Season start/end: 12/01/2017 - 05/06/2018 (estimated)

Welcome to 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!

The good

  • 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

The bad

  • It’s pretty popular so freshies gets tracked out quickly
  • Expensive place to ski compared to other Japanese resorts
  • Crowds can be an issue, especially during the holidays
  • Not the most authentic Japanese ski experience with flocks of westerners visiting
Niseko vs
NisekoAkakura Kanko
beginner38 %40 %
intermediate32 %30 %
advanced30 %30 %
total runs81 10
ski area--
summit elevation3,937 ft 4,921 ft
total lifts31 7
child lift ticketFree ¥3,000 JPY ($28 USD)
adult lift ticket¥7,400 JPY ($70 USD) ¥4,300 JPY ($41 USD)

How to get to Niseko?



New Chitose Airport



Niseko (2-3 hours)

Things to know

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

Best tips

Find freshies Map find

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 Ditch crowd

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 Non ski

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.

Families Family

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.

Where to stay

Hirafu (Walk)
  • Majority of hotels, dining and nightlife
  • Wide range of lodging
  • 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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Apres ski

Casual Casual
  • Bar Gyu+
  • Will Bill's
Dance the night away Dance the night away
  • Edge Bar


Ski rental Ski rental
Lessons Lessons
Childcare Childcare
Banking Banking
Supermarket Supermarket
Health Health


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
KKKristofer K.
expert skier
Very Good!

4.1 / 5

Dec 11, 2017
DEEP POWDER. Great tree skiing. Not a ton of technical terrain, but well worth a visit. Facilities differ between the area but most are very nice! Would go there every winter if I could!... More
ATAndy T.
intermediate snowboarder

4.9 / 5

Dec 11, 2017
Niseko is my home away from home, growing and changing each year to become a world class resort. Perfect for all skill levels, great dining options and accommodation for all budgets.... More
BWBrian W.
expert skier

5 / 5

Dec 11, 2017
Niseko is an experience than all serious riders should have. The mountain is home to 4 resorts with equally varying and awesome terrain. Great runs for all levels, and the side-country/back country hikes are pretty incredible. The mountain has quite a bit of elevation gain, and... More
ASAdam S.
intermediate snowboarder

4.9 / 5

Dec 10, 2017
Niseko was absolutely amazing. Great powder well maintain fields and all staff were amazing! I seen heaps of little kids loving the tracks and learning to snowboard and ski! So can only mean there instructors are great at there job! All in all would defiantly come back here!!... More
NCNic C.
advanced skier
Very Good!

4.2 / 5

Dec 10, 2017
Niseko is the Whistler equivalent for Japan. 4 Interconnected resorts on the same ticket that provides a great variety of terrain. However, expect the crowds in the peak season! That said, there are always some fantastic stashes for those who work a little to find them. The... More
BGBryce G.
advanced skier
Very Good!

4.2 / 5

Dec 10, 2017
Skiing in Japan is an amazing cultural experience due to the delicious food, hot springs and Japanese friendliness. Definitely a ‘go to’ place for not only the skiing but the food and cultural experience... More
DSDavid S.
advanced snowboarder
Very Good!

3.9 / 5

Dec 10, 2017
Great snow and lots of it. Many powder days, love the food, love the outdoor onsens. The mountain is actually four separate resorts, spread out thus will take a few days to ski/board the whole mountain. Demo a board w Gentemstick.... More
JMJustin M.
advanced snowboarder
Very Good!

4.1 / 5

Dec 10, 2017
Niseko has a lot to offer. Lots of deep powder that can be challenging while riding through the trees. The top and side country requires some hiking. Definitely worth it.... More
HLHarry L.
advanced snowboarder

4.8 / 5

Dec 09, 2017
Amazing Resort! Snow is perfect. The town can get quite icy and slippery though! On mountain can also be a bit crowded at times, but its a big resort with plenty of snow and terrain ranging from all skill levels. The food and bar scene is great! Plenty of accomodation and buses... More
IMIain M.
intermediate snowboarder

5 / 5

Dec 09, 2017
Powder snow, plenty of friendly faces about, can't speak Japanese? No worries lots of Aussies and english speaking people who are always happy to help. Getting there is a breeze too. Lots of ways to make your way there. Buses and trains are available regularly. If you can rent a... More
Jack Lee
SnowPak Local Insider
Jack Lee
Want to be an insider? Get in touch with us!
Open 12/01/2017
Close 05/06/2018*
* Estimated based on previous years.
Best month to go Late December to mid-February

Lift tickets

Child Free
Senior ¥5,600 JPY ($53 USD)
Adult ¥7,400 JPY ($70 USD)

Trails levels


Trail maps


4.5 / 5

based on 57 reviews
Leave a review for Niseko


853 ft
3,937 ft
Vertical drop
3,084 ft


Total runs
Terrain Parks


Gondola & Trams
High Speed Quads
Double Chairs
Single Chairs
Surface Lift
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