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Chubu | Nagano Prefecture

Hakuba

Hakuba is located in the Northern Alps and is one the most popular ski areas in Japan.

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Hakuba

Hakuba achieved worldwide recognition as several events of the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics were held in the area. Alpine and Nordic events were also held at Hakuba. Located in the Northern Alps of Nagano Prefecture, Hakuba is one of the most popular ski areas in Japan. There is an annual snow fall of 11 meters with several large ski resorts to choose from at the site. Some of the facilities made for the Olympics are still used today like the Ski Jumping Stadium. Within walking distance of the ski jump is the Hakuba Olympic Village Memorial Hall. Hakuba can be a day trip from Tokyo and the Kansai Region, but it is recommended to at least do an overnight stay. Along with the plethora of ski resorts there are hot springs available for guests to use.

During the Edo Period Hakuba was governed by the Matsumoto Domain under the Tokugawa Shogunate. It was once a post town along the Shio no Michi (salt road), which was used to transport salt from the ocean to the inland areas of Honshu. Other marine products were brought from the Sea of Japan along with the salt. Hakuba was a good rest stop and was close enough to Matsumoto where the salt was processed. Skiing was introduced to Japan towards the end of the Meiji Era and Hakuba proved to be a prime spot for the winter activity. Locals from Happo acted as mountain guides, but after World War II ski lifts were built along with resorts.