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My favourite resort, hands down! Hakuba provides the best quality snow, crowds and terrain i have encountered. What separates Hakuba from other resorts is its amazing off piste powder snow (particularly Cortina), making Hakuba my favourite resort worldwide. Although the snow is amazing Hakuba does not offer many apre activities, restaurants, pubs, nightclubs or other activities. Hakuba offers an authentic Japanese experience, it will however fall short for people looking to party or shop.
Went to Hakuba for the 1st time 24/12/13-2/1/14 and expected to be slightly disappointed with start of season snowfall - I ABSOLUTELY WASN'T, in the last 3 days, it was falling 1 metre per day! I skied 7 out of the 9 mountains, it was so easy to navigate between mountains and the fartherest resort (Cortina) was only 30 mins shuttle away. I thought it would be too crowded during the holiday season and was warned not to go during the Japanese 9 day holiday - IT ABSOLUTELY WASN'T CROWDED. I only queued 10 mins 3 times (at Cortina). Love the onsens, love the food, love the culture, love the powder snow & especially love just being in a perfect snow dome world without understanding the language. No problems apart from they need more ATMs in the village. Hakuba trumps Niseko for value, ease of getting there and accessibility. I'll be back there again next northern season.