Niseko: World Class Skiing At Its Best

At an altitude of 1308m, Mt Niseko-Annupuri is one of the greatest skiing havens in the world. Not one, but four magnificent skiing resorts are clustered around the mountain. The terrain in Niseko is also particularly suited for spectacular alpine and backcountry skiing. Breathtaking vertical drops, scenic mountain views, and great ski facilities make Niseko a world class winter resort.

Siberian winds that blow over Niseko ensure perfect powder snow for a long ski season. Three resorts around the mountain meet at the summit, allowing you to ski between them with a single pass. Coupled with extensive base facilities, Niseko lacks nothing any seasoned skier would wish for.

Furthermore, Niseko has everything a top resort should possess; luxurious accommodation, fantastic cuisine, and many off-trail adventures. The summer season does not disappoint too. It has an events calendar that makes Niseko the place to be when the snow finally melts away.

This resort is guaranteed to keep even the most jaded traveller yearning for a longer stay


Niseko is located in the Hokkaido region of Japan. It lies 100km southwest of the former winter Olympic city of Sapporo. It is a two and a half hours drive from the New Chitose Airport. The 1898m Mt Yotei located nearby offers great climbing and trekking activity.

Niseko is easily accessible by train, bus, taxi, and car rental. The resorts that make up Niseko lie a few minutes from three major town centres. Kutchan is the largest, and is the major transportation hub to the nearby Hirafu, Niseko, and Anupurri towns. Less regular train services are available between Sapporo and the Kutchan Station, with most of them entailing a transfer at Otaru.

Niseko provides four ski resorts to choose from, leaving everyone spoilt for choice. There are:

Grand Hirafu

imageForAbout01This is the largest of the 4 resorts, and lies on the south-eastern slope of the mountain. It has a main base at Hirafu town, which offers the widest range of accommodation and entertainment closest to the ski resorts. This makes it a more convenient base for skiers than the larger Kutchan. There is also a secondary but smaller base at Hanazono.

Grand Hirafu is popular with night skiing, which is the best way to enjoy fresh powder snow. The resort is served by over 12 ski lifts, with the famous Peak trail offering a serious challenge to advanced skiers. The Hanazono resort is commonly considered a part of Grand Hirafu, and also provides some of the best powder snow skiing in the world.

Niseko Village

imageForAbout01This is the second largest resort and lies to the west of Grand Hirafu. It is quaint and has a charming atmosphere in which to enjoy some of the best skiing in Niseko. Niseko Village has stunning views of nearby Mt Yotei; from fantastic slopes with some of the most challenging runs in Niseko. Its Superstition and Natural Half Pipes trail offer some of the best powder skiing in Niseko.


imageForAbout01Lying between Niseko Village and the smaller Moiwa resort, Annupuri is located at the base of a national park. It offers trekking opportunities in the wild and convenient access to other ski areas when the upper lifts are closed. The ski fields here remain open even in bad weather, but are less steep than in the other resorts.


imageForAbout01This resort is not connected to the rest, and is therefore less crowded and popular with those looking for more laid-back skiing. Moiwa enjoys the best powder snow falls in the world, making it a favourite for powder skiers. There are six well groomed runs, served by a high speed quad lift and a 2 seater lift. It has fantastic off-piste runs through the trees, and great backcountry skiing areas.


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