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SanosakaOn the south border between Hakuba and neighbouring Omachi, Sanosaka is a small family resort with more than initially meets the eye. In addition to the slope visible on approaching the resort, a further two areas are tucked away higher up. You’d never think the resort had 450m of vertical or five lifts.

The emphasis is on beginners with a number of a wide smooth pistes and none of the traffic that can be found at Happo and Goryu. The resort overlooks the magnificent Lake Aoki and spectacular views can be enjoyed from the higher slopes. A large jump is normally built near the resort base, and further up a number of beginner-level jumps, boxes and rails provide an easy and pressure-free intro- duction to freestyle skiing and snowboarding. Sanosaka also has SAJ-certified mogul runs, but the bumps are kept off to the side for those who want to ride them.

For parents, Sanosaka has an adult and child ski all day for 5,500 yen with a 2,000 yen lunch coupon and a rental discount thrown in. The resort’s restaurants have also updated their menus, so you can now make your own pizza or have a Thai curry, or bakery goodies. For those with toddlers, there is a kids’ area at the base and a day room where you can have some fun inside away from the cold. People who drive up to Hakuba overnight should note that Sanosaka offers a full breakfast buffet from 7:30am.

Still a good option if you want to avoid the weekend crowds at the larger resorts. or simply want a quiet day with different scenery. When high winds have stopped operation at the larger resorts, the more sheltered lifts at Sanosaka will often stay open, meaning you don’t have to miss a day.sanosakadata

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