Hakuba Fall Itinerary – Experience the Magic Autumn with this 3-Day Guide

Hakuba Fall Itinerary – Experience the Magic Autumn with this 3-Day Guide

Hakuba is a hidden gem nestled in Japan’s Northern Alps.

The vibrant fall foliage paints the landscape, and the crisp mountain air invigorates your spirit. The beautiful autumn leaves and the breathtaking views of the Hakuba mountains make it a perfect destination for nature lovers.

Hakuba Fall Itinerary - Tsugaike Hiking
Source: Mike Humphrey

The Hakuba Valley is a popular fall travel destination known for its vivid autumn colors and stunning views of the Japanese Alps.

Known as a winter sports mecca, Hakuba is also a breathtaking autumn paradise.

For years, Hakuba has been growing as a fall destination. Hakuba is a must-visit fall destination, from downhill mountain biking to serene nature hikes and hot springs.

In this 3-day Hakuba fall itinerary, we’ll explore all the Hakuba has to offer.

Read on to see what you’re missing.

Autumn Foliage in Hakuba

Hakuba’s fall season is a spectacle of nature’s beauty. The golden leaves create a mesmerizing backdrop for your adventures. The pleasant weather, with clear skies and mild temperatures, makes it the ideal time for outdoor activities. Whether you’re an avid hiker, a photography enthusiast, or simply looking to unwind amidst nature, Hakuba’s autumn offers something for everyone.

Hakuba Fall 3-Day Itinerary

Here is our Hakuba 3-day fall itinerary.

Day 1: Arrive and Explore

Hakuba Fall Itinerary - Iwatake Autumn
Source: Events Hakuba

Arrive in Hakuba

Check-in at your Hakuba hotel. Hakuba has various accommodation options, including traditional ryokans, hotels, and private lodges.

Enjoy a Coffee at Iwatake Mountain Harbor

Kickstart your day with a visit to the City Bakery at the top of Iwatake Mountain Resort. Built-in 2018 at the top of Iwatake resort, Mountain Harbour provides panoramic views of the Hakuba mountain range. Mountain Harbour is ideal for viewing Hakuba’s renowned San Dan Kouyou. This is when the peaks are capped in white snow, the mountains are awash with autumn colors, and the valley is a vibrant green.

Explore the top of Iwatake

Hakuba Fall Itinerary - Iwatake Autumn (2)
Source: Events Hakuba

After enjoying the view, stroll around the summit of Iwatake and explore the area. You’ll find remote work locations and slack lines in the forest at the top. There are also horse rides, buggy rides, and always-fun mountain carts. Additional decks and seating areas on the valley side of the mountain offer excellent views of the city. Hike in the Nezuko no Mori forest and discover some of Hakuba’s flora. Don’t miss the Yoohoo swing for incredible Instagram shots.

Ride the Lift to Chavity

After exploring the sights and activities at the summit, make your way to number 3 lift and descend to Chavity. During the lift ride, take in the stunning views of Happo One resort. At the base, you’ll find Chavity, a charming tea shop with a deck and seating areas offering some of the best city-side views in the valley. For the adventurous, there’s also a giant swing that lets you really hang out over the edge.

Dinner at a Local Izakaya

Experience authentic Japanese cuisine at a local izakaya, such as Hie, Sarugaku, or Zen. Relish the flavors of fresh, locally sourced ingredients in a warm and inviting atmosphere.


After dinner, take a stroll around Echoland and Art Line. The clear night skies offer a perfect opportunity for stargazing. Bring a telescope if you have one, and marvel at the celestial wonders above.

Day 2: Hiking and Scenic Views in Hakuba Valley

Hakuba Fall Itinerary - Hakuba Hppo Ike Fall (1)
Source: Canva

Hike to Happo Pond

Wake up early and take the gondola and chair lift to Happoike Sanso Lodge (lifts open at 8:00 AM). From the top of the Grat Quad, hike an hour and a half to Happo Pond, where you can enjoy stunning views of the Hakuba Sanzan (Hakuba’s 3 mountain peaks). The trail is moderately challenging, with some steeper sections, but it is not uncommon to see children heading up with their families.

