A mostly futile wish for most of humankinds existence, the dream to fly like a bird in the sky is now well within our reach. Well, not quite like a bird I suppose, but still the feeling of soaring on the air currents is easily accessible to anyone with the desire.
There are a number of places around Hakuba, where you can bring this wish to reality, and just up the road from us at the Hakuba Springs Hotel is the Happo Paraglider School. They have a variety of "courses" you can follow, but I think probably the most suitable is the "tandem course" or the "tandem plus experience course". The straight up tandem course (12,000 yen) involves very little in the way of training as such, and after a suitable amount of drilling on basic safety procedures, you are strapped to your instructor and away you go! As you can see by the pictures, the flight over Happo gives you a fantastic view of the town below. The "tandem" plus "experience" (15,000 yen) version gives you slightly more training on the fine points of steering and landing and is of interest if Paragliding is something you think you may want to pursue in the future. The lowest cost option is the "experience" only course, and I think is mostly suitable to chlldren perhaps who simply would enjoy the feeling of rising a few metres into the air.
The homepage for the Happo Paragliding School is only in Japanese, but the instructors do speak enough English to successfully and safely navigate you through your day! Feel free to send any questions our way here at the Hakuba Springs Hotel and we'll make sure you "jump off" on the right foot!
Information in Japanese, and some more pictures giving a good idea of what's involved in each course can be found here.