Niseko is one of our Top 10 Japan Travel Destinations for 2020.Add these spots to your Japan bucket list for the ultimate travel itinerary.
Niseko has gained international recognition over the last decade as one of the best winter resorts in the world, attracting large crowds of skiers and snowboarders. Located on the northern island of Hokkaido, the region experiences more than 15m of annual average snowfall, blanketing 48 km of ski runs in heavenly powder snow.
The spectacular backdrop of Mount Yotei—Hokkaido’s own Mount Fuji—turns every pre-run selfie into a postcard.
The ski season in Niseko can last up to six months, providing ample opportunity for snow shredding.
The spectacular backdrop of Mount Yotei—Hokkaido’s own Mount Fuji—turns every pre-run selfie into a postcard, one for showing off later among the city’s buzzing dining and nightlife scene.
Four interconnected resorts meet at the top of Mount Niseko Annupuri and you can easily ski between them via groomed runs or off-piste and back-country terrain. There are 38 lifts in total, covering the whole way around the mountain, and they can all be accessed with the Niseko All Mountain Pass (around ¥6,900).
Alternatively, you can buy passes for each separate area. Discounts start to become available later on during the season in March and April when the crowds start to disappear and accommodation is cheaper to find.
Leading the way for Japanese apres-ski culture, Niseko has plenty of local and international restaurants, bars, clubs, and karaoke to suit a majority Aussie clientele. Convenience stores stock foreign goods and many hotels and guesthouses speak English, so no worries about language barriers.
One thing that makes skiing in Japan special is the onsen(hot spring bath) culture. Sinking into a warm natural bath after a hard day on the mountains is a quintessential Japanese winter experience.
Niseko in other seasons
Niseko is also making efforts to become a year-round tourist destination, offering up outdoor activities like hiking and rafting, as well as more genteel options such as golf during the summer. In spring, from late May to mid-June, bright pink moss phlox covers the Mishima Shibazakura Garden.
The carpet of blooming flowers before Mount Yotei is free to the public, attracting flocks of Instagrammers trying to snap the perfect shot. A 15-minute stroll from Kutchan Station will take you there.