Niseko has become one of the biggest resort areas in Japan. It’s known for satisfactory winter activity spots, but that would not be enough to fully enjoy the area. Niseko has a variety of activities to do, beautiful places to stay, excellent foods to pack your belly, and most importantly, the massive nature which brings all of them. The richness of nature is described in the geographical name. “Niseko Annupuri” is a mountain which has a major ski area, and the name has its origin in Ainu (the native Hokkaido people) language. It means “mountain with a sheer cliff and a river running around it”.
Investors around the world, especially in Asia, are interested in Niseko’s nature and its possibility of further thriving in the future. JR Hokkaido Shinkansen, a rapid express, is going to be extended from Hakodate to Sapporo by the end of 2030. JR Kutchan station in Niseko will be included in the stops, and will be prepared for it. Resort development in Niseko seems to continue more.
・Niseko’s powder snow attracts skiers and snowboarders around the world. There are 4 Major ski areas called Niseko United: NIseko Hanazono Resort, Niseko Tokyu Grand Hirafu, Niseko Village Ski Resort, and Niseko Annupuri International Ski Area.
・Massive nature cannot be missed in Niseko. Not only the Niseko mountain range such as Niseko Annupuri, but there is also Yotei-zan which is called Mt. Fuji of Hokkaido. One of the best rivers in Japan “Shiribetsu-gawa” provides a lot of activities in summer time.
・Deciding where to stay in Niseko is hard to choose, but an enjoyable moment. There are famous hotels such as Park Hyatt Niseko Hanazono Residence, Higashiyama Niseko Village Ritz-Carlton Reserve,etc. IF you will stay for a long period, renting a condominium would be another way. There are basic things you need so that it will be nice to stay with a family or a group of friends.
・When you look a little bit further to the suburban area, full of other amusements will come into your todo list. There are several choices of hot spring spots where you can easily access after skiing, farms and cheese factories, and of course a lot of good restaurants.
Most popular way to get to Niseko from New Chitose Airport is the resort bus（HRL:Hokkaido Resort Liner）. They go directly to Niseko, and there is a bus stop in the main hotel area to drop off. In the winter time, there are about 10 buses a day to Niseko. It takes about 3 hours, and costs about 4,500 yen one way. Another common way is to rent a car. It will be
easier to move around the town, or visit different cities. It takes just over 2 hours from the airport, and costs about 7,150 yen a day. If you are willing to spend more time and enjoy the view, or visiting from another city, a train is also available. From the airport to JR Niseko station, it takes little more than 3 hours, and costs 3,740 yen one way. After arriving at Niseko, a taxi will be an easy way to move around.
Winter, the main season of Niseko, has a lot of events. For ski and snowboard lovers, slopestyle competition in the end of January and beginning of March cannot be missed. For others, Christmas, new year events and Scenic Night Niseko, an event with illuminations and snow objects in February, would be interesting. Throughout the year, there are plenty of sports, art, and food events which would satisfy you.
Tree Trekking and Tree Walk
If you are visiting Niseko in summer time, especially with kids, you have to check out Tree Trekking and Tree Walk in Hanazono. Go through the courses stretched between tall trees. There are elements made with ropes and wood, suspension bridges, and zip lines. Using the entire body and the brain, not only kids but also adults can have fun! Why not enjoy yourselves for a day in the refreshing breeze of the forest?
・It’s open everyday for a month between July and August, and on the weekends from August to the end of October.
・If you go through every course, it takes approximately 3-4 hours.
・In order to participate, you have to be over 120cm tall, under 120kg weight, and under 100cm of waist.
・It is recommended to wear comfortable clothes and shoes to move, and less skin exposed.
・There is a free entry view spot of Yotei-zan mountain.
・You can get some discount for the hot springs nearby.
H2 Life manages over 200 properties in the Niseko area and all of the properties are luxurious homes or condominiums. In their service H2 Life offers 3 collections of accommodation – HakuLife, Luxury and Signature for small to large groups, and budgets to suit everyone, and the H2 Life service is offered to guests with special preferences and demands. they offer very relaxing and convenient places to stay, and easy access from the central area. We will introduce 3 types of houses and a condominium.Koa Villa, located in the Higashiyama area, is high class housing with a spacious living dining room. It surely brings you the most comfortable stay in Niseko. First one of two recommendations in the St. Moritz area is called Off-Piste Chalet. This three-story building has an urban atmosphere which would be liked both by families and friends. The other place in St. Moritz, Roku, is relatively cozy and suitable for couples and friends. It both benefits calmness and convenience. Last but not least, The Pavilions – Awayuki, located in Ginto Village, has a quiet neighborhood and an extraordinary view of Yotei-zan mountain. Blended mood of Europe and Japan, and modern furniture dress up the rooms.
