Niseko Powder Skier In Japan Powder Hokkaido


Located on Japans northern most island of Hokkaido, Niseko is regarded as one of Japan’s top 5 ski resorts!

Niseko boasts 16+ metres of snow each year, and is made up of 5 different resorts.  Four of which, Annupuri, Higashiyama, Hirafu, Hanazono, are accessible to you on the ‘all mountain ski lift pass’ which AMPED Ski & Dive provides customers with.

Furthermore, Niseko offers its guests some of the most exhilarating deep POW experiences that money can buy in the world today!  With its rich variety of terrain, beautiful winter woods, and stunning back-country, Niseko offers an unforgettable and affordable experience for all levels of skiers and boarders.

This internationally renowned ski resort is complimented with a diverse array of accommodations to suite any budget, ranging from fun loving 2 star backpacker lodges, to some of the most luxurious and sophisticated 5 star accommodations around.

Set amongst the quaint Japanese village of Hirafu, and shrouded with public and private bathing houses, bars, restaurants, and worldly amenities, Niseko is an assortment of experiences like no other.

Shona Headshot

If you are looking for a high quality, deep pow experience, then Niseko on the island of Hokkaido Japan is the place for you!  Or, for those wanting to extend into some virgin territory then talk to us about our back-country, multi-resort, and off piste guided tours – Niseko will blow your mind!

Niseko is well setup for families and children with english speaking guides and instructors.  Accommodation is primarily apartments style, all you need to do is set a budget and we’ll sort your perfect holiday out.  Terrain is so varied, anyone can ski from top to bottom” Shona – Amped

10 Top Reasons to Ski Niseko

  • Powder Heaven: Experience some of the worlds ‘best’ Powder with 16-22 Meters per annum, only Niseko has powder like that!
  • Easy to get to: With so many direct and non-direct daily flight options ex NZ and Australia, Niseko is a breeze to get to, and affordable!
  • Affordable: With accommodations ranging from basic shared room hostels, to high class 5 star condominiums, Niseko caters to everyone’s budget.
  • Value for money: With 4 ski resorts included on the 1 lift pass, Niseko offers great value for money, and varying terrain options.
  • Epic Terrain: Quality on and off trail to suit all abilities to include: easy green, legendary tree runs, hiking to the summit, and hard core backcountry, off piste, multi resort, guided touring.
  • Ski longer: The lifts are open until 9pm 7 nights a week, and all passes include night skiing/boarding.
  • Japanese Culture: Immerse yourself into the Japanese cultural through unique Japanese tours and workshops (see other resort activities for a list).
  • Something different: Niseko is a large thermal area offering hundreds of private and public thermal bathing houses to relax and unwind in.
  • So much to do: Niseko offers an extensive array of on and off snow activities, adventures, and tours, a great place for non-skiers and skiers/boarders alike.
  • Rental car free: Enjoy the ease of regular village bus shuttles to get you anywhere you want to go, and train options from mainland Japan and Hokkaido to Niseko and surrounds.

Hirafu scenic chair at Niseko, Japan

Sunlight peeks through snow and ice covered trees at Niseko ski field

Stunning Niseko blue sky day on the ski field

Niseko Facts & Stats

  • Ski Season: Dec – May
  • Mountain Elevation: 1308m
  • Steepest Run: 37 Degrees
  • Longest Run: 5600m
  • Number of Courses: 61
  • Number of lifts: 27 chairs, 3 Gondolas
  • Terrain:Beginner: 30%, Intermediate: 40%, Advanced 30%
  • Night Skiing: Lifts open until 9pm every night


  • If skiing, bring carving skis with plenty of width in the tips and tails to keep you floating above all of Niseko’s glorious snow!
  • If boarding, bring a snowboard longer than your usual length, as you’ll need it! Remember: the snow will be deeper than anything you will have experienced anywhere.
  • Take lots of yen cash as most shops and restaurants don’t take credit cards. You can get money out from most 7-Eleven ATMS. In Hirafu Village there is one international ATM located at Yama Shizen East in Hirafu village. Whilst traveller’s cheques can be exchanged at the Hokuyo Bank and Post Office in Kutchan, they are not accepted by most shops or restaurants.
  • Be careful with baggage weights as Japanese airline staff are stricter than their North American counterparts. High quality demo skis and boards are available in Niseko, so ask your AMPED Ski and Dive Consultant for pricing on these and save yourself the hassle and expense of taking your own gear.
  • Japanese electrical goods run at 110V and consist of two prongs with no earth. So a 110V-240V adaptor is required to run a 240V electronic device or appliance.

