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
Find lodges around here

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
BWBen W.
advanced snowboarder

5 / 5

Dec 04, 2017
Mint little town. Stayed last year at the bottom of town. Everything is walking distance. Night life is fun as. Snow is deep as. Experience was dope as. Great place to teach friends how to snowboard.... More
SWScott W.
advanced snowboarder

4.5 / 5

Dec 04, 2017
After 20yrs of an endless winter including USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Japan! Niseko has everything you need for a great Ski/Snow Board holiday, from some of the best powder snow in the world, to great lodges, and great Food and the Japanese restaurants. And with... More
RORonald O.
intermediate snowboarder

4.7 / 5

Dec 04, 2017
Highly recommend, great mountain! Great town, loads of runs so won’t get bored doing same few runs over and over. Got a transfer direct from Sapporo Airport to the door where we were staying for very reasonable price. Take me back!... More
DTDaniel T.
intermediate snowboarder

4.5 / 5

Dec 04, 2017
Lives up to the name and notoriety, great for lovers powder. Very impressive off-pitse backcountry options and well maintained slopes. Accommodation isn't overpriced and the culture is great. Absolutely loved it. Check out Bigfoot Lodge for a drink, it's wicked.... More
JRJames R.
expert snowboarder

4.6 / 5

Dec 04, 2017
A great resort for your first Japan trip, spending over 3 weeks at the resort I never ran out of things to do! Friendly locals, great accomodation options and even better skiing both on and off piste. Not the steepest but powder for days!... More
WAWill A.
intermediate snowboarder

4.3 / 5

Dec 04, 2017
Incredible place with some of the best snow I’ve ever experienced. Everyone was extremely friendly and I have wanted to return ever since. The dining throughout the resort was absolutely incredible.... More
JBJack B.
advanced snowboarder
Very Good!

4.2 / 5

Dec 03, 2017
The accessibility to surrounding mountains and quantity of terrain makes niseko a special resort for all ability levels. There’s unlimited hiking and even the in bounds riding is incredible due to consistent snowfall... More
SSSean S.
advanced snowboarder

4.8 / 5

Dec 03, 2017
I loved niseko, it is such a people’s place! Great access to local cusine and lovely people through out the town. Amazing ski runs for all abilities and really good access by foot or by free shuttles. ... More
SFSally F.
advanced snowboarder

4.8 / 5

Dec 03, 2017
The stuff dreams are made of... Champagne powder feast - 4 feet in 4 days. Luxury yet affordable ski in ski out accomodation with a private onsen. Nothing better after a day on the hill, than to soak your tired muscles in a volcanic, mineral rich pool and delight in snowflakes... More
JGJake G.
advanced snowboarder

4.8 / 5

Dec 03, 2017
Niseko is a snowboarders heaven! Amazing powder, tree runs, parks and back country. Almost every day we were on the slopes from as soon as the lifts open till dark and even got out for a night board under the lights too. Niseko has an incredible amount of awesome restaurants,... 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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