Narita Terminal 3


Tokyo Narita airport opened up it’s terminal 3 earlier this year for some of the low cost carriers like the Jetstar airline. If you are arriving into Terminal 3 then you may need to make your way to the bus stops or the train line at terminal 2. There is a bus transfer however you will probably find the walk is just as easy. Facilities at the terminal are quite good with plenty of restaurants and a Lawsons convenience store. There is also a 7/11 cash machine which you can use with your Visa or Mastercard to get some yen. (probably better to get some before you leave home though). It is a 520 meter covered walkway between terminals on a running track surface which is quite easy going. It is covered but will be really cold in the winter so have a jacket handy and some gloves.

Narita 2

Step out of customs and straight onto the race track

Narita 3

Up the escalator and you are in starting position


plenty of food options if you are peckish after your flight

Narita airport

and a lawson’s conveni for bits and pieces. (Fried chicken is yum)

Narita cash machine

Get some Yen out with your Visa or Mastercard here.


Down another escalator and off you go.

Narita terminal 2

In through the doors here to Terminal 2. Trains. baggage delivery service and information counter



Posted in Hakuba | Leave a comment

Hakuba First day of the season competition


The first day of the season last year was deeeeep

Here we go again. Each year we run a competition to pick the first day of the season. The rules are

  • 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 email 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.

The list so far.

Tereza – 12th December

Daniel Bacon – 10th December

Nick Kowal – 10th December

Bussell Ruxton – 9th December

Steph H – 8th December

William – 7th December

Prasit Mankad – 7th December

Stephen Bryant – 6th December

Dee Mathiesen – 6th December

Jeff House – 5th December

Daniel Mee – 5th December

Nadine Robb – 5th December

Stacey – 5th December

Cryssiejade – 5th December

Jake Atkinson – 4th December

Mark Redhill – 3rd December

Bundy – 3rd December

James Millane – 2nd December

Richard Copland – 1st December

Scott M – 1st December

Ruthryan – 1st December

Michael Mc – 30th November

Hakubahouse99 – 30th November

Sarah Seah – 30th November

Daniel M – 29th November

Jesse Kourmouzis – 29th November

Matt Dunn – 29th November

Steve Williams – 28th November

James C – 28th November

Charlotte Nadine – 28th November

Tony A – 27th November

Toru Higashi – 27th November

Shane Taylor – 26th November

Sally Williams – 26th November

Krystal Johnson – 23rd November

Kev M – 21st November

Shane Beal – 18th November

Lucky Pete – 14th November

Posted in Hakuba | Tagged , , , , | 36 Comments

Avalanche Training Courses in Hakuba Japan

AST in Japan

The first line should be straight to AST school

The resort sking in Hakuba is fantastic with lots of great terrain and of course plenty of snow. Something you will notice when you come here is a line of people at the top of the resorts each day heading off in all different directions with backpacks on. These crews are crossing into the danger zone.

The backcountry skiing and boarding in Hakuba is as good as it gets anywhere in the world however it is not something that should be taken lightly.  Do not go out of bounds without the correct gear and skills to keep you and others safe. The first step is an Avalanche Safety Course ( AST 1 ) These are run throughout the season by the very experienced team at Evergreen. If the endless backcountry lines of Hakuba are calling out to you then this is where you should be starting.

More Information and course dates are HERE

Side note : Probably the main thing that bothers me with people heading out  of the resort without the skills is the fact that they are putting other people’s lives at risk.  Firstly the people they are with, then the people below them and then the rescue teams that bravely come and look for them. Think before your drop.

Posted in Hakuba, ski and snowboard | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Discount lift tickets for Hakuba


This is the type of Lift line I enjoy

To get the best value for lift tickets in Hakuba you should purchase daily using the following discount coupons. Just print them off and present them at the ticket box.. It would still be cheap at twice the price. Just remember at some of the resorts there will be an extra charge of between 500 and 1000 yen for the electronic chip but you can get your money back for that at the end of the day.





Posted in Hakuba, snow | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Nagano Station

Nagano Station

The New Nagano Station facade is almost finished

There are some big renovations going on at Nagano Train Station at the moment with the west exit being totally re modeled. There is a new ticket office for the Shinkansen line however everything else remains the same in regards to the bullet train exit and entry area..

Nagano train station

Turn left for the buses

As you come out of the ticket check stalls you will see this sign. Turn left if you want to catch the Hakuba bus.

Hakuba bus

Catching the Nagano to Hakuba bus

Walk about 50 meters and make your way down the stairs then turn left.

Hakuba to Nagano

Bus Stop no. 6 for Hakuba

Walk down the stairs to the street level and you will see the bus stops. The Hakuba bus is at the end at stop No. 26  You can buy your ticket at the shop just under where this photo is taken.

I have simplified these instructions just to make it as easy to get to as possible. There is an escalator if you turned right at the bottom of the set of stairs. There is also a lift which is in the last photo.

Nagano bus

Bus stop number 26

Here is the Bus Timetable for Nagano to Hakuba

Posted in Information | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Winner – and gets first track. That’s a twinner


Tereza Foulcher – 5th December

Congratulations to Tereza Foulcher for taking out this years prestigious “First Day of the Season Competition”. Good to see she was able to get out on the mountain to celebrate the start of 5 months of skiing Hakuba. Come down to the White Horse Hotel in Echoland anytime from the 18th of December Tereza to pick up your prize.