Japan (4)

Getting to Niseko


Niseko is based on the northern Japanese island providence of Hokkaido, and is an approximate 2 hour transfer, 105 km, from Chitose Airport, Sapporo.

Ex New Zealand

  • Daily direct flights with Air NZ from Auckland through to Tokyo, to then connect with internal domestic connections through to Sapporo
  • Daily flights from Auckland via Sydney to Tokyo with Qantas, to then connect with internal domestic connections through to Sapporo
  • Daily flights with China Eastern from Auckland to Sapporo, via Taipei
  • Daily flights with Japan Airlines from Auckland to Sapporo, via Sydney and Tokyo.

Ex Australia

  • Daily flights from Sydney to Tokyo with Qantas and/or Japan Airlines, to then connect with internal domestic connections through to Sapporo.
  • Daily scheduled domestic services from most major cities in Australia to Sydney available to connect with international flights to Japan
  • Daily flights from Sydney to Sapporo, via Seoul, on Korean Airlines.
  • Scheduled weekly flights from Sydney and Brisbane to Sapporo, via Taipei, with China eastern.
  • Scheduled weekly flights from Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth to Sapporo, via Bangkok, with Thai Airways
  • Scheduled weekly flights from Sydney to Sapporo, via Kuala Lumpur, with Malaysian Airlines
  • Scheduled weekly flights from Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Melbourne, to Sapporo, via Hong Kong with Cathay Pacific
  • Land Transfers
  • Scheduled resort shuttles transfer guests upon arrival
  • Private airport vehicle transfers are also available at an extra upgrade cost
  • Scheduled resort shuttles transfer guests upon arrival
  • Private airport vehicle transfers are also available at an extra upgrade cost
  • Train services are also available to Niseko from Tokyo and Sapporo

The above schedules are subject to change at any time as set down by the carries involved, and are to be used as a guide only.


Around town: There are a number of transport options, both private and public, on offer to enable visitors to explore Niseko village and its surrounds.


The Grand Shuttle bus travels around Hirafu village, and transporting people between the lifts. This bus service is free and departs every 15 to 20 minutes between 8:30 and 21:00 during the ski season. The bus operates from the Welcome Centre to Hirafu Gondola as well as covering the Izumikyo area.


Ride the free Hanzono (Blue) Shuttle Bus to the Hanazono area of Grand Hirafu. Departing every 30 minutes, this service operates from 7:50am to 5:00pm during the ski season.


The Niseko Free Passport Bus travels between the main ski resorts of Annupuri, Niseko Village and Grand Hirafu. This bus service is free for ‘All Mountain Pass’ holders. Without the pass, regular bus fares apply. This service operates from November to March, daily from 8:30am to 9:00pm.


Explore the abundance of onsens Niseko has on offer with the Yumeguri (Spa) Shuttle. This service transports guests between various onsen, hotels, and the main ski areas. Stops include Kanro‐no mori, Konbu spa and Yumoto spa. This service is in operation from December through to March, and fares apply.


The Kutchan Night Go Bus operates in the evening, between 6:00pm to 11:20pm from early December until late March. The bus provides a quick 10 minute trip between Hirafu and downtown Kutchan, where you can enjoy the nightlife including Japanese restaurants and karaoke.


Local bus services are available from the Welcome Centre to Kutchan and Niseko Village, as well as to Sapporo and Sapporo New Chitose Airport.


Private taxis are available. Fares apply.

Niseko Japan Ski Resort Village Map

Niseko Resort Winter Trail Map



Free Mountain Tours / Ski Hosts

Whilst there are no ‘complimentary’ mountain hosts available in Niseko, there are guides who are available to take you on a guided mountain tour at a fee. These are a great way to get a feel for the mountain, discover untracked and hidden spots, and then you can do your own thing for the rest of your trip.

