Hakuba, location and where to stay?

Iangordon22

Hard Yards
Sep 1, 2013
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Lennox Head NSW
First time to Hakuba, (been to Japan a few times already)we are couple looking for advise on location in Hakuba and where to stay.
Looking at having a hire car as well.
Ian
 

Tanuki

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Provide some details on what you're looking for i.e type of accommodation, night life, food, proximity to lifts etc and that will facilitate the discussion. I love Hakuba, been there three times. Happy to help
 

sn0wbunny29

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I've stayed at the Tokyu a couple of times which doesn't tick the small hotel box but it does have a lovely onsen, has the slopes bus stop right by the entrance and has some good restaurants around. Friends have stayed at Double Black which they rated.
 

Crispy013

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Jun 6, 2010
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My vote:

Backcountry Lodge Hakuba
http://backcountry-hakuba.com/

Stayed here in January and already looking at booking next year....set in the forest between Iwatake and Tsugaike. Lodge is absolutely beautiful, rooms western and huuuge. No on site onsen unfortunately. Car is almost necessary as its 5-10mins drive away from Happo downtown. But, very easy access to the northern resorts (Iwatake, Tsugaike, Norikura, Cortina) so easy to get first tracks when the snow is on.

Oh and the lodge owners are simply amazing. Go above and beyond to make the stay enjoyable. Breakfasts are made specially each morning. Just check tripadvisor reviews for how good this place is.
 

Beerman

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Brisvegas
Genuine Onsens in Hakuba don't exist, pick another resort. However, if you want an artificially heated bath that some may call an Onsen, Hakuba has some of those, mostly around Happo and Echoland, in the larger establishments, not pensions.
You want to be handy to lifts but you want to hire a car?? o_O
Windy car hire. 4wd, racks and GPS as standard.
 
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Morino

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Oct 30, 2011
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Hakuba
www.morinolodge.com
Genuine Onsens in Hakuba don't exist, pick another resort. However, if you want an artificially heated bath that some may call an Onsen, Hakuba has some of those, mostly around Happo and Echoland, in the larger establishments, not pensions.
You want to be handy to lifts but you want to hire a car?? o_O
Windy car hire. 4wd, racks and GPS as standard.

Genuine onsens in Hakuba do exist

These are all genuine onsens. Kakenagashi which means the fresh onsen water constantly flows into the bath.
Kurashita no yu - Over the bridge on the way to Iwatake.
Highland no yu - In the highland hotel
Obinata no yu - behind Happo on the way to Sarukura
Mimimzuku no yu - between Happo and the station, one road in
Juro no yu - near Iimori
Shobei no yu - in the Mominoki hotel
Happo no yu - Near the bus terminal

There are also a bunch of (real) foot onsens that are free to use dotted around the village. One is across the road from the Lawsons at Happo and the other is down on the salt road one road back from the main road.

Other ones generally use onsen water but are recirculating it. That still qualifies as an onsen but is the 2nd tier of recirculated onsens.

Trust me on this - I own an onsen (although not in Hakuba)
 
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Vermillion

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Genuine Onsens in Hakuba don't exist, pick another resort. However, if you want an artificially heated bath that some may call an Onsen, Hakuba has some of those, mostly around Happo and Echoland, in the larger establishments, not pensions.
You want to be handy to lifts but you want to hire a car?? o_O
Windy car hire. 4wd, racks and GPS as standard.

I thought Highlands was a legit onsen? I remember the certification outside with the mineral contents. I am big on making sure and onsen is an onsen and not a crappy good for nothing sentoh.
 

Vermillion

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Genuine onsens in Hakuba do exist

These are all genuine onsens. Kakenagashi which means the fresh onsen water constantly flows into the bath.
Kurashita no yu - Over the bridge on the way to Iwatake.
Highland no yu - In the highland hotel
Obinata no yu - behind Happo on the way to Sarukura
Mimimzuku no yu - between Happo and the station, one road in
Juro no yu - near Iimori
Shobei no yu - in the Mominoki hotel
Happo no yu - Near the bus terminal

There are also a bunch of (real) foot onsens that are free to use dotted around the village. One is across the road from the Lawsons at Happo and the other is down on the salt road one road back from the main road.

Other ones generally use onsen water but are recirculating it. That still qualifies as an onsen but is the 2nd tier of recirculated onsens.

Trust me on this - I own an onsen (although not in Hakuba)

If I cant smell it, or if I dont see the certification plaque and mineral contents, it's a sentoh.
 

Tanuki

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Highmount Hotel has a nice Onsen. Even if it's not technically an Onsen (I'm unsure). There is also a lovely forest onsen just up the road in Wadano. It's also one of the quirkier places we've stayed in Japan. Kind of a smallish bubble hotel, still run by locals and in the heart of Wadano;

I love the hexagon shaped Onsen in Happo Village it might be called Daini Onsen.

