Niseko4 out of 5 based on 38 reviews
  • Recommend
    89%
  • Would Revisit
    82%
Wagner Custome Skis

Niseko Japan: Some of the Best Powder in the World
Niseko Japan: Some of the Best Powder in the World
The famous Niseko night skiing
The famous Niseko night skiing
Hirafu Village looking up to Mt Yotei
Hirafu Village looking up to Mt Yotei
There are lots of day ski and snowboard tours available
There are lots of day ski and snowboard tours available
Niseko Nightlife: a Good Selection of Bars
Niseko Nightlife: a Good Selection of Bars
Ski Niseko Japan
Ski Niseko Japan
Niseko Restaurants: a Good Variety of Dining Options
Niseko Restaurants: a Good Variety of Dining Options
Luxury Niseko Hotel
Luxury Niseko Hotel
Heli skiing near Niseko
Heli skiing near Niseko
And did we mention the Niseko snow!
And did we mention the Niseko snow!
Hirafu Niseko Ski Resort
Hirafu Niseko Ski Resort
Ski-in ski-out Niseko accommodation
Ski-in ski-out Niseko accommodation
And you can ski Niseko powder 12 hours a day!
And you can ski Niseko powder 12 hours a day!
Skiing on Shiribetsu near Niseko Japan
Skiing on Shiribetsu near Niseko Japan
Sidecountry Tour
Sidecountry Tour
Night skiing Hirafu Niseko
Night skiing Hirafu Niseko
Upper Hirafu Village Niseko
Upper Hirafu Village Niseko
Niseko backcountry tour
Niseko backcountry tour
The Niseko ski schools have English speaking instructors
The Niseko ski schools have English speaking instructors
Niseko Hokkaido is a very family friendly resort
Niseko Hokkaido is a very family friendly resort

Niseko

Niseko Japan

Niseko ski resort in Hokkaido is probably the most famous Japan resort amongst international skiers and boarders. For those that love powder, Niseko Japan is the number one pick for a ski holiday because it seems to constantly snow, and the deep, deep powder is way too enticing. Niseko the snow factory is one big powder playground!

Niseko Ski Resort Terrain

The Niseko ski resort gets the Powderhounds award for the best ski terrain in Japan. Niseko also gets other "best skiing in Japan" awards for best powder, best off-piste terrain, best slackcountry (easily accessible backcountry), and best overall resort in Japan. The Powderhounds obviously think that Niseko has a lot going for it!

Niseko is suited to skiers and boarders of all ability levels. There are a large variety of groomed runs that are ideal for families, beginners and intermediates. For powder hounds Niseko has great off-piste skiing. The slackcountry and backcountry options are also very impressive, and thankfully both off-piste and out of bounds riding is permitted. Another element that sets Niseko apart from many other Japanese ski resorts is the combination of both alpine and tree skiing.

Fair weather skiers who want to get a tan are the only ones that might not like Niseko. Niseko rarely sees the sunshine and has plenty of cold weather in the peak of winter, but powder hounds don’t mind because it’s the bad weather that brings all that fabulous powder. And don’t worry about the cold because Niseko is equipped with various gondolas and hooded chairs.

Niseko is the largest ski resort in Japan and is made up of four interconnected areas: An’nupuri; Niseko Village (formerly Higashiyama); Hirafu; and Hanazono. The ski resort of Moiwa is also interconnected, but a separate lift ticket is required for this resort.

Where is Niseko?

Niseko is located in Hokkaido Japan, 100km southwest of Sapporo and the New-Chitose International Airport. Niseko is situated near Mt Yōtei (the "Mt. Fuji of Hokkaido") in a perfect spot to capture all the snow.

A shuttle bus or a door-to-door transfer is the best way to get to Niseko from either Sapporo or the airport. See the Niseko travel page for more information or you can book your Niseko airport shuttle transport here.

Niseko Accommodation

There is a huge range of Niseko accommodation options including hotels, pensions, lodges, and lots of self-contained apartments and houses. Some of the properties are ski-in ski-out, but many require a short walk or a shuttle bus to get to the ski area.



You can search for Niseko accommodation, check availability, and make a booking enquiry directly with the accommodation provider using the search box above. NB You can book transfers and other components of your holiday (e.g. equipment rentals and lessons) on this website from October onwards.

NB If you are looking to stay in Niseko during the Xmas to New Years period or Chinese New Year, many properties sell out very early.

There is accommodation in the villages of An’nupuri, Niseko Village, Hanazono, and Niseko Hirafu. The four ski areas are interconnected by the lifts and slopes towards the top of the mountain, but the base areas are not next to each other. Consequently the first choice regarding accommodation needs to be which village to stay in. See our Niseko accommodation page for information on the different villages, a Niseko map, and for accommodation bookings.

Niseko Restaurants & Nightlife

Niseko has the best nightlife and choice of restaurants of all the ski resorts in Japan. There are Niseko restaurants across all areas but most of the dining opportunities are in Hirafu. Hirafu is also the nucleus of the vibrant nightlife that Niseko is so famous for. There might be a few rowdy Aussies (and Chinese) hanging about late at night, but you can choose to either join in the fun or avoid them. And if you really want some peace and quiet, stay in An’nupuri, Niseko Village or Hanazono.

