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Hokkaido Powder Triangle Luxe

Hokkaido Powder Triangle Luxe5/51
Hokkaido Powder Triangle Luxe5 out of 5 based on 1 reviews
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Hokkaido Powder Triangle Luxe

Recommend 10 - 14+ Days

Location: CENTRAL Hokkaido/Furano/Niseko/Rusutsu , Hokkaido , Japan
Ski 3 of Hokkaido's best ski resorts staying in luxury accommodation all the way (or choose other lodging). This self-guided trip suits all skiers & snowboarders whether you are first timers, intermediates or advanced looking for high powder chasing adventure.

Hokkaido Powder Triangle Luxe Trip

Why settle for one great ski resort in Hokkaido, when you could visit a trio of Hokkaido's best ski resorts staying in luxury accommodation all the way?!

This self-guided trip of the Hokkaido Powder Triangle would suit all levels of skiers and snowboarders, whether you are first timers, intermediates or advanced looking for high adventure powder chasing.

What is the Hokkaido Powder Triangle?

Well you’ve heard of the rice triangle, the omusubi/onigiri that was originally made to resemble a mountain in the shape of a triangle that you can get at the konbini (convenience store). The Hokkaido Powder Triangle is sort of the same because it’s white, tasty, convenient and Japanese, and all about mountains. Well that’s about where the similarities end because the Hokkaido Powder Triangle is all about powder!

A few people refer to the Hokkaido Powder Triangle as Furano, Niseko and Otaru, but the latter is a town not a ski resort, so for destination resorts the common powder triangle incorporates Furano, Niseko and Rusutsu. This trio of destination ski resorts offers the best of Japan powder, with the combination of abundant snowfall and light dry snow that makes Hokkaido skiing and snowboarding so famous. These three ski resorts also have well developed infrastructure and services.

For this Hokkaido Powder Triangle trip, you can choose to rent a car at New Chitose Airport and drive around, which is reasonably easy and gives you the flexibility to do day trips to smaller ski areas (see our Japan driving tips). Or you can get private transfers from the airport and between the three areas if you want to sit back and travel in style, or most elements can be covered with train and bus combos. Or if you pre-book a private guide or instructor, they will be able to assist with some of the transport.

It's your trip, so you can decide whether you want to do the trip in style, or save some yen and do it simply. You can also decide how long to spend in each part of the Hokkaido Powder Triangle, but we’ve outlined a sample itinerary that includes 5 nights in Furano, 3 nights in Rusutsu, and 5 nights in Niseko.


Furano ski resort

Deepest driest powder in Japan

Great downtown restaurants 

Whilst Furano is no longer a hidden gem, it is still one of the less visited ski resorts by foreigners in Hokkaido. In the past couple of years Furano has gone from a sleepy village to the beginnings of an international destination resort with new luxury self-contained accommodation like the Fenix Furano and Fenix West.

Furano has fabulous off-piste terrain and some of the best lift-accessed sidecountry in Japan. The piste terrain is also great for beginners and intermediate skiers and snowboarders. In addition to this, Furano is centrally located to several fabulous powder ski areas including Kamui Links, Asahidake, Tomamu and others.

More information on Furano here.


From the Sapporo New Chitose Airport you have a few options to get to Furano:
  • Self-drive – the drive takes about 3 to 3.5 hours
  • Deluxe private door to door transfers – you can book here
  • Shuttle bus – 4 scheduled departures per day – you can book here  
  • Trains
If flying into Asahikawa Airport you can: See the Furano travel page for more information on getting there.


Fenix Furano offers the ultimate in luxury digs and convenience to access the slopes at Kitanomine. Fenix Furano has hotel rooms, studios, and 1 to 3 bedroom apartments that sleep up to 7. Here’s our review of Fenix Furano.

Just down the road is Fenix West, which also offers elegant lodging in hotel rooms, and 1, 2 & 3-bedroom apartments/condos for up to 6 to 7 guests.

You can also look at other Furano accommodation options here and search for availability for your dates.

The Fenix Furano

Lovely living spaces

Western- Japanese fusion


Rusutsu is renowned for some of the best in-bounds powder tree skiing in Hokkaido. For beginners and intermediates, Rusutsu is heaven with high-speed hooded chair lifts and gondolas providing access to long cruisy, perfectly groomed runs.

If you are mostly interested in skiing powder, it might be worth getting a guide for a day for you and your group/family to get the lay-of-the-land.

