During the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics, Hakuba gained world wide recognition as it hosted several olympic competitions, including alpine (downhill, super g, and combination) and nordic (ski jump and cross country) events. Today some of the olympic facilities remain in use, such as the Hakuba Ski Jumping Stadium. There is also the Hakuba Olympic Village Memorial Hall, a small but interesting museum, located within walking distance of the ski jump.
Hakuba can be reached relatively easily not only from Tokyo, but also from the Nagoya and Kansai regions. While it is possible to do a day trip from Tokyo, Hakuba is best enjoyed overnight. In addition to skiing and snowboarding, there are hot springs (onsen) available around town.
Ten of the major resorts (including all of those listed on this page) have teamed up to offer the "Hakuba Valley Ticket" to be used at any of the participating resorts. A one-day ticket costs 6600 yen. Longer validities and other combination tickets are also available, while some locals hotels offer further discounts to staying guests.
Hakuba Goryu and Hakuba 47 group
A ticket bought at either Hakuba Goryu or Hakuba 47 can be used at both resorts.
Hakuba Norikura and Hakuba Cortina Kokusai Group
Located just outside of the Hakuba village limits. A combination ticket to both resorts costs 5000 yen.
By shinkansen and bus via Nagano
Take the JR Hokuriku Shinkansen from Tokyo to Nagano (100 minutes, 8000 yen) and then an express bus from Nagano to Hakuba (60-90 minutes, 2000-2200 yen), where the bus stops at Hakuba Station and directly at the base of several ski resorts. The Japan Rail Pass covers the shinkansen trip but not the bus journey.
By train via Matsumoto
Take the JR Azusa limited express train from Tokyo's Shinjuku Station to Matsumoto and transfer to a local train on the JR Oito Line to Hakuba. Some Azusa limited express trains run all the way to Hakuba. The one way journey takes about 4 to 4.5 hours and costs around 8000 yen. It is fully covered by the Japan Rail Pass.
By highway bus from Tokyo
Alpico operates several buses per day between Tokyo (Busta Shinjuku) and Hakuba, where the buses stop in the village center and at the bases of the Goryu and Happoone resorts (in summer they stop at the Hakuba Happo Bus Treminal). The one way journey takes around 5 hours and costs 5200 yen. A set of two tickets is available for 9400 yen and must be used within three months.
By direct highway bus from Narita Airport (not operating in 2020/2021)
During regular winters, Alpico operates one round trip per day between Narita Airport and Hakuba (Goryu, town center and Happo-one). The one way trip takes about six hours and costs 9800 yen. However, in the 2020/2021 season, the bus is not operating.
Take the JR Shinano limited express train from Nagoya to Matsumoto and transfer to a train along the Oito Line to Hakuba. From Nagoya, the one way journey takes about 3.5 hours and costs around 7000 yen. It is fully covered by the Japan Rail Pass.