Hotel Green Plaza Hakuba: Directly connected to the Hakuba Cortina ski area. Just 10 seconds from the slopes. All you need is yourself.
- By tomiyama update
It takes less than 4 hours to get from Tokyo to Hakuba in Nagano prefecture. After you exit Route 148 and drive away from the highway, suddenly a vast red roof will appear — Green Plaza Hakuba. The beautiful shape makes first time visitors feel like they are lost in fairyland. You will instantly fall in love with the Northern European appearance.
Hotel Green Plaza Hakuba, two hundred fifty seven rooms with the northern Japanese alps as background, is one of the best resort hotels in Nagano Prefecture. This hotel is also in the Hakuba Cortina ski area, which entertains with an abundance of power snows. Anyone from beginners to advanced skiers can enjoy, making this a popular spot bringing many visitors, domestic and foreign. Lift tickets are included in the price of the hotel, so it’s cost efficient, too.
The hotel’s allure is more than just winter. You can see four seasons of flowers and plants in Hakuba Cortina English Garden, open between May and October. If you have small children in summer, you can also enjoy Cortina Adventure Land, a light obstacle course made out of natural trees and shrubs. If you’re staying in this hotel with your dog, your beloved pet can play freely in Dog House PAWPAW.
Hakuba Cortina Bijin No Yu (Beauty Bath) – Warm up your cold body after skiing
Hakuba Cortina Beauty Bath has as its source the hotel’s private spring. Water wells up from 1,221 meters underground before reaching the surface in the northern Japanese alps. It is a natural hot spring and is rich in iron bicarbonate, which rejuvenates the body. This water is used in eleven kinds of bath, including the big bath, a Jacuzzi, a sleeping bath (a shallow bath you can lie down in), and a cypress bath. Let’s take an Iwaburo bath together (a hot bath surrounded by rocks), and enjoy the magnificent view of the ski slopes from the Iwaburo.
Sixty dishes using fresh ingredients in a gourmet dinner buffet
After your body, tired from skiing, is refreshed in a hot spring, you might want to have a good meal. The hotel’s gourmet dinner buffet, featuring fresh and local Shinshu pork, offers about 60 dishes in total, including deep fried seasonal tempura, freshly cooked Shinshu pork steaks, fresh sushi rolled by sushi chefs, etc. Patissiere sweets, like the chocolate fountain, are also popular, especially among women staying at the hotel.
Hotel Green Plaza Hakuba offers a variety of alcohol, including Sake. Craft beer was recently added to their repertoire, which is popular for men and women both. When preparing this article, Kubota Sake was holding a tasting fair. If you don’t have to worry about tomorrow, it’s a great way to get drunk.
The most popular lunch menu is beef tongue with a thick and creamy stew. Like stew, the beef tongue can be broken into small pieces with a spoon. It’s an excellent dish that even impresses fussy food critics, so give it a shot. If you are looking for sweets, the croissant fish-shaped pancake filled with apple cream is popular with visitors, too.
The deluxe twin room, Cortina Room Maisonette
Because the Green Plaza Hakuba is an international hotel, welcoming both domestic and foreign visitors, it has a passion for its rooms’ appearances. A variety of rooms are available, such as the Japanese style twin bed room, which combines the functionality of both Japanese and Western bedrooms. The deluxe twin room, Cortina Room Maisonette, is popular among women. The room is an advanced maisonette, with the beds upstairs and, on the lower floor, a special couch and a massage chair. All rooms have WiFi, so you can enjoy posting gorgeous photos on Instagram.
Manager Shigeaki Mochizuki talks about the fascination of the hotel: “Our hotel is in a convenient location directly connected to the Cortina Ski Area, which is only 10 seconds away on foot. Women especially are encouraged to eat the special sweets of our hotel’s patissiere. Our staff speaks not only English, but fluent Chinese as well. We want foreign visitors to enjoy their stay.”
Hakuba Cortina Ski Area, ski slopes right in front of the hotel
Shio No Michi is an old road across the Hime River, which flows from the northern Japanese alps in Nagano Prefecture. It is famous for the story of the people of Shingen Takeda, who were cut off from their food supplies by the Imagawa clan. Kenshin Uesugi, an enemy of Shingen, sent salt to Shingen Takeda to support them. From this story, “shio no michi” has become an idiom for giving charity to your enemies. Hakuba Valley, one of the best skiing areas, is located on the original “Shio No Michi.” Hakuba Valley is the general name for ski resorts in Hakuba, Kotani, and Omachi villages, which are located in Nagano Prefecture at the foot of the northern Japanese alps.
