Mt.Youtei with snow

The Niseko ski area is a recommended spot for skiers from all over the world.

What are the characteristics that overseas skiers recommend Niseko ski resorts?

Introducing the souvenirs and features of each of the four Niseko ski resorts, the recommended levels for beginners, intermediate and advanced!

The explosive popularity of Niseko ski resort!

Mt.Yotei and Niseko lodges
Mt.Yotei and Niseko lodges

Niseko in Hokkaido is a recommended area that has undergone amazing changes among Japanese resorts.
The place name Niseko generally refers to the area where the three towns of Kutchan, Niseko, and Rankoshi are in one place.
Niseko Ski Resort is one of the world's most popular ski resorts, recommended by skiers all over the world.

In the past, the popularity of Niseko ski resort has led to a decline in the number of tourists from the country, and the popularity of Niseko ski resort has been declining.
However, the environment, needs, and popularity surrounding Niseko have changed completely in the last 10 years.
The number of guests at Niseko ski resort was about 1.3 million nights a year in the 2000s, but since 2011 when the Lehman Shock ended, it has increased to 1.7 million nights.

Although the number of Japanese tourists is decreasing, the popularity of Niseko among foreign tourists has increased rapidly, and Niseko ski resort is no longer like an overseas resort.
The rapid rise in popularity of overseas tourists in Niseko caused a development boom in the Niseko area, and most of the center of Niseko's Hirafu area was acquired by foreign capital, and the appearance of the city changed completely.
Even now, famous overseas hotel chains are still developing, making it the world's top recommended place as a winter resort including ski resorts.
Due to the popularity of the ski resort “Niseko”, the land prices in the Hirafu area and Kutchan are on the rise.

Many skiers want to go to Niseko ski resorts once in a lifetime.
I explain why I recommend Niseko Ski Resort. .

The charm of Niseko Ski Resort! High quality snow quality and amount of snow!

Niseko snow field

The best feature of Niseko ski resort is the snow quality of Niseko.
Nowadays, more and more people enjoy snowboarding, and it is popular to ski on freshly-sloped snow, and most tourists from overseas are looking for Niseko powder snow.
Snowfall at Niseko ski resort is up to 5-6m, and the temperature is around -10 degrees in the ski season, so there is more snow in the world and there are other recommended ski resort areas.
The reason why Niseko ski resort is recommended is that Niseko has the world's highest probability of hitting powder snow.

Even if you stay for a long time in the ski season at other overseas resorts famous for powder snow, you may not be blessed with the snow quality of powder snow.
Niseko Ski Resort is characterized by the fact that, due to the large amount of snowfall, the barn is reset every time you slide, and it becomes a different world overnight, and you can enjoy fresh snow.
Although it is not a mountain at a high altitude, there are many opportunities to enjoy smooth powder snow due to the overwhelming amount of snowfall.
At Niseko Ski Resort, it is recommended that skiers and snowboarders enjoy the fresh snow the next day, even if it is in a snowy state on the day.

Niseko Ski Resort is characterized by the fact that, due to the large amount of snowfall, the barn is reset every time you slide, and it becomes a different world overnight, and you can enjoy fresh snow.
Although it is not a mountain at a high altitude, there are many opportunities to enjoy smooth powder snow due to the overwhelming amount of snowfall.
From the viewpoint of enjoying powder snow, the snow quality of Furano and Tomamu in the inland area of Hokkaido may be lighter and smoother than the snow quality of Niseko that receives moisture from the geographically humid sea of the Sea of Japan.

However, it's hard to say that powder snow is just light, and powder snow with moderate moisture like Niseko is recommended for skiing and snowboarding in perfect snow conditions.
If it is light and dry snow, there is a high possibility that it will bottom out in 20-30cm snowfall, but if it is powder snow with a little moisture of Niseko, it will be difficult to bottom out.
The snow quality of Niseko ski resort is not too light, not too heavy, and is a superb creamy powder that is reasonably responsive.
The snow at Niseko ski resorts is a recommended snow quality that skis and snowboards float in the snow, and the floating feeling is unbearable.
Even at the bottom of a ski resort with an altitude of less than 1000m, the best and most attractive snow is piled up.

