Where is Hakuba?

An interesting question we usually get is “Where is Hakuba located, I mean we know it is in Nagano but where would a corresponding place be in Europe or North America?”

It was a good question so we asked a junior high school kid if we could borrow their atlas and see what we could find. Hakuba is located close to the 36 degree of latitude so we will use this as our bench mark.

First, we turned the pages to Europe, and to our surprise 36 degrees is located, apart from a few islands in Greece but North Africa. Algeria and Tunisia to be more accurate.

Next we turned the pages to North America, expecting to see Hakuba 36 degree in Canada, but again way down in the southern part of the USA in the states of Nevada and Arizona to name a few.

So now we know where the heat comes from in summer but what about winter as all the places mentioned are known for being hot and dry!

The answer is that a combination of cold weather blows down from the Siberian hinterlands and the Arctic Sea, picks up moisture over the Sea of Japan, and then suddenly hits the mountains in Nagano, resulting in huge snowfall. As the crow flies, Hakuba is just over 40km from the coast, and is perfectly placed to take advantage of this phenomenon.


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