place to ski but also plenty to be enjoyed off the snow too. ... More
Superb!

4.6 / 5

Dec 02, 2017
THToby H.
expert skier
Great range of runs for all abilities available. Amazing food on mountain and around Hakuba. Also free shuttle buses to different resorts in valley are wonderful. Local all pleased to help at all times. ... More
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30% 40% 30%
Happo One
30% 50% 20%
Iwatake
30% 50% 20%
Tsugaike
50% 30% 20%