Niseko Village Ski Resort

Niseko Village Ski Resort 

Our Terrain Ratings

Powderhound rating = advanced/expert terrain + powder + freshies + uncrowded

Our Terrain Ratings

Powderhound rating = advanced/expert terrain + powder + freshies + uncrowded

  • Vertical (m)
    280 – 1,170 (890)
  • Average Snow Fall
    18  metres
  • Lifts (8)
    2 gondolas
    1 chondola
  • Ski Season
    early Dec - early Apr
  • Terrain Summary
    Runs – 27
    Longest run – 5 km
    Beginner - 36%
    Intermediate - 32%
    Advanced - 32% 

Niseko Village Ski Area

Niseko Village Ski Resort is part of the large Niseko United which includes the ski areas of Hirafu, Hanazono and Annupuri. Beginners may choose to buy a lift pass just for Niseko Village Ski Resort which will save a few yen, but most people are likely to buy a combined lift pass and make the most of all four Niseko ski areas. An exception could be whilst the inter-connections are not operational when windy conditions result in the upper lifts being closed.

The ratings provided are for Niseko Village only, with higher ratings provided for Niseko overall considering that the whole area has even more to offer.

The Niseko Village ski resort stretches between the elevations of 280m and 1,170m, with a vertical drop of 890m. There are 27 piste with ability splits of 36% beginner, 32% intermediate and 32% advanced. As is common with Japanese ski resorts, the lower part of the mountain is mellow and ideal for beginners, whilst the upper ski area is more for intermediate and advanced skiers and snowboarders.


Niseko Village Ski Resort has 8 lifts, which includes the long Niseko Gondola, the short Upper Village Gondola, and the Village Express which is a chondola; a cross between a 6-pack chair lift and gondola. The rest of the lift fleet consists of 4 sluggish pair lifts, and the 2 single parallel single chair lifts, of which usually only one runs and that's when there is zero wind.

Niseko Village Snow

No one seems to be able to agree about the snowfall statistics for Niseko. Some sources cite an average of 15-16 metres per season whilst Niseko Village goes the whole hog and claims 18 metres per season! Whatever the statistic, the volume of snow is definitely impressive!

The Niseko powder quality is world renowned, thanks to the Siberian weather patterns that bring the snow along with nice cold temps. Just being a fraction critical, the Niseko Village has the worst aspect of the Niseko ski areas for snow quality considering that the slopes are mostly SE to SSE facing. This only plays out on particularly sunny or warm days or during the fringes of the season, and the upside is that the sunny slopes are certainly welcomed by the many beginners.

Beginner Skiing Niseko Village

The lower part of the Niseko Village Ski Resort has some lovely trails for novices and beginners, and a couple of the lifts are fast and/or provide protection from the elements. Niseko Village is well suited to beginners, and having the option of group lessons with an English speaking ski or snowboard instructor is a major bonus.

Beginners should be warned that there is a green run that runs from almost the top of Niseko Village, which is only suited to upper level beginners. It’s steeper than the base area green runs, and narrow and windy.

Intermediate Skiing & Snowboarding

Niseko Village has a handful of intermediate runs, some of which are very short. In isolation, Niseko Village doesn’t have a lot on offer for intermediates, so you’d want to explore all four Niseko ski areas.

Terrain Park

Park rats will want to head across to Hanazono and Hirafu.

Advanced Skiing On-Piste

There are a handful of ungroomed black piste, which tend to bump up reasonably quickly and are mostly very short. Superstition is a fraction harder than the other black runs.

Off Piste Skiing and Riding

Niseko Village probably has a little less off-piste (ie off trail but inside resort boundaries) and tree skiing compared to the other Niseko ski areas, but it makes up for it somewhat with respect to sidecountry terrain (lift accessed backcountry, outside resort boundaries).

Sidecountry Niseko Village

Mizuno no sawa is the sidecountry area to skiers’ left of the Niseko Village Ski Resort. Once upon a time it was fully out-of-bounds, but now it’s partly avalanche controlled and accessible via Gate 11. The gate is opened or closed depending on the weather conditions, the avalanche risk, and the general whim of ski patrol. You’ll need to don your avalanche safety gear and know how to use it. The area tends to get trashed pretty quickly after a snowfall.

Some of the terrain tends to start out rather mellow which lulls you into a false sense of security, and further down at skiers’ left it gets steeper and more technical. It’s a shame they don’t push the fences lines around to the left further to include the super steep lines.

Further left of Mizuno no sawa (and the Niseko Gondola line) is Haru no Taki (adjacent to Hirafu) which is off limits as unfortunately they don’t avalanche control this area. Skiers right of Niseko Village is Yu no sawa which looks incredibly tasty, but is also strictly off limits because they don’t avalanche control that either.

Like the rest of Niseko, glide cracks are reasonably common.


The Niseko area has lots of great backcountry options over the back of the ski resort or further afield. You can obtain the services of a Niseko backcountry ski guide to show you some of what Niseko has to offer.

Niseko Village Ski Season

In part due to the aspect, the Niseko Village ski season doesn’t last as long as Annupuri or Hirafu, and typically goes from early December to late March. See the when to ski in Niseko page for more information on the different parts of the season.