Fast facts about Niseko
- Location: 56 mi. from Sapporo, Hokkaido
- Number of main resorts: 4
- Number of runs: 61
- Annual snowfall: 45+ ft.
Finder is committed to editorial independence. While we receive compensation when you click links to partners, they do not influence our content.
Snow is fluffy and abundant throughout the winter months in Japan. Consider your skill level and desired atmosphere when deciding which of Japan’s ski resorts to visit. And count on breathtaking mountain views wherever you glide.
Compare several major ski resorts at a glance:
|Location||Annual snowfall||Number of lifts||Number of runs||Terrain|
|Niseko||15m+||30 lifts and 3 gondolas||61|
|Hakuba||11m+||138 lifts and 5 gondolas||200+|
|Nozawa Onsen||10m||32 lifts||36|
|Shiga Kogen||10m||67 lifts||310|
Niseko is made up of four interconnected zones: An’nupuri, Niseko Village, Hirafu and Hanazono. It’s family-friendly, known for excellent restaurants and night life and attracts an international crowd. Most staff members are fluent in English, making it easy to communicate.
But some visitors note Niseko has a westernized feel, so those seeking an authentic Japanese ski experience may want to look elsewhere.
What really puts Niseko on the map is the high snow quality and quantity that often falls through late March and early April. And out-of-bounds riding is allowed at Niseko, so advanced riders seeking a challenge can ski backcountry routes.
Hakuba Valley is set deep in the Japanese Alps about four hours northwest of Tokyo. It’s actually home to nine different ski resorts, though a single Hakuba Valley Ticket grants access to all. Ride the shuttle bus for transportation between each resort:
Located on Hokkaido Island and accessible via shuttle from Sapporo Chitose Airport, Furano resort is renowned for some of the lightest and driest snow in Japan. Though it’s not known for luxury accommodations, Furano offers a true taste of Japanese flavor. It has off-piste terrain and backcountry for advanced skiers and gentle, well-groomed runs for beginners.
The historic hot spring and ski resort village features an ancient onsen, or Japanese hot spring, for aprés-ski relaxation (though take heed — Japanese culture dictates onsen bathing in the nude.) It’s said to be the birthplace of skiing in Japan when an Austrian introduced it to the area in 1912. Enjoy authentic Japanese architecture at the Nozawa Onsen Village and visit ancient temples in the area after calling it a day.
With 21 ski resorts, 19 of which are interlinked, Shiga Kogen is one of Japan’s largest ski resort areas. It has over 50 lifts and four gondolas.
With a ski pass that gives you access to almost all the lifts, you could be carving it up for weeks. It has excellent ski-in, ski-out accommodations and specializes in intermediate terrain. Note off-piste skiing isn’t permitted.
Niseko and Hakuba might be the most popular ski resorts in Japan, but they’re certainly not the only ones. You can find resorts throughout the country that offer similar quality powder and unique runs.
See how far the resorts are from each other on our map:
The height of ski season in Japan is typically from December to April. Early season is in November and the late season is April to May.
Whether it’s a once-in-a-lifetime trip or a yearly affair, a vacation at the slopes in Japan offers spectacular views and world-renowned powder.
Travel insurance can provide extra coverage in the event you need emergency assistance or compensation for lost equipment or unused ski passes. Browse travel insurance providers to get safety net coverage for your trip to Japan.
Looking for a ski vacation elsewhere? Check out our top ski vacation deals which are regularly updated with the best offers available.a
Book a workation at one of these hotels and get Internet, coffee, private space and more.
Live it up while in Malaysia in one of our top-rated overwater bungalows: The ocean never looked this good.
10 US destinations we wanna visit this year.
Escape to your very own island paradise above the waves.
8+ Top Cargo Jackets Fall/Winter 2021.
Stylish fanny packs for men — including designer styles.
See top picks for this fall/winter trend, starting at under $20. If these don’t suit your style, learn where you can shop for more — no matter your budget.
Guide to Yellowstone, including cost and transportation options.
Compare features, feedback, pros and cons for two of the most prominent platforms in the industry.
I logged over 100,000 meters in four weeks to give you a rundown of the Hydrow, as well as how it compares to similar machines from Concept2 and Peloton.
finder.com is an independent comparison platform and information service that aims to provide you with the tools you need to make better decisions. While we are independent, the offers that appear on this site are from companies from which finder.com receives compensation. We may receive compensation from our partners for placement of their products or services. We may also receive compensation if you click on certain links posted on our site. While compensation arrangements may affect the order, position or placement of product information, it doesn't influence our assessment of those products. Please don't interpret the order in which products appear on our Site as any endorsement or recommendation from us. finder.com compares a wide range of products, providers and services but we don't provide information on all available products, providers or services. Please appreciate that there may be other options available to you than the products, providers or services covered by our service.