Moiwa is the hidden gem of Niseko, Japan’s famous skiing paradise. With abundant powder snow and just a fraction of the crowds, this resort is the perfect place to carve some fresh tracks on pristine, vacant slopes.
Located on the northernmost island of Hokkaido, Niseko boasts some of the world’s best powder snow. This makes it one of the most popular ski resorts in the country, attracting large crowds of skiers and snowboarders from across the globe. All this comes against the breathtaking backdrop of Mount Yotei, a cone-shaped active volcano reminiscent of Mount Fuji.
As Moiwa is situated slightly apart from Niseko’s four main resorts, it has the advantage of being quieter than the neighboring slopes. This means you can enjoy the bountiful top-quality snow the area is famous for without the queues that usually come with it – ideal conditions for perfecting your snow plow or parallel turns!
Moiwa is a small but sweet ski resort, with just eight runs and three lifts. There are two green trails suitable for beginners, three intermediate red runs, and three ungroomed black routes for advanced skiers and snowboarders. The longest course is the 2,000-meter red Sky Slope, which offers spectacular views of the surrounding scenery as you traverse the mountainside.
Moiwa’s facilities are proportionate to its size, with ski and snowboard equipment and clothing available to rent, and a ski school providing private and group lessons for both beginners and improvers. The lodge is also home to a casual restaurant serving Japanese and international food, open daily from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
While there are some hotels and restaurants around the base of Moiwa, the area is fairly quiet in the evenings. For more lively après-ski options check out Hirafu town, which is about a 10-minute drive away at the foot of Niseko’s largest resort, Grand Hirafu. Hirafu is very tourist-friendly, with numerous eateries and a bustling nightlife.
Alternatively, after hitting the slopes head to one of the nearby onsen (hot springs) for an evening of ultimate relaxation!