Tsugaike Kogen is one of the largest resorts in the Hakuba Valley by any metric, and boasts a wide variety of terrain suited to skiers and boarders of all levels; from expansive beginner areas stretching across the entirety of the lower slopes, to long, fast cruising runs mid-mountain and the deep powder "TSUGAPOW DBD" tree-run area at the resort's apex. Best of all, Tsugaike still manages to be blissfully free of the crowds that can clog the lift lines at some of the more high profile resorts in the area.
Tsugaike lies within the boundaries of the Chubu Sangaku National Park, and is situated against the majestic backdrop of the towering Northern Alps, with several summits soaring to heights of nearly 3,000 meters directly behind the resort. This location at the foot of the mountains, along with the ski area's proximity to the Sea of Japan and a peak altitude of 1,704 meters ensure copious amounts of fluffy powder blanket the slopes throughout the season - with an average of 11 meters of snow falling across the area from December to April.
The small settlement at the base of the resort stretches some 2 kilometers from north to south and features roughly 100 accommodations tightly hugging the slopes, most of which are relatively small, friendly and family-run Japanese-style affairs. The majority offer ski in ski out convenience, with most others being no more than a short one to two minute walk to the nearest lift or slope. Relative to the vibrant nightlife spots brimming with international visitors in nearby Hakuba Village, Tsugaike can feel quite basic and mellow. But what the area lacks in terms of party atmosphere it more than makes up for in traditional rural charm. Staying here gets you away from the crowds and gives you the chance to not only interact with locals, but also the opportunity to feel like you are one, as you inevitably rub shoulders same smiling residents of this small community day after day.
While Hakuba definitely offers a larger variety of restaurants, bars, shops and other conveniences, you can find most of what you need without leaving Tsugaike. The village has several small convenience store-style shops selling basic groceries, souvenirs, and personal hygiene products, as well as nearly 20 restaurants and bars open at night that serve a variety of Japanese foods running the gamut from ramen and soba, to teppanyaki and sashimi. Tsugaike also has two onsens for those keen to embrace this amazing Japanese tradition and relax their body with a warm soak after a long day on the slopes. Best of all, owing to the village's compactness, everything can be reached on foot.
For more information about local accommodation in the TSUGAIKE KOGEN area, please click on the following link:Tsugaike Kogen Accommodation
Throughout the day Hakuba Valley Shuttle Buses to and from Tsugaike run more or less hourly, providing easy access between all of the other resorts of the Hakuba Valley as well as to Hakuba Station, Happo Bus Terminal and various other locations in Hakuba village. These buses are ¥500 per ride, or free for those in possession of the valley-wide Hakuba Valley lift ticket. Please check the Hakuba Valley homepage for more details, including the current or upcoming season's shuttle bus timetable.Hakuba Valley
If you are staying in Tsugaike and need or want to stock up on groceries, make a pharmacy run or go out for dinner and drinks in Happo after spending your day here, the Otari Night Bus travels the route between the Happo Bus Terminal and Minami Otari Station, including stops at the three Otari ski resorts (Tsugaike, Norikura and Cortina), several times per night from late December to the end of February. Adult fares are fixed at ¥300 for a single ride.Otari Snow Resort Shuttle Bus