Soar Above the Japanese Alps With a Hot Air Balloon Experience in Hakuba

Hakuba is one of the best ski resorts in Japan and a relaxing nature retreat in the summer. One highly recommended addition to any trip to Hakuba is an early morning hot air balloon experience! You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more scenic way to take in the breathtaking natural landscape of the Japanese Alps and the Hakuba Valley than by floating gently through the air in a hot air balloon. Read on for all you need to know about this unforgettable experience in Hakuba!

Hakuba Village


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Skiing, Hot Springs, Adventure Sports, and More: Hakuba Has It All

Hakuba is a ski resort area located around 300 km from Tokyo in the northern Japanese Alps.

As one of the host resorts for the 1998 Winter Olympics, Hakuba is known as a world-class ski destination with more than nine ski resorts, Olympic-level slopes, and excellent backcountry for alpine touring.

Hakuba isn’t just a great ski destination in the winter, though! In the summer, the pristine natural landscapes and full range of outdoor activities make this a popular escape from the city for Japanese locals and international sightseers alike. In the warmer months, you can enjoy a variety of outdoor sports here like hiking, canyoning, kayaking, and mountain biking, as well as some beautiful scenery like the Iwatake Lily Park Walk pictured above.

If you’re less of an outdoor type, why not try glamping or a stay in a hot spring resort? The hot springs in the area are known for having some of the most alkaline water in Japan, which is said to leave bathers with soft, beautiful-looking skin.

Hakuba’s great access from Tokyo, plus its balance of authentic local character and support for international guests make it the perfect place to unwind in nature during your trip to Japan.

Hot Air Balloon Experience in Hakuba

An unmissable experience during any visit to Hakuba is seeing the Japanese Alps and Hakuba Valley by hot air balloon. The Hot Air Balloon Experience in Hakuba, offered by Voyagin, is sure to be an unforgettable part of your trip to Japan. This early morning balloon ride in the Happo One ski resort is a chance to see this beautiful area of Japan from an angle not many have seen.

This experience starts at 6:00 am at the Hakuba Ski Jumping Stadium, where you're given a safety briefing before your flight. After, you'll climb into the twelve-person basket and experience the thrill of gently lifting into the sky accompanied by the dramatic roar of the burner.

As you ascend, you'll take in the crisp mountain air as you watch the sun rise higher over the seasonal colors of the Shirouma (or Hakuba) Sanzan mountains. You'll have plenty of time to enjoy the scenery and snap a picture or two of the stunning early morning view. The expert hot air balloon operators will then bring you safely to the ground with a whole day of sightseeing still ahead to enjoy!

This experience would be the ideal way to create a lasting family memory or share romantic moment with a special someone during your holiday. It would also make a great going-away gift for a loved one heading to this part of Japan!

Things to Keep in Mind

Hot air balloons are one of the safest forms of flying, and insurance is also included in the price. Of course, these hot air balloons are securely moored to the launch site, so there’s no chance of ending up somewhere unexpected! On the day of your flight, it's best to dress in comfortable clothes and shoes, and to bring a warm jacket to protect against the chilly morning air.

For safety reasons, this experience may be cancelled in the event of bad weather. In this case, you will be informed in advance and refunded in full.

This tour is offered through Voyagin, a website that lets you book and pay securely for tours online in English from anywhere in the world. You'll have peace of mind knowing you can request a full refund seven days in advance if your travel plans change, and no Japanese is required!

Experience the Picturesque Japanese Alps

Japan’s gorgeous alpine areas are popular with skiers during the winter, but they’re often overlooked by international visitors at other times of the year. Whether you prefer outdoor adventure sports or breathtaking autumn colors, there’s so much to see and do in Hakuba and its surrounding areas. This hot air balloon experience is a hidden gem that's sure to remain as a memorable highlight of your trip.

If you’re considering a trip to Hakuba, don’t miss our round up of the best-reviewed luxury resorts in the area. These resorts will take your vacation to the next level, no matter what time of year you come!

If you want to give feedback on any of our articles, you have an idea that you'd really like to see come to life, or you just have a question on Japan, hit us up on our FacebookTwitter, or Instagram!

Chubu Feature

The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.

About the author

Rebecca is an Australian translator and writer based in Kyoto. In her downtime she likes train travel, karaoke, and horror movies.

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