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Posts tagged hakuba


Hakuba, Japan

Hakuba, Japan

Hakuba bike tour

hakuba bike tour mountains river

Shiroumarenpo (白馬連峰) in the distance with the Matsu River to the right of the bike path

If you are in Japan in October or early November you may want to consider heading to Hakuba for a canoe/biking tour. The place is empty this time of year as nearly all of the summer hikers are gone and the winter skiers have yet to arrive. However, the colors are fantastic and not to be missed.

Hakuba tennis courts

hakuba nagano japan tennis recreation things to do

In our neighborhood in Tokyo there were two tennis courts in constant use. In fact, I never once thought about using the tennis courts because there was ALWAYS someone on them. It didn’t matter if it was hot, cold, or about to storm, every time I walked by them they were being used.

So when we headed out to Hakuba in October and found loads of tennis courts sitting empty it was a surprise. Not only were they not being used, but it seemed it had been months or years since anyone had set foot on them. There is quite a contrast between the urban and rural areas of Japan.

Hakuba Paragliding

hakuba paragliding japan nagano recreation activities tours

With ski season more than a month away in late October in Nagano Prefecture, what better activity than surveying the fall colors from your paraglider? You can see the ski lifts in Hakuba in the background of today’s photo.

Hakuba’s Matsu River (白馬村の松川)

Hakuba japan Matsu River 白馬村 松川

In the distance is Hakuba’s majestic mountain range (shiroumarenpo or 白馬連峰). 白馬 means white horse. It can be read as either hakuba or shirouma. It’s usually read as the former for the town and the latter for the town’s mountains. Strange, no?

A famous (or should I say infamous?) sumo wrestler went by the name of Hakuba and used these same kanji. I watched him perform many times while I was in Japan, and always thought of the town of Hakuba when I heard his name. He was forced to retire earlier this year when it was found out that he fixed matches.

Handmade Hakuba Zen Noodles

hand made japanese noodles tempura

Just across the road from our lodgings in Hakuba was 蕎麦酒房膳, a place that specialized in classic, hand-made soba (本格手打ちそば). Great food and a lovely atmosphere, if you happen to make it to Hakuba someday, you should give it a try.