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Visitor reviews for Hakuba Goryu Ski Resort
October 06, 2012
John-Paul from Australia
We returned to Hakuba in Jan 12 and stayed at AquaAlpine again. Since our last trip it has established a shuttle bus that runs you to the chair lifts and ski school every morning. It also provides daily trips to all the resorts in the Hakuba Valley. You can now access five resorts; all within 40 mins. Hukuba Cortina was the pick of the resorts with easily accessed back country skiing. Any criticism for off-piste restrictions in Goryu/47 are overcome with such easy access to Cortina.
Hakuba Goryu Ratings
Overall: 4.4. Based on 8 votes and 3 reviews. Vote
(1) At least one overnight stop, (2) requires a whole day, (3) requires more than half a day – you may have time for a few turns (4) arrive by lunchtime and ski all afternoon, (5) there is a main airport within an hour of Hakuba Goryu.
Public Transport: 4.6
(1) There are no buses or taxis to Hakuba Goryu, (3) there are slow or infrequent buses / trains available, (5) getting to the resort is easy with frequent bus / train connections.
(1) An ugly resort in a bland setting, (3) average mountain views and resort, (5) a spectacular setting and a beautiful / historic resort town.
(1) No places to stay in/near Hakuba Goryu, (3) a few places to stay in the resort, (5) a wide variety of accommodation suitable to suit all budgets.
Cheap Rooms: 4.6
(1) No budget accommodation available, (3) just one or two hostels so book ahead, (5) several cheap hostels and pensions available.
Luxury Hotels: 4.4
(1) No luxury accommodation available, (3) just one or two luxury hotels so book ahead, (5) several up-market hotels in Hakuba Goryu.
Ski in/Ski out: 4.5
(1) The ski area is located far from any accommodation, (3) a free ski bus takes you to the ski area in a short trip, (5) Ski-in ski-out accommodation is available.
(1) There are no child care facilities at Hakuba Goryu, (5) the resort has excellent child-care facilities including at least one reasonably priced creche.
(1) Occasionally gets enough snow for skiing, (2) is often closed due to a lack of snow, (3) occasionally suffers from a lack of snow, (4) rarely suffers from a lack of snow, (5) Hakuba Goryu is snowsure even in the poorest seasons.
(1) Hakuba Goryu relies entirely on natural snow, (3) there are just a few snow cannons, (5) there are snowmaking facilities on all pistes.
Snow Grooming: 4.8
(1) There are no snow groomers at Hakuba Goryu, (3) occasionally some pistes are left ungroomed and in a poor state, (5) all the runs at Hakuba Goryu are groomed daily.
(1) there is nowhere to ski when it is windy or visibility is bad and lifts often shut, (3) there are some trees for poor visibility but main lifts sometimes close, (5) Hakuba Goryu is mostly in forest where you can ski in flat-light and windy days, lifts rarely close.
Nearby options: 4.6
(1) If snow conditions are poor at Hakuba Goryu, it will be poor everywhere nearby, (3) there are good alternatives within an hours drive, (5) other locations on the same lift pass provide a rich variety of snowsure ski conditions.
Regional rating: 4.8
(1) Hakuba Goryu usually has poor snow conditions compared to other resorts in region, (3) has average conditions for the region, (5) usually has the best snow conditions in the region.
Lift Staff: 4.9
(1) The staff at Hakuba Goryu are rude or unhelpful, (5) lift staff at Hakuba Goryu are pleasant, cheerful and eager to help.
(1) the resort is always busy and there are usually long lift queues, (3) it is quiet apart from occasional weekends and school holidays, (5) it is uncrowded and lift queues are very rare.
Ski Schools: 5.0
(1) No ski schools available, (2) one or two ski schools but local language only, (3) a few ski schools but book early for multi-lingual instructors, (4) plenty of ski schools and multi-lingual instructors available, (5) excellent ski schools with friendly multi-lingual ski instructors.
Hire and Repairs: 5.0
(1) Nothing can be sourced, not even ski-wax or ptex. (3) there are some ski shops but rentals need to be booked in advance, (5) good quality ski equipment can be purchased or hired and overnight repairs are possible.
Variety of pistes: 4.6
(1) The ski runs are featureless and unvaried, (3) the ski runs are varied but not extensive enough for a week, (5) Hakuba Goryu has diverse and interesting pistes including forests and high alpine terrain.
(1) Beginners can only watch others ski and snowboard, (3) a few gentle slopes but beginners will get bored in less than a week, (3) Vast areas of gentle terrain.
(1) No intermediate terrain at Hakuba Goryu, (3) intermediate skiers will get bored after a few days, (5) vast areas of cruising runs.
(1) Nothing for advanced skiers and snowboarders, (3) enough steep terrain for a few days with some good offpiste, (5) Enough steep terrain and offpiste areas to entertain advanced skiers for at least a week.
