Niseko is a free-rider paradise with endless powder, phenomenal tree runs and epic backcountry routes to explore. Whilst it doesn’t have the steepness of European resorts, the quality and quantity of the snow is unlike anywhere else in the world. Located on the island of Hokkaido, each winter storms blow in from Siberia bringing consistent pristine powder skiing conditions.
Hirafu is the biggest village of the ski areas and offers the most in terms of dining, sleeping and drinking options as well as heated roads and footpaths but each of the other villages have their certain charms (and are less crowded for lift-access on powder days).
A 2 hour drive away from the closest airport in Sapporo.
Niseko's mantra is "deep not steep" so if you are looking for intense vertical it probably isn't the resort for you. But if you want big open bowls, beautifully spaced tree runs and fresh tracks in deep powder every day, Niseko is for you. The best areas for beginners and intermediates are An’nupuri and Niseko Village which have excellent pisted runs but also provide access to the backcountry areas. Hirafu has something to offer for everyone and the expert skiers will want to head straight to Hanazono where you will find the best snow quality, tree skiing and terrain parks. The backcountry is easily accessed through marked gates on the edges of the resort area if you are looking for more challenging terrain, but even if you remain within the resorts boundaries you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing your lines. The only exception to this is Chinese New Year when the resort is almost at full capacity and accommodation is booked out months in advance.
The mountain fun doesn't stop when the snow has gone. Niseko has an established summer season and offers activities such as rafting, mountain biking, climbing and hiking as well as a world-class golf course. Local festivals are frequent and nearby Sapporo is excellent for day trips to the city.
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