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  • Writer's pictureJacob Maguire

The 2018-19 Season is Looming

Howdy snow people! As the the beautiful summer season gets into full swing in Hakuba I like to discuss the village, what’s cool and what’s not so cool. Things are changing so rapidly there as visitor numbers swell that it’s nice to give people a break down, you may be considering a trip to this this very special area so any info helps right? There is a fabulous culture, breathtaking scenery, amazingly generous and polite people and the skiing and boarding is about as cheap as you’ll get anywhere in the world. With the increase in the popularity of Hakuba and its surrounding areas, we have seen amazing growth in the village over the past few years and are blown away with people harnessing this potential with new venues for fun, food and frivolity…

What’s new in Hakuba?

Hakuba Heat had a cracker of a season and why wouldn’t it, you take a group of friends to an abandoned hotel that’s been turned into a shooting gallery and proceed to shoot that friend that always gives you a hard time, perfect day to stretch out those tired muscles.

Rhythm continued to provide our guests with the best rental gear also having the convenieince of pick up and drop off. We have now integrated a link on our website so that you can pre book for the upcoming season. Look for their logo on the bottom of the main screen.

The après scene got so cranked up Hakuba kept running out of Fireball whisky. Whether you were parked up the Mexican bar at Hakuba 47, throwing back a shot of fireball at the Temple or checking out the new Carona bars scattered around the place( even on piste at Hakuba 47 there was buzz around town, everybody frothing over the conditions and their trip of a lifetime, there was real vibe. The roof top Corona bar even hosting music events and live tunes. Wine bars have started popping up! There was already Fireside at Miminoki, Mimis at Phoenix Hotel and Bradbury’s in Goryu but there has been a couple more casual places open adding to the après experience. Goldilocks bar in Echo land sits in the old weather report building(remember bee guns and pool) They have a really cosy lounge serving a wide array of wines and especially well priced during happy hour, they usually have some chilled tunes or someone strumming out a tune on guitar as well, a nice vibe. Another spot looking out onto Happo base is Hakuba Unjaune burger bar, a cool bar but the food prices are a little exorbitant though so stick to drinking here.

The cool kids were all at the Rabbit Hole in Wadano and we felt we didn’t cut the mustard there as our hoodies weren’t long enough but oh well, there always next year. Mental note; buy a yo dog hoodie. Mocking bird in Echo land was always a popular haunt this year as well, happy hour specials and a good crew slinging the booze.

We did more renovating last summer having new carpet installed into our guest rooms, we also put in new black curtains for sleeping in if needed…..who am I kidding hit the pow, sleep in at home!

Sounds like Café hit continued to be the home of the world’s best chicken burger and amazing coffee. Sounds like is still tiny and its best to eat at 11 am as it’s the only way to guarantee one of these mind-altering life changing burgers before they run out for the day.

We continued to provide more than a hotel, we hope to make an experience for our guests they can talk about for years, from free guest transfers to sing along nights we get a fantastic crew of people through the lodge. Hanging out and chatting is encouraged so you’d always find free nibbles on the bar after a big day on the hill, from chips, to spring rolls to pop corn or gyoza. Our amazing team delivered an experience that has seen us reviewed quite well, although it seems the Asians aren’t as fond of our hotel as our core clientele, the Aussies. We are currently reviewed at 4.5 out of 5 on tripadvisor. (May 2018)

Nagano Snow Shuttle became the easiest way to get here, there or anywhere finishing their depo in Echoland they are very convenient but book out fast. They are pretty well the cheapest mode of transport unless you're coming from Shinjuku on the highway bus. Their only reservation system is being upgraded and will be ready for bookings June 15 2018. Here's the link

The Beer Scene is More Than Cheap Cans of Asahi, Dan at Hakuba Brewing has been hard at it making brews so good he's been selling out of some beers on regular basis in the winter season, you find a comfy spot by the fire at the base of Iwatake, they even do free pickups from your accommodation. Happo are has seen a new bar step up its beer selection

You Can Get Your Burger King Fix at Tsugaike Kogen, if your hungover and going riding, head over to mid station at Tsugaike Kogen and smash some junk food in your face ( may or may not actually assist in a hangover) Maybe consider a morning cocktail in our PT bar instead.

Our menu Grew To Include a Scotch Fillet sandwich and Chicken Parmigiana Utilising some amazing produce from the Meat Guy in Japan we delivered a basic but delicious menu. Steak Sanga 1500y 220 gram Aussie scotch fillet steak cooked close enough to how you like it, served with caramelized onion, garlic cheese, tomato, lettuce and aioli with a side of fries. BIG FAT Lasagna 1200y layers of rich meat sauce, creamy cheese sauce and tender pasta topped with a layer of golden melted cheese and side of chunky Slaw or green salad and fries or potato bake *Vg Veg Lasagna available The Beef Burglar 1200y The Meat Guys signature patty topped with a tasty cheddar cheese on a specialty bun, lettuce and tomato, served with a side of fries *VG Veg Burger option available Plenty of other dishes changing seasonally

I found Affordable Daycare!

Day Care Information Winter Season

Imori (right base of Hakuba 47) runs an affordable daycare centre with English speaking staff available on most days. Kids under 2 by prior request. The centre has two time slots with parents needing to collect and feed their kids at lunch. Am is 9-12 Pm is 1-4. Cost is 3100 yen for a half day or 5200 yen for a full day They are located on top of the restaurant at Imori. Phone 0261-75-2636 email contact from

Having travelled to Hakuba over the last 9 years, we have seen a massive surge in visitor numbers. This is fantastic news for the bourgeoning industry of the Hakuba village and surrounds and definitely contributes to a great new vibe and atmosphere that the village may have lacked years ago. There is the potential to face some minor infrastructure challenges due to the surge of visitors, such as; parking at Cortina on a powder day, being unable to walk into your favourite restaurant without a booking or slightly longer than usual lift lines on weekends or holidays. Don't be sad it is still well worth the visit, considering most hotels and lodges are well under $200 aus per night and your still able to book a room for under $100 we are a far better choice than Niseko with only 8 properties available this February with a room rate under $300.

As a footnote I do feel it important to ask our potential and future guest to please respect the local area and abide by the rules of the village. It’s seems there is lot of over service of drunks and it is starting to cause some anti social behaviour in winter time which is incredibly embarrassing for everyone, so please if your friends are acting up or need to slow down the drinking do this very beautiful part of the world an favour and cut them off.

So there you have it, if you haven’t been yet head on over to our reservations page and book yourself a room, if money's tight ask about our lay by payment system and you could be on your way!!!!!!! But a word of warning, once you come ride or ski Hakuba, you can’t go anywhere else!!

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