Niseko Ski Activities

If all the fresh tracks have disappeared in-bounds, there are lots of other Niseko ski activities to score a powder fix. You can head to a nearby ski resort, take a Niseko side-country tour, or earn your turns at one of the many backcountry areas near Niseko. If you’ve got superhuman fitness and a fine day, you can even climb Mt Yotei. Or if you prefer to save your energy for riding down the hill, Niseko heli skiing or Niseko cat skiing are other options!

Culture and Language

If you’re a little nervous about travelling in a foreign land then Niseko is the place to go because it caters really well to the international tourist. Communication at Niseko is much easier for English speaking travellers than at any other ski resort in Japan. English is spoken by most of the staff at the accommodation and restaurants, signage around the resort is in both English and Japanese, and restaurants have English menus.

The international popularity of Niseko has lead to it being not as cheap or unique as other Japanese ski resorts. Niseko has become somewhat Australianised and westernised, but there is still enough Japanese culture and food to make Niseko a culturally interesting ski holiday destination.

Summary of the Pros and Cons of Niseko

Pros
  • What sets Niseko apart from other Japanese ski resorts is the fabulous powder that falls in abundance (15-16 metres per season on average).
  • Niseko is a large ski area and off-piste and sidecountry riding is permitted, so there’s plenty of terrain variety.
  • Niseko makes a great base to explore nearby ski resorts and backcountry areas.
  • Another unique aspect of Niseko is that it caters very well to English speaking families with young children. Child care, in-accommodation babysitting, and kids’ group ski lessons are available from English speaking staff.
  • Other huge advantages of Niseko include the great village vibe, the range of activities on offer, good shopping, the many restaurants, and a very colourful nightlife.
  • Niseko is one of only a few Japanese ski resorts that offer a range of accommodation options, including hotels, apartments, houses and backpackers. 
Cons
  • Niseko is no longer a hidden gem. The ski area is often very crowded (especially over Xmas and during January) and freshies in-bounds don’t last for long, but with the snow factory frequently pumping out more snow, another powder day (or powder hour!) is never far away.
  • Many of the chair lifts are antiquated, which is surprising considering the number of lift tickets they sell.
  • Proportionally there isn’t that much ski-in ski-out accommodation. 
Pro or Con Depending on Your Perspective
  • There’s still a distinct Japanese culture apparent, but the Hirafu Village in particular is very westernised. This comes with advantages such as the abundance of apartment accommodation and the amount of English that is spoken (including ski school and the ski rental shops), but there's very little Japanese style accommodation.
  • During the peak of winter don’t expect too many fine weather days. Of course all that wonderful powder doesn’t fall from blue skies! 