The charm of Niseko ski resort! Powder snow in an easily accessible place!


Access to Niseko ski resorts takes about 90 minutes by car from New Chitose Airport.
It is approximately 90 minutes by car from Sapporo to Niseko.
On the other hand, it takes half a day from Narita Airport to Hakuba.

Snow resorts blessed with abundant powder snow are also limited overseas.
Usually, to enjoy powder snow, you need to go to a high mountain, but even if there is perennial snow, you are not blessed with snowfall.
It takes time from the airport and town to reach the high altitude ski area.

Niseko ski resorts benefit from the water vapor from the Sea of Japan, so you can enjoy fine powder snow even in the low mountains.
Niseko Ski Resort is a recommended ski resort with easy access.

The charm of Niseko ski resort! A huge slope with 4 popular ski resorts!

Slope of Niseko ski resort

Niseko has four of the world's top ski resorts.
You can stay in one hotel and enjoy 4 ski resorts.
There is a system that allows you to enjoy all four ski resorts as "NISEKO UNITED."

Niseko United Ski Resort is composed of four ski resorts: Niseko Annupuri International Ski Area, Niseko Village Ski Resort, Niseko Mountain Resort Grand Hirafu, and Niseko HANAZONO Resort.
These four ski resorts have convenient recommended lift common tickets that can be enjoyed at all ski resorts.

The ski slopes in Niseko ski resort are popular for their wide slopes, and the maximum run distance is more than 47 km when the four ski resorts are combined.
Niseko's ski resorts are abundant in variation, so beginners to advanced players can enjoy skiing and snowboarding according to their level.

The charm of Niseko ski resort! Abundant accommodation to meet your needs!

Niseko lodge at Niseko ski area

In the area near Niseko Ski Resort, resort development has accelerated and there are many recommended lodges and hotels boasting superb views.
You can enjoy views of Mount Yotei and the Niseko Mountains from the living room and bedroom of the hotel rooms.

In recent years, foreign-affiliated hotels have continued to expand into the area near the ski resorts in Niseko to meet the popularity of the wealthy overseas.
In 2018, Sky Niseko, The Maples Niseko, etc. opened.
Around December 2019, the world-class hotels such as The Ritz-Carlton, Park Hyatt, and Aman in 2022 will open.

Niseko has not only super luxury resort hotels, but also recommended Japanese traditional inns, guest houses and pensions with hot springs.
In Kutchan, “First Cabin Niseko Ponyu”, which is a compact and luxury concept, is also recommended for solo travelers, although it is reasonably priced between a business hotel and a capsule hotel.

Niseko's accommodation will continue to grow, responding to the growing popularity and diversification of needs.

The charm of Niseko ski resort! many restaurants with high quality of Hokkaido ingredients!

Niseko Restaurants

In the area near the ski resorts in Niseko, recommended restaurants and cafes for the winter season will open at the same time during the ski season.
There are many restaurants in Niseko, but there are a variety of restaurants around the world, including Japanese cuisine, ramen, soba, French, Italian, and Chinese.
Niseko Ski Resort has many nice cafes and bars.

The restaurant at Niseko Ski Resort makes use of Hokkaido's rich food environment and uses fresh Hokkaido seafood, meat and vegetables.
At Niseko, you can enjoy a variety of foods depending on your purpose and budget, from casual fast food and take-out stalls to the popular French restaurant “KAMIMURA” and “Ichishin”.

The charm of Niseko ski resorts! Abundant amount and a variety of hot springs!

