“We spent a fabulous ten days in Hakuba in summer 2016. The mountains offered incredible scenery, endless hiking trails and a very welcome respite from the heat of the cities! Verena and Shaun looked after all the practicalities - car, bikes, pick-up from train station etc. We made good use of their suggestions and ate in some fantastic local restaurants (Japanese cooking does not disappoint!). The experience was everything we imagined - stunning mountains, lake swims and sensational food. Hakuba is definitely a special place made all the more interesting by Shaun and Verena\'s recommendations. A wonderful trip and brilliant hosts!”
Verena's reviewsAs a host (7)
“Hemos pasado unos dias estupedos en casa de Verena en Hakuba, Japón. El cottage està muy bien equipado y muy cofortable. La situación es perfecta cerca de muchos lugares turísticos. La relación con Verena y su pareja ha sido entrañable son muy acogedores estuvieron siempre que los necesitamos en contacto con nosotros. En definitiva super contentos con intercambiar casa. Aunque todovia no han venido a Barcelona y no los conocemos personalmente. Looking fordwar to seeing you soon in Barcelona.”
“I subscribed with homeforexchange in 2012 and had a great number of exchanges (more than 20) with great satisfacion. Till now I never had a bad experience like the one with Verena Evans. I signed a contract with her in the month of May 2016 and asked her if it was all right and I could buy the airplane ticket from Italy to Japan to spend a week in her cottage (the exchange is pnanned at the end of September 2016). She wrote to me it was all right. She told me the cottege was available, and she signed the contract. I bought the flight ticket. Some days ago I received a suprising email: Verena wrote to me the cottage was no more available, duing to a legal dispute with her partner and manager. I don't know what she means. She offered me a future hospitality in Australia, but I have a ticket to Japan. I don't need to go to Australia... I think it's not a serious way of behaving. Home exchange is a seriuos thing: if you have problems and you can't make swaps, why you sign a contract? Home exchanges are based on trustworthness. If you can't trust people, you can't have exchanges. My experience with Verena Evans was really disappointing. Hosts response: Gianluca, I can only apologise our cancellation was unavoidable and outside our control. If we could have accommodated his stay in any way we would have , of course, done so. We offered him several alternatives including stays at our property in Australia but as he had already booked his travel to Japan , these other offers were un-satisfactory to him. We contacted him as soon as we know about the situation (More than 2 months before his travel) also that we offered several other solutions that he declined. Once again our apologies to Gianluca.”
“We had a wonderful exchange in Hakuba with Shaun and Verena! Their home is very nice, in a great location and it matched the description very well. The home is very comfortable and clean and the car was great, too. It was excellent to have the car since we did a lot of exploring around the area. Shaun and Verena were incredible to exchange with! They were easy to communicate with throughout the process and very helpful in giving us tips as we planned our trip. They put us in touch with their property manager in Hakuba who picked us up from the train station, showed us around the town and was available in case we needed anything. We communicated with them a little bit during our trip and then returned home to a clean house - they had cleaned the entire house, washed our sheets and towels, and left us the sweetest note. This was our first exchange so we weren't sure what to expect, and our exchange with Shaun and Verena exceeded all of our expectations! We would highly recommend an exchange at their home (and we even hope to return one day in the winter so we can take advantage of the skiing)!”
“We had a fantastic home exchange with Verena in their cozy ski chalet in Hakuba. Fantastic place to experience Japan's culture and get some great skiing in. We were even lucky enough to see the Cherry Blossoms which is such an amazing experience. Verena was very friendly and easy to communicate with. We hope to arrange another exchange back to Hakuba and would definitely recommend!”
“Nous revenons d'un voyage au Japon dont deux semaines passées à Hakuba dans la maison de Verena qui est parfaitement conforme à sa description sur le site. Le gestionnaire de la maison, Desmond, a été un interlocuteur disponible et sympathique. Si à cette période "entre deux saisons", nous n'avons pu faire autant de randonnées que nous l'espérions, Hakuba a été un camp de base parfait pour explorer la région, loin des circuits classiques, ce qui permet de découvrir le "Japon profond". Nous avons aimé les petits restaurants familiaux de Hakuba, exploré avec plaisir Nagano, Matsumoto, la presqu'ile de Noto, Kanazawa... Clairement, la voiture est indispensable. Mais la maison est fonctionnelle, facile à vivre et les chambres confortables. Merci de cet échange réussi. ”
“We stayed in Hakuba in June 2019. Verena's house is very comfortable and as a family of four we had plenty of space. We enjoyed cooking meals and relaxing in the evenings. A local property manager also supported us and answered numerous questions while we were in Hakuba. The area of Kitaazumi-gun is a year-round destination because of the spectacular mountains and numerous onsen (hot springs). We rode nearby ski lifts to access some higher elevation hiking. Awesome scenery! You can take your pick of onsen in the area, and each one has unique characteristics. We had access to the car which made exploring the area very easy. We made trips to Kanazawa and Matsumoto which were interesting and beautiful. We've lived in Japan years ago, so this trip was a wonderful immersion in an area of Japan we hadn't seen. Verena and Shaun, thanks for making this exchange!”
Where is it?
Situated in the breathtakingly beautiful Northern Japan Alps, Hakuba offers some of the best Year round sports action in Japan. In winter. Abundant snow falls and excellent powder conditions make Hakuba a perennial top choice of skiers and snowboarders from around the world.
Much like the arlberg in Austria, Hakuba is actually a collection several small neighbouring villages encompassing nine ski resorts stretched across a broad valley.
Enjoy Sushi and sashimi, aromatic katsu curries, simmering hot pot nabe or Japanese Dichon salad, frosty Sapporo draft or maybe try a warm sake. Our Village, Hakuba Goryu has about 15-20 restaurants and about the same number of bars all within 1-2 kms that operate right throughout the winter season with more opening every year.
Escal plaza, located 300 meters from our front door, is a shopping and restaurant hub at the base of the ski field that operates year round, housing shops, cafes and the like (baskin robbins, subway etc) as well a a traditional Japanese onsen bath.
Escal plaza also provides the base station for the gondola that gives year round access to the mountains, for snowsports in winter, and for hiking, paragliding & access to the national park and wild flower gardens in spring and summer.
Goryu Dake, our nearest peak, is one of three local 3000 meter plus mountain peaks in the Hakuba valley and hikers and climbers come from all over to Japan and the world in summer to take on the 3 Peaks challenge. A great challenge if you are up for it!
During Spring and summer a reduced but still substantial number of the Goryu bars and restaurants operate. Approximately 5 Km away is Echoland, a year round "Eat street" that was built for the Nagano Olympics. Most restaurants and bars here are year round including our favourite, one of the best restaurants in Japan, Trauemerie. Echoland is a 10 minute drive or taxi in winter (About US$15 taxi fare) We often cycle over in summer if we are feeling energetic.
Summertime in Hakuba is breathtaking with the magnificent backdrop of the Japanese Alps surrounded by endless green, pristine lakes, flowing rivers and abundant outdoor activities. Why not come and discover why Hakuba is the outdoor adventure capital of Japan.
Enjoy world class single track mountain biking or take a guided trip to the top of the Alps, climb a glacier or just a leisurely stroll along the majestic Matsukawa River, there are so many enjoyable options for hike and walks in Hakuba.
Rafting canyoning fishing or just relax and take in the magnificent scenery and amazing culture
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