I'm used to east coast(Pennsylvania/New York) resorts which are small and very icy to say the least. My first impression of Happo One was WOW. We arrived the first night during the first big snow of the season and had a great time. A huge mountain for me and even my friend whom spends most of his time in Colorado said it was decent. The first day was a great powder day and the lift lines weren't too bad either. The mountain has a lot of variety for any level of rider but is geared more for downhill skiers and free riders.
The staff is very helpful and polite, even if they don't speak english they will do whatever they can to help. As I mentioned in the cons it was super busy but considering the holiday weekend, it was kind of expected. The lift to the tip-top of the resort was closed still so we didn't get the full ride of the mountain and due to limited grooming the second day was a lot of ruts and had started to ice over.
I would definately recommend Happo to anyone looking to snowboard in Japan especially for a peak season getaway. Lift passes are cheap at around 8000 yen for 2 days, especially for a resort claiming olympic fame. The surrounding area is the sleepy little town of Hakuba, very family friendly though not much of a night life for the single crowd. The service of the restaurants we visited was superb and helpful. We even found a pizzeria that had some of the best pizza I've ever had, I wish I could remember the name though.
From 30 December, 2006 To 31 December, 2006
Snow condition on visit:
Things I liked:
Great mountain, great staff, friendly people, many english speaking people, beautiful surroundings
Things I didn't like:
Limited grooming, super busy (although it was New Year's weekend)