Konnichiwa! So you’re looking for the perfect place to ski in Japan? Niseko might just be the winter wonderland for you.
One of the fastest-growing ski destinations in the world, Niseko has been ranked as the #5 tourist town in Japan and #2 in the top rated ski resorts overall. Whether you’re an experienced pro or just a wobbly enthusiast, Niseko has something for you:
– The Grand Hirafu is one of Niseko’s most popular resorts, offering close proximity to the Mt. Yotei volcano and breathtaking views from its cliffs. Among its facilities you can find lessons, tour groups, and opportunities for other outdoor sports like hiking and snowboarding. If you’re looking for the quintessential tourist experience, Hirafu is it.
– Seasoned skiers will enjoy Annapuri, a mountainside resort known for its extreme weather and dry snow. The winds scare away everyone but the talented – and the brave! – but if you can make it to the slopes you’ll find miles of beautiful, glittering landscape untouched by tourists.
– Looking for a little romance? Try Niseko’s nighttime skiing. With six designated resort areas, it’s easy and safe to serenade your honey across the whole region. The main four skiing areas (Annupuri, Higashiyama, Hirafu, and Hanazono) are actually interconnected, so it’s possible to ski them all with one pass!
– The Strawberry Fields are perfect for those looking to test their skills and perfect their craft. Despite the name, they’re actually a famous forested route and one of the most well-regarded in Japan.
– If you’re looking to avoid the crowds, try back country slopes like Higashi One and Sannozaka. They’re avoided by the masses because of frequent avalanches, but they offer some of the most extreme runs you’ll find east of the Andes. Adrenaline junkies, this one is for you!
When you’re finished skiing, refuel with some of Niseko’s famous cuisine. Far beyond simple dishes like rice and sushi, Niseko offers everything from barbecued lamb to warm, butter-dripped scallops. You’ll also want to try some Sapporo beer, which is locally made and shipped sharp and fresh every morning.
Accommodations can be tailored for any budget. Local villages offer a rugged traveling experience, or you can try a Niseko hotel if you prefer to be well-rested for the slopes. If you’re staying more than a few nights, Niseko apartments are cheap and easily rented for both short- and long-term residents.
Regardless of your ski style, this little island is a treasure among the ice. With under 5000 permanent residents, Niseko retains the charm of a small town while also staying modern to accommodate today’s tourists. You won’t lack for creature comforts – Japanese hospitality is famous around the world – but its remote location and deep, impenetrable snows mean that traveling around Niseko can be like wandering through the frozen realm of another world.
Come see what this town has to offer with a holiday trip to Niseko. Do you have what it takes to hit the slopes?