HAKUBA..... Roof of Japan!
You too can now afford to Ski the mystical Alps of Japan!
How Can I afford to ski Japan?
9 day PEAK SEASON Holiday including 7days Accommodation, Airport Transfers there and back, 5 days skiing at Happo.......
Total 74000JPY pp around A$750 plus airfares
Day 1 Depart Australia.
Meet and Greet by Nagano Snow Shuttle at Airport
Transfer to your Accommodation in Hakuba.
Day 2 - 7 at your leisure
maybe visit the onsen Monkeys,Matsumoto Castle, the beach at Itowigawa, or just ski ski ski
5 day(non consecutive if required) three Mountain Ski Lift pass included
Day 8 Pick up from your door by Nagano Snow Shuttle
Transfer direct to Narita Airport.
Day 9 Arrive Australia.Based on quad share 74000JPY pp plus airfares
OR Shoulder Season
From 1st of March through 'till end of the Hakuba snow season in mid-May, there are heaps of flights on Jetstar for around $900 return, sometimes they are as low as A$500 return. You may have to be a bit flexible on your departure or return flight, but there are still plenty of seats left. Now here's the thing... the later you leave it the easier it gets. More flights and cheaper accommodation. In fact up to 18th December and after Feb 28th, Alpine Chalets in Hakuba will take 10% off their standard room rates, just for you! Check Out Lift Ticket prices
For example: you can get a two story town house with two bedrooms that sleeps four, all in single beds(no having to bunk to save money and loose sleep). It comes complete with a kitchen, laundry (again you save, or just take them home for mum..She still loves you right?), and FREE in room OPTICAL internet with NO download limits! Oh, and of course your own shower and toilet (western style).
Then get an Alpen Resorts 4 to 8 day lift ticket,(can be used on nonconsecutive days) and save some more! Alpine Chalets is a short stroll to the local 7/11 for basic necessities and also the rare but much sought after International ATM, very hard to find in Japan. A 15 minute walk gets you to a large supermarket, the prices here will blow your mind. In a good way I mean, if you compare them to Hotham or Perisher, Whistler or Aspen... where ever, even your own home town. I really don't know why their prices are nearly as cheap as elsewhere in Japan, but I think the Japanese frown on price gouging, it's dishonorable! But great for us! There are two supermarkets in town and both take credit cards. I hate to plug it but there is even a Macca's up near the top of Happo One (Hakuba's best mountain), and prices start from 120yen for a cheese burger....told you they were cheap. There are quite a few restaurants on Happo, and lots of meals cost less than 1000 yen.
Getting to Hakuba from Narita can be a bit tricky as the Shinkansens, (fast train which travels at speeds of up to 270km/h, but has a perfect safety record spanning 30 years), leaves from Tokyo, not Narita(1hr away), and only gets you to Nagano (another hour from there). All up costs about the same as a mini Bus/taxi. The Taxi bus holds around 15 people, but if you travel with 4 people or more, you are probably better off hiring a car. Now I know that scares you. The first time I went to Tokyo I hired a car, drove around the airport, then returned it, as I was scared of the signs, but since then the amount of signs in English is incredible.
So, this is what you do..go to the car reservation stands in baggage collection, hire a car for the day with a one way drop off in Nagano, snow tyres and GPS(they will set it for you) and plan a trip to Nagano the day after to return the vehicle with in 24 hours or maybe 48 if you want to look around a bit before skiing (extra days only cost about A$100/day), then catch the bus home at a reasonable hour.
To summarize the cost:-
Flights around A$800. Mini Bus round trip A$250 (24800JPY) Lift tickets for Happo 4000JPY/day as above or 4600 on a single day basis Food up to you but if you want to take advantage of the self contained chalets, you can easily live on 1000yen/day. Its best to take your own gear as hiring it isn't cheap, but is available and does save you carting it all around. Accommodation on a eight share basis will cost 50,000JPY pp for 10 days!(Around A$500 march onwards). So for:-
10 days Accommodation
Transfers there and back
6 days skiing at Happo.......
around 88000JPY + Airfares
7 Day Accommodation
Transfers there and back
7 days accommodation
4 Lift tickets
around 70000JPY + Airfares
Plus food and drinking money.