Snow Park: 4.9
(1) Not even a kicker at Hakuba Goryu, (3) average sized park quite well looked after, (5) huge park area and expertly crafted pipes, jumps and boardercross trails.
(1) No off-piste worth mentioning, (2) off piste is out-of-bounds, (3) some varied offpiste that stays fresh for one or two days, (5) a vast array of off-piste routes that can stay untracked for several days.
(1) There is nowhere to go for cross-country skiing around Hakuba Goryu, (3) there are some cross country trails available, (5) the area features many spectacular and well maintained cross-country trails.
(1) No designated luge or toboggan runs, (3) there are toboggan runs that open quite often, (5) Hakuba Goryu has long and well maintained luge / toboggan facilities suitable for all ages.
Mountain Dining: 4.6
(1) Nowhere to buy food by the pistes, (3) some places to eat up on the mountain but they are often busy and expensive, (5) there is a variety of excellent mountain eateries right next to the slopes to suit all budgets.
(1) Bring your own food, there isn't even a shop. (5) A wide variety of places to eat and drink in the resort, from fast food to fancy restaurants.
(1) Nothing to do, not even a bar, (3) there are a few bars in the resort but nothing special, (5) clubs and bars stay open until very late and have a friendly atmosphere.
Other Sports: 3.3
(1) No sports facilities at all apart from ski lifts, (3) resort has just a small public swimming pool, (5) resort has all kinds of sports facilities, including a full-size swimming pool.
(1) Besides the snow and walking there is nothing to do here, (3) the non-skier will find things to do for few days but may become bored after a week, (5) the resort area is a fascinating place to visit, regardless of winter sports.
Winter Walks: 4.4
(1) Very limited walking and no snowshoe trails, (3) a couple of designated scenic walking/snowshoe trails, (5) extensive and diverse winter walking trails for all abilities.
Ski Pass Value: 4.8
(1) A 1 week ski pass is overpriced compared to the number of lifts available, (3) the ski pass is averagely priced and covers a reasonable number of lifts, (5) ski passes are excellent value for money and cover a lot of lifts spanning a big area.
Value (National): 4.6
(1) Overall, Hakuba Goryu is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the country and not worth the money, (3) overall represents average value for money, (5) overall offers the best value resort in the country.
Value (Global): 4.5
(1) Overall, Hakuba Goryu is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the world, (3) overall it offers pretty average value for money compared to resorts from other countries, (5) internationally the resort offers excellent value for money.
February 25, 2012
Lisa Fox from Japan
We were up in Goryu last weekend and conditions were perfect, light snow on Saturday and chilly, but then pure sunshine on Sunday and Monday and gorgeous conditions. Will be up again in a week's time.
[note from the editor: do contact the Help Desk (email@example.com) if you are able to submit regular snow reports from the resort. This post will remain for a short time.]
October 11, 2011
John-Paul from Australia
I skied in Hakuba Goryu in Jan 09 and liked the place so much that we will return in Jan 12. The benefit over the Hokkaido ski resorts is that you can get there directly from Tokyo via surface transport. We used the Shinkansen (bullet train), which was a holiday highlight in itself!
It snowed non-stop for six out of seven days that we were at Hakuba. We had between 20-50cm of fresh snow every morning. On the one bluebird day, we saw the Hakuba Alps for the first time. This gives a true European feel to the place than the other Japanese resorts.
Lift queues are totally non-existent and the resort staff very courteous, as only the Japanese can be. We also found the terrain had great variety with good skiing for all levels of ability.
We stayed at the largely Australian run AquaAlpine hotel. It is lovely modern accommodation with very personalised service. The hotel has a cozy central bar and fireplace area. The architecture of the place is also impressive. A great place for a Sapporo Lager after a day in the snow!
The Hakuba Goryu apres scene certainly can't be compared to Niseko, however, there are still some good bars and restaurants to be found. We really enjoyed CanadaThai - strange name for a traditional Japanese restaurant!
There are two drawbacks to Hakuba Goryu. Firstly, there aren't a huge number of ski in / ski out hotels, which meant a walk up the hill to Escal Plaza every morning. Not a problem for me in snowboard boots, but the skiers didn't enjoy it. We found it better to leave our ski gear in lockers at the Plaza (at a small cost) and change when we got there. My second point is one you probably have already heard before - the ban on off-piste skiing in most resorts in the region. Hakuba will not compete with the North Island resorts unless it applies a more practical approach to this issue. I guess it's like the prohibition analogy, people will do it anyway so it is better that you authorise it in areas that can be supervised and controlled.
All in all, Hakuba is a great ski resort. I strongly recommend that you have a look at it, as an alternative to Niseko.