Hakuba videos. A weekly diary of the 2020/21 winter season.

The last week of the season. Check those views.

We got through the season and I achieved my goal of one video blog each week. This winter took me back in time 18 years ago when I first came to Hakuba. Hardly a lift line to be seen, especially on the weekdays, and endless fresh tracks. We got our powder fix over 11 weeks and then that was it but there was plenty of base down to enjoy the spring conditions from March through to the 9th of May. It’s been an amazing time for me and my best season ever in regards to the amount of riding I did and the quality. Saying that though, I do look forward to seeing all my friends back here soon. We are hoping that borders will start opening up for next winter. More videos to come and I will start showing more general info on Hakuba so hit that subscribe button and get involved.

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A week by week video blog of the Hakuba 20/21 snow season

Hakuba week 1.
11th – 18 December 2020

Hakuba Valley in Japan is a popular destination for skiing and snowboarding. We have big mountains and can get huge amounts of snow. Over the next few months I will be showing you what winter is like here. This is our first week of the 2020/21 season. This is also my first large video editing attempt. Please be gentle on me. I promise to work on the audio and transitions in future videos. Feel free to send me a message if you need any info on Hakuba and surrounding areas. Please subscribe if you want to see more of what we have on offer here. Just click the “sign me up” button on the right. Thanks for watching.

Kampai

TJ

To view on Youtube please subscribe HERE

My drink of choice this week is suitably the renowned Silver Bullet. Asahi is the most popular beer in Japan by far and certainly the biggest seller in the bar here. We have it on tap and served fittingly in an icy cold glass.

Most of the filming was done on the DJI pocket 2. The powder run in the middle of the vid at Goryu Resort was on the iphone 11.

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First day of the season competition 2020/21

The first day for the 2019/20 season was the 6th of December. When will it all begin this winter?

It’s on againEach year we run a competition to pick the first day of the season. The rules are simple

  • The first day the lifts open for skiers and boarders at any one of the resorts in Hakuba.
  • One date per person. If 2 or more people choose the same date then we will have a draw out of a hat to choose the winner.
  • The date must be chosen at least one week in advance
  • If a date isn’t chosen then it’s the closest date before.

The prizes are

  • A  Hakuba White Horse cap and a beanie
  • 5000 yen voucher at the White Horse Bar and Restaurant in Echoland.
  • Consolation of a free drink if you pick the date but miss the main prize.

So go to the bottom of this blog and put your date in the comments section or message me HERE and I will add it. Good luck. Remember that the resorts will open as soon as there is enough snow on the ground so it’s pretty much any time now. Just patiently waiting for THAT storm.

The prize is transferable and as it is going to be difficult to get here this year we can also honour it during the 2021/22 season.

The list so far.

Rie Yamamoto – 28th November

TJ – 30th November

Brian Glynn – 4th December

Brent – 4th December

Marc Hunter – 5th December

Stefan Wood – 6th December

Pierre Chauty = 10 December

Dave Turner – 11th December

Patrick – 16th December

Graham Harris – 17th December

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When do the lifts open in Hakuba?

With over 100 lifts in the valley, you are bound to find one to yourself.

When does the snow season start in Hakuba? Answer is, as soon as there is enough snow on the ground. As the storms start rolling in during November, we all wait here with anticipation for the lifts to start turning. Here are the opening dates over the years I have lived here except for my first year. I am pretty sure it was December though.

2020 – 11th December

2019 – 6th December

2018 – 15th December

2017 – 21st November

2016 – 8th December

2015 – 28th November

2014 – 5th December

2013 – 22nd November

2012 – 17th November

2011 – 26th November

2010 – 10th December

2009 – 15th December *

2008 – 23rd November

2007 – 7th December *

2006 – December *

*date could be a day or 2 earlier

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No covid in Hakuba.

