Renown for having some of the world’s best and lightest snow, Niseko is the most famous ski resort in Japan and draws large numbers of visitors, who have contributed in the past few years to popularize this area abroad. The town sits at the bottom of the perfect cone of Mount Yotei, which is now a dormant volcano, and offers an incredible choice of ski trails, world-class restaurants, bars, onsens, and off-the-ski tours & activities.
The closest airport to Niseko is Sapporo: from here we can pick you up or we can arrange to have a car ready for you to self-drive during your week’s vacation. If you happen to travel in February, before heading to Niseko you should stop in town for the Sapporo Snow Festival. This annual festival is held each February and lasts just under two weeks: imagine snow sculptures scattered around the city, going from the size of a person to that of a three to four storey building. It’s truly a sight to behold!
Mount Niseko Annupuri is the heart of Niseko. The town’s four major resorts – Grand Hirafu, Hanazono, Niseko Village and An’nupuri – are here, and and it is possible to ski between them with the Niseko United All Mountain lift pass. Besides these trails, experienced skiers can explore the backcountry on off trail skiing guided tours or even helicopter tours.
Hirafu is the ideal place to stay, the center of Niseko in a sense, and where you’ll find most entertainment after skiing. It is a very foreign friendly town and has plenty of outstanding restaurants, bars, cafes and shops.
If skiing, snowboarding, and eating amazing food is not enough, you can also partake in other activities like snowmobiling, snowshoe hikes, snow rafting, art browsing (Shu Ogawara Art Museum and Somoza Gallery are both amazing), and of course onsens bathing – you could even make a day of it by visiting picturesque Toyako town with its onsens and beautiful lake.