Hakuba vs Other Resorts

While we have a lot of guests returning annually we are often asked by those planning a first ski trip to Japan how Hakuba compares to other resorts both in Japan and around the world.

We have lived for 7 years in the Swiss alps, and skied ourselves extensively in Europe, North America, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and even India. In addition, we have a wealth of feedback from our guests from various ski meccas, including Alaska, Colorado, Canada and Scandinavia along with many, many others. Finally, while reliable data is difficult to come by we have summarised that available below.

Hakuba vs Niseko

Conventional wisdom is that Niseko is colder with dryer powder but that Hakuba has far better alpine terrain, a much more Japanese village feel and is easier to get to from overseas. Overall snow volumes are not significantly different during the season although Niseko has a longer season. This assessment is supported by both the many anecdotes we hear and the firm data in the table below.

There are over 500 other small resorts in Japan on top of these 2, most of which are small with limited challenging terrain and difficult to access with limited English spoken – however, many offer amazing untracked snow, virtually non-existant lift queues and a truly Japanese experience.

Hakuba vs Rest of the World

Japan  Aust. NZ Other Countries
       Hakuba Niseko Thredbo Treble Cone Chamonix St Anton Aspen Whistler
Altitude – top  1,831m 1,156m 2,037m 1,960m 3,842m 2,811m 3,417m 2,284m
Altitude – bottom 760m 256m 1,365m 1,260m 1,037m 1,304m 2,421m 675m
Vertical relief 1,071m 900m 672m 700m 2,805m 1,507m 996m 1,609m
Ave. mid season min temp -5 -11 -3  -5 -9 -13 -8
Ave. mid season max temp +3 -2 +5  +8  +3 -1 +2 -2
Ave. total snow fall (cm) 1,084 1,383 200 221 271 347 749 1,204
Ave. peak snow depth (cm) 231 440 97 125 143 82 184 318 

 

SOURCES:

www.steepdeepjapan.com
www.onthesnow.com.au
www.bom.gov.au
www.snow-forecast.com
http://www.whistler.com/weather/history/
http://www.onthesnow.co.uk
http://www.worldweatheronline.com/ski/Treble-Cone-weather-averages/NZ.aspx
http://www.holiday-weather.com/queenstown/averages/
http://www.yr.no/place/Japan/Other/Hakuba-mura/statistics.html