You could always go night skiing, but after hitting the slopes all day you may want to simply rest and soak in the onsen which is, of course, a fantastic way to spend your evening. But for those who are wanting to stay more fit and limber we’ve put together some of the best places to break a sweat in the Hakuba valley…off the slopes. So grab your trainers and let’s get you that skiing bod you are dreaming of.
February 4th, 2020 | by Jared Kubokawa
Hit the gym.
If you want to lift, get some cardio in or simply get out of your long underwear and into a pair of shorts there are three main gyms that we recommend.
- Wing 21 was the training facility for the 1998 Olympics and now acts as a community centre/public gymnasium. Wing 21 has a number of workout and cardio machines. There is also a basketball gymnasium which could be used for any sports and around the top ring of the gymnasium there is a walking/running track. The best part of it all is that it’ll only cost you 200 yen to get in and you can rent any extra equipment you might want, from soccer balls to badminton rackets. Be an olympian!
- Alps gym which is the located next to the Matsukawa river on Highway 148 is the oldest and probably the most classic gym in the valley. Alps is your standard gym but it also acts as a social hour for those who aren’t interested in meeting people at a bar. They also offer Les Mills classes for anyone who is interested.
- Lastly, is the fantastic little gym in the now-closed Highlands ski area called Hakuba Field Sports Gym aka the Highlands gym. Located at the base of the Hakuba Highland resort, the gym offers a variety of cardio machines, free weights and weight machines. The Gym also has a yoga studio and programs but the location and equally fantastic onsen are definitely the icing on your proverbial workout cake.
Hakuba Mountaincross is CrossFit for the mountain lifestyle.
What a workout! For those familiar with the exercise trend that is CrossFit, you will know how incredibly popular and successful this regimen truly is. Well, Hakuba Mountaincross is even better! The trainers are focused on fitness training required for an active mountain lifestyle. This involves various activities including strength, interval and cardio training. Go check it out, you will definitely break a sweat.
Breathe in yoga, breathe out fitness.
For those who are looking to stay limber but not totally push their physical limits, Komorebi yoga (and pilates) in the Shakespeare Hotel has a fantastic room and equally fantastic instructors to keep you limber and centered. Additionally, there is a true Indian yogi practicing near Hakuba Goryu Ski Resort named Pranauv Manu who will help you practice classic yoga which reaches a bit more into the spiritual side of yoga and mediation and offers unification of mind, body and spirit. Whichever brand of yoga you are after, you will find it here in the Hakuba Valley.
Skate or die!
If you want to look cool and get a workout, grab a 500 yen coin and head over to Hakuba’s very own indoor skatepark, True Players. Just hit the vending machine with a coin, take a ticket and then grab one of the boards there that are free to use. There are some grind rails, boxes and benches which imitate street skating. There is also a few quarter pipes and a halfpipe. Even if you can’t skateboard, no one really cares, there is even a rope in the quarter pipe to help beginners get moving. And if you really don’t want to skate on that particular day, feel free to just come, hang out and watch local and foreigner skaters shred the gnar. There’s also a brand new, smaller cafe/bar/skatepark up in the Donguri area between 八方尾根 Iwatake called Dongree Cafe. There’s good coffee, yummy food, a fireplace and a homegrown atmosphere but best of all, there’s a little quarter pipe and a fairly big pool to drop in on. Skate local and no wimps!
Bounce your way to health and happiness.
The new kid on the block is jumping straight to number one—Hakubouce aka Hakuba’s first and only indoor trampoline park. If you’ve never been to a trampoline park, please treat yourself to an evening at Hakubounce. This is not just for kids either. All ages are welcome and there are instructors on hand to help you out if you’re looking for a challenge. This is the place to have some fun, bring the kids (if you want) and of course, get a good workout. You can even practice your backflips for the next day on the slopes.
Honorable Mention: Massage those weary muscles.
As an honorable mention, we have to put sports massage on the list. While not technically exercise, there is definitely something to be said for relaxation and releasing muscle tension after a long day of hitting the slopes. Within Hakuba Physio, they offer a section of their business to Hakuba Massage which gives both deep-tissue sports and relaxation massages. One better is Hakuba Mobile Massage which come directly to your accommodation. They bring a massage table and will give your massage right in the comfort of your own room. Hard to beat that!
Now, that we’ve clued you in on where to go, have a healthy meal and stir up some motivation to get out there and keep fit. Hakuba is filled with tremendous athletes and health professionals who are dedicated to keeping themselves and others fit and happy. Events Hakuba will see you out there!