Niseko & Surrounding Ski Resorts

Niseko & Surrounding Ski Resorts

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The Niseko Area consists of the Hokkaido ski resorts that are southwest of Sapporo. Whilst some Niseko-centric people think Niseko is THE capital of skiing in Japan, we’ll at least give Niseko credit for being the epicentre of this region. Powder chasing fiends can use Niseko accommodation as a base to explore Niseko as well as the ski resorts near Niseko, the famed Niseko backcountry and Mt Yotei, and the cat ski operations. You can choose to rent a car and undertake DIY exploring, or head on a guided tour and have a guide to drive you around and show you the powder stockpiles.

Ski Resorts Near Niseko

First and foremost is Niseko United which is made up of the four interconnected ski areas. Starting north and moving southwest these are:

Next to Annupuri is Moiwa, which is a small ski area that’s relatively untrafficked compared to Niseko United. By road it’s 2.5km west of Niseko Annupuri and 12km SW of Niseko Hirafu.

Rusutsu is 28km southwest of Hirafu (about 30 mins drive). The excellent in-bounds tree skiing is no longer a secret, but it tends to be a little less busy compared to Niseko (which compared to the high profile North American ski resorts is not that busy!).

Iwanai Resort is 40km by road NW of Niseko Hirafu (about 45 mins drive). Iwanai is a very small lift-accessed ski area, with the main attraction being the Iwanai cat skiing above the resort.

Other ski resorts near Niseko that are a manageable day trip from Niseko include those west of Sapporo near the seaside town of Otaru. These include Kiroro (51km NE of Hirafu), Sapporo Kokusai, Sapporo Teine, Asari and Otaru Tenguyama.

Cat Skiing Niseko

For abundant fresh tracks, the region has various cat skiing operations. See the Niseko cat skiing page for more information on the differences between the snowcat outfits and also the cat skiing videos.

Weiss Cat Skiing is at the old Weiss ski resort adjacent to Niseko Hanazono.

Chisenupuri Snowcats operated by Hokkaido Backcountry Club is at the former Chisenupuri Ski Resort, which is next to Moiwa.

Rising Sun Cat Skiing is a 30 minute drive from Niseko; out past Kutchan and north of Mt Yotei.

Iwanai Cat Skiing is by the coast, 40km from Hirafu.

Heli Skiing

Near Rusutsu is heli skiing on Mt Shiribetsu. Winter in the Niseko area doesn’t see too many fine weather days so there can be lots of no-fly days, but if the weather gods are kind, the heli skiing is amazing!


Tours In/Near the Niseko Area

Safari (Road Trip) Tours

Southern Hokkaido Powder Tour
10 Nights - Up to 8 Ski Areas
Ability: Advanced to Expert
The Southern Hokkaido region scores the most snow and with this lift accessed sidecountry tour you'll get to explore the best ski areas. 3 nights in Otaru, 5 nights in Hirafu Niseko & 2 nights in Hakodate.
Price p/p From price based on twin/double-share option for group tour for 2019-20 season.
Base/invoice currency is in Japanese yen inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 3,329
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Safari Japan Tour
9 Days | 8 Nights | 7 Skiing
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
This guided backcountry powder skiing safari takes in Central Hokkaido's best locations as well as Niseko & surrounds. Each tour has a maximum of 6 spots; join as a solo, small group or book the entire 6 spots.
Price p/p From price based on twin/double-share room occupancy with a full group of 6.
Base/invoice currency is in EURO inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 2,986
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See all Safari (Road Trip) tours that visit NISEKO AREA here

Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area Tours

Niseko Freeride Tour
8 Days | 7 Nights | 6 Days Riding
Ability: Intermediate to Advanced
This snowboarding tour takes in what many would argue are the best ski areas in Japan with a choice of up to 11 ski areas in the Niseko region. Home base is a nice hotel in Niseko so you have access to Niseko's vibrant nightlife. Have a guide to take you to the best powder stashes at each location.
Price p/p From price based on twin/double-share option.
Base/invoice currency is in AUD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 2,036
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BDT Guided BC Day Tours
Niseko Area | Shiribetsu & Yotei | Min 2 Days
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Join Black Diamond Tours on an epic day (or days) of guided backcountry skiing or riding near Niseko. Ideal for private groups (or waiting list for group tours). Areas include Niseko backcountry areas, Shiribetsu, lower Mt Yotei or Yotei summit (weather pending).
Price p/p From price based on 1 day of guided backcountry skiing/riding per person (5 guests in your group e.g. 75,000 yen total).
Base/invoice currency is in JPY ex taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 140
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See all Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area tours that visit NISEKO AREA here

Cat Skiing Tours

Iwanai Cat Skiing Day Package
8 - 10 Runs (Approx 4,600m vertical/day)
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
Iwanai Cat Skiing serves up powder runs of 325-650m of vertical bliss, with 8 to 10 runs for the day. Located near Niseko, the Iwanai Resort snowcat skiing terrain scores masses of snowfall. Ideal for strong intermediate & advanced riders.
Price p/p Price is per person per day for shoulder season
Base/invoice currency is in Japanese Yen
Displayed price may vary slightly due to exchange rate fluctuations. Price includes 8% sales tax
USD 651
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Shimamaki Snowcat Packages
Stay in Traditional Japanese Inn Inc All Meals
Ability: Advanced to 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.
Price p/p Display price is based on 2 days + 2 nights per person for 2020 season (regular season)
Base/invoice currency is Japanese Yen
*Display price may vary slightly due to exchange rate fluctuations
USD 1,632
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Chisenupuri Cat Skiing
Single Day, Pick Up & Return Niseko
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Advanced
Unguided cat skiing near Niseko is at the former ski resort of Chisenupuri. You have the freedom to explore and it is ideal for apprentice powder hounds or advanced riders heading to Niseko. Chisenupuri cat skiing is a lust-do! Finish the cat ski day with a soak in an amazing onsen.
Price p/p Price is per person per day
Base/invoice currency is Japanese Yen
*display price may vary slightly due to exchange rate fluctuations
USD 512
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See all Cat Skiing tours that visit NISEKO AREA here