Popular with light powder snow, Niseko (ニセコ) in Hokkaido is the most famous ski resort in Japan. The resorts bring large number of foreign visitors from all over the world, especially from Australia and France, and facilities are set to be accessible and welcoming to foreign visitors. There are 4 main ski resorts in Niseko – Annupuri, Gran Hirafu, Hanazono and Niseko Village. They are all family friendly and has ski schools and lots of activities like tubing, Snowshoeing for both adults and children. The snow season is between December and April.
The New Chitose Airport (Sapporo Airport) is the main gateway airport (114km away) and there are airport shuttle buses and private transfers available.
Niseko Annupuri Ski Resort is one of the four Niseko United ski areas. Officially known as Niseko Annupuri Kokusai Ski Resort but most people just shorten it to Annupuri.
This ski resort is popular among locals, and recommended for families, beginners and intermediate skiers.
Grand Hirafu is one of the four Niseko United ski areas.
Out of all the United ski areas, Grand Hirafu has the most number of lifts, courses, hotels and pensions. The area is very large so whether you’re beginner, intermediate or advance skier, you will find a course that will suit your level.
Hanazono is one of the four Niseko United ski areas.
The mid section of this ski resort has a perfect slope for beginners so it is best place to practice if you want to learn how to ski.
Niseko Village is one of the four Niseko United ski areas.
This ski resort is popular among advanced skiers. From the top of the hill to the base, it measures over 2,000 metres. With many slopes, it can be difficult for beginners as you can jump/fall from the slopes depending on the speed and angle you’re travelling.
Shiribetsu river flows through the eastern side of Hokkaido, measuring 126km in length. In summer, it becomes a popular spot for rafting and boating. You can hire a dinghy or a raft and float downstream to enjoy the beautiful water and scenary.
Surrounded by untouched nature, Shiribetsu river is one of the cleanest rivers in the world.
There are many onsens (hot springs) in Niseko. Naturally occurring volcanic hot springs are effective for relief of tired muscles and joints after the winter activities.
If you wish to get a private onsen, Kanronomori is the only hotel in the district that offers private onsen for hire for 50 minutes. Booking is essential.
Hokkaido is famous area for dairy products including milk, cheese, butter and ice creams. Niseko Takahashi Milk Kobo is a small farm/factory where you can enjoy freshly made desserts such as cheese tart, milk puff, ice cream, eclair and many more.
They start serving pastries from 10:00 every day. Open throughout the year, there is always line of customers waiting to order fresh products before they sell out in late afternoon.
There is a free shuttle service from Hilton Niseko to Takahashi Farm Milk Kobo.
Mount Yotei (Yoteizan) is a 1,898 meter height volcano which can be seen as the most iconic part of the Niseko landscape. It is also called Yezo Fuji or Ezo Fuji, “Ezo” being an old name for the island of Hokkaido, and is because it resembles Mount Fuji – the most famous mountain in Japan.