Posted in Hakuba, Information | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

First day of the season competition 2014/15


22 nd of November 2013 and getting fresh tracks on Goryu

Each year we run a competition to pick the first day of the season. The rules are

  • 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 email 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.

The list so far.

Tony A – 15th November

Stu Cormack – 16th November

Martie – 16th November

James – 17th November

Brendan Keryk – 17th November

Andy McGrath – 17th November

Jonathon Mizen – 18th November

Leigh – 19th November

Michael Lewis – 19th November

Martin Silitonga – 19th November

Morgan Lund – 20th November

Simon B – 20th November

George A – 20th November

Mick Lay – 21st November

Jonesy – 21st November

Nick Meecham – 21st November

Brett Wilson – 21st November

Shane T – 22nd November

Dean Pollock – 22nd November

George Grant – 22nd November

Raphael C – 22nd November

Grant McGarva – 23rd November

Ingrid Grant – 23rd November

Shane J – 24th November

Cath Muecke – 24th November

Michael McGrath – 24th November

Robert L – 25th November

Ian Phipps – 25th November

Arthur Jones – 25th November

Nicole Plozza – 26th November

Hamish – 26th November

Ungracefulplodder – 26th November

Claire Stabler – 26th November

Phillip Kok – 26th November

Leanne – 27th November

Joshua Turner – 27th November

William F – 28th November

Josh – 28th November

Clare – 29th November

Sam Smith – 29th November

Adrian Caspar – 29th November

Scott Menegon – 29th November

Pricey – 30th November

Mike – 30th November

Lora – 1st December

Matt – 1st December

Geoff Forester – 2nd December

Bridget K – 3rd December

Stacey Giles – 4th December

Harriet – 4th December

Tereza Foulcher – 5th December

Jon – 6th December

Brent Giles – 6th December

Posted in Hakuba, snow | Tagged , , , , | 55 Comments

Hiking in Japan


Spectacular views at Happo Ike

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.


View from the top of the lifts

Hakuba Japan

The steps make it quite easy but there is some stone trails too

Japan hiking

The trails are well marked

Happo Pond

Beautiful first view of the pond


Hakuba snow peaks

Amazing peaks in the background

Hiking in Japan

My favourite place

Snow in Hakuba

There can be fresh snow in spring and autumn

Myoko mountain range

The views to the east

Paragliding in Japan

Tandem paragliding can be booked for a birdseye view

Autumn in Japan

The views on the way down are just as stunning

Hakuba autumn

Autumn leaves and fresh snow on the peaks

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.


Posted in Hakuba, Sightseeing | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Wine in Hakuba

wine bars in Hakuba

Lots of good wines in Hakuba

Over the years there has been a big transition with wines in Hakuba. When I first came here there was a limited supply of good wines at good prices. I made it one of my goals to change that and we have certainly come a long way. You still may find a red served from the fridge or a dubious cheap french bottle at the supermarket but at least now there are quite a few really good options about. Even the convenience stores have a few cheaper ones to choose from. I have always encouraged the restaurant, bar and hotel owners to learn a little about wines and this year once again I will be holding a tasting before the season on Friday November 21st. This event has always been a popular get together before business gets too busy for the winter.  There are also a few more wine distributors coming to Hakuba this year to introduce themselves and I see that as a great thing. The dining here is exceptional so having the wines to compliment just makes the experience even better.

Azuma Wines will be having a tasting at the Mominoki Hotel on Wednesday the 8th of October, 1-4pm

AWines will be holding their tasting at the Cafe and Bar LION on Wednesday 5th November 12 – 5 pm

Village Cellars will be holding their 9th Hakuba annual wine tasting at the White Horse Hotel on the 28th November 1:00 – 4:30 pm

Drink driving is dangerous and also illegal in Japan and we would like everybody to stay safe so  please spit your wines, catch a taxi,  have a designated driver or take a pleasant stroll home.

Posted in Food, Hakuba apres | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Eating out in Hakuba


Food in Hakuba

Bibimbap.The bowl is scorching hot so mix it up and press it to the sides for 5 minutes for it all to ccok up

Echoland is the main restaurant and bar district in Hakuba and offers a great range of dining experiences. If you are looking at fine dining then I would rate Traumerei as one of the best in Hakuba.  As for izakaya’s I find it difficult to go past Hie and if I do I stroll 100 meters to Sarugaku Shinshu Dining. Either will delight. Marukame is a yakiniku restaurant that offers up some delicious cuts of meats to cook up on your own table top bbq. I can also recommend the bibimbap there (photo above).  Sumotei dish up a magnificent traditional sumo hotpot by a sumo wrestler. Tomatito has some amazing dishes with an Italian style. Taco Taco offers fresh mexican food. Zen is a soba restaurant and offers an izakaya menu also in very traditional decor. Hindi Momo is very tasty Indian food. The Cherry Pub offers some great western style foods with probably the best ribs in town. Syo is Italian and the pastas are brilliant. Enchante is fine dining again and great value for money. White Horse will have an international menu with something for everyone. Alpine Grill have the best Wagyu steaks in town. Non Jaes is a huge izakaya and great for big groups. New this year will be a Gyoza Restaurant and a Teppenyaki Grill. Daytime there is the very popular Sounds Like Cafe and the New Sanno Bakery will be open shortly in a new building on 4th street. That will pretty much cover you for a 2 week stay in Hakuba. Eating out here is one of the best gourmet experiences you will have. Make sure you get out there and try anything that is going. You will be amazed at what is available.

Posted in Food, Hakuba | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment