Most locals have some English, many are good at it. At the resorts and local restaurants, the staff can help and guide you through the various options available. The Japanese people are friendly and polite and will go out of their way to help you. It is worth learning some simple Japanese words and phrases as it is a polite way to get to know people, and the locals like it when you try.
Ask the lodge staff to call you a taxi – there is a flat rate charge of about 1100 yen for anywhere within the Hakuba town area. Any restaurant will do the same. In a group, it’s a cheap and easy way to get around, even though there are many great restaurants and Onsens within easy walking distance from Black Pine Lodge.
You can send your bags back to the airport if you like, rather than having to carry them with you. You need to send them at least 2 days before your flight. For info ask at the front desk. You can also do this when you arrive, look for the Black Cat symbol at the airport, just remember they won’t arrive till later the next day.
Hiring ski gear
We recommend either Rythym in Wadano or Central Snowsports which are located in nearby Echoland and also near the Gondola in Happo. They maintain a great selection of new skis and snowboards. Want to try some fat skis? Then head to either location for a great selection. If you are visiting during busy periods it is worthwhile pre-booking gear (check their websites for great deals). Be warned there are only limited amounts of large (size 12 +) boots available so you may like to think about bringing your own boots.
Driving in Japan
If you intend to hire a car then you will need to obtain an International Driving Permit. Your local motoring organisation can arrange this for you. Speed limits are quite low but you will not generally be driving very far, so it is not an issue. Be aware that there is a zero alcohol limit for drivers (also passengers get fined as well as the driver). If you are going to have a drink then catch the bus or call a taxi. The Japanese do not tolerate drinking and driving (but they do love a drink!)
A fully equipped medical centre is located in Hakuba Village and is open for 7 days.
ATMs are not prevalent in Japan but there is one located at the nearby 7-eleven, Lawsons, the Post Office and the Big Supermarket(yes that’s its name) and the Delicia supermarket that accepts foreign cards for withdrawals. Whilst most places now take credit cards, cash is still king in Japan. Generally, you should try and arrange your yen before you get to the airport as there are better rates available from banks and Post Offices in Australia. Don’t worry if you go home with some extra cash you can always use it when you come back to visit us again!
Please make sure you keep all valuables with you when you leave the Lodge. The management accepts no responsibility for lost items.
Bus and Tour Information
Alpico Bus Info
From Japan: 03 5796 5454
From Overseas: +81 3 5796 5454
Hakuba Taxis and Links
Alps Taxi – 0261-72-2221
Hakuba Kanko Taxi – 0261-72-2144
Hakuba Kanko Taxi Happo Office – 0261-72-2327
Omachi Meitetsu Taxi – 0261-72-2236
Chuo Taxi, 0262-82-0232
Local Guiding Companies
Evergreen Outdoor Center (in English)
Other Useful Sites