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
|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|
|Ave. mid season min temp||-5||-11||-3||0||-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|