Hakuba is one of Tokyo’s favorite mountain towns for winter skiing and snowboarding. Nevertheless, more than half a dozen resorts remain open out of season and are worth visiting at any time of the year. Hakuba Iwatake Resortwho started offering a off-road karting experience in the mountains, now has another great card draw for visitors this spring.
The novelty of the mountain station Hakuba Hitotoki No Mori, a viewing area 1,100 meters above sea level on Mount Iwatake, was briefly opened last fall. After taking a short break during the ski and snowboard season, the attraction is finally ready to celebrate its grand opening on April 28.
In addition to the spectacular view of the Northern Alps of Japan, you can also take a look at the whole city of Hakuba. But it’s not just a soulless glass viewing platform – it’s a huge open space surrounded by lush vegetation. To get there, you’ll need to take Gondola Noah (¥2,100, kids ¥1,150) to the top and walk a few minutes downhill.
While you’re there, step into the Chavaty cafe with milk tea and scone, which has an outdoor terrace overlooking the station. You’ll find the same drinks and desserts offered at the cafe’s Omotesando outlet, but we recommend trying some of Hakuba’s exclusive items, like the kuromoji herbal scone. You can eat at the cafe or enjoy your food and drinks on one of its outdoor hammocks or swings among the trees.
The 5sen South elevator will still operate off-season, meaning you can travel directly from Hakuba Hitotokinomori to the top of Mount Iwatake in just seven minutes. At the top, you can enjoy attractions such as Hakuba Mountain Harbor and Cafe, Yoo-Hoo Swing with its breathtaking views, mountain biking and more. You can even take your dog to the designated pet park and treat your furkid to a specially prepared dog meal.
For something more active, check out the newly introduced horseback riding experiences, open to people of all ages. Beginners should take the 15-minute guided class (¥2,500 per person). If you’re already comfortable with horseback riding, opt for the horseback riding course (¥15,000 per person), which takes you on a 45-minute ride around the mountain. Note that the horse riding course will only be available from July.
Visit Hitotoki No Mori website for more information.
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