Jack Taylor
SnowPak Local Insider
Jack Taylor
  • Endless dry and light japow to enjoy
  • Large ski area connecting four different resorts and diverse terrain to suit everyone
  • Backcountry gate means its easy to access off-piste terrain
  • Incredible night skiing available
  • Great for first timers to Japan: easily accessible, fantastic shopping, vibrant nightlife, and English is widely spoken
  • It's pretty popular so freshies gets tracked out quickly
  • Expensive place to ski compared to other Japanese ski resorts
  • Crowds can be an issue, especially during the holidays
  • Not the most authentic Japanese ski experience with flocks of westerners visiting
  • If steep chutes and of groomed runs are what you crave, Niseko won't deliver.

Niseko Ski Packages

Lodging + Lift Tickets Discount Price
The Vale Niseko
2 x Adult 2-day Lift Ticket
15% off $1,591
Skye Niseko
2 x Adult 2-day Lift Ticket
16% off $1,913
Ki Niseko
2 x Adult 2-day Lift Ticket
10% off $1,308

View all ski packages for Niseko



Japow! Welcome to one of the snowiest ski resorts on the planet and the most popular powder haven in the Land of the Rising Sun. If you absolutely, positively, have to get up to your eyeballs in the white stuff, there are few others places that give you better odds than Niseko. Japan’s premier winter wonderland has quite rightly earned a reputation as an essential destination for any self-respecting powder hound, with an average annual snowfall of over 80 days and record snow depths of more than 13 ft!

16/17 Historical Snowfall

Best month to go

Late December to mid-February

The first lifts turn on as early as the end of November and the last one doesn’t shut off until the beginning of May, but Niseko’s peak season sits firmly between late December to mid-February. If you’re here then, expect three or four powder days a week! There is a slight downside to all that snow, namely being that visibility can be particularly poor, but we’re happy with the compromise. If you’d prefer a few bluebird days then visiting Niseko at the start of March is a good call and a good time to pickup a great deal. If there is any time to avoid going to Niseko, it’s around Christmas and Chinese New Year, prices are hiked up and the slopes get packed.


New Chitose Airport


Niseko (2-3 hours)

Hirafu (Walk)

  • Majority of hotels, dining and nightlife
  • Wide range of lodging options
  • Great for groups

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Niseko Village (Walk)

  • Easy to get around compact ski village
  • Has the best ski facilities for kids in Niseko
  • Great for families

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Annapuri (Walk)

  • Quiet and peaceful ski village
  • Limited dining and nightlife
  • Less accommodation options

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Hanazono (Walk)

  • Limited accommodation options
  • Quiet place to stay
  • Limited dining and nightlife

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For beginners

Niseko has many options available for beginners. For the most beginner-friendly slopes test out Paradise and Family at Annupuri where the terrain is wide, gentle and the longest for beginners in Niseko.

More beginners tips

For intermediates

Intermediates will be spoilt for choice at Niseko. Namara in Niseko Village is wide, straight and long run, great for perfecting turns and switching edges on your board. Another top pick of ours would have to be Youtei Sunset in Hanazono, a 3,900 ft slope that is nice and high and away from the crowds found on the main runs on Hirafu.

More intermediates tips

For experts

The off-piste experience is what Niseko is known for, with almost all runs accompanied by amazing sidecountry. The Strawberry Fields in Hanazono is our pick of the lot with perfectly spaced trees and the perfect gradient!The backcountry off Gate 9 is also unreal. Think face shots, deep untouched powder, tree runs, and stunning scenery. Just watch out for the waterfall!

More experts tips

Find freshies

You'll find plenty of great pow anywhere outside of the boundaries but some of the best can be found off Gate 8 and beyond!

Ditch the crowds

The Hirafu ski area is the most busiest, so head up high and get yourself on Youtei Sunset, a long slope that hardly ever sees the masses. Otherwise, opt for the quieter slopes of Annupuri. 

Non skiers

Niseko has tons of activities and attractions to keep non-skiers happy. They can go snow rafting and tubing, soak in the many onsens (hot springs) or visit the Snow Festival during February.


Niseko is a magical wonderland with things to do for the whole family including tubing, restaraunts and the Sapporo Snow Festival which is held every February. The resort also has plently of childcare and baby sitting services if you want some time for yourself.


