Overall Rating

Moiwa

Moiwa3.5/511
Moiwa3.5 out of 5 based on 11 reviews
  • Recommend
    100%
  • Would Revisit
    91%

Moiwa - Reviews

Moiwa - Reviews

Low Tide

31/03/2020

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  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Month Visited:
    January
  • Admin Rating
    5

Low Tide

31/03/2020
Gorgeous fresh snow
The sidecountry is a major strength of Moiwa
Dinner at Kanronomori one night
Lots of sasa grass - very early Jan
The sun came out momentarily
It was nice to get back to Moiwa but it was early season with a very limited snow base, so we weren’t able to see it at its finest like we have in the past. It was a powder day but like the rest of Niseko, the really high sasa grass wasn’t covered with snow, and the powder skiing was fun yet hard going. Gate 6 at Moiwa was the only Niseko sidecountry gate that had been opened so far that season, so not surprisingly a lot of others headed in our direction in an attempt to score the coveted sidecountry powder. We got in a few runs of fresh powder in some of the more open zones, before we were relegated to chowder or very vegetated areas. We were hoping to gauge how much the crowds had grown since our last visit to Moiwa, but this wasn’t possible considering the circumstances.

It was disappointing to see people without avalanche safety gear and riders that were inadequately skilled to cope with the challenging terrain. This sidecountry zone is gnarly at the best of times, but the low tide made some of the steep walls near the creek really challenging.

Meanwhile Gate 10 out the other side was closed, because the vegetation is thicker and requires more snow cover.

It was snowing heavily and when we retreated to the cafeteria for lunch we could see where the real crowds were! This once little sleepy restaurant was absolutely packed. It also used to be inexpensive, but the prices were more akin to classic elevated Niseko prices and unfortunately they didn’t accept credit cards.

We really enjoyed staying in Moiwa at the Hotel Kanronomori (you can see our Kanronomori review here) with its Japanese vibe and fabulous onsen baths. From the hotel it was sort of walking distance to the base of sleepy little Moiwa where we explored a few of the restaurants and bars. During our time in Niseko we also stayed in the vibrant Hirafu, and we enjoyed the tranquillity of Moiwa as a complete contrast to the craziness of Hirafu.

It's hard to know how long the peaceful Moiwa will remain untouched. There is a masterplan to add new lifts at Moiwa along with a ski-in ski-out hotel and fancy villas.

You can see our thoughts on the pros and cons on the Moiwa overview page and also see our Japan ski resort ratings regarding how we score it against other ski areas.

Powder - 2019 February

04/03/2020

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  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Intermediate
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Month Visited:
    February
  • Admin Rating
    1

Powder - 2019 February

04/03/2020
Small area but powder makes it worth to ski there even for more days. I was for a day trip at Niseko but because of many people I didn't find place where was untouched powder. But at moiwa you could find places where was untouched powder afternoon.

Moiwa January 2019

Michael Adamski
26/06/2019
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Snowboarder
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    51-70
  • Month Visited:
    January
  • Admin Rating
    2

Moiwa January 2019

Michael Adamski
26/06/2019
After four days of hitting pretty much everything that the Niseko United resorts had to offer, Moiwa was a great break from the hustle and bustle. At first, we weren't sure that the small Moiwa would satisfy, but after multiple days of fresh snow and six inches overnight, Moiwa paid off in spades. Speed run after speed run. Poke around and you'll find stashes all day long. Don't go expecting fancy lodges with extravagant food or super long runs, but if you're looking for a local vibe with all the powder that Hokkaido is famous for, then Moiwa is your choice.

CAUTION

Bruce Aitken
24/02/2018
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    51-70
  • Month Visited:
    February
  • Admin Rating
    3

CAUTION

Bruce Aitken
24/02/2018
We had an excellent day at Moiwa with heaps of powder off piste....then we made a mistake and went too far right. On the map there is an area that has red lines drawn through it however there is no barrier, rope of warning on the mountain. We ended spending 4 hours walking out in difficult and dangerous conditions. Finally made it at 7.30pm well after dark....ski patrol and field management were useless, they told our friends where we should come out but offered no other help or advice.

