The best Winter Spot in Hokkaido
If you want the best Japanese snow, we suggest you visit Niseko in Hokkaido.
Welcome to Niseko. This small town is located in Hokkaido, the northernmost of Japan’s 47 prefectures. Niseko is the most famous ski resort in Japan. Niseko offers one of the best views on Mt Yotei, often called the “Mt Fuji of Hokkaido”. Niseko’s unspoiled natural settings offer great opportunities for a variety of outdoor sports, including skiing, mountain climbing, rafting, golfing, horseback riding or hot-air ballooning. The Niseko town has an estimated population of 4,667 persons, but more than 200,000 tourists visited the area during the winter season in 2009.
Because of its northern location, Niseko experiences weather fronts from Siberia. The resort is well known for its consistently good falls of the lightest powder snow.
Niseko was the world’s second snowiest resort in December 2007 with an annual average snowfall of 595 inches (15,11 m). First place went to Mt. Baker Ski Area in Washington State with 641 inches (16,28 m).
The Niseko resorts have plenty of long, wide runs in addition to backcountry skiing. The three main resorts are:
Niseko Grand Hirafu
A vast ski area that offers amazing views of Mt Yotei. The very first ski lift was installed in 1961. The lower part of the resort offers varied terrain and dynamic courses. The middle part offers a gentle run through Birch forest tracks. From 1,000 meters and above, beyond the tree line, you can enjoy wide-open runs free of obstacles.
On the southern side of Niseko Annupuri, Niseko Village utilities the protruding area of the mountain to offer a huge variety of options for the most adventurous of skiers. The middle part of the resort especially has a wealth of terrain changes, whilst the top part of the resort opens up with wide-open runs and a glimpse of the Pacific Ocean on a clear day.
Niseko Annupuri offers long, gentle and wide-open runs. Enjoy a relaxed run down, overlooking the beautiful silver birch forests. Also located on the southern side of Niseko Annupuri, the soft, warming afternoon light brings out amazing views of the Niseko Mountain Range.
Hot springs of different qualities gush out in many parts of the Niseko town. From the downtown area to some “off-the-beaten-tracks” places deep in the mountains, hot springs allow visitors to enjoy a relaxing time while admiring the views of the surrounding area.
More Winter Activities:
Cross-Country Ski Course:
This season the Niseko Village created a 1km (0.6 mile) and a 2kms (1.2 mile) Cross-Country Ski Course beside the Hilton Niseko Village. Cross-Country Ski rentals and guide are also available.
Cross-Country Ski Course, opening hours: 9:30 am to 16:00 pm.
Experienced guides will train you before taking you on an exhilarating tour of the forest trails surrounding Niseko Village.
Operating hours: From 9:30 AM to 15:30 PM.
To participate guests must be able to reach all controls comfortably. It costs between 6,000 and 10,000 yen (depending on the machine) per hour per person.
Guided Snowshoe Tours:
Snowshoeing is a good way to experience the beauty of nature in the surroundings of Niseko Village while looking out for local wildlife and the traces they leave in the pure white snow. A minimum of 2 people is required per tour. Reservation required by 18:00 PM the previous day.
Hop on a Snow Raft and enjoy the ride as a professional driver pulls you along a virtual, white river of snow. Rides are available until March 31, 2012; between 9:30 AM to 15:30 PM, departing every 10 minutes.
The tours featured throughout our website are intended to give you ideas for what's possible when you travel with us. Treat them simply as inspiration, because your trip will be created individually by one of our specialists to match your tastes and budget.
It was our first trip to Japan. Working with Jeff was a pleasure. His knowledge of the country and local contacts were very helpful. Choice...
Working with Jeff at Rediscover Tours was a wonderful experience. He helped me plan a 10 day trip of a lifetime to Japan with my mother...
I would like to take this opportunity to commend and thank you for the marvelous vacation we recently enjoyed in Japan. The entire experience exceeded...
Years after years we have selected the best specialists about Japan. They have at least lived a minimum of 10 years in the country. They are here to answer all your questions and to make your tour just the way you want it.
Jeff was born in a south suburb of Chicago named South Holland and lived in Japan for 14 years. He now lives in Commerce Township, Michigan with his wife Yoshimi, son Shota, and daughter Mina. He enjoys playing with his kids, volunteering with his daughter’s marching band, cycling and training & teaching Aikido.
Michiyo was born in Noboribetsu, Hokkaido Prefecture though currently lives in Takarazuka, Hyogo Prefecture. Her main passions in life is traveling all around the world and enjoying their cultures.
Noriko was born in Nagoya. During her childhood she moved around Japan following her father’s office transfer. She especially liked her time in Shizuoka, facing Mt Fuji. She now lives in Minoo (in the suburb of Osaka). Noriko graduated from Hiroshima university. She’s been to Malaysia, Thailand and Europe (Germany and Bulgaria). Her hobbies are hiking, reading and surfing.
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