Niseko (ニセコ町) is my far the most popular ski resort for foreigners, and also the most foreign friendly with a host of services and restaurants catering for foreigners. It is therefore a great place to come if this is your first ski or snowboard trip to Japan, but people living here or those experienced traveling in Japan may prefer a town like Hakuba.

Budget travel tips

  • Get the Niseko United All Mountain Pass to save some money and gain access to the four main resorts for one flat price. One day is 6,400 yen, while a 12-point pass is only 3,500 yen. Check the other prices here.
  • Check the latest weather and lift information here.

Ski resorts

Grand Hirafu

The largest ski resort in Niseko, this place has the largest variety of accommodation and slopes. Night skiing is also very popular here as it has the most number of runs.

Season: Late November to early May

Open: 8:30 to 20:30

Prices: Full day 5100, Half day 3900

Niseko Village

Right in the heart of Niseko, this is a good ski resort with some of the steepest slopes for advanced level skiers and snowboarders, as well as some for lower levels.

Season: Early December to early April

Open: 8:30 to 20:00

Prices: Full day 5,000 , Half day 3,900, Nighter 1,700. Official Site


Located at the base of the mountain, Annupuri offers some great powder snow to enjoy and is not as steep as the others.

Season: Late November to early May

Open: 8:30 to 20:30

Prices: Full day 4,800, Half day 3,800, Nighter 1,900. Official site


Part of Grand Hirafu, Hanasona also offers fun activities such as snowmobile rides.

Season: Early December to early April

Open: 8:30 to 16:30

Prices: Full day 5500 yen.

How to get there

From Sapporo station bus terminal, regular winter buses go directly to Niseko (3 hours, 2,240 yen). Summer buses are not so regular, with a few every day.

By train, first get to Kutchan station and then take a regular bus to Niseko.

Getting around

There is a free ‘Passport Shuttle’ bus that travels around the 4 main ski resorts.


Recommended hostels and cheap hotels

There really are so many cheap hostels, with dormitories and single rooms, so don’t just consider these few recommendations:

Karimpani Niseko Fujiyama

Large Hostelling International hostel, with dorm and private rooms at good prices. Free wifi and rental services available. Check prices at

Niseko Backpackers Hostel Tabi-Tsumugi

Smaller hostel, which seems better for single travelers.

More at

Published by Matthew Baxter

Japan travel writer and onsen addict