Face mask vending machine
Face mask vendy machine. Well ahead of the times here in Japan

Well not that we know of and I suppose that goes for anywhere in the world. So far so good for the Hakuba Valley with zero cases recorded. Japan overall has done an amazing job to quell the spread of the virus. My take on it is that it is common practice for the Japanese to wear masks anyway so this has not been a habit that needed to be emphasised too much. It is also not usual to shake hands or hug upon greeting friends and acquaintances. The other thing is hand sanitisers have been common at the entrances of shops and restaurants for as long as I can remember. We are not out of the deep end yet and precautions must be adhered to however it is good to feel a level of normality in our village. I think we will see a return of domestic tourism over the summer months. It’s still too early to know how the winter will go but all signs are there that the resorts will be open. International tourism will be down without a doubt. If current travel restrictions are still in place then we will have the valley to ourselves. Not good for business however I can’t really complain as it will be a dream to have the valley back to how it was 18 years ago when I first arrived. Buckets of snow and no one around. Obviously if I had the choice I would have preferred things to have stayed on the steady growth line. Watching the valley improve it’s facilities and services over the years has been exciting. This is something that is out of our hands now so a 12 month hiatus it is and hopefully the world will bounce back quickly and everyone will be flocking to the mountains in no time. Keep the dream alive.

The White Horse Hotel and the Monkey Rider Lodge are taking tentative bookings now with no deposits required. If you are dreaming of a trip and hoping the travel restrictions are eased then shoot me a message through our contact page and we’ll sort you out a good deal. http://www.whitehorse-hakuba.com

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Hakuba first day of the season competition 2019/20

First day 2018

14th December 2018 E-san getting first tracks at Cortina

It’s on again. Each year we run a competition to pick the first day of the season. The rules are simple

  • The first day the lifts open for skiers and boarders at any one of the resorts in Hakuba.
  • One date per person. If 2 or more people choose the same date then we will have a draw out of a hat to choose the winner.
  • The date must be chosen at least one week in advance
  • If a date isn’t chosen then it’s the closest date before.

The prizes are

  • A  Hakuba White Horse Long sleeve T
  • 5000 yen voucher at the White Horse Bar and Restaurant in Echoland.
  • Consolation of a free drink if you pick the date but miss the main prize.

So go to the bottom of this blog and put your date in the comments section or message me HERE and I will add it. Good luck. Remember that the resorts will open as soon as there is enough snow on the ground so it’s pretty much any time now. Just patiently waiting for THAT storm.

The list so far.

Andy – 20 November.

TJ – 22nd November.

Nikki – 23rd November.

Stefan Wood – 24th November.

Daniel – 25th November.

Dylan – 26th November.

Will Curry

Scott – 28th November.

Patrick Fux – 29th November.

Tom Gowing

Byron Shapland – 1st December.

Chad Edwards – 4th December.

Dave Turner – 5th December

Josh G – 6th December.

Graham Harris

Patricia – 7th December.

Brian Glynn

Jayden McClelland

Nellie  – 8th December.

Andrew Taylor – 9th December

Adam Roberts – 13th December.

Richard Copland – 14th December.

Keiran Shapland – 15 December.

Kayla – 18th December

Leigh Pleydell – 22nd December

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Epic Pass Hakuba

Hakuba

Vail Resorts Inc. have spread their Epic Pass out far and wide and their season passes at any of their official resorts will offer 5 days free skiing in the Hakuba Valley. That’s a good saving off your holiday expenses and a great excuse to experience this amazing area. Epic Pass holders are required to present their valid Epic Pass or Epic Local Pass hard card and a valid photo ID to the lift cashier at one of Hakuba Valley’s ten resorts to redeem their five-day lift ticket. It’s as simple as that to get you out on the mountain for first tracks in the morning. It is 5 consecutive days and no black out dates so you can come to Hakuba anytime of the season to take advantage of this great deal. The resort list is Jiigatake, Kashimayari, Sanosaka, Goryu, Iimori, Hakuba 47, Happo One, Iwatake, Tsugaike, Norikura and Cortina. Some of those are linked so realistically it is 8 different ski areas catering for all levels of skiers and boarders. If you are looking for accommodation for your stay then have a look at the White Horse Hotel in Echoland which is the main restaurant and bar district of Hakuba. With many years of experience guiding their guests around all the resorts, they are sure to get you to where you should be every day.

If you are looking to keep the costs down with some good value budget accommodation then try the Monkey Rider Lodge.

