It’s been apparent as of late that a lot of people have started becoming in adventurous with how they spend their past time—and it doesn’t come as a surprise, because after all, everyone’s in the pursuit of living life to the fullest, right? So, for those fortunate to have already tried out this little thing called snowboarding, and for those who are just planning to, there’s a place within our neck of the woods I’d recommend you add to your travel plans—Hakuba, Japan!
Japan, in general, is very much ideal for a nearby winter-sports getaway, not only for its accessibility but also because of the quality of its snow and the seamless slopes of its hills and mountain ranges. The only downside is it can get a bit crowded at times, especially in its more popular ski resorts like the ones in Niseko. But, here’s where the beauty of having an alternative comes into play—Hakuba, though an already a widely recognized ski destination, may still be one of your best bets in beating the crowd, and, in fact, geographically, it is probably the closest ski resort from Manila!
Hakuba is found in the Nagano Prefecture of Japan, which you can get to in under four hours from the Narita or Haneda Airport in Tokyo, via the Shinkansen, and a bus ride. It has nine resorts, and over 200 different trails in total, that vary in difficulty level. Some of the courses even stretch up to eight kilometers long if you enjoy long rides! This is why a lot of visitors travel all the way here to ski or snowboard, but even with the amount of people that go here, the place barely gets crowded because it has more terrain than anywhere else in Japan.
The best time to visit would undoubtedly be during its peak season from December to March, as Hakuba gets a good amount of snowfall and good quality powder, making the conditions truly perfect for snowboarding and skiing. But like with any other good getaway, there is much more to do in Hakuba, such as snow mobiling, snow rafting, and showshoeing. Food there is a must try, too! With gastronomic selections ranging from Japanese, Italian, to Mediterranean cuisines, you’d be very much safe from being underfed during your stay. And to cap the night off, they also have quaint pubs and bars to unwind in after a long day.
So, while the summer heat is still here, might be time to give yourself some cold weather to look forward to!
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Photos from: Skimax.com.au, Hakubatourism, Tripadvisor.com, Skijapantravel.com