Hello everyone, this is Tokyu Resort Newsletter! We would like to introduce a Japan’s premier ski resort that is very popular with foreigners in this article.
Niseko has already been branded and became the world-famous snow resort. There are still more amazing places in Japan. We will introduce “Hakuba” in Nagano Prefecture that was one of the venues for the 1998 Olympics.
It takes about one hour and 35 minutes from JR “Tokyo” Station to JR “Nagano” Station by Shinkansen and about 50 minutes from JR “Nagano” Station to Hakuba Village by car. There are also nonstop buses from Shinjuku, Kyoto, Osaka, Haneda Airport, Narita Airport, and Chubu International Airport (Nagoya). They directly take you to the ski area from the airports, and you would satisfy easy access to them. Hakuba Village offers magnificent mountains, and you enjoy the landscapes of them when coming close to the village.
First of all, we would like to introduce three reasons why people visit Hakuba.
１. Three Reasons to Visit Hakuba
(1) Reason 1; Powder snow and a wide variety of ski areas
Hakuba Village was chosen as the venue for Olympic Ski Games. It is wonderful powder snow that makes Hakuba Village attractive. High-quality powder snow in Japan is called “Japow (Japan + Powder Snow)” abroad, and Hakuba and Niseko have been recognized as the best places to enjoy the powder snow all over the world.
Furthermore, there are 10 various ski resorts in the Hakuba area, such as Happo-One, Iwatake, Tsugaike Kogen, ABLE Hakuba Goryu, Hakuba 47 and Hakuba Cortina. These are collectively known as “Hakuba Valley” and promoted to the world. Besides, Hakuba Cortina, Hakuba Norikura and Tsugaike Kogen have uncompressed slopes being very popular with foreign skiers. The 10 ski resorts have common IC tickets that you can use for getting on lifts, and shuttle bus services between each other. Such convenience is the feature of the ski resorts.
(2) Reason 2; Infrastructure for fulfilling activities after skiing
Just like Niseko, Hakuba area’s attractions are not only the powder snow and ski resort, but also fulfilling activities after skiing that a lot of people from other countries enjoy.
The main part of the area is “Echoland” being full of restaurants, cafes, bars and various shops. When walking a bit further into the main street, you can see rental chalets lining both sides of the street. There is a shuttle bus stop, “Hakuba Base Camp” in the central area of Echoland, and it offers great access to each of the ski resorts.
(3) Reason 3; Summer Season
Hakuba has a strong impression of a mecca for winter sports. Not only that, it has focused on attracting customers for Green Season and has got much attention. In October 2018, “HAKUBA MOUNTAIN HARBOR” opened in Hakuba Iwatake. It offers you a spectacular view of the Northern Alps. “Xtrem Aventures” which is an experience-based adventure park originating in France also opened in 2018. Furthermore, in July 2019, “HAKUBA MOUNTAIN BEACH” with a jacuzzi and sauna gondolas opened on top of the roof of Happo-one Usagidaira Terrace t an altitude of 1,400 meters.
While going on a trek to Lake Happo, climbing the Hakuba Daisekkei, and doing canyoning, you can enjoy beautiful nature. The Hakuba area in Summer is attractive. Many people from other countries were fascinated so much that they moved to Hakuba.
Active real estate transactions by international people
Real estate transactions have been very active by international people who got attracted to the attractions of Hakuba. People from many foreign countries such as Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Malaysia and Australia have purchased real estate in Hakuba. Popular areas are “Wadano” close to Happo-one Ski Resort, “Echoland” that we introduced earlier, and “Misorano.”
In the Wadano area, there are famous hotels and rental chalets like Hakuba Tokyu Hotel and La Neige Higashikan, and the Nagano Olympic flag along a road making the atmosphere there sophisticated. A ski slope is within walking distance. A luxury hotel is scheduled to open between 2019 and 2022. “Misorano” is adjacent to the south of Echoland, and the area has various single-family villas, rental chalets, and pensions. It is convenient as being close to Echoland. Snow in the area is properly removed, so you can live here.
We would like to talk about a type of properties international people purchase. Ski chalets, single-family homes, and small hotels listed for no more than 50,000,000 yen are particularly popular among them. These properties are considered to be affordable compared to those in Niseko.
In this area, there are still few condominium-hotels with guest rooms for sale, compared to Niseko. “Mountain Side Hakuba” built on the land facing Sakka Slope in 2017 was the first condominium-hotel developed in Hakuba, and all the guest rooms were sold out.
We expect that the transactions of real estate in Hakuba by international people would continue to increase because the area is great for not only ski resorts but also activities in summer season.
We also recommend “Azumino.” The area does not have any ski resort, but preserves a nostalgic landscape and is convenient for daily life such as shopping.
Azumino is located about 50km south of Hakuba. It takes about 1 hour to get there by car. The area is a popular tourist destination with the majestic Northern Alps and peaceful countryside. The beautiful landscape of it is often described as “home of Japanese people” and “nostalgic landscape of Japan.” Moreover, “Ohisama,” a Japanese television drama aired on NHK in 2011 was shot in the area, and then Azumino came to be recognized by many people.
Compared to Hakuba where many skiers from other countries visit, Azumino has fewer inbound tourists. Even so, many Japanese people move from Hakuba to Azumino as it has less snow than Hakuba, In Azumino, wasabi (Japanese horseradish) and rainbow trouts are cultivated through the use of rich nature and spring water. A lot of rice and apples are grown there too. Furthermore, since there are many art museums located, Azumino is well known as a city of art. Located in at the foot of the Northern Alps, it is the starting point for Mount Jonen and Mount Tsubakuro which are the route of the Panorama Ginza.
We would like to let you know 3 popular spots in Azumino.
– Springs of Azumino Wasabi Fields
Water from melting snow of the Northern Alps springs as underflow water. The quantity of water reaches 700,000 tons per day. Even in midsummer, the spring water never exceeds 15 degrees in temperature. The water is first used for cultivating wasabi. Then, rainbow trouts are cultivated through the use of water from the wasabi field.
In the election of the 100 greatest springs by Ministry of the Environment, Springs of Azumino Wasabi Fields won titles in 2 categories (tourist destination and landscape). Azumino City is also certified as one of the 100 Selected Water Spots by Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.
– The Daio Wasabi Farm
Azumino is one of the 3 most famous places for cultivating wasabi in Japan, along with Shizuoka and Shimane. Especially, the Daio Wasabi Farm has the largest area in Japan. A famous spot in the farm is 3 water wheels, where Akira Kurosawa’s movie “Dreams” was shot. It also leaves a nostalgic landscape representing the symbol of Azumino.
In the farm, you can enjoy strolling through the wasabi field and having special food of the area such as wasabi-flavored soft-serve ice cream and wasabi croquettes.
– Exploring art museums
Azumino is famous for art as well as water and wasabi. There are 19 museums on “Azumino Art Line” that connects Hakuba and Azumino. Especially, Rokuzan Art Museum is one of the popular tourist spots in Azumino. It exhibits the works of Morie Ogiwara (his pseudonym is Rokuzan) who was a sculptor in Meiji period and known as the father of modern Japanese sculpture.
Properties for sale in Azumino include single faminly homes as a permanent residence and vacation homes with onsen (hot spring).
Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.