From romantic getaways in the resort hotels of the area, to back country skiing, a wealth of outdoor activities for everyone in the family, Niseko is one part of Japan that you can truly say is an area of endless discovery, every time you visit it will be different and something fresh will certainly catch your eyes.
Niseko is located in the Southwestern part of Hokkaido, in an alpine region that is dominated by Mt. Yotei (Yotei National Park) to the east and Mt Annupuri to the west. Niseko is conveniently located 100 kms from Sapporo which is Hokkaido’s largest city. The Niseko district has earned a reputation as one of the best ski area’s in the world, home to the Annupuri Ski Resort and the Niseko Village Ski Resort the resort is gaining momentum on the world stage.
However it is not just winter that is popular in Niseko, the summer’s are also very special and the district stands out as a all year round outdoor activity destination. The name Niseko is derived from the ethnic Ainu language of Hokkaido. Niseko Annupuri translates to “Mountain with a river, which runs around the bottom of a sheer cliff” The weather is typical inland weather, with an annual average temperature of 6.3 degrees Celsius, the deepest snow in winter is 200cm in depth.
Niseko is beautiful throughout every season of the year. The summer brings with it a variety of outdoor pursuits like climbing, canoeing, rafting and other outdoor activities. Winter brings with it not only beautiful scenery but also a variety of extreme winter sports. The area has a vast variety of Hot Springs on offer throughout the year however these are best enjoyed after skiing and really add value to your Niseko experience.
In Spring through to Summer (July to late August) the area is carpeted in colorful flowers, one of the most photographed scenes in Niseko is the ‘Famous Twin Cherry Blossom’ scene, it is 2 Large Cherry Blossom trees in the middle of a green field on the top of a small mound with Mt. Yotei in the background.
The walkways and treks around the district are world class. The views of Mt Yotei from the observation deck at the 1000 metre level on Mt Annupuri are absolutely out of this world, take a gondola up the mountain in the morning and enjoy the sensation of floating on clouds as the entire valley below is covered in cloud with Mt. Yotei the regions famous landmark majestically standing out above the clouds. From the viewpoint it is a very short 1.3 km walk to the Summit of Mt Annupuri, to get the feeling of truly being on top of the world. This is a great trek for everyone.
The Winter months bring with them a world of excitement with vast Ski Slopes and Powder Snow, You can enjoy world class skiing, a vast variety of Restaurants and Ski lessons. Ski Lessons are available for everyone from beginners to professionals.
[Air] 1h 30min from Haneda to Shin Chitose Airport and 1h and 12 min from the airport to the Otaru Station by the JR line “Kaisoku Airport” (Rapid Service) 1h and 40min from Otaru to Niseko Station by JR Hakodate Line.
[Bus] 3h from Sapporo to Niseko by local bus.
[Rail] 1h and 20min Hakodate to Oshamanbe Station by JR line “Super Hokuto” (limited express) and 1h and 30 min from Oshamanbe to Niseko Station by local train.