Hakuba’s main attraction during the warmer months is the hiking and the most popular day hike would be Happo Ike ( Happo Pond). Each day hundreds of people of all ages ascend up into the mountains to this spectacular viewing platform. I would rate it on a world scale at “as good as it gets”. The journey starts with a Gondola ride and then 2 chairlifts that are lowered after the winter which brings you closer to the natural foliage. The top of the resort by itself has some amazing views for those not up to the hiking and is certainly worth the trip. For the more adventurous the 45 minute hike along some rocky pathways and boardwalk steps will offer up some breathtaking vistas along the way. The route follows the ridgeline so there are many vantage spots for photos and even the most novice of photographers will be taking professional shots here. The rocky step sections along the way can be a little difficult to manoeuvre so take your time on the hike and absorb the environment. Once you reach the pond the views will amaze you with the stunning back drop of 3000 meter peaks. This is truly a special place.
Tips. Take warm clothing with you. Conditions can change in an instant. Take some food and a drink and enjoy a picnic lunch next to the pond. Even a bottle of wine or champagne has been known to be popped up there. Take your camera, sunglasses and sunscreen. There is a toilet at the top of the lifts and also 30 minutes into the hike. Kids as young as 4 should be able to complete the hike up and down. There are always many elderly hikers in their eighties so as long as you are sure footed you should be able to get up and back. Take all your rubbish home.