“Their policy is that no one is turned away. Everyone is welcome,” Tony Anderson says of Hakuba residents, and that policy was one of the main reasons he decided to find his home in the Japanese Alps.
When, 20 years ago, Tony Anderson from Melbourne, Australia, went to a village located in the Japanese Alps for the winter, he liked it so much that he returned there the next year and bought a property. Anderson is not the only one – the village of Hakuba leaves few people indifferent.
Among other things, it was also on the list of the most beautiful tourist villages in the world for 2023 by the prestigious BBC magazine. You’ll find Hakuba about 45km west of Nagano or 270km north of Tokyo.
This tourist pearl is special for the hospitality of the locals, as well as the beautiful nature. As he told the BBC, Anderson was delighted by the caterer’s approach. While he still didn’t have his own place to live in Hakuba, Anderson looked for a hotel room, but it was all booked up. They didn’t turn him away at the hotel, but apologized for not having a free bed and gave him a futon (Japanese bed) to place in the hallway, if he had no other choice to sleep.
“It is their policy that no one is turned away.” Everyone is welcome,” says Anderson.
That tradition of hospitality probably developed for practical reasons as well – when it snows and sometimes blocks the roads, you can’t leave the place, even if you want to. A paradise for skiers and snowboarders, Hakuba is surrounded by 10 different ski resorts and hosted many events at the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics. Even in the spring, when the cherry blossoms bloom, there is still enough snow in the mountains for skiing.
Although it is best known for its winters, Hakuba is beautiful all year round thanks to its friendly people, mountains, meadows, as well as hot springs, onsen.
“Not a day goes by that I don’t think how beautiful this place is,” Anderson said, according to punkufer.hr.