Niseko: winter heaven for the snow sports lovers

Mayo Harry | Live the World

November 23, 2022

Niseko has been a popular winter destination due to its visitor-friendly ski resorts. Many snow-seeking travelers are coming from all over the world for its beautiful powder snow. Four large ski resorts form Niseko.  This huge area is called Niseko United and is located about 100km south of Sapporo- Niseko Shakotan Otaru Coast National Monument. Niseko Annupuri, the eastern end of the Niseko mountain range, is running from the Sea of Japan. It is a special place with a rich nature overlooking Niseko's main peak, Mt. Yotei. Seasonal winds from the Eurasian continent contain a lot of water and moisture from the Sea of Japan, which become snow clouds, carrying this outstanding powder snow in this winter heaven for snow sports lovers. The abundant terrain and beautiful winter forest of Mt. Niseko Annupuri are suitable for all levels of skiers and snowboarders, and the world-class powder snow experience at Niseko will give you unforgettable memories. This snow heaven opens from December to early April.

Niseko Hanazono resort

This is a ski resort surrounded by primeval forests on the east side of Niseko Annupuri. Niseko Hanazono resort offers the best freeride ski park in the lower ski area. Layout items of the free ride park change from time to time according to snow conditions, so you can enjoy them whenever you come. There are nine courses to suit all levels of skiers and snowboarders. There is also a snow adventure park in the resort where you can try snow-tubing or sledding. Have you heard of a magic carpet on the ski resort? There are three 'magic carpets' on the resort, so you do not have to walk in the snow to go up the hill. Of course, Niseko Hanazono ski resort is known for its high-quality powder snow, and apparently the amount of its snowfall is the second largest in the world!  

Niseko Mt. Resort Grand Hirafu

Niseko Mt. Resort Grand Hirafu offers 30 different courses and 15 lifts, and it is the biggest resort in Niseko, and perhaps in Japan.  The maximum slope is 40 degrees, and the longest run distance is about 5.6km so that you can enjoy long runs. You cannot miss the breathtaking view of Mt. Yotei. There are ample hotels and restaurants nearby so you can enjoy your stay very conveniently.  Gondolas are running even at night time so that you can enjoy long-distance skiing and snowboarding at night also.

Niseko Ski Village

©Flickr/MIKI Yoshihito

Niseko Ski Village is directly connected to the two resort hotels, “The Green Leaf” and “Hilton Niseko Village.” The road through the primeval forest highlights the snow resort atmosphere. There are 27 courses altogether and 13 trails for beginners, nine courses for intermediate, and five courses for advanced skiers and snowboarders. The longest-running distance is about 5km! Niseko Ski Village’s specialty is the sunrise ski. You can taste the powder that no one has yet touched.

Niseko Annupri International

©Flickr/ Felix Dance

Niseko Annupuri International is a southwest slope, so it is the warmest among the Hokkaido ski resorts. Because the course is wide overall, it is perfect for beginner snowboarders. There is an amazing onsen nearby called Yugokoro-tei. It offers accommodation, but you can just drop in for an onsen experience. Outdoor onsen experience in the snow will add a special memory to your Niseko trip.

©Flickr/ MIKI Yoshihito

If you are heading off to the snow trip, hoping for the best skiing and snowboarding in Japan, Niseko is highly recommended. The variety of skiing and snowboarding courses will satisfy all levels. Don’t forget; there are fantastic restaurants and onsens to add to your unforgettable experience in Niseko, the snow heaven of Japan. Enjoy!      

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