Hakuba

Hakuba Epic Pass

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Cheap lift tickets for Hakuba 47, Goryu and Iimori

47 Voucher

It has always amazed me how cheap the lift tickets are in Hakuba and the discount vouchers make it an even bigger bargain. 5100 yen for an adult day pass including a 1000 yen meal and drink voucher. Kids at 3000 yen including the voucher too. Crazy prices for such a fun mountain that has something for everyone including arguably the best park in the valley. There is also the Hakuba Valley pass for convenience. It is a little more expensive but no lining up at ticket boxes in the morning is a bonus.

For the discount pass, print off the PDF below and hand it over when purchasing tickets at the resort only.

Hakuba47 voucher

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Hakuba Valley First Day of the season competition 2018/19

First day 2017

First day last season was the 21st of November.  I remember it well.

It’s on again. Each year we run a competition to pick the first day of the season. The rules are simple

  • The first day the lifts open for skiers and boarders at any one of the resorts in Hakuba.
  • One date per person. If 2 or more people choose the same date then we will have a draw out of a hat to choose the winner.
  • The date must be chosen at least one week in advance
  • If a date isn’t chosen then it’s the closest date before.

The prizes are

So go to the bottom of this blog and put your date in the comments section or message me HERE and I will add it. Good luck. Remember that the resorts will open as soon as there is enough snow on the ground so it’s pretty much any time now. Just patiently waiting for THAT storm.

The list so far.

Tricia – 16th November

Danial Atkins – 17th November

Brin McNab – 19th November

Keesha Millar

Mark Rees

Von – 20th November

Steve J – 21st November

Reza

TJ – 22nd November

Shea Oliver

Joaquin Wong

Caleb – 23 November

Bec Britt

Ian Lee

Pete – 24th November

William – 25th November

Susie Teo

Byron (last years winner)

Kyle – 26th November

Snowriders Australia

Toby – 27th November

Kelsey – 28th November

William F – 29 November

George long-Howell

Kath Dumas

Zia Jasper

Steven Wilkes

Tom Parker

Nate – 30th November

Chad Edwards

Brian Glynn – 1st December

Brian Morris

David McAlister

PeterC

Alex Nicholson – 2nd December

Liam Baker – 3rd December

Adin Uhrig

Taylor Marsh

Veronica Lin

Jay – 4th December

Chad Steele – 5th December

Peter Moon

Tereza Foulcher

Tuulia – 6th December

Justin

Peng Li

Paul Cathcart – 7th December

Stephen Bryant

Nathan K

Kat

Coco Lin

Matt Bryson – 8th December

Angeline

Kacy Marsh – 9th December

Wing Choi Lam

Allen Marsh – 11th December

Adam R 13th December

 

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White Horse Hotel, Hakuba, Japan.

Hakuba Hotel

Autumn colours are out which means it’s time to get ready for the winter

Coming up to our 13th season, the White Horse Hotel has been at the forefront of service for winter guests in Hakuba. I have been at the helm from the start and with 3 years of holidaying here before that, I have a true understanding of what it is that customers want. First and foremost it is a snow holiday and regardless of the level of skiing and snowboarding, we constantly hear from our guests that they have had, “the best day ever on the snow”.  That is what I gauge my success on. Giving people the most memorable experience in this winter wonderland and that’s why people keep coming back to stay with us. It is not just by being in Hakuba that it is achieved. I spend a lot of time researching the mountains the weather and discussing with our guests what it is they are after. Powder snow, tree runs, backcountry, long groomers, beginner runs, cross-country or lessons, it doesn’t matter what style of sliding you want, I will ensure you are where you should be within the valley and sometimes out. The hotel has gone through some changes over the last 12 years and we will continually upgrade as we go along with even bigger plans for the next couple of years but at the end of the day it will still be your experience on the snow that I will push as our number one objective.

If you are interested in staying with us then please send a direct inquiry through our website http://www.whitehorse-hakuba.com . We don’t subscribe many rooms to the booking engines so they will tell you we are full when we actually do have rooms available. We also don’t push our guests to write reviews so you won’t see much of that either. Many guests tell us they won’t do it anyway as they want to be able to get a room for their next trip 🙂

I hope to see you here soon.

Tony

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