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
Toya-onsen Hotel Hanabi
2 x Adult 2-day Lift Ticket
37% off $612
2 x Adult 2-day Lift Ticket
32% off $1,513
Hotel Cocoa
2 x Adult 2-day Lift Ticket
30% off $1,875

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 ($40 USD)
back country
value for money
average total snowfall416″ -

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

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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
Superb!5 / 5Dec 06, 2017
DBDarren B.
intermediate snowboarder
Unbelievable but Beleivable !! Incredible chance to Experience One of Japan's Best Resorts. From Snow Quality to the inviting Culture,make this your go to destination you won't be disappointed on any level.... More
Very Good!4.1 / 5Dec 06, 2017
CTConor T.
advanced snowboarder
A very international resort with probably the best snow I've found in Japan. Can be busy in peak season, and don't expect much of a Japanese cultural experience. But lots of great bars to socialise with people from all over. Did I mention the snow was amazing?... More
Superb!5 / 5Dec 05, 2017
BWBen W.
advanced snowboarder
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
Very Good!4.1 / 5Dec 05, 2017
MBMichael B.
advanced skier
Unbeatable skiing and fresh powder. If you are going purely for the snow then I would definitely recommend Niseko. For me though, apres ski and culture are of equal importance and I was a bit disappointed here. For sure there is plenty of action, but it just doesn't feel authentic. Perhaps just the number of Aussies makes you forget you're in... More
Fabulous!4.3 / 5Dec 05, 2017
SKStephen K.
advanced snowboarder
I've been going to Niseko on and off the last 10 Years. Since I've started going there it's been heavily westernised (I guess the fault of people like me) which has led to it losing a bit of its charm. Whilst the terrain isn't particularly challenging, the quantity, quality and consistency of the snow keeps bringing me back. Also, it's an easy base... More
Superb!4.7 / 5Dec 04, 2017
RORonald O.
intermediate snowboarder
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
Superb!4.5 / 5Dec 04, 2017
SWScott W.
advanced snowboarder
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 Sapporo close by makes for a great skiing holiday.... More
Fabulous!4.3 / 5Dec 04, 2017
WAWill A.
intermediate snowboarder
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
Superb!4.6 / 5Dec 04, 2017
JRJames R.
expert snowboarder
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
Fabulous!4.5 / 5Dec 04, 2017
DTDaniel T.
intermediate snowboarder
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

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