It seems that pretty much every ski movie from the past few years has had a generic Japan segment. You know the one – deep, blower pow, mellow trees, a couple pillows, etc.
Ever noticed how they all look the same? Well, that’s because they are all filmed in the resorts of Japan’s northern island – Hokkaido. Hokkaido may have some of the lightest, most consistent powder in the world, but it is lacking in the challenging terrain needed to back it up.
But never fear – Hokkaido has a less known southern brother on Honshu; where the terrain is big and steep, and the snow is (nearly) just as good: Hakuba.
While Hokkaido has become an obligatory trip for any ski movie, western ski media has largely ignored Hakuba. However, in the past year, that has changed.
Xavier de le Rue and friends visited Hakuba last season for his film, This Is My Winter. Unfortunately (?) for them, it dumped for their entire three week trip, so they didn’t get to ride the bigger lines they were after. However, they still produced a pretty sick segment:
Jeremy Jones and the Deeper-Further crew spent the month of February in Hakuba. The footage they got provided some of the best lines in the trailer for Further. Two of the best riding shots in the trailer are Forrest Shearer (1:51) and Jones (2:05), both in the Hakuba backcountry.
Lastly, the Unofficial crew visited Hakuba last winter as a part of their Ski the Seven Continents project, and just posted their video (in case you missed it).
Expect to see more ski and snowboard movies having segments from Hakuba this winter and onwards – this place has been discovered. What do you think – does Hakuba have what it takes to be a world class ski destination?