The Resort - Hakuba Valley
Hakuba Valley is at the heart of the spectacular Japanese Alps near Nagano and is located on the island of Honshu (the main island of Japan) - it's about 3hrs from Tokyo in far NW Japan. "Hakuba" means "white horse" refers to the to the shape of a patch of snow that forms in the spring near the top of Mt. Shiroumadake. The locals use it as a sign to start preparing their fields for planting rice.
The city has a population of about 9,000 permanent residents. The Habuka Ski Resort is very popular among international tourists because it offers many aspects of ski holiday that other Japan ski resort just can’t. Many of the villages of Habuka are reasonably "westernized" - so it's an easy place to travel and you will be able to freely converse in English while still enjoying a bit of Japanese culture. Some have described it as the "perfect party town" with plenty of apres-ski activities. It was host to the Nagaon 1998 Winter Olympic Game and is Japan’s largest and most renowned alpine resorts. The valley consists of 11 ski resorts, giving an incredible variety of alpine terrain, accommodating everyone from novice to expert and snowboarders.
The Lodging - Hakuba Tokyu Hotel
We will be staying at the 5 star Hakuba Tokyu Hotel (short shuttle to slope) known for their prestige, elegance, 5-star service and attention to detail. This will be our hotel during the time we're skiing. The hotel is well-situated for skiing being just a pleasant 10-minute walk to the lift or regular Free shuttle buses, which stops at the hotel. Shuttles run to the gondola and nearby ski resorts. Late-night shuttle services are available to nearby towns. Other property amenities include ski equipment, rentals and locker rooms.
Guest rooms offer both air conditioning and heating facilities. Room amenities also include: a refrigerator, telephone, hot water pot, a personal safe, a flat-screen TV and bidet. The rooms also include many other bathroom amenities for your convenience. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the property.
The hotel features a public hot-spring bath (Hakuba Happo Onsen), aroma therapy services and free parking. For those who are interested, the hotel has 4 “baths” – Indoor and Outdoor as separate facilities for men and women. If it’s snowing they may close the outdoor facility. There are dressing rooms with complete amenities.
There are a number of different ski areas to choose from with the closest being Happo-one Ski Resort. It was the venue for 1998 Winter Olympics. The resort and Happo Village that sits below it are the tourist and skiing hub Hakuba Japan. Happo One (pronounced Happo “On Ay” as opposed to the number “one”) is the most popular of the Hakuba ski resorts, and many visitors to Hakuba only ski or snowboard at Happo.
It’s fairly large and the ski area has an elevation of 1,831 metres or 6,007' with a vertical of 1,071 metres or 3,510’ making it an ideal venue for the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics slalom, downhill and ski jumping. Happo One is best known for the many long groomed intermediate slopes, the bumps, and the access to the renowned alpine backcountry. Check out the Happy One trail and town map and the course guide. This degree of difficulty of the runs are: 30% Beginner; 50% Intermediate and 20% Expert. There are 22 chair lifts, 1 gondola and 13 courses. The longest course is 8,000 metres (4.97 miles). There are a number of other PDF files here about this resort including bus schedules, local rules and night shuttle buses.
The ski runs extend east from Mt. Karamatsu (elevation 2696m) to the base areas-Nakiyama, Shirakaba, Kokusai, Sakka – where they spread out in a fan-like form with the majestic Northern Japanese Alps rising to 3000m in the background. If you're into back country skiing check out this awesome video.
The ski resort is incredibly well-suited to intermediates with lots of groomed runs, and it’s a great place to be a speed demon. Happo also has some beginners’ terrain near the four base areas and piste runs for advanced skiers and snowboarders that are commonly covered in well formed moguls. Like many of the Hakuba ski resorts, the average snowfall per season at Happo One is 11 metres or 36'. The top of the Happo ski resort is the highest of the Hakuba ski areas and the upper reaches of the resort are in the sub-alpine, unlike most of the neighboring resorts that are largely below the tree line.
Pre Trip Excursion - Kyoto (Jan 15-19, 2019)
The Pre-trip excursion will take you to Kyoto, Japan spending 3 nights at a 4 star hotel. This includes a breakfast buffet daily at the hotel in Kyoto. You will have a 1/2 day city tour with an English-speaking guide. Cost includes air between Los Angeles and Osaka via United Airlines. Includes transfer between Kyoto Hotel and Hakuba via private coach with guide.
Post Trip Excursion - Thailand (Jan 26- Feb 1, 2019)
Post-trip excursion will take you to Bangkok, Thailand spending 4 nights in Bangkok and 2 nights in Chiang Mai. This includes all meals, transfers and touring. Highlights will include, Bangkok city tour, Ayutthaya Tour, Chiang Mai and visit of hill tribe villages and elephant camp.
FLIGHT SCHEDULE for Post Trip Excursion ONLY: Preliminary – space is not booked yet.
Los Angeles to Tokyo - Included in Full Trip Price
18 JAN ANA 175 LAX/NRT 10:45 AM - 3:40 PM (19 Jan)
You must be a current Austin Skiers member to join this trip.
Trip Chair: Jane Dueease
Asst. Trip Chair: Ben Mathis
Prices subject to change due to currency exchange rate fluctuation.
Full Trip Price: $2810 - Base Trip DBL Occupancy. (includes air Los Angeles to Tokyo, lodging and transfers)
*Welcome drink and orientation upon arrival at hotel
*Full hot/cold breakfast buffet daily
*Four course dinner for 3 evenings
*Special Ezura Goryu Drumming and dinner show, includes transfers
*Local guides to help with train boarding at Nagano Station (Jan 24)
*Includes 2 days accommodations in Tokyo at the 4 Star Grand Prince New Takanawa (Jan 24-26). Includes breakfast buffet daily
Optional Day Tour program (from Hakuba):
*includes Matsumoto Castle, Nagano Temple and Olympic Village, Saki Brewery, Snow Moneys and more...
Ground only price: $2028
Single Supplement :$498
1 day = $60
2 day = $108
3 day = $160
4 day = $213
5 day = $266
Hakuba is an EPIC pass resort! If you are skiing for more than 6 days at Breckenridge or any other Austin Skier's 2019 destination like Vail, Crested Butte, or Telluride you may want to consider buying an EPIC PASS.
$400 deposit required on international trips. YOUR SPOT IS NOT SECURE UNTIL WE RECEIVE YOUR DEPOSIT CHECK. FULL PAYMENT IS DUE: 10/30/18
Send your deposit to the Trip Chair made out to Austin Skiers:
Full Price includes only Los Angeles to Tokyo and Return
18 JAN UA 32 LAX/NRT 11:00AM - 3:40PM
26 JAN UA 33 NRT / LAX 6:30PM – 10:20AM
Optional cost to add from Austin to Los Angeles and return is $270
18 JAN AA2413 AUS/LAX 6:10AM - 7:28AM
Trip Insurance is HIGHLY recommended!