Arriving at the base, you board the chair lift up to the start tower. There is a special “Gold Medal” chair on the lift. Timing is everything as it only comes around once ever 10 minutes.
Once in the start tower you take the elevator up to the large hill and normal hill launching platforms. After crossing the access bridge you climb up under the jumping platforms (not for the faint of heart), and get to the viewing platform high above. From here you can not only appreciate the courage needed to hurl your self off these towers, but also get one of the finest views of the Hakuba Valley.
On the way back down you pass the galleries of the 98 Olympics and Paralympics.
Current operations are limited from 10:00 – 15:00(Last lift up at 14:30), however before and after public hours you may see some athletes practicing, so earlier and later are the premium times.
The supporters stand holds 45,000 people and is a great place to exercise. I reckon there are 225 steps on the way to the top, but my good friend Steve Williams of Hakuba Connect thinks there are only 220.
Entrance to the stands is free of charge, but if you want to take the chairlift to the top and scale the jumps, then an adult costs 460yen, while children under16 are 280yen.
You can easily walk there is about 10 minutes from Happo Information Center or Hakuba Base Camp. There is a ton of free parking at the base for those with a car.