For skiers and boarders looking for lessons, there are private lessons available in English.

If you are an advanced skier or rider, Rusutsu has the only heli skiing in Hokkaido (in Japan actually). You need to keep your expectations for a bluebird day on the down-low but if you get out heli skiing, the turns should be epic. See our review of HBC heli skiing here.

You would want to spend at least 3 nights in Rusutsu to explore all of the nooks and crannies of this highly rated powder resort. More information on Rusutsu here.

Best powder tree skiing in Hokkaido

Rusutsu ski resort

The wacky resort hotel


To get from Furano to Rusutsu you have a few options:


Ski-in/ski-out Vale Rusutsu

Beautifully furnished

The Rusutsu onsen complex

The Vale Rusutsu offers very modern spacious ski-in/ski-out deluxe apartments/condos that range from 1 to 4 bedrooms. The condos are very well appointed and boast a living area, over-sized bathrooms, and kitchens. The Vale Rusutsu has a spectacular modern onsen complex all accessible without having to go outside of the building. You can see our review of The Vale Rusutsu here.

The Vale Rusutsu offers the best value of the deluxe options, but if you want something in the moderate or economical budget range you can look at availability for other Rusutsu lodging options.


Niseko, Hokkaido's powder mecca

Spectacular natural onsens

Niseko vibrant nightlife

The grand finale and possibly the highlight of this incredible Hokkaido Powder Triangle trip is Niseko United, which is made up of 4 inter-connected ski areas all accessible on the one lift pass. There is a huge variety of terrain from long cruisy in-bounds groomed trails and off-piste terrain, plus lift-accessed side-country as well as ski touring options for those that want to go full backcountry.

Niseko is the powder factory where it often snows and snows and snows. More information on Niseko is here.


For a luxury stay in Niseko, there are various options.

The Vale Niseko enjoys a ski-in ski-out position at the base of the Family Run and offers hotel rooms up to 3 bedroom condos. The Vale Niseko has a lovely onsen onsite.

The Maples Niseko offers premium Hirafu accommodation with a premium ski-in ski-out address in Upper Hirafu. The Maples is a condo hotel, offering deluxe studios and 2 and 3 bedroom apartments.

Or to really spoil yourself, the new Niseko Kyo offers residences that have a private onsen, and it’s also ski-in ski-out on the Family Fun.

All of the properties mentioned above are very well located in Niseko Hirafu where you will find a plethora of eating and drinking venues all within easy walking distance.

Or for a more moderate budget, Niseko has an abundance of other options spread across the village. You can look at other Niseko accommodation options here.

The Vale Niseko

The Maples Niseko

Niseko Kyo


To get from Rusutsu to Niseko you have a few options: To get from Niseko back to the New Chitose Airport you have various options:
  • Self-drive
  • Private on-demand door-to-door transfer – you can book here
  • Hokkaido Resort Liner bus – you can book here
  • Bus to Kutchan then 2 trains to New Chitose Airport
You can find more information on Niseko travel here.

Hokkaido Powder Triangle Sample Itinerary

Day 1 – Travel to Furano

  • Fly into New Chitose Airport – see tips for flying into Hokkaido
  • Pick up car rental at the airport and drive to Furano, or get a transfer to Furano
  • Check into your lodging
  • Wander around the Kitanomine village and organise rental equipment at Rhythm at Fenix Furano if required
  • Head to Ajito’s Pub for drinks and dinner

Day 2 – Ski/Ride Furano

  • Check the snow report to see how much snow has fallen overnight and also look out the windows to the slopes for your weather report
  • If you need a lesson, private lessons can be booked with Whiteroom Tours. There are also options for group lessons for kids and first timers.
  • If you want a guide to show you around the powder, there are a few options for private guiding – these need to booked well in advance
  • Go dog sledding or other activity mid afternoon
  • Post photos to social media to annoy your friends back home
  • Head to one of the downtown Furano restaurants for dinner

Day 3 – Ski/Ride Kamui Ski Links

  • Kamui Ski Links is a ski area for beginners through to powder hounds. Self-drive, get a ride with Furano Taxi, or get your guide/instructor to drive you.
  • Private guiding is available to show you around if you book it well in advance.
  • Private lessons with WRT include the transport to/from Furano
  • On the drive back to Furano, stop in for an onsen at the Ashibetsu Onsen Starlight Hotel which has lovely indoor and outdoor baths.
  • Dinner in town

