Niseko in Winter
Frequently referred to as a ‘winter wonderland’, Niseko’s unique location makes it a “must-see, must-ski” hotspot for winter sports enthusiasts.
There are four main areas in the Niseko Ski Resort - Annupuri, Higashiyama, Hirafu, and Hanazono, and from November to April a prevailing wind blows in from the Russian mainland blanketing the region in deep powder snow. The weather patterns that form over west Hokkaido and the Sea of Japan cause snow to fall regularly in this region and that is why this area has some of the island’s highest snowfall. The numerous ski runs - over 48km in total - can accommodate skiers of any level, from beginner to professional. With wide open runs, gladed areas, groomed and off-piste slopes, not to mention the adventure of the backcountry - Niseko has something for everyone.
Visitors who purchase the Niseko All Mountain lift pass can make use of all of the area’s 38 lifts and easily explore all four areas. The longest run that Niseko offers is a challenging 5.6km. The thing that attracts so many people to Niseko is the quality of the snow which, because it has a moisture content of only 8%, is extremely light and dry and makes for wonderful skiing. It is not uncommon to experience a minimum of knee-deep powder. Additionally, the resort stretches far around the mountain, providing extremely favorable light conditions from morning to dusk; then, when the sun sets, night skiing courses are well-lit for many hours. Visitors to the area in winter are not confined to skiing and snowboarding. Please visit the Winter Activities page to see an in-depth account of other activities available.