Skiing

Niseko: Home to Japan’s Best Ski Areas with Perfect Powder Snow

A view of Mount Yotei in Niseko

Elevation: 1,308m

Average Snow: 15m+

Lifts:

3 Gondolas

30 Lifts

Terrain

  • 30% Beginner
  • 40% Intermediate
  • 30% Expert

Park: Available

Season: December-April

Known to have the best transportation facilities in the world, famous with their bullet trains, the cleanest country with the most hospitable, polite and friendly people, incredible natural landscapes, home to various UNESCO sites, superb cuisine, a mecca for manga and anime lovers, indeed there are countless reasons why you should include Japan in your list of countries to spend a holiday.

Besides, if you wish to spend a winter vacation in Asia, Japan is the perfect place to be. Get your backpacks ready, book your chosen flight, and prepare all the essentials for your next winter adventure.

Japan’s premier ski snow resort in Niseko Ski Resort in Hokkaido. It is the most popular ski destination in the country, renowned for its consistency and quality of powder snow called “aspirin snow” throughout the winter. It is also attracting many tourists from around the globe.

Niseko is comprised of 4 interlinked ski resorts – Grand Hirafu, Hanazono, Niseko Village, and An’nupuri. The average snow the area receives is around 15m+ each season. Niseko is also famous for its wide-open powder bowls, tree runs, and stunning views of Mt Yotei.

Here are the FOUR MOST EXCELLENT SKI AREAS IN NISEKO(Niseko United).

A vast landscape of Hokkaido, Japan

Niseko HANAZONO Ski Resort

Niseko HANAZONO Ski Resort is at the easternmost of Mt Niseko Annupuri. The resort offers various ski courses and outdoor activities at the Weiss Cat Assisted Backcountry Tour, limiting 12 guests to ski at an isolated mountain area. Snowmobile Tours with a guide is also recommended for first-timers.

Number of Courses: 8

Maximum Slope Gradient: 30°

Longest run: 4,550m

Equipment Rental: Available

Player ratio: Ski (50%), Snowboard (50%)

Hours: 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM

Night skiing is not available at this resort.

Niseko Grand Hirafu Ski Resort

The Grand Hirafu Ski Resort is the largest in the Niseko United, also known to have the finest and quality snow in Japan. The resort offers 30 kinds of ski courses so that visitors can indulge in its 5,600m long-run that provides the fantastic scenery of the 2,000m high Mt.Yotei or also called Ezo-Fuji. Grand Hirafu has 15 lifts and gondolas. The Free Ride Park has great facilities for freestyle skiers and snowboarders.

Number of Courses: 30

Maximum Slope Gradient: 40°

Longest run: 5,600m

Equipment Rental: Available

Player ratio : Ski (60%), Snowboard (40%)

Hours: 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM (weekdays)

Night Skiing: 4:30 PM to 8:30 PM

Niseko Village Ski Resort

Situated in the west of Grand Hirafu resort, Niseko Village Ski Resort has dynamic and entertaining courses excellent for advanced skiers and snowboarders. It has many steep slopes through the virgin forest and offers many attractions such as a hot spring, spa, shopping, and other snow activities.

There are several resort hotels such as KASARA townhouse and Hilton at the base.

Number of Courses: 27

Maximum Slope Gradient: 35°

Longest run: 5,100m

Equipment Rental: Available

Player ratio: Ski (65%), Snowboard (35%)

Hours: 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM

Night Skiing: Depends on dates

Niseko Annupuri Ski Resort

Niseko Annupuri Ski Resort offers well-maintained snow slopes with gentle and easy courses. It is in the westernmost of Niseko United and offers a view of Mt. Yotei from its peak point.

The resort is perfect for beginners and advanced skiers.

Number of Courses: 13

Maximum Slope Gradient: 34°

Longest run: 3300m

Equipment Rental: Available

Player ratio: Ski (65%), Snowboard (35%)

Hours: 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM

Night Skiing: 4:30 PM to 8:30 PM

Niseko Higashiyama Ski Site from Niseko

GETTING TO NISEKO

Flights to Japan and Niseko

New Chitose International Airport is the closest airport to Niseko. It is less than an hour drive from Sapporo. Hokkaido’s capital. International airports are in Narita and Haneda in Tokyo have connecting flights to New Chitose.

There are available buses and trains if you will be required to transfer between the Narita and Haneda airports. You will spend approximately spend 3,100 yen on an airport shuttle bus takes between 65 – 85 minutes. If you take the train (Keihin Electric Express Railway), the journey is between 90 – 115 minutes and is 1,760 yen – 3 080 yen.

LIFT PASSES

Just secure a Niseko All Mountain Pass so you can have access to all four zones, whichever you wanted to visit first (Grand Hirafu, Hanazono, Niseko Village, and An’nupuri) and the Niseko United Shuttle service. The Grand Hirafu Pass only allows access to the Grand Hirafu and Hanazono. Lifts service until 8:30 PM every week from mid-December to late March. Night rides are also included on full-day and consecutive day lift passes.

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