Shopping

Niseko Ski Shops / Snowboard Shops

Niseko shopping is reasonably good and Niseko is pretty much the only ski resort in Japan where there is a decent range of ski and snowboard gear. Perhaps you want to buy some powder skis or a longer snowboard? The Niseko powder is like ego snow, but ride on the right gear and you’ll feel like a complete legend. Or if you arrive completely unprepared for the freezing cold, there are lots of Niseko ski shops to pick up a new beanie, a neck warmer, face protector, or glove liners to keep your fingers warm and toasty.

Rhythm Snowsports (located near the main Hirafu intersection) is a large shop with a great range of gear and equipment. They have lots of snowboard outerwear, ski and snowboard hardwear, and they specialize in ski boot fitting. And Rhythm Summit (located nearby on the corner of the main Hirafu intersection) has a decent range of backcountry gear including alpine touring skis and bindings, skins, snowshoes, avalanche beacons, shovels, probes and backpacks.

Niseko 343 is a small ski shop tucked in behind the M Hotel in Lower Hirafu, catering to hard-core backcountry types with outerwear from Peak Performance, Norrona and Mammut, and a little hardwear.

In the Hirafu 188 building up Hirafu-Zaka Street is the iGate shop, a glitzy Niseko ski shop with lots of European branded ski jackets and pants, après boots, and an array of outdoor gear.

At Odin Place (main Hirafu intersection) is the ultimate Niseko snowboard shop, a large Burton store with lots of hardwear, clothing and accessories. And upstairs at the other end of the spectrum is Moncler which sells upmarket ski clothing such as Bogner.

The Niseko ski resort also has lots of ski-osks, many of which are located adjacent to cafeteria restaurants, selling a range of ski and snowboard accessories.

Niseko Shops - Souvenirs

Niseko used to have a massive number of typical Japanese souvenir shops, but these have largely been bulldozed to make way for progress. Or perhaps the shop owners finally figured out that unlike the domestic tourist market, the majority of visitors to Niseko don’t want to buy local food specialties, crab meat or dried fish pieces because they can’t get them past airport quarantine!

Don’t despair – there are still a few souvenir shops remaining so if you want to buy the latest Hello Kitty accessory you’ll be able to find it (or you can wait until you go to the New Chitose Airport where there are loads of tacky souvenir shops and even a dedicated Hello Kitty shop).

Midway up Hirafu-Zaka above the ramen café is a great souvenir shop selling lots of t-shirts, chopsticks, dolls, trinkets, and tasteful keepsakes mixed in with the usual cheap trinkets. Otherwise head down to Kutchan where there are some shops in the main street selling souvenirs and Japanese kitchenware.

Or check out Cocoroya in Lower Hirafu which has incredibly tasteful Japanese giftware including some antiques such as old Kokeshi dolls, knives and swords (they can help you navigate getting these home).

Niseko Grocery Shopping

There are a few convenience stores in Hirafu that sell alcohol, snacks and basic groceries. The Seicomart (aka Pyschomart) is well known due its location not far from the main intersection. It sells food products such as eggs, milk, bread, cereal, limited fruit and vegies, and an amazing assortment of snacks. Unfortunately it sometimes has large queues at the checkout.

Just a little further down the road is Lawson’s convenience store. The grocery range is a little more limited but there are no queues.

The Niseko Supermarket and Deli (at Shiki) is a medium sized grocery store. It sells an assortment of western type foods such as cereal, pasta, tacos, and some fresh fruit and vegies, meat, a handful of toiletries, and lots of wine. The building also has an ATM and a coffee shop.

Hirafu 188 is home to a medium sized grocery store and pharmacy with all the things you’d need for a winter holiday such as knee braces, vitamins, and medications.

Large supermarkets can be found in the town of Kutchan, which is a taxi or bus ride away. Both MaxValu and Co-op have a huge range of groceries at very reasonable prices. Like elsewhere in Hokkaido, the alcohol is super cheap regardless of whether you want beer, sake, spirits or the fantastic alcopops, Chu-His. There’s probably no need to buy duty free alcohol.