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About Niseko, Japan

Located on the southern peninsula of Hokkaido island, the Niseko ski resort complex is the largest and easily Japan’s most famous ski destination. Receiving 595 inches of powder snow on average per season, the Niseko United is truly the powder paradise that it’s rumored to be. But it’s not only Niseko's powder that’s the best in Japan; for expert skiers and riders, nothing competes with Niseko’s off-piste, sidecountry skiing.

Located 62 miles from bustling city of Sapporo, Niseko and the main base village, Grand Hirafu are quite accessible for both international travelers and for city site-seers. The resort is very near Mt. Yōtei or “the Mt. Fuji of Hokkaido,” and the views contribute to Niseko's status as Japan’s ski-resort star.

The resort is comprised of four interconnected base areas: An'nunpuri, Niseko Village, Hirafu and Hanazono, all of which offer a unique dining and lodging experience.

Stay Hirafu or Niseko Village for the best accommodations and access.


...600+ inches annually.

Travel flying into New Chitose Airport.


…local whiskey cocktails at Bar Gyu+.


…the backcountry around Goshiki Onsen with a guide.


…local catches at Ezo Seafoods (reservations recommended).


…yourself to a daily soak in an onsen (hot spring).


...the To The Mountains Trips: Japan guided experience. This curated itinerary is designed to easily introduce travelers to exotic ski destinations.

Top Niseko Hotels + Accommodations

Best Sellers

Ski Niseko

While the off-piste and out-of-bounds powder skiing is legendary, the on-piste blues and greens should not be dismissed either, meaning every type of skier and rider can enjoy the Niseko experience. Chances are likely that it will snow throughout the duration of your trip. However, gondolas and hooded chairlifts make the snowy weather more than bearable.

Out-of-bounds adventuring is permitted thanks to a relaxed ski-patrol policy at Niseko, especually when compared to other Japanese resorts. Guides are available and highly recommended, especially if you aim to climb and ski or ride the backcountry areas surrounding Mt. Yōtei.

It’s nearly impossible to get bored of Niseko's on-piste, off-piste and sidecountry terrain, but if you want to experience something else, heli skiing is available. It’s also possible to ski to the interconnected Moiwa resort, but a separate lift ticket is required.

Niseko dining

Of all Japanese ski resorts, Niseko is known to have the best restaurants and the Grand Hirafu base area dining is especially noteworthy—as is the nightlife. Here, you’ll find a lot of Australians and more Westernized hotspots. For quieter, more traditional dining experiences stick to An’nupuri, Niseko Village or Hanazono.

Language + Culture

Of all the Japanese resorts, Niseko is the best for uninitiated travelers. English is widely spoken across Niseko, so the resort is well-suited for an international tourist. In fact most of the resort and hotel staff speak English, and both English and Japanese restaurants offer English menus.

On the flip side, Niseko is the most modern and populous in Japan, but there’s still plenty of traditional Japanese restaurants and cultural attractions to appease a traveler seeking authentic experiences.


To The Mountains Trips: Southern Hokkaido

If you can envision yourself trenching through the deepest powder in the world, enjoying traditional sushi dishes and relaxing in natural hot springs every night, make a ski trip to Japan a reality this season. guests will get to explore Niseko United, Moiwa, Rusutsu, and Kiroro alongside the best guides Hokkaido has to offer. After skiing, retire to world-class accommodations at the Green Leaf Hotel in Niseko Village.

Book your guided trip today: To The Mountains Trips: Southern Hokkaido



*based on the average of all Overall Experience ratings given in Traveler reviews.

Niseko Skiing

Skiing in Japan is very different, the resorts have such diverse terrain and typically get tons of snow. Japow is a term used often among the regulars who love the deep, light power Niseko offers in abundance. Unfortunately in 2020, very unusual weather patterns created a less than stellar snow fall, in fact some resorts reported the worst on record going back 45 years! The good news was a bad snow year in Niseko means a 6 foot base instead of a 6 meter base, this still makes for plenty of great skiing. To get the best of your experience, hire a ski guide to take you to areas you normally wouldn't go, it's an incredible experience and some of the best skiing we've ever done. If you decide to go to Japan, know it'll be a very different experience, from the single chair ski lifts, constant snowfall and incredible tree skiing, to the hotels and restaurants. Be prepared, but know these differences make for a very unique and worthwhile experience. It's only my second time in Niseko, but a place I hope to return again and again.

Great Tree Skiing

very interesting terrain, beautiful birch forests, excellent lift access to off-piste skiing and good quality snow. For a lift accessed skiing, Niseko offers a unique ski experience. There is enough variety to satisfy an adventurous skier.

Green-Leaf Hotel: Great ski-in, ski-out hotel with a large buffet breakfast.

These purpose built hotels with ski-in, ski-out is perfect. The hotel has great transportation to the local restaurants which there are many small unique places to eat. One should invest in micro-spikes as the street sidewalks are very icy. The hotel has customer service person, an American to help with any problems of translation of details. The outdoor onsen is a beautiful place to relax and have the snow fall on your face. Will return again.

Winter Wonderland

Niseko is a winter wonderland! My husband and I had a great experience in Niseko. The package from made the trip very easy and accessible. Staying in the main resort area was definitely a highlight and a recommendation (versus the Hilton Niseko Village). There were amble dining options and area shutlles/walking made it easy to get around. If Japan is on your list, Niseko is an ideal destination!

Best Powder on the Planet

Niseko is a hidden gem, if you're into powder skiing and travel, Japan is a great spot to enjoy both. Niseko is a relatively small area with 4 different resorts, but the unique weather phenomenon that dumps remarkable amounts of snow in the mountains makes it one of the best ski experiences I've ever had. (And I've skied all over the world). Of course it helps if you don't mind skiing on snowy days and enjoy the deep stuff! I'd highly recommend skiing with a guide, they take you places you wouldn't normally go and keep you safe in unfamiliar areas, that makes for quite an enjoyable experience. I'll definitely be back.