When you think night skiing in Japan, Niseko instantly springs to mind. Boasting some of the best night skiing in the world, the floodlit slopes, from the top of the Hirafu Gondola down to the base, are open every night during the winter season. Skiing Niseko’s famous powder by night is something of legend and a must try experience for anyone visiting this resort.
Photo by Ben Thorpe
However, did you know that you can experience night skiing in Hakuba too? You can try night skiing at 4 of the Hakuba Valley resorts meaning there are plenty of options to explore and try. As the trail maps show, Goryu, Happo-One, Tsugaike and Cortina offer a variety of terrain suited to different levels, and all offer night skiing during the winter season. So if skiing all day wasn’t quite enough and you really want to experience the magic of Hakuba’s powder snow at night, or be the first to get tracks in fresh snow, why not give night skiing a go? Known as a “Nighter” in Japan, flying down the slopes through fresh snow under flood lighting is an entirely different experience and atmosphere to regular daytime skiing!
Goryu resort is one of the most popular night skiing locations in Hakuba. Beginner friendly, but also popular with all levels of skiers and snowboarders, this resort offers night skiing daily during the winter season. Accessible from Goryu’s main base area, the 1000m long Toomi slope closes between 17:00-18:00 for grooming, so that night skiers can enjoy pristine conditions. Accessed on a speedy quad lift, night skiing operates 1800-21:30. Currently an Adult night skiing pass is 2700 Yen on weekdays and 3000 Yen on weekends and public holidays, and 1400 Yen on weekdays and 1500 Yen on weekends for Children. The Toomi night skiing slope is located right in front of the Escal Plaza base centre, so it’s convenient to take a break, enjoy some food and watch others night skiing during your evening there.
Photos by Hakuba Goryu Resort
Night skiing is available at Happo-One resort too, but is somewhat limited compared to Hakuba Goryu resort. A fairly short lower slope at the Nakiyama area, accessed by Nakiyama pair no. 2 lift, is lit up each night for those who’d like to get some night time turns in. Perhaps not the most exciting option, but certainly very convenient for those staying in and around the Happo Village and Wadano Forest areas.
Tsugaike Mountain resort offers probably the best and most extensive night skiing in the Hakuba Valley. The night skiing area includes: the exciting and fairly steep Shirakaba slope (above the gondola mid station), the mellow Karamatsu slope on the lower mountain, leading to the main gondola base and the Kane-no-naru-oka beginner slope, also on the lower mountain. Without a doubt, this is a night skiing experience in Hakuba not to be missed.
Tsugaike doesn’t run night skiing daily however. Typically night skiing at Tsugaike operates 18:00-21:00, open every night across the New Year holiday period, and then usually once a week for the rest of the season. You will need to check the resort’s website for a list of exact dates night skiing will be available each winter season.
Photos by Tsugaike Mountain Resort
Night skiing at Cortina resort is a fantastic option for kids and families, especially those staying at the Hotel Green Plaza, located right at the resort’s base. Ski-in ski-out access by day and night! Perfect for those who just can’t get enough. The long mellow Ikenota slope is accessed immediately from the back entrance of the hotel via a fast quad lift. A very fun option for beginners who want to experience all the fun of night skiing!
Photo by Hakuba Cortina Ski Resort
For more tips and advice on fun activities to try on your Hakuba ski holiday don’t hesitate to contact our expert team. Your can browse our extensive range of Hakuba hotel and chalet options here, with everything from traditional Japanese ryokans and western style hotels to luxury self-contained chalets and apartments.