Happo One

The most popular and crowded of the ski destinations, Happo-one’s (pronounced ‘oh-neh’, not like the number ‘1’) major claim to fame is its involvement in the 1998 Winter Olympics, when it hosted the Nordic Combined, Ski Jump, Alpine (downhill) and Cross-Country skiing events.

It is the oldest of the seven major skiing areas in Hakuba, and aside from the Olympic events Happo-one has hosted many international skiing events including world cup races. Needless to say, this area is mostly suitable for advanced skiers, but there are some courses that the intermediate level skiers can enjoy, too.

The most famous run is the Rissen Slalom, a 3 km/long course. As the skiing area’s altitude is so high, conditions are good even late in the skiing season. Part of the attraction of Happo-one isn’t just the ski runs, but the vast number of fancy shops and restaurants on the grounds – it also has about 100 hotels! There are 32 chairlifts, one gondola, and a total of 13 courses to choose from.

While at Happo-one, be sure to visit the Ski Jumping Stadium. This is where the Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined events were held for the 1998 Olympics. Visitors can take a chair lift or elevator up to the top of the 90 and 120-meter jump, and experience what it is like to be a skier about to take the plunge. Admission is 360 yen for adults and 240 yen for children, and the stadium is open all year except the first half of November and April, and during ski jump competitions. Even in summer it is worth a visit, even though vertigo can be a problem for some.

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