The Snow Monkeys
Part of the Joshin-Etsu Kogen National Park, Jigokudani Yaen-koen is in a small valley accessed from Hakuba. It is famous for its large population of wild Snow Monkeys, that go to the valley to enjoy the warm onsens during the winter, foraging elsewhere in the national park during the warmer months.
Is one of Japan’s historic castles. Located in the city of Matsumoto, in Nagano Prefecture, it is within easy reach of Tokyo and Hakuba, making it popular with visitors to Hakuba. This castle is also called Crow Castle because of its black walls and spreading wings.
Snow Shoe Tours
For people who want to experience the natural mountain environment in the pure beauty of winter with the safety of a qualified guide. Whether you enjoy nature walks through tranquil forested areas with a mix of open snow meadows, evergreens and Japanese hardwoods at elevation or the more challenging alpine hiking, Hakuba can accommodate you. There are also a number of nice walks in the forest that start from our front door.
It is true that heli-skiing in Hakuba is almost a redundant service, as big mountain terrain (1000m of vertical) is in abundance and is easily accessed by lift and limited hiking. Having said that, Hakuba also possesses some of the cheapest heli skiing in the world, whisking you from Tsugaike base to Tengubara to find gentle rolling terrain. The cost is around ¥10,000/person/fight and the service only runs from mid March through to May.
On Snow “Dune” Buggies
A great non skiing activity. Race around a figure eight course and try to beat your friends/families lap times. The course also has a “free drive” area where you can throw the buggies around and get creative. Prices start from ¥2000 per person per ride.
Nagano City is also famous for a 7th century Buddhist temple, Zenkoji , built in 1897, the town built around the temple. Zenkoji is perhaps most famous for its involvement in the battles between Uesugi Kenshin and Takeda Shingen in the 16th century, when it served as one of Kenshin’s bases of operations.
The Nozawa Fire Festival
The Dosojin Fire Festival in Nozawa Onsen is one of the most exciting winter festivals in Japan. It is held annually on January 15 when locals gather to pray for a plentiful harvest, health and good fortune in the coming year. Each year an 18-meter wood shrine becomes the target of torch-bearing villagers.