So if you’re looking to cut costs on your ski trip to Nagano just a little bit, staying in a hostel can be a good option to consider.
If you’re staying in Hakuba in the winter, as one of the top snow destinations in Japan, even the cost of hostels in Hakuba are generally higher than hostels in other parts of Japan.
Still, compared to other accommodation options in Hakuba, it can still be a way to save money.
And if you’re in search of pretty winter landscape, Hakuba is a destination worth considering even if you don’t ski!
At ski areas that have gondolas, you can get a gondola ski lift ticket to get some mountain views from higher up.
If you’re looking for somewhere to go in the area after your trip to Hakuba, have a look at Matsumoto and Takayama. I went from Hakuba to Takayama, stopping by Matsumoto along the way for a visit to the castle there. Once in Takayama, have a look at heading to the Shinhotaka ropeway for more winter mountain views!
How much does budget accommodation in Hakuba cost?
See current prices, photos, and reviews from partner website below!
These are some of the best places to stay in Hakuba on a budget:
Most hostels have dorm beds and private rooms.
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Here’s a bit more about the K’s House Hakuba Alps hostel
…since this is where I stayed!
I was in Hakuba in March 2019. Early 2019 was said to have warmer than usual temperatures across Japan. You can keep this in mind as you see the snow pictures below!
How’s the location of this Hakuba backpacker’s hostel?!
So if you’re headed to Hakuba for skiing, snowboarding, or the snow resorts, possibly one of the most important parts of planning your trip to Hakuba is where to stay!
1. Train station
There is a JR train station that’s located right near K’s House. That would be Kamishiro Station.
Depending on the time you arrive, you may be able to get a free pick-up and drop-off.
Otherwise, it’s a 10-15 minute walk to the hostel.
2. Hakuba Goryu snow resort
The Goryu snow resort is one of the main ski resorts of Hakuba, and it’s about a 10 minute walk from K’s House.
3. Hakuba Valley shuttle bus stop
There’s a Hakuba Valley shuttle bus that can take you to different ski resorts in Hakuba.
So, you won’t just be limited to Goryu if you want to check out some other slopes too.
If you have the Hakuba Valley ski pass, this bus is free.
Otherwise, without the pass, it’s 500 yen (US$5) per ride.
K’s House is located a 10 minute walk from the shuttle bus stop which is at Goryu Escal Plaza.
It might be a bit of time on the bus to get to the other ski resorts nearby, but with the bus stop being nearby, it’ll be pretty easy to get to otherwise!
How long the shuttle bus takes to get to some top ski resorts from Goryu escal plaza
To Happo-one snow resort (35 minutes)
To Iwatake snow field (55 minutes)
To Tsugaike Kogen snow resort (1 hour 10 minutes)
Pictures of the hostel!
Arriving at the hostel
There might be a “supermarket run” during your stay where there will be a shuttle (ride) provided to a supermarket so you can pick up some food to make in the kitchen.
There is a 7-eleven convenience store kind of nearby. That’s about a 15 minute walk away. You can find prepared meals at convenience stores in Japan.
This kitchen is pretty well-stocked with the things you need to make breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
There’s a fridge, toaster, microwave… and rice cooker!
And a good amount of cookware, utensils, and dishes.
There’s also a hot pot and tea bags available 24/7. (This is free.)
And then there’s another area where you can buy quick and easy snacks for 100-200 yen (US$1-2) 24/7 as well.
After a day of playing in the snow, you’ll have a common area to be able to hang up your clothes and shoes that need to be dried too.
HAPPY K’S HOUSE HAKUBA HOSTEL STAY!
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How to spend winter in Japan
More quick tips for planning your trip to JapanThere are affiliate links on this page that take you to partner websites.
Among the top 3 things people get specific for a trip to Japan
- JR pass for quick and easy long distance train travel (see price here and see here how to calculate train routes to figure out it's worth it for you)
- Pocket wifi to make travel in Japan easier (see price here)
- Travel insurance for natural disasters just in case especially for travel disruptions (see price here and see here for past natural disaster that affected foreigners)
Food in JapanIf you are in Japan for FOOD, then be sure to see where to try different types of Japanese food! (Sometimes for cheaper!)
And also have a look at some of these cooking classes in Japan too.
If you're looking for a route for winter in Japan, here are some ideas!
- 10 day Japan winter itinerary
- Tokyo to Nagano bus
- 2 days in Nagano with snow monkey pass // Stay at this Nagano hostel (private rooms available)
- A few days in popular ski resort area Hakuba (go here for at least a day even if you don't ski for the winter landscape in the mountains!) // Stay at this Hakuba hostel (private rooms available)
- Hakuba to Takayama (Hakuba to Matsumoto train / a few hours in Matsumoto / Matsumoto to Takayama bus)
- A few days in Takayama with day trips: Shirakawago / Shinhotaka ropeway on a sunny day // Stay at this Takayama hostel (private rooms available) and eat regional Takayama ramen
- Takayama back to Tokyo OR Takayama to Nagoya airport to fly to Hokkaido for more winter landscapes!
Hokkaido winter itinerary (train to get around - there are JR Hokkaido passes available, and you can use a regular JR pass too)
- Sapporo to Asahikawa (Asahikawa for penguin walk at zoo)
- Asahikawa to Abashiri (Abashiri for drift ice cruise)
- Abashiri to Obihiro (night in Obihiro and go to Lake Shikaribetsu ice village the next day)
- Obihiro to Sapporo
- Sapporo to Noboribetsu onsen hot spring town (day trip)
- Sapporo to Hakodate // Stay in this Hakodate hostel
- Hakodate to Tokyo on shinkansen bullet train through the underwater tunnel! (Regular JR pass will be worth it if you take this train ride along with one more long distance train ride within 7 days)
When the JR pass is worth itIn general, 2 long-distance shinkansen train trips will likely end up making it so the JR pass will be worth it. But here's how to calculate it to be sure. See the current price of a JR pass from an official vendor.
Natural disasters in JapanUnfortunately, Japan can be prone to natural disasters which means risk for travel delays. So be sure to look at travel insurance for natural disasters.
My travel insurance took care of my accommodation and food costs when I was forced to stay extra days in Japan because of a typhoon. There have been a few typhoons that have hit Japan in the past couple of years and they can cause real travel disruptions!
See how much insurance costs for your trip.
More for your Japan itinerary
- 5 days in Kyoto
- Cost of climbing Mt Fuji from Tokyo
- Where to go for famous Mt Fuji views as seen in pictures
- Know before you go to Hiroshima
- One day in Miyajima with famous floating torii views
- 3 days in Okinawa, Japan's tropical islands
- Cherry blossom photo walk
- When is the JR pass worth it for train travel?
- Tokyo to Kyoto train
- Hostels in Japan