Spring is one of the best times to come to Hakuba.
During the spring, the sun comes out from behind the clouds, and the bluebird days are frequent. Spring skiing in Hakuba is a unique experience that offers a mix of beautiful weather and fantastic snow conditions. The mountain peaks are white, and the valleys are warm and green.
Hakuba has a long spring ski season. Starting mid-March and running until the end of Golden Week (the first week of May), the snow quality, although slushy, is still great for skiing and snowboarding. The slopes are less crowded, and there are often great deals on accommodation and lift tickets.
In this article, we will share seven tips on how to get the most out of spring skiing in Hakuba.
7 Tips For Spring Skiing in Hakuba
1 – Ski top to bottom at Hakuba47
While warmer weather may impact some of the smaller resorts in the valley, Hakuba 47 does a great job staying open to the bottom every winter. Despite the spring snow conditions, Route 1 and Route 7 are often open until the end of Golden Week, providing plenty of terrain to enjoy during the spring season. Plus, Hakuba 47 offers incredible views over the valley and surrounding mountains.
2 – Backcountry Touring
Spring is the perfect time to explore the backcountry of Hakuba. With warmer temperatures and more stable weather conditions, it’s an excellent opportunity to go off-piste and discover new terrain. There are plenty of guided tours available for all levels. The spring snow and warmer temperatures make for a more stable snowpack than during the rest of the Japan snow season. You can often find hidden pockets of powder for fresh tracks with the right guide and good weather.
3 – Snowshoe Tsugaike
Snowshoeing is an excellent way for intermediate skiers hesitant to venture outside the ski area to explore the mountains. From mid-March, the Tsugaike ropeway opens, providing access to the national park above the ski resort. It’s a great chance to enjoy the beautiful alpine scenery and take in the stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
4 – Iwatake Site Seeing
Iwatake is renowned for its spectacular views of the Hakuba Valley. With the warmer spring temperatures, it’s an excellent opportunity to take in the sights and enjoy incredible photo opportunities. Take a break from skiing and hop on the gondola for a leisurely ride up to soak in the views. You can buy lift passes to take you up the gondola and enjoy the scenery without skiing or snowboarding down.
5 – Picnic at Oide
Found on the East side of the Hakuba Valley, Oide is a hidden gem offering a peaceful and serene environment. With the warmer spring temperatures, it’s an ideal spot for a picnic with friends or family. Enjoy the beautiful scenery while indulging in some delicious local food and drinks. It’s also a popular spot during cherry blossom season.
6 – Visit a Shrine or Temple
These cultural sites reveal their rich history and significance as the snow melts away. One must-visit is the Hosono Suwa Shrine, known for its majestic Japanese cedar tree at the foot of the staircase. This ancient tree, having survived even a lightning strike, stands tall at over 40 meters with a diameter of up to 10 meters. Surrounded by thirty magnificent conifers, this sacred tree has been designated a Natural Monument of Hakuba village.
7 – Cherry Blossoms
From mid-April to early May, the cherry blossoms in Hakuba are in full bloom. Known as “sakura” in Japanese, these trees bear delicate pink flowers that create a stunning contrast against the snow-capped peaks of the Northern Alps. The best places to see cherry blossoms include Oide Park, Happo Pond, and along the shores of Lake Aoki. Many locals and tourists gather for “hanami” or flower-viewing parties under the cherry blossom trees, making it an excellent opportunity to immerse yourself in Japanese culture.
Hakuba is a year-round destination with something for everyone. The spring ski season is perfect for those who want to enjoy the ski resorts without the crowds. The warmer weather brings countless outdoor activities and breathtaking scenery. So, whether you’re looking for adventure or relaxation, add Hakuba to your travel bucket list. With its unique blend of traditional Japanese culture and world-class amenities, it’s a destination that will leave you wanting more.
Can you ski in Hakuba in Early April?
Yes, you can ski in Hakuba in early April. While the peak ski season is from mid-December to late February, many of the resorts in Hakuba remain open until early May. However, conditions may vary depending on weather and snowfall. It’s always best to check with individual ski resorts for their specific opening and closing dates.
What is the best month to ski in Hakuba?
The Japan ski season typically runs from mid-December to early May, with the best snow conditions in January and February. However, Hakuba is known for its longer ski season and can often offer great skiing opportunities even in early April.
Is there snow in Hakuba in Late March?
Yes, Hakuba typically receives snowfall well into late March, with open ski resorts and excellent skiing conditions. The weather may be slightly warmer, but the snow quality is still good.
Does Japan have spring skiing?
Yes, Japan has spring skiing. It is a popular time for many skiers and snowboarders. The warmer weather brings softer snow conditions and often less crowded ski resorts.