Niseko is internationally acclaimed for having some of the best snow and resorts in the whole of Japan. Whether you go during summer or winter, these mountain slopes hold many hours of fun for you to enjoy. Niseko’s breathtaking views and ease of access ensure that visitors return year on the year. It is an ideal place for all levels, from those of you who are interested in taking your first shaky steps on the snow and for those of you who are searching for more advanced challenges. To help you choose your ideal base, we’ve pulled together this list of the best places for skiing and snowboarding in Niseko, Hokkaido, the North Island of Japan. Unearth its secrets today and book your ideal holiday.
1. Niseko Annupuri Kokusai Ski Area
Although this might not be the most suitable site if you are looking to really push yourself into an advanced level, with plenty of fun runs you’re guaranteed an incredible winter holiday. Other than the junior course, the next longest is the Shirakaba Course at 800 meters (0.5 miles). In total, the 13 courses can be reached via a number of different lift options. If you are an absolute beginner, then you might be interested in booking ski or snowboarding lessons at the school. Nighttime routes are also available.
Niseko Annupuri Kokusai Ski Area
Address: Niseko-485 Niseko, Abuta-gun, Hokkaido 048-1511
Website: Niseko Annupuri Kokusai Ski Area
Opening hours: 8:30am - 6:30pm (daily)
Price: 49 USD
2. Niseko Village
Internationally renowned for its excellent snow, Niseko offers beautiful nature and fun runs. In fact, in 1963, the site was marked as a protected area. The area is easy to access from the New Chitose Airport, making it popular for both domestic and international travelers. The 2,191 acres (886 hectares) offers unparalleled skiing and snowboarding. This is a great site with clear runs for all levels, beginners equate for 36%, intermediates 32% and advanced is also 32%. It is worth noting that the vast majority of guests are skiers rather than snowboarders. There is also a good percentage of groomed and ungroomed sites.
Address: Higashiyama Onsen, Niseko-Cho, Abuta-Gun, Hokkaido, Japan 048-1592
Website: Niseko Village
Opening hours: 8:30am - 8:30pm (daily)
Price: 71 USD
3. Niseko Mt. Resort Grand Hirafu
We love that alongside the traditional ski and snowboarding users, snowscoots and snowmotos are permitted. There are a huge 34 pistes to explore, a terrain park and a half pipe. This is actually the biggest resort in the Niseko United area. Head to the lower routes for beautiful tree-lined runs, the higher routes offer open powder. Nighttime flashlights make for extended hours so you can continue your enjoyment of the slopes well into the evening. There is also ‘backcountry terrain’ which offers off-piste routes, but use comes with a warning as they are not patrolled and no avalanche control and no signage.
Niseko Mt. Resort Grand Hirafu
Address: 204 Yamada, Kutchan, Abuta District, Hokkaido 044-0081
Website: Niseko Mt. Resort Grand Hirafu
Opening hours: 8:30am - 8:30pm (daily)
Price: 55 USD
4. Hanazono Niseko Resort
This site receives, on average, 14 meters (45 feet) of snow. One of our favorite things about this site, apart from the great runs, is that you can glimpse the Japanese sea from the higher routes. Thanks to the number of run levels and tubing lanes, this is a great option for families. For something a bit different, you can also enjoy a snowshoe tour and a snowmobile tour. There is a snow school so that if you are an absolute beginner, you can take your first intrepid steps on the snow with an instructor. For the longest run head straight to the 2-mile (3.3km) long Silver Dream Course.
Hanazono Niseko Resort
Address: 328-36 Iwaobetsu, Kutchan, Abuta District, Hokkaido 044-0082
Website: Hanazono Niseko Resort
Opening hours: 8:30am - 5pm (daily)
Price: 55 USD
5. Ki Niseko
This stunning hotel and ski resort is a great winter holiday base. In 2018, it won the Japan Best Ski Resort award. So, both the excellent runs and fantastic facilities are sure to entice you. Whether you choose to ski or snowboard, you can also enjoy breathtaking views of Mt Yotei and Mt Annupuri. If it’s your first time on the slopes, don’t worry because you can easily book private or group lessons. You can even enjoy powder guiding; this is a whole new type of tour and is not for the faint-hearted.
Address: 183-43 Yamada, Kutchan, Abuta District, Hokkaido 044-0081
Website: Ki Niseko
Opening hours: 9am - 7:30pm (daily)
Price: 80 USD
6. Niseko Moiwa Ski Resort
This resort is popular for all ages and levels. With plenty of nightlife, it’s fun for group parties, yet the Sun Kid area is great for families with small children. There are three lifts that cover the mountain slopes. If you’re looking for a fantastic winter holiday but would prefer to stay away from the masses of tourists that descend on the slopes every year, Niseko Moiwa might be your ideal match. The runs are much shorter than any others listed here, but you’ll have plenty of freedom.
Niseko Moiwa Ski Resort
Address: 448 Niseko, Abuta District, Hokkaido 048-1511
Website: Niseko Moiwa Ski Resort
Opening hours: 8:30am - 4pm (daily)
Price: 41 USD
Prepare for the best winter holiday ever
We’ve scoured high and low to bring you the best places for skiing and snowboarding in Niseko, Hokkaido, in northern Japan. Now, all you need to do is pick your sport, choose your destination from this list and book today. The slopes are waiting for you.
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