The ski boom started by the late 1987 movie, “Take Me Skiing,” ended when Japan’s economic bubble burst. But since then the number of foreign visitors has continued to increase year after year, and ski areas with an abundance of high quality snow, like Hokkaido and Hakuba, attract advanced skiers from overseas. Now the seniors who led the ski boom are returning to ski areas with their family. Furthermore, China, a neighbor to Japan, is having its own unprecedented ski boom. The Chinese government is encouraging interest in winter sports as part of its build up to the Beijing Olympics 2022. But most ski areas in China use artificial snow, so Chinese skiers come to Japan looking for high quality powder snow. Hence, a second ski boom has come to the snowy areas of Japan.
Because of this, ski areas in Japan are feeling the pressure of dealing with all the inbound visitors. Before Hakuba Valley, most ski resorts were built each with their own ticketing system. In 2016, an automatic ticket gate was introduced which allows visitors to use any ski lift within the ski areas of Hakuba Valley, called the Hakuba Valley Ticket. Since the Hakuba Valley website updates information such as snow accumulation regularly, we recommend you check their website before going out to ski.
The average length of stay for foreign visitors in 2016 was 10.1 days, according to the Japan Tourism Agency. This was more than two times higher than for domestic visitors. Long-staying overseas visitors benefit more from visiting the ski areas in Hakuba Valley. The introduction of the IC ticketing system helps prevent fraud, too.
The Hakuba Cortina Ski Area, located in the northernmost part of Hakuba Valley, is popular among advanced skiiers who want to enjoy skiing on non-compacted snow slopes, at their own risk. The ski area also has slow slopes safe for beginners to enjoy. The lift terminal for the ski area is directly connected to Hotel Green Plaza Hakuba, so you can enjoy skiing just after you wake up.
If you have children, we recommend you go to Cortina Wonder Village – Kids Play Park. They can enjoy snow safely with kiddie slides, a sleigh, and more. Child care is provided if you would prefer to ski while your child plays. The ski area itself is a funnel shape, and almost all the ski courses meet in front of the hotel, making it easy for a group to get together after being separated.
The ski area rents out ski wear, snowboards, and skis, so you can enjoy the resort without having to buy anything special. Please note that socks, hats, goggles, and gloves are not included in the rental service, so bring your own or buy any of the items at the shop in Green Plaza Hakuba. If you do have your own skis or snowboard, guests of the hotel can use the dedicated storage lockers so you don’t need to bring them back to your room. Day trippers can also get a storage locker for a small fee.
Shopping Center with a Variety of Items
The shop in Hotel Green Plaza Hakuba sells T-shirts, hooded jackets, and the hotel’s original items. The shop manager, Ms. Kirara Sei, talks about the fascination of their items. “The most popular and best selling item is the hooded jacket with the red roof of Hotel Green Plaza Hakuba on it. After that is the ‘Nama Genshu (freshly made sake) original T-shirt,’ produced in collaboration with Hokuan, a local sake company. Collaborations with the popular character, ‘Grouse’s Week’ are also well received.”
Wadano area with many foreign skiiers.
Japanese visitors rarely go out after dinner, but foreign visitors are the opposite. They love to go out even though it is freezing cold outside. Since the Wadano area has many holiday and retirement homes with foreign owners, the night life is busy and there are many pubs targeting foreign visitors. The most popular is Pub Hakuba. We went on Sunday night and it was still full.
The HEAD Sport Station, owned by HEAD, a major tennis and ski item brand, sells the latest skis and their own snowboards, rental service for them, as well as ski wear, gloves, hats, and goggles. Head Café is attached to the building and sells pancakes, cafe lattes, and more. Snowboarders often come to this cafe to exchange snowboarding information.
According to Hakuba village tourism statistics, Hakuba village had 3.75 million visitors in 2018. This is a 1% increase compared with the previous year, which was made possible by a 45% increase in visiting foreign skiers. There were 330,000 new foreign skiers compared to the previous year. This number continues to increase with every year.
Marriott International, a major international hotel company, opened a Courtyard by Marriott in Hakuba in December of 2018. The expansion of this major group is seen as the first step towards their business strategy of targeting an increasing number of foreign customers in the Hakuba area
@japan welcomes Miho Tansho, model, to talk about “Green Plaza Hakuba” in this video.
Hotel Green Plaza Hakuba
12860-1 Chikuniotsu, Otanimura, Kita Azumigun
Nagano Prefecture 399-9422
Contact for reservation
Tel: 0570-097-489 (9:30-21:00)
HEAD Sports Station
4098-1 Hokujo, Hakuba, Kita Azumigun
Nagano Prefecture 399-9301
Business hours: 7:30-17:00
Tel & Fax: 0261-72-6716
The Pub Hakuba
4683-2 Hokujo, Hakubamura, Kita Azumigun
Nagano Prefecture 399-9301
Business hours: 12:00pm-1:00am