Pro Tip: Pack a thermos of green tea and an obento to enjoy a traditional Japanese mountain lunch. The tranquil environment and delicious food create a perfect midday break.

Lunch in Echoland

After your hike, head to the bottom of Happo and over to Echoland. Choose from several of the popular restaurants and enjoy some delicious food.

Relax in the Onsen

Spend your afternoon in one of Hakuba’s many onsen. The soothing baths and mountain views provide a perfect way to relax and rejuvenate. Don’t forget to follow proper onsen etiquette and rinse off before entering the bath.

Soba For Dinner

Autumn is the time for hand-made soba. In the fall, restaurants in Hakuba Valley offer freshly harvested buckwheat noodles with various tasty toppings. Warm up your body and soul with a bowl of hot soba in the crisp mountain air after a day.

Night Walk

If you have enough energy left after your long day, head to Goryu for their night walk event. Take the gondola to the top of the mountain and enjoy the scenic views of Hakuba Valley at night. The lights from the ski resorts and surrounding towns create a magical atmosphere.

Day 3: Thrills and Views

Mountain Biking at Iwatake

Start your final day with some adrenaline-pumping mountain biking at Iwatake Mountain Resort. The ski resort turns into a mountain biking heaven during the summer and autumn months, with numerous trails catering to all levels of bikers. Rent a bike and protective gear from one of the rental shops in town or from Spicy at the base of the resort.

Visit Oide Park

After the morning spent flying down Iwatake’s trails, head over to Oide Park. The famed suspension bridge, crystal clear stream, and the vibrant yellow foliage are a photographer’s dream.

Lunch or Picnic

You can head across the Oide Bridge to Kappa Tei for lunch or bring food and enjoy a picnic in the park. Pick up some local snacks and drinks from the nearby convenience store, or stop by one of the local bakeries for some delicious pastries.

Time to Head Home

After a friendly meal, it’s time to head home. You can catch the Azusa Express back to Tokyo at Hakuba station or take the scenic route through Matsumoto. Either way, you’ll leave Hakuba with unforgettable memories and a longing to return soon.

Other Hakuba Village Fall Activities

  • Hakuba Goryu Alpine Botanical Garden: Explore a variety of alpine plants.
  • Kitaone Kogen: Take a leisurely hike and see the beautiful colors of fall foliage.
  • Lake Aoki: Perfect for cycling or hiking around the lake surrounded by colorful forests.
  • Hakuba Green Sports: Great for families with Younger kids.
  • Ropes Courses: There are several ropes courses across the valley that are great for families.
  • Tsugaike Nature Park: Stunning autumn foliage, well-maintained trails, and accessible via gondola and ropeway.


Hakuba in the fall is a perfect autumn destination with unparalleled beauty, adventure, and relaxation. With our 3-day itinerary, you experience the best of what this enchanting region has to offer. From scenic hikes and thrilling mountain biking to relaxing onsen baths and delicious local cuisine, every moment in Hakuba is a memory in the making.


What is the best time to visit Hakuba in the fall?

The ideal time to visit Hakuba in the fall is from late September to early November, with the autumn foliage reaching its peak in mid-October.

Do I need to book activities in advance?

While some activities, like guided tours, may require reservations, others can be enjoyed spontaneously. It’s a good idea to check in advance to ensure availability.

What should I pack for a fall trip to Hakuba?

Pack layers to accommodate varying temperatures, comfortable hiking shoes, a camera for capturing the stunning scenery, and any specific gear for activities like biking or stargazing.

Can I visit Hakuba without a car?

Yes, Hakuba is accessible by public transportation, including trains and buses. However, renting a car can provide more flexibility to explore the region at your own pace.

Is there English-speaking support available in Hakuba?

Many hotels, restaurants, and tour operators in Hakuba offer English-speaking services. Learning a few basic Japanese phrases is helpful, but you should have no trouble navigating the area as an English speaker.