- Wide open slopes are great for beginners, intermediates and families
- Night skiing available
- Less crowded than bigger Hakuba Valley resorts
- Wide range of accommodation close to slopes
- Lifts on upper mountain occasionally close due to high winds
- Fog can be an issue, especially mid-mountain
- Limited advanced runs
- Small village with limited après ski
With wide-open slopes perfect for beginners to learn their turns, enough intermediate terrain to keep more advanced skiers and riders happy, Tsugaike is a very popular choice for families. Compared to the neighboring Hakuba Valley resorts, it’s quieter, less crowded, and presents a more authentically Japanese cultural experience. The base offers convenient lodging while the rest of Hakuba’s amenities are a short ride away!
Narita International Airport
Tokyo station (40 mins)
Nagano via bullet train (2 hours)
Happo Information Center (1.5 hours) or Hakuba Station (1 hour 15 minutes)
Tsugaike (20 minutes)
Base of Tsugaike (Walk)
- Ski-in/ski-out accommodation
- Handful of smaller hotels and a range of traditional style lodgings
- Some accommodation offers private onsens
Hakuba Village (5-6 mi)
- Wider variety of lodging options
- Closer to more restaurants, bars, and shopping
- Great base for exploring other Hakuba Valley ski resorts
The wide open slopes at Tsugaike are perfect for beginners to learn on. The best spot for never-evers to start is in the Kane-No-Naru-Oka area where the spacious slopes and mellow pitch are great for practicing turns. Our top run for beginners here is the Kane-No-Naru-Oka slope, again it's nice and wide so newbies don't have to worry about colliding with others!
Intermediates will have a variety of runs to choose from, especially around the mid-mountain area. Our favorite area for intermediates is in the Han-no-ki area where the runs are nice and long with no flat zones to slow you down until the end when it merges into the beginner areas.
Advanced skiers and snowboarders might be disappointed here with just three runs to choose from, but that doesn't mean they can't have fun. The black Champion slope is a worthwhile mention although our top pick would have to be Uma-No-Se (Horseback) course which is the perfect off-piste area serving up plenty of powder!
The best powder can be found off-piste though skiers are entering at their own risk. Freshies also get tracked out quickly, so being the first on the slopes is generally ideal.
Ditch the crowds
The slopes at Tsugaike are generally uncrowded though the base lifts can get quite busy, so it's best to stay in the upper and mid sections of the mountain during the day. New Year's and weekends are can also see more skiers.
Non-skiers can enjoy snowshoeing, snowmoto riding (similar to snowbiking) or just soaking in onsens (hot springs) at Tsugaike. The resort also have a number of events including the annual snow festival and Mochitsuki (pounding rice cakes into mochi). Otherwise, day trips to the Matsumoto Castle and Jigokudani Monkey Park are a must!
Tsugaike's abundance of wide mellow slopes make it an ideal for families to ride together and the beginner's area at the base are particularly great for little ones to learn on with discounted beginner lift tickets are available. There is even a kid's park and indoor kid's facilities to keep the young ones entertained.
|beginner||50 %||40 %|
|intermediate||30 %||30 %|
|advanced||20 %||30 %|
|child lift ticket||¥3,000 JPY ($27 USD)||Free|
|adult lift ticket||¥5,100 JPY ($45 USD)||¥4,000 JPY ($35 USD)|
|value for money|
|average total snowfall||-||448″|