Resort Review - Sanosaka Hakuba's best kept secret

Resort Review - Sanosaka Hakuba's best kept secret

Further out of Hakuba than some of the main names on the valley pass Sanosaka is often forgotten or overlooked by many visitors. This is an oversight as a trip to this gem offers some of the best views along with uncrowded slopes and some incredible groomed terrain. Access to Sanosaka is free via the provided valley shuttle service, however their are limited buses when compared to the more local resorts and in this perhaps lies the answer to why so many avoid this incredible resort.

View from the top of Lake Down Run

View from the top of Lake Down Run

First Impressions

When arriving at Sanosaka the bus drops you at the base of the car park, which gives you the first clue that you will have the slopes to yourself. I wandered up to the resorts base, past around five cars and into what is a modern and well equipped base area. This was a juxtaposition as normally such a base area would be bustling with people. I was met and greeted by @jupbrown (check his insta for updates on Sanosaka) the enthusiastic manager whose passion for Sanosaka was clear to see and I was eager to find out why.

The terrain 

Ok so Sanosaka is small, lets get that out the way, but I really don’t think that should be an issue. With the lack of crowds you are not fighting for space and the runs here are perfect. The groomers at Sanosaka do an incredible job and with the lack of crowds you can be riding fresh corduroy all day long. There are options though, and the top chair offers both a narrow and a wider pisted run as well as ungroomed terrain through the centre.

My favourite run was a cruisey wide piste called Lake Down Trail. I pretty much lapped this run and alternated between the groomed section trying to lay out some long carves and the pump track. This accounted for my favourite non powder day in Hakuba.

Plans are ahead to expand the terrain at Sanosaka, to find out more check the video below.

What we love about Sanosaka…

Simply put, everything. It has some great terrain, no crowds and the views are breathtaking. I really do not understand why there is a lack of crowds, this place is incredible.

What we dislike about Sanosaka…

If there is one improvement I would make it would be to lay on more buses. This for me is the major contributing factor in why it is so quiet. That being said, I like it’s uncrowded vibe, so would be happy if it stayed the same.

Travel to resort

Limited buses operate from Hakuba Bus terminal the 8:30am bus will be your earliest option.

Hidden Gems

The whole resort is a hidden gem.


It is more likely you will stay in Hakuba Village and travel to Sanosaka on the days when you want to ride there, but that being said there is a village at the base if you are looking for a quieter stay.

We would recommend this place for…

People who love to carve, enjoy incredible views, and those who like to escape the lift lines at the busier resort.

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