Hot spring at Niseko

Speaking of Niseko, ski resorts are of course recommended, but abundant hot springs are also recommended!
Niseko's hot springs have features that are recommended for each hot spring, such as different spring quality and scenery.
There are many popular hot springs near Niseko Ski Resort.
Niseko is a recommended hot spring area that attracts hot spring fans who have unique spring qualities and can easily visit various hot springs.
Most of the hot springs near Niseko ski resort have so many hot springs that you can enjoy the blessings of nature.

You can enjoy various types of hot springs such as transparent, cloudy, green, mud-based acidic hot water with a fragrance of sulfur, and alkaline hot water that works for beautiful skin.

The environment of Niseko's hot springs is also popular, so it is recommended to take a bath while looking at the magnificent Mt. Yotei and to enter the hot spring in a forest with snow.

Niseko's hot springs are very popular with foreign tourists, and the number of hot spring fans who visit Niseko for hot springs is increasing.We also recommend the “Niseko Hot Spring Pass”, a convenient and affordable pass that allows you to enter up to 4 hot springs from a total of 25 hot springs in the Niseko area!

The charm of Niseko ski resort!High quality service and attractive events!


Niseko's service level will be high, such as Japanese hospitality, high language level for international travelers, high cleanliness of the city and hotels, shuttle buses, and attractive recommended events. Niseko's service is well received by overseas tourists who visit Niseko ski resort.

In Niseko, there is a shuttle bus between each ski area.
We recommend staying near “Grand Hirafu Ski Area”, but if you have a lift ticket if you want to slide through “Annupri International Ski Area”, you can use it for free.
The shuttle bus also runs to JR Kutchan Station, so you can enjoy restaurants near Kutchan Station at night or go shopping at a large supermarket.

Niseko is also packed with popular events for families!
The beauty of the fire that burns up and fires in the air after winter, such as torch gliding on New Year's Eve, countdown fireworks, Christmas and Chinese New Year fireworks, is a recommended event.
There are also other events that you can enjoy with your children, such as the Janken tournament for children and the Hina Matsuri event.

The charm of Niseko ski resorts! Presence of “Niseko Rules” inherited from the predecessors!

niseko mountains

The existence of “Niseko Rules” is a major factor in recommending Niseko ski resort.

The predecessors who wanted to enjoy Niseko's wilderness safely and created with the local government over a long period of time were the special rules called “Niseko Rules”.
The entire mountain of Niseko is divided into three areas: "Ski management area", "Self-responsible area for skiing" and "Never enter".

A typical route is to walk up to the “Niseko Annupuri mountaintop”, but it will go to the “self-responsibility area” through the gate set in the “ski resort management area”.

he management of the gate opening and closing is judged based on the information of the “Niseko Avalanche Research Institute” established by local ski resorts, skiers, snowboarders, and the government.

It is a rule that avoids banning as much as possible and avoids nature as much as possible and enjoys the benefits of nature as much as possible.

From “Niseko Rules”, you can reach the wonderful point by accessing from the slope, and if the conditions of snow and weather are complete, you can enjoy the feeling of “sliding the mountain” safely.

Respecting the “Niseko Rules” is most important when enjoying Niseko's natural fields.

Introduction of “Niseko Annupuri International Ski Resort”

Mt.Yotei and snow field in Niseko

The Niseko Annupuri International Ski Resort is a recommended slope for beginners and families because of its wide course and gentle open slopes.

Niseko Annupuri International Ski Resort has a total of 13 courses, and looking at the numbers of 4 advanced, 6 intermediate, 3 beginners, it seems to be recommended for intermediate to advanced.

However, the course for intermediate level students has an average slope of 14 to 20 degrees, which is not so difficult in Niseko ski resorts, and is a level that even beginners can challenge.

A steep slope can be seen in front of the ski slopes, but the slope near the gondola exit is tight, but a detour course is available so even beginners can enjoy it.

If you are new to skiing and snowboarding, or want to improve slowly, this is a recommended ski resort where you can enjoy the fine Niseko snow in a very slippery environment.