Re accommodation I'd recommend Wadano or anywhere with proximity to Adam Gondola as that opens first. We've stayed in Echoland but it wasn't our scence. To many pissed Aussies with BB guns. However Echoland has great restaurants and bars, Hie is incredible
 

winter

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May 6, 2010
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southern highlands, nsw
Genuine Onsens in Hakuba don't exist, pick another resort. However, if you want an artificially heated bath that some may call an Onsen, Hakuba has some of those, mostly around Happo and Echoland, in the larger establishments, not pensions.
You want to be handy to lifts but you want to hire a car?? o_O
Windy car hire. 4wd, racks and GPS as standard.
There are about 150 "real" onsens in the Hakuba region. The licenses are only owned by Japanese families.
 

gaz35

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Aug 9, 2013
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We are in our 50's, exp snowboarders.
Like smaller pensions over big hotels, good onsen a must.
Handy to lifts and good restaurants,
we stayed in Maruni Ryokan. Nice little Ryokan with onsen. Family who run it are unbelievable kind. Great value right in the centre of Happo.
Could not fault the place
 

mcguyver

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Jun 23, 2015
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We stayed at Hotel Goryukan. Was more than happy with it. Great friendly staff. Nice onsen with great facilities. Clean rooms etc, Great veiws from all rooms too. Food in the restaurant was great.
Only possible draw back is that it is a 10 minute walk to Happo centre, But this didnt bother us and a shuttle bus is available if required.
 

Vermillion

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OK so if it's a sentoh, and you know it's a sentoh, and everyone else knows its a sentoh, and it's in a small hotel in a ski village, should you still be required to be naked? I feel if you are getting cheaped out on the onsen then you should be able to do what you like. That's not to say that sentohs are not good (when there are no other options) but dressing one up as a real onsen or rotenburo is like plastic tits or Kim Kardashians butt.
 

FatBoyDave

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Jun 3, 2013
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Stayed at Hakuba twice.
First time up in Wadano at Gakuto Villas:
Positives:
- Bus stop right outside your door if you want to go to any of the other hills.
- Car parking onsite if you have a hire a car
- walking distance (5 minutes) to 5minute walk to the Kokusai lift at Happo.
- Very new large style apartments
Negatives:
- You are a captive to the resort style accom surrounding you. it's a long way to the supermarket and any other shops (with the exception of Rhythm sports) but you are surrounded by hotel restaurants (if you don't want to cook), oh and the pub if you're missing a taste of middle Australia.
- Not cheap.

Second time stayed at Hakuba Ski Condos down near the train station:
Positives:
- Western sized self catering apartment (we were a party of 3)
- Walking distance to lots of restaurants and cafes and Onsens
- Walking distance to 2 supermarkets and clothing stores
- Run by a really nice Canadian guy who is very happy to do drop off and pick up at anytime around all the ski hills in the Hakuba valley. We used the Booking.com chat function to arrange pickup and drop off times that suited us during the day. If one of us waned to get picked up later, that was fine too. Much nicer than having to worry about fitting on the bus at the end of the day. This also allowed us to change our plans based on the weather that morning. Want to go to Cortina today? Sure!
- Relatively cheap (compared to anywhere in Wadano).
- onsite car parking if you choose.
Negatives:
- You are a long way from any of the ski area's ~2km's.
- It's pretty quiet at night, (this could be a +ve)
 
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Schnaxxy Schnaxxlburger

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in early 2014 I stayed with then-22 person a at La Neige Higashikan in Wadano
smallish hotel, fairly pricey but the staff were fantastic
they drove us to local ski fields and there was a bus stop near the entrance
the dining room was very nice
since my recent Austrian experience I'm inclined to half-board but I don't know whether they offer it
 
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TJ

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Aug 5, 2000
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Hakuba, Japan
www.whitehorse-hakuba.com
Thanks for the recommendations guys. It was good catching up with a few of the crew from the forums this year.and getting a slide in with a bunch of them too :)
My recommendation is to book direct with the hotel/lodge.(you should be able to get a better deal and also understand more of what they offer). Stay with someone who actually gets out on the mountain a lot themselves. (you are coming here to ski/board and local knowledge makes a huge difference) Don't book your stay with dinner inc. (too many good restaurants) Stay somewhere with good access to all the resorts (ski in /ski out onto one resort is not the best way to do Hakuba) Do your research and it will make a huge difference to the quality of your stay.
 

Beerman

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^^ Yep what he said.
Also, don't be frightened of hiring a car in Hakuba. It's not a particularly convenient place to get around and a car will improve that no end.
 
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