Niseko

 

Well…what can you say? 20m+ of snow each year, 4 mountains wrapping around a dormant volcano, great nightlife, world class accommodation, awesome skiing and snowboarding and loads of POW!

Some people are put off by what some people see as the “bogan” element in Niseko and sure it is there, but it’s there whatever ski resort you go to and they don’t have to be Aussies. Niseko has got a bad wrap recently for this but it is still an awesome resort with loads to do and amazing riding to be had. What Niseko does have in spades is variety, well apart from the powder. Staying there you get trees, alpine, volcanic peak, hits galore, long piste runs, steeps, wide groomers and the list goes on. Book one of Niseko ski guides if you want to really experience it as most people just ride “Strawberry Fields” and think they have scored!!….Oh how little they know.

Without the help of one of our Niseko backcountry guides, you will barely scratch the surface of what’s on offer in the region. The resorts listed below are worth exploring to experience more than just Niseko. Ask us about getting a day trip with a guide who knows the area, and explore somewhere new.

Interested in joining a group tour to Niseko next year? In 2014 Whiteroom is running 3 key tours in Niseko, click on Niseko guided tours button for more information!

 

STAFF TIP: Get a Whiteroom Niseko Guide and head over to Annupuri, you’ll get fresh tracks pretty much all day through gates 1, 2, 7 & 8…though there is much more to Niseko than just that!

 

Described as a powder ‘mecca’, the Niseko United Ski area consists of four main ski fields; Hirafu, Hanazono, Higashiyama and Annupuri, all interconnected by several key gondolas – one brand new. Located in the South West of Hokkaido, Niseko is not only known for its reliable snowfall, but a variety of terrain with extensive tree runs, terrain parks and powder bowls. The resort has an open attitude to off piste skiing, perfect for those after some great backcountry stashes – accessible by a gates system unique to Niseko.

The Hirafu village itself has a buzzing nightlife, with the recent opening of new cocktail bars and fancy restaurants such as ‘The Barn’ in the centre of town. Niseko and now Hakuba too, are really the only places in Japan with what Westerners know as après ski, serving thirsty skiers and snowboarder out of yurts, bars, little speak-easies, and even Irish pubs! Stay outside of Hirafu and you get a quieter more Japanese experience, but you’re are only a taxi ride away from it all if you want to partake.

What sets Niseko apart from other areas in Japan is the prevalence of a huge variety of accommodation options. From the ultra modern apartments, boutique Hotel and traditional Japanese style pensions, there is something for everyone.

See the links above for some great accommodation options

 

NISEKO RESORT STATS

Mt Yotei & Ski Slopes

Season: Dec – May
Altitude: 1209m
Terrain: Beginner 30% / Intermediate 43% / Advanced 27%
Lift system: 28 (including 3 gondolas, 6 quads, 1 triple, 13 pair, 1 double pair, 3 single, 1 double single)
Vertical: 1009m
Longest run: 5.6Km
Average Snowfall: 20m
Terrain Parks: 4+ (largest in Hanozono)

 

Located only a 30-40 minute drive from Niseko, Rusutsu is an awesome resort serviced by hooded high speed quads, and gondolas. Rusutsu has 3 mountains, West Mountain (right next to the hotel offering great night skiing), East Mountain and Mt. Isola. If you are heading over for the day don’t even bother with West Mt. Head straight over East Mt and Mt Isola, it’s where all the best riding is at. Rusutsu has epic trees and hits throughout. What’s more there is a distinct lack of people, making it that little bit sweeter.

Given the lack of crowds, Rusutsu is great for those that want powder that doesn’t get tracked out early morning. Like Niseko, it boasts some of the best powder and tree skiing in the world with its annual average of 14 metres+, a great resort for both powder hounds and beginners.

TIP: If you have some time up your sleeve after a days riding, head over to West Mt and Rusutsu’s Resort Hotel. In the foyer you’ll find some pretty wacky amusement…things

 

RUSUTSU RESORT STATS 044-Rusutsu-Powder

Season: Dec – Apr
Altitude: 3068m
Terrain: Beginner 30% / Intermediate 40% / Advanced 30%
Lift system: 4 gondolas, 7 quads, 5 doubles, 1 single
Vertical: 920m
Longest run: 3.5km
Average Snowfall: 14m
Terrain Parks: 1 Park and small Halfpipe

 

 

 

Moiwa is a little known secret and we’re happy it’s kept that way. Within only 20mins drive from Niseko it’s an amazing little powder paradise with three lifts, amazing trees and awesome back bowls. You’re sure to fall in love with this hill.

 

NISEKO MOIWA RESORT STATS ESS_Moiwa

Season: Dec – Apr
Altitude: 800m
Terrain: Beginner 30% / Intermediate 40% / Advanced 30%
Lift system: 1 quad, 2 doubles
Vertical: 470m
Longest run: 2.8km
Average Snowfall: 14m
Terrain Parks: NA

 

This gem of a ski resort is located an hours drive from Niseko, yet hardly any foreigners even know about it. With high speed quads, gondolas and some amazing terrain it’s worth the day trip for something different and all that untracked powder just waiting for you!

 

KIORO RESORT STATS Kiroro

Season: Dec – Apr
Altitude: 3068m
Terrain: Beginner 31% / Intermediate 34% / Advanced 30%
Lift system:
Vertical: 610m
Longest run: 4km
Average Snowfall: 13m
Terrain Parks: Halfpipe

 

Our Niseko Guided Tour office is located next to Half Note Bar & Restaurant under Full Note Pension. (see map on the next tab)

Book one of our experienced Niseko backcountry ski or snowboard guides to show you the best the Niseko area offers. We pride ourselves on being completely flexible so as to tailor your guided day to your ability level and the best terrain and conditions we can find. Whiteroom has been guiding around the Niseko ski area for 9 years and some of our guides for even longer, so we have it pretty dialled.

Choose from Niseko, Rusutsu, Moiwa, Chisenupuri, Kiroro, Kokusai and Teine. Each resorts offer different terrain and experiences. All resorts are within 1-2hrs drive from Niseko depending on road conditions.

Click here for more info…

 

PRICING & INCLUSIONS

NISEKO, MOIWA – ¥60,000

KIRORO, RUSUTSU – ¥65,000

KOKUSAI & TEINE – ¥70,000

BACKCOUNTRY TOURING DAYS – ¥65,000/¥70,000

CAT SKIING OPTIONS – Price on application

 

Guided days include:

  • Your own qualified guide
  • Accommodation pick-up/drop-off (7:30-8am / 4-6pm) and transportation to the resort of choice
  • Flat rate – maximum of 6 clients per guide.
  • Group of 7 permitted with tail guided – ¥25,000.
  • 8 people and above 2 guides needed

 

Guided days do not include:

  • Avalanche Safety Gear (beacon, shovel, probe and backpack) – ¥2000 per person per day
  • Lift passes
  • Ski/SB equipment
  • Assurances on the days weather

 

NOTE: If you booked a certain ski resort and the lifts are shut that day we will offer up another resort. If all available resort options are closed we will try to reschedule another day (if available), or offer you a full refund