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!

If you want it all Niseko sure delivers it, from it’s 15-25 meters of snow each year to it’s village 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? Check out our Powder Progression Tour, Southern Hokkaido Tour, Yuki Yama Backcountry Tour, Coast to Coast Backcountry Tour.


STAFF TIP: Get a Niseko Backcountry Guide and you’ll get fresh tracks all day!

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



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



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.



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!



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



PEAK SEASON – ¥78,000
(28DEC – 29FEB)

¥57,000 (1-3 people)
¥70,000 (4-6 people)
(10 – 27DEC / 1 – 28MAR)

Price includes: Niseko, Moiwa, Rusutsu, Kiroro, Kokusai, Teine, Shiribetsu and Mt Yotei.

CAT SKIING OPTIONS – Price on application

Guided days include:

  • Your own qualified guide
  • Niseko area 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.
  • 7 people and above 2 guides needed. Tail guide ¥57,000 shoulder season/¥78,000 peak season

Guided days do not include:

  • Avalanche Safety Gear (beacon, shovel, probe and backpack)
  • Lift passes
  • Ski/SB equipment
  • Assurances on the days weather
  • Accommodation pick up from areas other than Niseko. Extra charges will apply for additional travel.

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

  • Book a Whiteroom Backcountry Guided Day! Niseko is Whiteroom’s home, we know it better than anyone so let us show you the best on offer here and in Southern Hokkaido. Book one day to get to know Niseko United at the start of your trip or book multiple days and let us show you around the whole area. We’ll do the hard work of watching the weather and take you to the goods!
  • Visit Moiwa, Rusutsu & Kiroro. There are buses to all which allow you to explore many resorts easily during your time in Niseko.
  • Enjoy the nightlife – Niseko is one of the most vibrant ski resorts in Japan. There’s something for everyone from tiny restaurant/bars all the way through to high end fine dining.
  • If you’re into fine dining make sure you book well in advance as Niseko’s best restaurants tend to book out months in advance. Typically bookings open about 3 months in advance. Ask your consultant for their advice and they can help you to book the most suitable for your group.
  • Visit Kutchan in the evenings, there are lots of great local restaurants and bars. Ask your hotel for their best recommendation and they’ll be able to help you book as well.
  • If you’re after a day trip Otaru and Sapporo are both within a few hours and make a great day trip. They are both interesting cities with plenty to do. For those of you who like Whiskey a trip to Nikka’s Yoichi Distillery will be well worth it (located west of Otaru).

Niseko is about 110kms west of Hokkaido’s New Chitose Airport. Best ways to travel to/from are below:

  • Resort Liner scheduled coach 2 1/2 ~ 3hrs.
  • Private transfer 2 1/2hrs+.
  • Train (via Sapporo) 3hrs+ (be careful to check the timetables on as there are multiple connections and travel time can greatly vary).
  • Local bus (from Sapporo) 2 1/2 ~ 3hrs.
  • Hire car 2 1/2hrs+ – great option for those who want to visit multiple resorts in Southern Hokkaido.

Note: The storms in Hokkaido can be quite extreme, whilst the above are average times, when the storms are big it can take much longer. Your consultant will help you to pick the best transfer option and times to suit your flights.