Overall an excellent trip. The snow was amazing, as was the lack of crowds.
Friday we had the place to ourselves until later in the afternoon when weekend guests started to arrive. However Happo-one is not the best choice for beginners, Hakuba-Goryu is a better starting point to learn or relearn as was the case. Although watching my friends make their first attempt at snowboarding down the men's downhill olympic course was quite entertaining.
We drove here overnight. It is much expanded since I last came 18 years ago. The top section had great ungroomed deep snow. This is not really a good place for beginners as it is characterized more by narrow windy steep sections than wide flat gelende. Wonderful powder snow.
The town has good places to eat and good ski shops. One great experience was the Volkl - Marker - Technica shop mid-town which has the whole range of great skis to
I skied Happo-one after a 20-year hiatus from downhill skiing! It is a very nice resort comparable to northeastern U.S. terrain only at somewhat higher elevation and with more vertical drop and snowfields on the top 20 percent. No true bowl skiing within bounds. I skipped the three or four steepest sections, but the mountain is 90 percent skiable (and enjoyable) for any fair intermediate.
Midweek there was never a wait for a lift and the chairlifts in particular were almost
As said previously, I arrived there next day after the first big dump of the season. This means, a) powder even on some parts of the groomer runs b) still lots of rocks and sasa coming out on the slopes at the lowest parts or very steep slopes.
Although it is my 3rd time up on Happo-san there were still some lifts that I used for the first time. If you get on the top, there are countless options to go