Ski & Snowboard

 

NISEKO

Ski & Snowboard Resort Review

Niseko HOKKAIDO , JAPAN boasts some of the deepest and most consistent powder snow of all the Japanese ski and snowboard resorts.

Niseko Skiing and Snowboarding Terrain

The Niseko ski and snowboard terrain has 3 interlinked ski and and snowboard areas; Niseko Annupuri, Niseko Hirafu and Niseko Higashiyama.

The terrain in the three areas consists of wide open powder fields, treed areas, steep fast trails, intermediate winding linked trails and gentle beginner slopes.

Advanced Skiing and Snowboarding at Niseko

Advanced skiers and snowboarders flock to the Strawberry Fields area in the Hirafu section. It has maze like tree skiing and snowboarding though deep powder snow littered with drops, rollovers and natural obstacles.

Intermediate Skiing and Snowboarding at Niseko

Intermediate skiers and snowboarders can enjoy the 3 mountain areas on groomed wide trails. Niseko Higashiyama has great winding trails and steep terrain. For those who have not experienced ‘real’ powder before make sure to venture of piste into the powder on either side of the groomed trails; you will not be disappointed. Don’t be scared of falling it is like falling into soft feathers!

Beginner Skiing and Snowboarding at Niseko

Beginner skiers and snowboarders are well catered for in the lower gentle terrain of the Hirafu area. Once confidence and skills improve catch the gondola to tackle the green trail leading down to the base area.

The three ski and snowboard areas each has their own ski school. The Ski and Snowboard Schools offer first time beginner lessons (for all ages), powder lessons and group and private lessons for all abilities.

Niseko Night skiing and snowboarding

For those who have enjoyed a little too much of the Japanese hospitality from the previous evening night skiing and snowboarding at Niseko is a salvation. Fresh powder tracks through falling snow and cool temperatures will invigorate you for another night on the small but lively town.

The night skiing and snowboarding in Niseko is possibly the best in the world; the Niseko Hirafu area lights up a large portion of the mountain including the more advanced upper mountain terrain remaining open until 9pm.

Skiing and snowboarding through the snow covered trees often in a foot of fresh powder in the warm sepia glow of brilliant lights is certainly a surreal experience!

At night the Gondola is your best bet to keep you warm on the way up the mountain and provide plenty of rest after the long run down. From the top of the Gondola take your pick of the usually uncrowded terrain skiing and snowboarding in and out of the trees or floating across magnificent powder topped groomers.

Niseko Terrain Park and Halfpipe

The well maintained terrain park and halfpipe are located at the base of the Hirafu Gondola. The terrain park has large tabletops, rails and kickers. During the day it is not too crowded as the overall Niseko terrain is a free riders paradise but in the evenings it can get very busy.

Other activities at Niseko

Other activities at Niseko include snow tubing, snow rafting, igloo building, snow shoeing and cross country skiing at Annupuri kids land.

You can go swimming in the indoor swimming pool at the Hotel Niseko Alpen or explore Hanazono Nature Adventure Park on horse back or snow mobile.

After skiing or snowboarding all day be sure to you go to an onsen. Onsens are hot springs usually located outdoors. Nothing will sooth your aching muscles better! Just be warned that generally you are not allowed to wear bathers and the sexes are normally separated. More than 10 onsens are scattered throughout Niseko. Check with your hotel for the nearest one.

Niseko Restaurants

The food in Niseko is sensational. Local dishes served in the many restaurants and cafes scattered throughout the village include wonderful sushi and sashimi, steaming hot bowls of noodles and broths and delicious chicken yakkitori skewers.

Plenty of western dining options other than Japanese are also in the village; chose from Italian pizzerias, Thai, cheese fondue and curry restaurants and fast food options.

The Yakiniku Yotei restaurant specialises in Korean BBQ. It is a great fun and social way of eating; you grill your own meat and seafood on a coal grill pit in the middle of your table.

Niseko Nightlife

The night life at Niseko goes off! It continues to grow each season catering for the ever increasing rise in western visitors.

Choose from small beer bars, Australian bars, loud DJ pumping dance music clubs and classic karaoke bars. Just take care when drinking Sake for the first time – it has a certain kick and ensures a killer hangover!

More About Niseko

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Your Niseko Ski & Snowboard Resort Reviews

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Ryan Costa, Perth. Was a little worried about the Bali-ing of Niseko, but not to worry it's still OK although I did notice a few Aussie idiots. We stayed at Furu-ike-ya in Hanazono area-this place is unreal! can't compare it to anywhere I have stayed yet in Niseko although the guys running it did say it was on par with some of their other properties in Hirafu. For what we paid i was more than stoked-luxury place 5 mins walk from uncrowded lift lines at Hanazono-save the 3x chair required to reach there from Hirafu. Check it out Furu-ike-ya, will be heading back there for sure-great pow, unreal house, great service from these guys -they made sure we had everything we needed and checked on us a few times over our 10day stay.

Andrew Liddell, Australia. Just come in from an awesome day skiing. Snowing heavily all day and knee deep powder in the trees. Finished off the day with with danish from A-Bu-Cha. Next up, cold beers at Hanks Bar. Staying at Resort House Bab, I cannot recomend it highly enough. Mr and Mrs Bab will make your stay fantastic and help with anything. Cheers!

Mark Reed, Australia. Niseko totally rocks!!!! I went with a bunch of mates and had the best powder ever!! Everyday there was more and more, it just doesn't stop snowing. The ungroomed off piste riding is awesome. The trees are awesome, although now with all the Aussies heading over you have to share the powder in the trees. Catch the main Prince Gondola up in the mornings, it's the fastest way to get to the top, even when it is crowded, then break right for some fresh ungroomed powder under the Ace chair. With the snow constantly falling even the groomers are good to ride, they get groomed as early as midnight then have a foot of fresh on top - totally RAD... Nightlife rocks too, we drank and ate at Hanks bar before spending most nights squeezed into The Jam. Word to the wise - some of the restaurants are expensive, we just ate lots of the sandwiches and Japanese ready made dishes from Seico Mart (renamed cyco mart!), they tasted good and were cheap too.

Ryan Freeland, USA. Went to Niseko to check it out after all this hype I was hearing about. Thought the snow was great, light and fluffy like in Colorado without massive crowds. The village is nice, heaps of friendly Aussies telling you this is the best place on earth, don't get me wrong I liked it but would still rather ride Vail after a dump, compare the 2, Vail is 15 times the size and more challenging. There are also better resorts in Japan, like Happo, that haven't got the hype and publicity surrounding them.

Alison Liddell, Australia. Niseko is now the popular skiing destination for Australians. It's an easy journey and only 2 hours time difference, a huge plus compared with the trip to USA, Canada or Europe. I have been to Niseko three times and the powder skiing was great. It's an original Japanese village but it is quickly being developed as a result of the influx of Australians and becoming more crowded each year. It's a real skiers’ resort so don't expect too much sunshine just lots and lots of fresh powder! There is plenty of nightlife for the young ones and a wide variety of great Japanese restaurants.

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Statistics

Elevation
 
ft
m
summit
3,937
1,200
Base
984
300
Average Snowfall
12 meters
Lifts
37
Trails
60
Terrain %
advanced
32
intermediate
38
beginner
30
Halfpipe
1
Terrain Park
no
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