There are at least 11 ski resorts in the Hakuba region of Japan, and knowing which one to go to can be a little overwhelming at times. This quick reference guide will help you decide, but for more detailed information we have a whole page devoted to each ski resort as well.
Happo is the biggest and the most popular of all the ski resorts in Hakuba. It has all types of terrain from beginners to advanced and the backcountry runs are second to none in Japan. The steeper runs become moguled displeasing most boarders.
Goryu and 47 can both be accessed on the one ticket and is a challenger to Happo for the most popular ski resort. Like Happo, Goryu has slopes to suit everyone and it also has probably the steepest run in Hakuba (Champion course).
Together with Goryu, 47 makes up the 2nd largest ski area in Hakuba. 47 is very popular with boarders and has the best snowpark/halfpipe in the valley. It has some great steep runs and being North facing, it is open every year till early May.
Tsugaike is another large ski resort popular with families because of the abundance of beginner slopes, although it also has many intermediate slopes as well. It's a lovely 20 minutes drive from the Hakuba township.
Iwatake is another resort very popular with boarders because of the great park and halfpipe facilities. There are many intermediate slopes, but not many steeps or beginner slopes. Features great views of the alps.
Cortina is known as the powder capital of Hakuba, both for the huge amounts of snow it gets, and also for the steep and bottomless tree runs. There is a great beginners area at the bottom along with many intermediate runs.
This resort is a great family one, if somewhat small. Most of the runs are fairly short and will suit intermediates.There is a great 4 way kicker at the base of the mogul run for some truly big air, and some lovely views of Lake Aokiko.
Norikura is a medium sized resort next to Cortina. It is still big enough to be interesting for most people and it has a great terrain park, including a very popular half pipe. It tends to be spread across the mountain making most of the runs fairly short.
Minekata is a small ski resort, famous for it's beautiful cross country course at the top, where you can huff and puff your way through the majestic pine trees. They rent cross country skis and snowshoes as well for 1,000 yen/half day.
Kashimayari is a medium size ski resort with a good range of courses and is the first one you will see coming to Hakuba from Tokyo. It is also one of the least crowded resorts as most people tend to bypass it on the way to Hakuba proper.
Yanaba is a tiny resort only but has 2 things going for it. Firstly, a day ticket is only 1,000 yen, and secondly it has a great terrain park. The park has a number of kickers, rails, high box jumps, step ups and of course the mandatory half pipe.