For intermediate players, the recommended pattern is to climb from the base to the top of the mountain with a gondola at a stretch, and then slide on the branching course.
From the gondola landing to the base of the ski area, there is a moderate slope and a run distance of about 2400m with plenty of course variations, so even beginners and intermediates can enjoy without getting tired.

On sunny days, it is recommended that you can glide while looking at Mt. Yotei.
Niseko Village Ski Resort next door, as well as access to Niseko Grand Hirafu, and there are several gates defined by the Niseko Rules, so advanced players can be satisfied.

Near the top of Niseko Annupuri, the forest limits are exceeded, so there is a vast fresh snow area where trees do not grow.

There are courses where fresh snow can exceed 50cm overnight, so if you want to fully enjoy powder snow, it is recommended.

Even night ski, you can enjoy from wide burn to tree run powder, from beginner to advanced.

At the base of the ski resort, the hotel “Niseko Northern Resort Annupuri” offers ski-in and ski-out, hot springs, and an open-air bath at Ikoinoyu inn “Iroha”.

You can heal your body slowly at the Niseko hot spring and prepare for the next day.

It is crowded only in the popular Niseko area, but it is relatively free compared to the other three ski areas, so it is recommended for people who want to avoid congestion.
It is said that the Niseko Annupuri International Ski Resort is recommended for aiming for powder, as it is a relatively vacant ski area in the Niseko area.

Niseko Annupuri International Ski Resort

Address: Niseko 485, Niseko, Abuta-gun, Hokkaido

Access: Approximately 2 hours from Sapporo via R230 (Nakayama Pass)

Introduction of “Niseko Village Ski Resort”


“Niseko Village Ski Resort” is a new area in Niseko, and it is a ski resort with a vertically long layout between Grand Hirafu and Annupuri.

This is a recommended ski resort where you can slide down from the long-distance fresh snow course and the forest course to the Hilton Niseko Village.

Niseko Village Ski Resort has been known as a recommended ski resort for advanced players because it has a large proportion of steep slopes.

In recent years, we have been focusing on the development of beginner courses, but if anything, it is a slope recommended for intermediate to advanced players, and you can enjoy various undulations, steep slopes, topography, and long runs of up to about 5 km.

For Niseko skiers and borders, this ski resort is a challenging advanced course.

Of course, the top of the lift is a course that connects slopes that are not covered with full pressure snow. On snowy mornings, a powder course with a running distance of over 2000m is recommended.

For super-advanced people who can thoroughly prepare and confirm safety, the special management area “Mizuno no Sawa” that extends to the left when viewed from the top of the mountain will be an attractive spot.

Japan's first six-seater lift and gondola is also a masterpiece.
The hotel is directly connected to the hotel “Hilton Niseko Village” at the base of the ski resort, making it very convenient.

Another hotel, “The Green Leaf Niseko Village” is also in the ski area, where you can ski in and out.

Please note that if you slide down from the gondola landing to the hotel at the foot, the change in the slope of each course will be large, and if you go too fast, you will fly by changing the slope.

Both hotels offer an open-air bath.

Niseko Village Ski Resort

Address: Higashiyama Onsen, Niseko-cho, Abuta-gun, Hokkaido

Access: 120 minutes by car from Sapporo

The introduction of “Niseko Mountain Resort Grand Hirafu” Ski Resort

Hirafu Ski Center

“Niseko Mountain Resort Grand Hirafu” is a recommended ski resort that is popular in the Niseko area.

Lift tickets are shared with the adjacent Niseko HANAZONO Resort, and individual lift tickets are not sold.

Niseko Grand Hirafu is a large-scale slope that boasts the largest scale in Japan. A ski resort that anyone can recommend.

There are a wide variety of courses, from beginner courses at the foot of the ski slopes, to steep slopes of uncompressed snow, forest courses, ridges and valleys.

The whole mountain is freed by Niseko Rules, so it is also recommended that you can enjoy the side country outside the non-sliding area.