Day 4 – Ski Asahidake

  • Asahidake is a powder playground, especially for skiers, and best if you get a private guide to show you around (if the weather isn’t conducive for riding Asahidake the guiding can be at other Central Hokkaido ski areas).
  • Have an onsen at one of the Asahidake Village hotels such as Hotel Bear Monte, La Vista Daisetsuzan.
  • Or if you want to remain on-piste, ski or ride at Furano again.
  • Dinner in the Kitanomine village

Day 5 – Ski/Ride Tomamu

  • Check out the weather report and forecast.
  • Tomamu is another great ski area nearby which has terrain for beginners through to powder hounds. It is particularly tasty if the storm has come from the south as it fares better than Furano.
  • You can get to Tomamu by driving, with Furano Taxi, or your private instructor or guide can drive you.

Day 6 – Ski Furano a.m. Then Transfer to Rusutsu

  • Check out of your lodging
  • Enjoy your last turns of Central Hokkaido powder in the morning
  • If applicable, return your rental equipment.
  • Drive to Rusutsu in the afternoon or get a private transfer
  • Check in to your Rusutsu lodging.
  • Organise equipment rentals if required.
  • Have dinner at one of the Rusutsu restaurants. You’ll probably want to pre-book this.  

Day 7 – Ski/Ride Rusutsu

  • Enjoy your breakfast at the resort, and choose from a buffet smorgasbord or a serene Japanese set menu
  • Head out on the slopes of Rusutsu. If you want a private lesson or guided powder tour, pre-book these well in advance.
  • Wander around the crazy Rusutsu Resort Hotel and check out the kitsch shops
  • Have a well deserved soak in the onsen
  • Dinner at one of the Rusutsu restaurants
  • Go to sleep in your luxurious bed dreaming about powder turns  

Day 8 – Ski/Ride Rusutsu or Go Heli Skiing

  • Breakfast
  • Ski/ride at Rusutsu or there is the option of heli skiing for advanced and expert skiers/riders. If it’s a snowy day and the helicopter can’t fly, the guides will take you to sidecountry runs at Rusutsu instead.
  • Onsen, dinner, rest

Day 9 – Ski/Ride Rusutsu a.m. and Transfer to Niseko

  • Your legs may need a rest or you can head out for your last turns at Rusutsu for the morning
  • Drive or get a private transfer to Niseko
  • Check-in at your Niseko lodging
  • Wander around the Hirafu village and peruse the shops and/or have an apres ski beer/cocktail
  • Pick-up equipment rentals if required
  • Head out for some of the famous Niseko night skiing
  • Dinner at one of the many Hirafu restaurants (you should probably pre-book this, particularly if there are more than 2 of you)

Day 10 – Ski/Ride Niseko

  • Check out the snow report for the day or just look out the window to see how much snow has fallen.
  • Head out on the slopes of Niseko and explore its many zones. If you want a private lesson or guided powder tour, pre-book these well in advance.
  • Head to an onsen
  • Have an après ski tipple
  • Head to one of the many Hirafu restaurants

Day 11 – Ski/Ride Niseko or Go Cat Skiing

  • Explore the ski resort again or pre-book one of the Niseko cat skiing operators that vary from catering to intermediate riders up to experts
  • Onsen & dinner and it’s probably overdue to post some brag shots on social media

Day 12 – Ski/Ride Moiwa

  • You can explore more of Niseko United or head to Moiwa Ski Resort which is next to Niseko. Strong skiers/snowboarders can get to/from Moiwa via the slopes or there are occasional buses to get there or drive across.
  • After ripping up the powder, if you’ve driven to Moiwa, head to one of the Konbu Onsen options such as the onsen at the Niseko Grand Hotel
  • Dinner in the town of Niseko or Kutchan for a nice Japanese experience

Day 13 – Ski Nearby Ski Resort or Niseko

  • If you’ve got a car, a guide or a private instructor you can try one of the other nearby ski resorts such as Kiroro, Sapporo Teine or Sapporo Kokusai.
  • Or you can stay close to home and ski Niseko United.
  • Grand finale dinner

Day 14 - Departure

  • After an incredible 2 weeks or so skiing some of Hokkaido's best powder ski resorts, take a scheduled or private shuttle (or self-drive) back to Sapporo New Chitose Airport for an afternoon departure.
  • Or you’ve got the option to add on 2 nights in the fabulous city of Sapporo.