Sapporo Ice Festival Hokkaido

Yotei sunrise

Other Resort Activities

  • Snowmobiling back country tours
  • Sledding
  • Day and night time Snowshoeing Tours
  • Snow Tubing
  • Back country Cat Skiing
  • Photography/Video tours
  • Cross country skiing
  • Hike Mt Yotei
  • Rusutsu, Kiroro and Moiwa Day Tours
  • Mountain Guiding – The best way to discover untracked terrain
  • Calligraphy writing classes
  • Kimono Dressing
  • Japanese cultural workshops
  • Sushi making
  • Cooking classes
  • Japanese Tea Ceremony
  • Bamboo Ink Painting
  • Private and mixed onsen visits (include transport and admission)
  • Sand Blast Glass Art Experiences
  • Ice Festival and Chinese New Year Celebrations

Niseko Ski School and Daycare


With a English speaking ski instructors, excel and get more enjoyment from your vacation by enrolling into a lesson during your time in Niseko.

Ski Services available range from:

  • Private Lessons – Fast track your progression with a choice of either a 1, 2, 4, or 6 hour private lessons, and are available to all levels of ability. Times range from choices of morning, afternoon, or evening lessons. First Tracks options also available.
  • Group Lessons – Groups will be catered to either beginner and novice, or intermediate and advanced skilled skiers/boarders, and the average size of a group will be 9 students. Here you will fast track your skills in a group environment by combing drills and exercises set down by the pro, whilst enjoying some fantastic mountain trails. Times range from choices of morning or full day lessons, and discounts may apply for 5+ consecutive morning or day lessons.


Children of any skiing ability will have a blast learning new snow skills and meeting new friends. Learning age groups range from 3-4 yrs, 5-8 yrs, 9-14yrs for skiers, and 7-14 years for snowboarding.

Ski Services Available range from:

  • Private Lessons
  • ​Group Lessons


Niseko is well set up for families including a range of kids’ activities and various options for child minding.

Mobile Child Care & Babysitting Niseko

There are several providers of child care services where the carers come to your accommodation, day and/or night, to mind young children.

Alpen Hotel Childcare

The Alpen Hotel provides child care services, located in the Upper Village near Ace quad lift#2 and the Welcome Centre bus stop. Reservations are required.

Niseko Kids

Niseko Kids provides child minding for your little ones. They also have a Night Owls program in the evenings from 6-9pm. Niseko Kids is located next to the Hilton Hotel Niseko Village (Higashiyama).

Note: reservations are required for all children’s services

Accommodation at Niseko

Similar to a B & B, Niseko’s Pensions and Lodges are the perfect choice for anyone in search of a low cost holiday, and looking to discover a more authentic Japanese Niseko experience.  Bedding arrangements vary from Japanese style futons, through to western-style bedding options, as well as either private or shared bathroom facilities.


Whilst the majority of Niseko Pensions and Lodges are for the budget conscious, there is a couple of more luxurious lodges on offer for those looking for a bit of indulgence, whilst still looking for an opportunity to mix and mingle with fellow travellers.  Just tell us your needs, and we will get it sorted!

locomotion gaikan

Niseko offers a grand selection of full service hotels, and range from a moderate 3 star through to the opulent 5 star deluxe.  There are those which offer ski in/ski out locations, and again the rooming choices again range from both Japanese and Western style bedding.

Niseko Hotels are a great way to experience authentic Japanese hospitality, as well as take advantage of a range of onsite facilities, which depending on where you choose to stay can range from: onsite shops, restaurants, heated pools, Japanese onsen’s, karaoke, and more.

Alpen Hotel Niseko

Selections of townhouses ranging from moderate to high end luxury are also available throughout Hirafu village.  From cosy one bedroom loft style cottages, through to the more spacious 5 and 6 bedrooms for large families and groups travelling together, of which are all self-contained and offer a range of modern amenities.

Basho Niseko Town home

Basho Niseko

Our well appointment apartments are a popular choice being that they are all self-contained, and again offer a range of modern amenities and facilities.  Some which offer ski in/ski out, and others which are just a short stroll or shuttle transfer to the lifts, these apartments are for those in search modern luxury, in the heart of the all the action.

Full Circle Niseko

Full Circle Niseko


IMPORTANT NOTE: the above images are to be used as guides for room types available. Due to room configurations and decors differing from condo to condo, not all rooms will look or appear the same.