You can see Mt. Yotei in front of you while sliding on the slopes of Niseko, so it is a recommended photo point everywhere.

There are many lifts and courses in Niseko's ski area, and there are many hotels, pubs, recommended cafes, bars, etc. in the foothills, so there are plenty of aftersnow.

In addition, we recommend the night course that boasts the largest scale in the Niseko area, and the gondola is moving during night hours, so you can enjoy a long course that you wouldn't expect from a night game.

Niseko Mountain Resort Grand Hirafu

Address: 204 Yamada, Kutchan-cho, Abuta-gun, Hokkaido

Access: Approximately 150 minutes by car from Sapporo, approximately 180 minutes by car from New Chitose Airport

The introduction of “Niseko HANAZONO Resort” Ski Resort


There are 3.3km courses for beginners, and among the 4 ski resorts, it is a relatively recommended ski resort for beginners.

Niseko HANAZONO Resort has only three lifts, but there are many points where you can enjoy fine powder.

It is worth checking out the HANAZONO resort if you are looking for the ultimate snow quality because it is located on the northern side of the four slopes and is easy to keep good snow quality.

Some of Niseko's ski resorts come here first on a snowy day because of the topographical snowfall.

Since it is connected to Niseko Grand Hirafu and the lift ticket is also common, you can slip without much awareness of the boundary.

Niseko HANAZONO Ski slope is the best slope for beginners and is recommended for practice.

There is also the largest terrain park in Hokkaido, so it is especially recommended for those who want to enjoy the park. Advanced snowboarders can enjoy acrobatic slides such as jib and one-make jumps.

For the past few years, Niseko HANAZONO has also hosted a Banked Slalom tournament, which is crowded with skiers and snowboarders of various styles.

In front of the base "HANAZONO 308 Day Center", there is a kids land, and there are plenty of fun activities for families such as zip lines and snow tubing.

A ski bus runs between Niseko HANAZONO and Grand Hirafu, which is recommended for free use.

“Restaurant & Cafe 308” in Sakai is also a recommended lunch spot!

Niseko HANAZONO Ski Resort



What other recommended ski areas near Niseko?

Hirafu's ski slopes

In addition to the four famous ski resorts in Niseko, here are three recommended small ski resorts near Niseko.

Next to the Niseko Annupuri International Ski Area is a small Moiwa Ski Resort and a large condominium at the foot.
The snow quality is good and you can avoid the crowds.

Kutchan-cho Asahigaoka Ski Resort is a family slope with plenty of local feeling.
Beginners and families can enjoy leisurely.

There is also an international ski resort that does not require Niseko, and you can get a panoramic view of the Sea of Japan if you go about 30-40 minutes by car.
In Iwanai, there is a Japanese ryokan with delicious seafood and hot springs, and it is a recommended spot where you can enjoy a different atmosphere from Niseko.

A small ski area near Niseko

Niseko Iwai International Ski Resort
Address: Niseko 448, Niseko Town, Abuta-gun, Hokkaido

Kutchan-cho Asahigaoka Ski Resort
Address: Asahi, Kutchan-cho, Abuta-gun, Hokkaido

Niseko Iwai International Ski Resort
Address: 350-4 Nozuka, Iwanai-cho, Iwanai-gun, Hokkaido

Summary: Niseko ski resort attracts skiers! Four ski field descriptions!

Cafe near Hirafu ski area

We introduced the recommended points of four unique ski resorts in Cafe Niseko near the gondola of Hirafu and recommended courses from beginner to advanced.

There are attractive recommended points at each ski area, but the requirements for beginners, intermediate cars and advanced players are different, so please understand the characteristics of each ski area and enjoy it according to your needs!

There are also many recommended restaurants and hot springs in the Niseko area, so I would like to discuss them again.

The Niseko ski season is coming soon in 2019.
Please be safe and enjoy the wonderful Niseko Ski Resort!

Our Picks !!