Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Hakuba Iwatake

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Hakuba (白馬) is one of the ski resorts in Japan. It is located in the Northern Japan Alps. There are seven main ski areas in Hakuba: Goryu, Hakuba 47, Happo-one, Highland Snowpark, Iwatake, Minekata, and Sanosaka. You can get more information here.
On the very last few days of 2009, I was in Hakuba Iwatake enjoying the winter sport.


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Took the night bus from Shinjuku at 10 PM, and spent the first night in the bus. I arrived in Cultured Hotel, Hakuba, quite early in the morning.

Be Slippery
Are you slippery enough ?

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After checking in the hotel, we took a shuttle bus to Iwatake. The bus comes once every hour. It took around 20 minutes to reach Iwatake by bus.

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No need to worry if you have no equipment or wear because lots of rental places are available for you.

Spicy Rental
If you like spicy stuffs, Spicy Rentals is there for you.

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Some of the hotels provide rental service too. Our tour packages include the rental fee, so we could rent from the hotel without additional fee.

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The weather was very nice. We were quite excited to see the snow.

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Make sure to do exercise properly before you start.

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Don't forget to take some photos too while you still have the energy to do it.

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Checking the snow course. There are 15 courses in total.

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The chair lift will take you to the beginner course.

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The gondola will take you to the top for more scary intermediate courses.

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Unfortunately, there was no photo from the top since I was a bit afraid to take my camera to the top. ^^

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Time for lunch break.

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You could put your ski or board here. It was safe enough to just leave it here.

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All the restaurants have a place where you can dry your wet wear.

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Having been in a few ski resorts, I knew we shouldn't expect to eat delicious food.

Tonkotsu Ramen
Fortunately, I was wrong. This Tonkotsu Ramen was yummy.

Ramen
Yummy Shio Ramen

Kimchi Tonkotsu Ramen
Yummy Kimchi Tonkotsu Ramen

Curry Rice
Yummy Curry Rice. The portion was a bit small though.

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Our energy was fully recharged after a good meal. Time for some winter sports again.

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Snowboarding
It's almost been a year since I played. I felt like all my experience became zero again. Took a lot of time and fall to make me remember how to snowboard.

Dying
By the end of the day, I had no more power to stand up.

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Free dinner at the hotel.

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The food was okay. Our lunch tasted so much better though.

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The snow started to fall early next morning.

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Lovely view from the hotel.

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We decided to go out a bit to see the snowfall.

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Snow everywhere !

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Lovely trip. I ended up with muscle pains all over my body but it was painfully fun. Will plan for another trip in the near future.

Anyway, a little bit late, but to everyone out there, Happy New Year 2010 !!

5 comments:

Meowsa said...

I went to christmas vacation 2008. Iwatake looks nice. We went to Hakuba 47... too crowded :(
nice photos!!

YuKi-To said...

nice, I must go there next time! Always wanted to snowboard too

dans said...

@Yuki-To : come here and I'll bring you there :D

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm Sunny from Singapore. Which resort in Nagano or Japan would you recommend for least crowded and awesome snowboarding (beginners/intermediate). Thanks.

dans said...

Hi Sunny.
Iwatake is not that crowded and the slope is great for beginners. The courses are not that long, but it is enough if you want to take it easy practicing your snowboarding.
Goryu has an excellent snow and courses but very crowded. Hakuba 47 is connected to Goryu from the top of the mountain. You could switch between Goryu and Hakuba 47 easily. Hakuba 47 has a long nice beginner and intermediate courses. It is less crowded than Goryu.
Happo-one is also great for beginners but very crowded.

Hope that helps. Have fun snowboarding !

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