・Koa Villa has a capacity of 6 people with 3 bedrooms, and 2 parkings. It costs from 75,000 yen per night.
・Off-Piste Chalet has a capacity of 6 people with 3 bedrooms, and 1-2 parkings. It costs from 58,000 yen per night.
・Roku has a capacity for 3-5 people with 1-2 bedrooms, and 1 parking. It costs from 26,000 yen per night.
・The Pavillions – Awayuki has a capacity for 8 people with 3 bedrooms, and 2 parkings. It costs from 64,000 yen per night.
SOMOZA Cafe & Gallery is the latest project of Shouya who has produced a series of luxurious boutiques in Niseko. They brought an old Japanese style house in Tochigi prefecture to renovate into a place where Japanese traditional culture can be seen in an innovative way. Dramatic landscape and beautiful house cafe will give the best harmony of the holiday.
・In order to prevent the spread of virus, SOMOZA limits the number of visitors, and opening time. It requires a reservation in advance.
・You can make a reservation via their website. Booking can be processed from 90 days before the visit.
Niseko Hanazono Resort
Niseko Hanazono Resort provides a wide range of activities both in winter and summer. Niseko’s high quality powder snow attracts skiers and snowboarders around the world. In Niseko Hanazono Resort, there are variations of winter activities to do including snow sports school for both kids and adults. You can also enjoy activities in the mountains and rivers in summer. Golf, cycling and horse riding are popular as well because the beautiful nature is surrounding you. Staying at Park Hyatt Niseko Hanazono would maximize the satisfaction of your holiday in the Resort with its quality and convenience.
・Winter activities are available from December to April, and summer ones are from May to November.
・There are some special offers on the website.
・You can visit with either a car or public transportations. Take a taxi from JR Kutchan station.
Yotei-zan Photo Spot
Yotei-zan is a mountain called “Mt. Fuji of Niseko” and beloved by people. It can be seen from many places in NIseko, but it would be nice to know which would be a good location to take a photo. We will introduce 5 spots!
This yellow bridge is only a kilometer away from Niseko station. If you want to include the bridge in the photo, walk from the back side of Niseko station and you will see a water gate after going under the bridge. That is the spot.
Niseko Town Miyata View Point Parking
Go down the National Route 5 for 2.7km from Roadside Station Niseko View Plaza to Rankoshi direction, and it’s on your left. In the winter time, the field completely turns into white.
Twin Cherry Tree
Close from Takahashi Farm Milk Factory toward Kutchan direction, there are two cherry trees in a big field. The best season for this spot is May, after the season of cherry blossoms.
Moss phlox of Mr. Mishima’s Garden
A private house close to JR Kutchan station, Mr. Mishima’s. They open their garden to the public for free. The best season for its moss phlox is around the end of May to beginning of June.
Pond of Fujimi
2km away from Kutchan area toward Kyogoku along the Prefectural Route 478, there is a Soba restaurant. You can see a reflection of Yotei-zan in its pond on a sunny day.
・Some of the places have private property that cannot be entered. Please follow the rules of each spot.
Compared to the other cities in Hokkaido, Niseko has the most international atmosphere which also applies to its food culture. There are plenty of high quality restaurants of western style. Of course, there are good milk products from local farms like the other areas of Hokkaido.
For someone who wants to experience a masterpiece of Niseko, Haku Steak is where you were looking for. Their adventure of perfect steak had continued for 15 years to attain current style. This story started with the family grilling competition of Haku Steak’s founder. He selected the best wagyu of Hokkaido as well as the salt, the pepper, cooking temperature, resting time, and the equipment. Consequently, he reached for the best recipe to create a beef steak with super juicy inside and savory crispy outside. The chef Luiz has built his career in Shanghai and London to broaden his taste. His refined skills and novel ideas color up the best meal.
Takahashi Dairy Farm
Niseko Takahashi Dairy Farm is a farm combined with factories and shops. They produce ice cream, baked sweets, and cheeses with their fresh milk. There is no need to add any secret ingredients because the milk itself has a rich flavor so that it is better to keep the products with simple recipes. Especially the soft serve ice cream has very complexed flavor of milk although the ingredients are very few.
The Barn is a modern style bistro which is open only in winter time. A traditional barn of Hokkaido with glass-in front is warmly glittering in a snowy neighborhood. Their story begins right after you open the door. They provide simply seasoned food to maximize the original flavor of the ingredients gathered from Niseko and all around Hokkaido. Among the variety of their specialties, fresh seafood such as sea urchin, choices of steak, and unique sushis like sauteed foie gras are popular. Wide choice of their alchohol menu is also satisfying. They have wines both from Hokkaido and countries abroad as well as locally made beers and sakes. In lunch time, other than steaks, salad with Hokkaido vegetables and special spaghettis.