A good time at Hakuba
Written by Gary a Snowboarder from Australia
The variety of terrain is excellent - although ski partol can be strict on off piste - go with a guide or back country tour. We had fresh snow 3 out of 6 days. A little heavy/wet on 1 day but still fun. Snow is coastal (like Whistler) so heavier than Hokkaido. Happo One and Hakuba 47/Goryu the best/biggest resorts, but try Iwatake (we had fun there on a powder day - less crowds more fresh tracks especially on the backside) etc.
Resort shuttle buses can be very crowded and probably the worst aspect of trip. Lift lines pretty much non-existent except on weekends. We stayed at Hotel De Laile - service was outstanding (the receptionist came to work at 5.30am just to say goodbye to us), hotel small so quiet (good), free onsen for guests, brekky OK, great view from our window, room OK size for Japan. The hotel is in the Wadano area - nice location in the forest (we saw Japanese giant flying squirrels!), easy to walk to various restuarants and the visitor/adventure centre, walk to Happo one lifts (5 mins) and shuttle buses (2 mins).
Great mix of snow and Japanese cultural experience (more culture than Niseko or Rusutsu).
Will go again.