Tours That May Include Niseko

Safari (Road Trip) Tours
Hokkaido Storm Chaser DETAILS
GUIDED STORM CHASING SAFARI
8 Days | 7 Nights | 6 Ski Areas
From price based on twin-share room occupancy.
Base/invoice currency is in yen not including 8% consumption tax.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 2,425
Book and pay deposit prior to C.O.B. August 31st 2016 and get 10% off the advertised price.
Ability: Intermediate, Strong Intermediate, Advanced
Chase the storms and access the deepest and best quality snow conditions on the day in the Niseko United area and Central Hokkaido's world famous deep dry powder.
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Hokkaido Snow Tow DETAILS
HOSTED & SELF-GUIDED ADVENTURE
6 Nights | 7 Days | 5 Skiing | 5 Ski Areas
From price based on triple/quad-share room occupancy.
Base/invoice currency is in yen not inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 1,649
Book and pay deposit prior to Aug 31 2016 and get 14.7% off advertised price
Ability: Intermediate, Strong Intermediate, Advanced, Expert
Take the hassle out of organising your powder adventure to Hokkaido Japan next season by joining one of these great unguided tours. You still have the freedom to do your own thing at the ski areas but all of the logistics are taken care of.
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Renaissance Rider (Nth & Sth Islands) DETAILS
GUIDED SKI & CULTURAL EXTRAVAGANZA
14 Day | 13 Nights | 8 Ski Areas
From price based on twin/double-share room occupancy.
Base/invoice currency is in yen not inc 8% taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 4,171
Book and pay deposit by Aug 31 2016 for 7% off advertised price
Ability: Intermediate, Strong Intermediate, Advanced, Expert
Immerse yourself in Japan's rich culture and ski powder up to your eyeballs at some of Japan's best destinations. Includes Kyoto & Tokyo tours & flight from Kyoto to Sapporo.
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See all Safari (Road Trip) tours that visit Niseko here
Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area Tours
Niseko Guided Day Tours DETAILS
GUIDED DAY TRIPS IN/FROM NISEKO
For private groups of up to 6 guests
From price based on Niseko guided day tour (private group of 6 guests).
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 97
Ability: Strong Intermediate, Advanced, Expert
If you are in Niseko, you can't go past a guided ski or snowboard day tour in Niseko or at one of the nearby ski areas such as Rusutsu, Moiwa, Kiroro, Kokusai or Tiene. Tours are for private groups only of up to 6 guests.
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Progression Packages - Niseko DETAILS
SKIERS ONLY PROGRESSION TOURS - NISEKO
8-Day Package (with or without accommodation)
From price based on twin/double-share room occupancy on 7-night package.
Base/invoice currency is in CAD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 2,156
Ability: Intermediate, Strong Intermediate, Advanced
Take your skiing to a new level whether it be on or off-piste, on the bumps, in deep powder or in the terrain park. Based in Niseko, Japan you will also have day trips to Rusutsu & Kiroro. The full package includes lift passes and deluxe accommodation plus guiding/coaching.
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Powder Progression for Skiers DETAILS
GUIDED SKIER PROGRESSION TOUR
8 Days - Niseko + 3 Other Ski Areas
From price based on twin/double-share option.
Base/invoice currency is in AUD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 2,090 USD 2,090
Book by 30th Sept 2016 and get $AU100 off for tour dates of 27th Dec, 14th Jan, 19th Feb, 26th Feb & 5th March
Book by 30th Sept 2016 and get $AU100 off for tour dates of 27th Dec, 14th Jan, 19th Feb, 26th Feb & 5th March
Ability: Intermediate, Strong Intermediate, Advanced
Do you want to learn to ski deep powder and look like a pro? This tour focuses on helping you to develop your powder skiing skills whilst maintaining optimal fun. Includes day trips to Kiroro, Rusutsu & Moiwa
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See all Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area tours that visit Niseko here
Backcountry Skiing Tours
Hokkaido - Honshu Expedition DETAILS
HOKKAIDO & HONSHU GUIDED BC TOUR
12 Nights | 11 Guided Ski Days
From price based on twin/triple-share.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 4,355
Ability: Advanced, Expert
This ADVANCED+ ski and snowboard tour starts with 4 days in the Southwest of Hokkaido and then heads south to Honshu where you will ski or ride some of Tohoku's epic hidden gems. The tour includes some ski touring / split boarding (or snow shoeing) but you don't necessarily need to have any experience in this area.
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Hokkaidos 3 Volcanoes DETAILS
GUIDED BACKCOUNTRY TOUR
10 Days | 9 Nights | 7 Skiing | 4 Ski Areas
From price based on twin/double-share option. Requires min 5 guests to run fixed date tours
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 3,114
Ability: Advanced, Expert
This tour is for skiers & boarders who are looking for a real adventure in some of Japan's most prized ski areas. Whilst some of the terrain is lift accessed, you will earn many of your turns and be rewarded with the best powder on the planet..
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Honshu - Hokkaido Expedition DETAILS
HONSHU & HOKKAIDO GUIDED BC TOUR
12 Nights | 11 Guided Ski Days
From price based on twin/triple-share.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 4,355
Ability: Advanced, Expert
This ADVANCED+ ski and snowboard tour starts in Honshu where you will ski or ride some of Tohoku's epic hidden gems. It then heads to Hokkaido to ride its legendary powder. The tour includes some ski touring / split boarding (or snow shoeing) but you don't necessarily need any experience in this area.
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See all Backcountry Skiing tours that visit Niseko here
Heli Skiing Tours
Shiribetsu-Dake Day Heliskiing DETAILS
DAY HELI SKIING NISEKO - 6 RUN PACKAGE
Includes Niseko pickup & lunch
From price based on 6-run heli ski day.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 1,414
Ability: Strong Intermediate, Advanced, Expert
At last, a Niseko heli skiing operation! Make this one of the best days of your life skiing Hokkaido's deep dry powder on a dormant volcano (next door to Rusutsu and not far from Niseko).
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See all Heli Skiing tours that visit Niseko here
Cat Skiing Tours
Shimamaki Snowcat Adventures DETAILS
GUIDED CAT SKIING ADVENTURE (2 or 4 days)
Stay in a Traditional Japanese Inn Inc All Meals
From price based on triple share 2-day package.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 1,407
Book by June 30 2016 and get 10% off advertised price
Ability: Strong Intermediate, Advanced, Expert
This is the best Japan cat skiing! Departing from Niseko, the trip offers incredible snowcat accessed powder skiing & boarding, staying in a traditional coastal Japanese inn. Ride deep untracked powder all day, feast on Japanese cuisine and soak in the hotel's onsen in the evening.
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Niseko Cat Skiing DETAILS
NISEKO CAT SKIING | Single day, guided
From price based on per person with a minimum of 4 persons to operate. Base/invoice currency is in JPY inc taxes.
Price p/p
USD 524
Ability: Advanced, Expert
A day of awesome guided cat skiing near Niseko in backcountry terrain with some steep lines, technical trees, and pillows and mushrooms. The snowcat skiing is ideal for those craving bottomless untracked powder runs.
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See all Cat Skiing tours that visit Niseko here