We felt lucky and relieved to have made it out unscathed but the outcome could have been quite different.

Editor's note: at the majority of the ski resorts in Japan, if you leave the piste, you are in a self-responsibility area. The off-piste and side country areas are not patrolled, they are not marked with signs or roped regarding the last point before you'll need to skin or snowshoe out, and you need to be responsible for your own route finding (unless you employ the services of a guide).

Moiwa feb 17

Frank
28/02/2017
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Snowboarder
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    18-35
  • Month Visited:
    February

Moiwa feb 17

Frank
28/02/2017
Uncrowded and nice powder possibilities.

Awesome

Sam
11/05/2014
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    12-17

Awesome

Sam
11/05/2014
Great field, awesome snow and no lines for the lift.

best hidden ski resort!

Jerry
31/03/2014
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Intermediate
  • Rider Age
    36-50

best hidden ski resort!

Jerry
31/03/2014
Best groomed slopes, friendly staff, and great off piste.

The secret is out

Crunky
02/03/2014
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Snowboarder
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Admin Rating
    4

The secret is out

Crunky
02/03/2014
We spent a week in Niseko area hoping to escape the crowds after warming up at Niseko by sampling the goods at Chisenupuri, Moiwa, Rusutsu etc. So it was with disappointment we discovered that Chisenupuri was closed for the 2013/2014 season. Oh well no one knows about Moiwa right? Wrong.

We really liked the vibe of this place, more chilled with some distinct western flavours and we get off at the top and there is a bloke at the gate with a "Ski SURVEILLANCE" arm band. It sounded a bit bloody ominous and I prepared to use the missus as a human shield but as we approached the gate it was an westerner who chatted to us and told us where was good and what to avoid (not surprisingly the huge cornices that had people skiing below them). Bravo Moiwa. We asked him good questions and he gave good answer like "Nah don't go there because..."

We did some fantastic runs dropping back to Annupuri (Niseko ski resort) and while the traverse was long at least the speed was pretty good and no problem on a snowboard. With great snow I would be hard pressed to decide whether to get an epic line off the top of Niseko next door or get lots of great smaller lines at Moiwa.
 
Interestingly while they have a gate for the skiers left back towards Niseko and is part of the numbered Niseko gate system there is nothing to the Skiers right. Do not be fooled into thinking this is easier. It's pretty easy to go a too far to the right and get onto some southerly facing slopes which are more sun affected (and often less stable).

With good snow there is a couple of great days skiing but mid January 2014 we were joined by lots of other powder pigs. For the on piste skier I think they would be done with this hill after a day. Extra marks for the run from bottom to top being in a high speed hooded quad.

Moiwa

Gregvwhite
08/03/2013
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Admin Rating
    1

Moiwa

Gregvwhite
08/03/2013
Skied all Niseko resorts and Moiwa was superbly the best! No lines and untracked pow lines for EVERY run!

Still a Hidden Gem

15/01/2011

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  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Admin Rating
    4

Still a Hidden Gem

15/01/2011
Moiwa is fantastic to explore as a day trip from Niseko. The Moiwa ski area would also provide enough entertainment for powderhounds for a few days, particularly if the snow conditions are really good.

Staying at Moiwa could be a cheap option for those who don’t need an exciting nightlife, or it’s only a short taxi ride to Hirafu if you do need some evening entertainment. Even though the 5 areas of Niseko are interconnected, if you stay near the base of the Moiwa lifts, it would be a little cumbersome on some days (e.g. if backcountry gates closed) to get to the other Niseko ski areas.

Pros of Moiwa: great onsens in the area; fantastic powder; no lift lines; limited crowds so high likelihood of freshies; short steep pitches inbounds and out of bounds; and good lift accessed backcountry, although long traverses or trail riding are required to get back to the lifts (which isn’t too dissimilar to Niseko).

Moiwa won’t be a hidden gem for much longer.
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