NisekoAkakura Kanko
beginner38 %40 %
intermediate32 %30 %
advanced30 %30 %
total runs81 10
ski area--
summit elevation3,937ft 4,921ft
total lifts31 7
child lift ticketFree ¥3,000 JPY ($28 USD)
adult lift ticket¥7,400 JPY ($68 USD) ¥4,300 JPY ($39 USD)
back country
value for money
average total snowfall416″ -

Save up to 33% when you book a Niseko package!

View Niseko packages

Niseko Reviews

Fabulous 4.4 / 5
based on 71 reviews

How well the resort caters for beginner skiers / boarders


How well the resort caters for intermediate skiers / boarders?


How well the resort caters for advanced skiers / boarders


How accessible and convenient it is to get to this resort from a major destination


Quality of the off-piste terrain


Overall value for money of the resort

Value for money

Quality of lifts, lift speed and lift layout in the resort


Quantity and quality of the snow


How uncrowded is the resort


Après ski and dining options


Services and facilities e.g. child care, tubing, health care, equipment hire


How family friendly is this resort?

Family Friendliness
Fabulous!4.4 / 5Dec 18, 2017
JPJon P.
advanced snowboarder
Staying in Hirafu gave us excellent access to all ski areas at Niseko. A short walk to the beginner lift quickly got us to a detachable chair lift to ride the more challenging terrain and explore the powder stashes around the mountain. The Nightlife includes an abundance of bars and restaurants although the area's popularity makes these a bit... More
Fabulous!4.5 / 5Dec 17, 2017
PBPaul B.
expert snowboarder
Amazing powder and a great place to spend a season. You'll meet plenty of other westerners but the area retains its Japanese roots. Highly recommend for amazing snowboarding and skiing... More
Fabulous!4.5 / 5Dec 17, 2017
VPVince P.
expert skier
What an amazing trip it was I love going to new countries and skiing Japan is amazing to travel to and sk.i the snow is fantastic & the towns are amazing and so is the food and culture can't wait to go back and ski... More
Superb!4.9 / 5Dec 17, 2017
BFBrian F.
expert snowboarder
Niseko is great. Any traveler outside of Japan that wants to experience world renown powder, but is afraid of the language barrier...Niskeo is the place to go. You can ride unlimited powder all day with day-after-day freshies and still have great-ski apres-ski lifestyle from ramen to onsen. Niseko is your ticket... More
Fabulous!4.4 / 5Dec 17, 2017
EDElliot D.
expert snowboarder
Niseko is a powder paradise, although the runs are shorter than North American trails, snow quality more than makes up for it! The ski culture is different from your usual apres and glitz and glamour but this is a positive as this scene is pretentious takes away from the true allure of the mountains.... More
Good!3.9 / 5Dec 17, 2017
LVLukas V.
expert skier
Niseko is one of the best places in the world to ski deep deep powder! The treeskiing ist just simply amazing and the niseko bowls are on a whole different level.... More
Fabulous!4.3 / 5Dec 17, 2017
YJYestyn J.
expert skier
Niseko is a world class resort. I've been lucky enough to ski all over the world and I've never seen snow of such consistency and calibre. If it's deep powder, soft pillows and tight trees you long for - Niseko is essential.... More
Superb!4.9 / 5Dec 13, 2017
SGShannay G.
advanced snowboarder
Great place to ski with multiple resorts on the mountain, all easily accessible ! Caters for a large range of skiing ability from absolute beginners to those well experienced. The access from on piste to off piste is easy and helps progression for those not so confident.... More
Superb!4.7 / 5Dec 12, 2017
OWOwen W.
intermediate snowboarder
I spent 3 weeks boarding in Niseko. Just a short rail ride from Sapporo, this resort is one of the most lively and beautiful ski resorts in the world. There's plenty to do here with 4 interconnected snow areas and amazing food scene and nightlife. I am currently planning another trip as this was the ski trip of a lifetime and there's plenty... More
Superb!5 / 5Dec 12, 2017
MGMichael G.
advanced snowboarder
Niseko is epic if your up for some partying and some neck deep pow, bring your snorkel because you'll have the time of your life! I love that place and it will always have a special spot in my heart! Best time of my life!... More

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