During the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics, Hakuba gained worldwide recognition as it hosted several Olympic competitions, including alpine (downhill, super g, and combination) and nordic (ski jump and cross country) events. Today some of the Olympic facilities remain in use, such as the Hakuba Ski Jumping Stadium. There is also the Hakuba Olympic Village Memorial Hall, a small but interesting museum, located within walking distance of the ski jump.
Hakuba is located in the Northern Alps of Nagano Prefecture, and it is one of Japan’s most popular ski areas, offering good snow and 9 large ski resorts with over 200 runs altogether. The magnificent view of the Northern Japan Alps and other beautiful mountains is one of the best features of this area. As winter sports have been becoming less popular amongst the Japanese, large ski resort areas like Hakuba have been increasingly catering towards international tourists. This will make for a comfortable stay, as English is spoken or at least understood in many locations.
If you want to take a break from skiing, you can participate in traditional Japanese activities like noodle making, a tea ceremony, or origami folding that are organized by hotels and local facilities. Unlike many other ski resorts in Japan, Hakuba also boasts some decent nightlife options, like a dance club, pubs, and live music. Taking a dip in a hot spring bath is the perfect way to end a day of winter sports and apres ski. If you want to do some sightseeing in the area, the snow monkeys, Matsumoto and its castle, historic town Obuse, and the Ski Jumping Stadium are all within a decent driving distance.