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About Niseko, Japan

Located on the southern peninsula of Hokkaido island, Niseko is the largest and easily Japan’s most famous ski destination. Receiving 595 inches of snow on average per season, Niseko 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 Sapporo, Niseko is quite convenient 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.

Niseko dining

Of all Japanese ski resorts, Niseko is known to have the best restaurants and the 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.

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.

Ski Niseko

While the off-piste and out-of-bounds powder skiing is legendary, the on-piste blues and greens should not be dismissed—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 very bearable.

Out-of-bounds adventuring is permitted thanks to a relaxed ski-patrol policy at Niseko, in comparison to other Japanese resorts. Guides are available and recommended, especially if you aim to climb and ski or ride the backcountry terrain on 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.

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Niseko Ski Package Deals



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

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.