Winter sport in Japan

The valley of Hakuba
Why traveling to Japan for winter sports when you have pretty snowy mountains in your country? I reckon that wouldn't be worth the hassle, the jetlag, the exhausting travel even if recently magazines have been spreading the word that Niseko is a must destination! But when you live in Tokyo it's quite easy to go skiing and there are closer places than Niseko. Nagano prefecture and Niigata prefecture offer nice slopes with good snow and welcoming infrastructures. After trying several destinations, our favorite is definitely Hakuba and La Neige hotels, both the "honkan" and the "higashi kan".
La neige honkan
While the former is a lovely place, a bit retro Japanese-western style (Taisho and Showa period), if your primary purpose is winter sport the latter is really amazing and offers incomparable services. Both are nested in the forest Wada no mori and a 5min walk from the lifts. Great!
Lobby of La Neige higashikan

Hakuba is also a genuine place for delicious local food and restaurants. My ultimate favorite is the Hummingbird, which over the past years has been quite popular and now reservations are absolutely needed!! Rumors say also that summer and autumn are beautiful in Hakuba... Can't wait to see that too because so far I've only seen it covered in white!!
The valley of Hakuba

Angel cake

Coconut-strawberry tart