You might have heard about the famous night skiing at ski resorts in Japan, but what about sunrise skiing? That’s right, it’s a thing and you know what they say… the early bird catches the worm! Whether it’s first tracks through fresh powder, pristine piste skiing on freshly groomed corduroy or sensational alpine views you are after, rising bright and early for a sunrise ski session might just be the ticket!
The Hakuba Valley is located just a few hours from Tokyo and offers 10 ski resorts with varied terrain to suit all levels. With an abundance of new and exciting things to do, this is a fantastic resort to experience sunrise skiing, as quite a few of the resorts regularly offer special early opening on certain dates throughout the winter season. Here’s our rundown of the best resorts in the Hakuba Valley for a sunrise ski session.
Starting at the south end of the Hakuba Valley, Kashimayari ski resort offers “First Tracks” between 08:00-08:30 on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. Normal lift operation begins at 08:30, so you can enjoy 30 minutes of early bird skiing before the crowds arrive and bag those fresh lines! Kashimayari is a lesser known hidden gem resort in the Hakuba Valley. With varied slopes, spectacular views of the Japan Alps and Lake Aokiko below, we highly recommend adding it to your list of resorts to check out while skiing in Hakuba.
HAKUBA IWATAKE RESORT
For first tracks and early access at Iwatake mountain resort, sign up for their exclusive VIP S-CLASS offering. You can take advantage of being first on the mountain, boarding the gondola before anyone else! This premium service not only provides early access to the slopes; it includes priority parking, priority lift access (no queues!), a cloak service and access to two private S-CLASS lounges where you can enjoy spectacular views and complimentary drinks and snacks.
HAKUBA SANOSAKA RESORT
For super early birds keen to catch a glimpse of a truly spectacular sunrise on skis, then head to the small but magical resort of Hakuba Sanosaka. The sunrise skiing at this resort operates 06:00-08:00. This sounds early, but we promise it’s well worth it, as your effort will be rewarded by magnificent views of Lake Aokiko below and the glow of Japan’s famous rising sun. Truly mesmerising! Check Sanosaka resort’s website for updates on which dates sunrise skiing is available.
Photos by Hakuba Sanosaka Resort
TSUGAIKE MOUNTAIN RESORT
Like night skiing at Tsugaike mountain resort, sunrise skiing operates on certain designated dates during the winter season. You can check the resort’s website for up to date information. Tsugaike boasts some of the Hakuba Valley’s most impressive alpine views, and this resort is well worth the early morning effort for first tracks and breathtaking views.
Photos by Tsugaike Information
For more information and advice on how to book the perfect Hakuba accommodation to experience the best of Hakuba Valley’s sunrise skiing, don’t hesitate to contact the Japan Ski Experience team.