World-class powder at Japan's most famous ski resort.
Niseko has gained international recognition over the last decade as one of the best winter resorts in the world, attracting large crowds of skiers and snowboarders throughout its long ski season, which can last up to six months. Located on the northern island of Hokkaido, the region experiences more than 15m of annual average snowfall, blanketing 48 km of ski runs in a perfect light powder snow. The spectacular backdrop of Mount Yotei – Hokkaido’s own Mount Fuji – turns every pre-run selfie into a postcard, one for showing off later among the city’s buzzing dining and nightlife scene.
The spectacular backdrop of Mount Yotei turns every pre-run selfie into a postcard, one for showing off later among the city’s buzzing dining and nightlife scene.
Four interconnected resorts meet at the top of Mount Niseko Annupuri and you can easily ski between them via groomed runs, or off-piste and back-country through the glades. There are 38 lifts in total, covering the whole way around the mountain, and they can all be accessed with the Niseko All Mountain Pass (around 6,900 yen). Alternatively you can buy passes for each separate area. Discounts start to become available later on during the season in March and April, when the crowds start to disappear and accommodation is cheaper to find.
Leading the way for Japanese apres-ski culture, Niseko has plenty of local and international restaurants, bars, clubs and karaoke to suit a majority Aussie clientele. Convenience stores stock foreign goods, and hotels and guesthouses speak English. One thing that makes skiing, and winter, in Japan special is the culture of onsen (hot spring baths). After a hard day on the mountain it’s all about sinking into a giant natural bath with your friends.
Niseko is also making efforts to become a year-round tourist destination, offering up outdoor activities like hiking and rafting, as well as more genteel options such as golf during the summer.