Good Bye January, bring it on February!

January 2014 will go down as a good one……really good in fact.  Overall snowfall was slightly below average but we had a healthy base from December & it stayed cold with plenty of fresh top ups. All this combined, meant for great powder on supply nearly every single day of the month.

This was captured nicely by Morino long-timer “Olav the Viking powder destroyer”. His 2 weeks in Hakuba this year saw plenty of perfect snow as evident by this video edit of his stay………and just to hammer home why he comes back to Hakuba year after year i`ve included his 2013 edit too.




Here`s to a good February….It`s been a slow start but it`s looking to improve real fast.


Flashback to Feb 2013

Last year`s February was one of the more epic in recent memory. Cold temperatures & non-stop 20 to 30 cm top ups  made for a month of relentless blower pow. This was captured quite nicely by the lens of Nate Cahoon in his short film for Dubsatch Collective titled “Hakuba”.

Have a watch……..& here`s to plenty more blower Pow!

Hakuba from Dubsatch Collective on Vimeo.

Packed with travel bags stretched at the seams, Sam Cohen and Zach Halverson board a jet plane headed across the world in search of the powder paradise they’ve only dreamt about; Japan. There, the two meet up with fellow skier Bryce Phillips to explore the notoriously mystical Japanese forests and pristine upper alpine. Get ready for a trip of a lifetime with “Hakuba” from Dubsatch Collective.

Filmed by: Nate Cahoon
Edited by: Nate Cahoon, Sam Cohen
Photography: Scott Rinckenberger
Skiers: Sam Cohen, Zach Halverson, Bryce Phillips
Location: Hakuba, Nagano, Japan

Thank You:
Craig and Matt of the Morino lodge crew!
Salomon Freeski

Follow us on instagram: @dubsatch @natecahoon @sammocohen @zachhalverson @brycephillips @scottrinck

Get in the mood for the deep Hakuba Powder Pt. 2

Fitness may be low at this time of year, but enthusiasm is high….a couple friends of Morino snowshoed up Cortina the other day for a few turns in the 60cm of fresh pow.  And with more snow in the forecast next week, the folks of Hakuba are getting in the mood indeed.

To get everyone else feeling the early winter excitement, here`s Part 2 of the photography of Scott Rinckenberger from his time at Morino Lodge last February. In this group of photos Scott cpatures one of the things that makes Hakuba so darn special….the trees, the light & the abundance of fresh snow. Enjoy!

It`s worth checking out Scott on Facebook @

Wabisabi - this shot perfectly captures the Japanese aesthetic

Wabisabi – the Japanese aesthetic

Ghosty Trees

Ghosts in the forest!

Wind Snow Trees 2

post blizzard forest

Windswept Trees

high on the snow desert

Streaming Sunlight

not a bad day for a walk in the woods

Graceful treeline

the perfect canvas to paint a picture….

Behind the Turn

….picture painted.

….to be continued.

Check out Part 1.




Get in the mood for the deep Hakuba Powder.

Fall is fading to winter here in Hakuba with some significant alpine-snow forecast in the coming week. So, with kick off for the coming season only a few weeks away, its time to start getting in the mood for the deep Hakuba powder.

……..and a perfect way to do that is with the photography of Scott Rinckenberger from his time at Morino Lodge last February. Scott`s an avid outdoors-man who turned to photography as a way to fund his non-stop outdoor adventures…….& it turns out he`s pretty darn good at it too. His enthusiasm for adventure is matched by an exceptionally gifted eye for all things mother nature. He`s a very gifted photographer as evident by the following pics that capture the essence of mid-winter Hakuba.

Follow Scott`s adventure & his stunning photography on his Facebook page –

Hakuba is steep....

Hakuba is steep….

....and deep.

….and deep….


....with pillows....

….with pillows….

....and big lines....

….and big lines….

....and sunshine.

….and sunshine.

….To be continued.


Escape the Heat with a cool mountain retreat.

Hakuba Lake Aokiko Panorama

Rainy season is “officially” over & the long hot Tokyo summer has set in. Temperatures in the mid to upper-30s & lots & lots of concrete = not much fun at all.

The good news is that Morino Lodge & all our Deluxe Chalets are open for the summer & Hakuba is full of fun & relaxing ways to cool off.

Here` a list of Morino`s top 10 things to do in the Hakuba summer;

  • 10Take a drive down the Azumino Art Line – With stunning views of the alpine landscape, & a dizzying array of cultural attractions, this picturesque piece of countryside is one of Japan`s best kept secrets.img49479d04206a9
  • 9 – Wakeboard in Lake Kizakiko – Wakeboarding is not as difficult as you think & Kizakiko`s smooth waters is the perfect place to do it.
  • 8 – Visit Miasa – Miasa is a charming little farming community about 20 minutes-drive from Hakuba. “Miasa” means “beautiful hemp” which is what they used to farm here. Nowadays it`s mostly soba & rice. Naturally, you`ll find some of the best soba restaurants in Japan here. But you should also check out Miasa Coffee a charming straw-bale coffee house on beautiful grounds….a fantastic place for a walk.
  • 7 – Tandem Paraglide – with a qualified instructor, sore amongst the majestic peaks of Hakuba.paraglider
  • 6 -BBQ – whether you do it at the edge of the Matsukawa river, on the shores of Aokiko or on the deck of one of our chalets, this is what summer`s all about. We`ve got the bbqs & we`ll take you to the local butcher with cheap “inaka” prices.
  • 5 – Take a Mountain Bike Clinic at Sweetridersor if you already know what you`re doing, rent a bike & we`ll show you some fantastic trails.
    Mountainbiking Hakuba
  • 4 – Take a walk – From short strolls in the valley to serious multi-day treks, the Northern Alps offer some of the most stunning scenery in Japan. There`s something for everyone. 1465345746_750_happo-ridge-070929-2-happo-pond
  • 3 – Take a nighttime Firefly Canoe Tour – A magical experience for folks of any age, this has quickly become one of Hakuba`s most popular summertime activities. night-hotaru-canoe-2
  • 2 – Go Canyoning with EvergreenRappel, jump, slide, swim, down a cool mountain canyon equipped with 15m waterfalls & deep fresh swimming pools. The ultimate refreshment! 523604_10151202923596041_321468196_n
  • 1 – Spend the day at Lake Aokiko – There is nothing better than this & if it`s the only thing you do here, you`ll leave refreshed & satisfied. The mountain fed lake is as pristine as it gets, the views are tranquil & the pace is slow. Swim, bbq, read a book, then swim some more. We`ll provide the lawn chairs, hammocks & other toys.

Honorable mention – Take a soba making class, Do the Ex-Adventure Course, Take the Gondola to the top of Happo, Play a round of mallet golf, Take an Evergreen one day Combo Tour, Ride a bike through the valley rice fields, Relax in an Onsen, Get the latest tricks dialed for next winter at the Water Jump, Cruise the mountain hills on a long board.