NISEKO

We spent a week skiing and snowboarding in Niseko in December 2015, as well as December 2014. After Niseko, we went to Osaka, Nara and Tokyo… Read about our trip in Osaka, Read about our trip in Nara or Read about our trip in Tokyo.

Niseko is well known for its powdery snow. It has one of the most abundant snowfalls among the ski resorts in the world, with over 10 m each year! All this is due to the cold Siberian wind picking up moisture over the Sea of Japan, before dumping snow in Niseko and its surrounding region, which is situated near the coast.

While Niseko’s off-piste skiing appeals to the adventurous seeking powder snow, families with young kids will also enjoy what Niseko has to offer.

Cayden In Ski Class
Cayden In Ski Class
Why We Like Niseko
  • Excellent snow
  • English-speaking ski classes for young kids are available, unlike most other ski resorts in Hokkaido
  • Great food
  • Beautiful view of Mount Yotei on a clear day
  • Nice people
  • Night skiing available daily in many slopes
Niseko Night Skiing
Niseko Night Skiing
What We Dislike About Niseko
  • Getting there
  • Limited ski-in ski-out accommodation (i.e. expensive)
  • Sunny days are rare
  • Long queues at times, especially at Ace Family Pair chair lift which is popular among beginners
Amanda & Cayden On Ace Family Pace Chair Lift, With A Long Queue Behind, On A Typical Cloudy Day
Amanda & Cayden On Ace Family Pace Chair Lift, With A Long Queue Behind, On A Typical Cloudy Day
Accommodation In Niseko

The Vale Niseko

  • Excellent location: close to Ace Family Pair chair lift, ski school, restaurants and shops
  • Modern hotel rooms, studios and apartments. The studio is big enough to accommodate the four of us (two adults and two young kids). Just request for additional futons
  • Complimentary onsen
  • Onsite ski rental shop
The Vale & Ace Family Pair Chair Lift
The Vale & Ace Family Pair Chair Lift
Getting There To Niseko
  • 2.5 hr car ride from New Chitose Airport (Sapporo). Longer travel time for coach
Food In Niseko
Amanda Outside The Niseko Supply Company Restaurant
Amanda Outside The Niseko Supply Company Restaurant
Ski Lessons In Niseko
  • NBS: near to Ace Family Pair chair lift. Recommended for older kids and adults
  • NISS: magic carpet, spacious indoor childcare area and less crowded ski slopes; but needs 15 min to reach by shuttle bus to Hanazono, where ski classes are held. Kids can be dropped and picked up at NISS Office near to The Vale Niseko. Parents can take free shuttle bus outside The Vale Niseko to get to Hanazono. Recommended for younger kids learning skiing for the first time
Magic Carpet In Hanazono Where NISS Ski Lessons Are Held
Magic Carpet In Hanazono Where NISS Ski Lessons Are Held
Practical Tips For Niseko
  • Stay in Niseko Grand Hirafu. It has more restaurants and shops than the other three ski villages (Niseko Village, Annupuri and Hanazono)
  • Stay near ski slopes for young kids. Hard to make them walk for long distance in their ski boots
  • Make restaurant reservations early. Popular ones such as Abucha and Ezo Seafoods get booked out
  • For younger kids learning skiing for first time, NISS ski school is more suitable. Parents can also rest at Hanazono 308 restaurant while catching a glimpse of their kids learning to ski at NISS ski school
  • Book ski classes (group or private) early, especially during December holiday period
  • Layer up for young kids, as it can get really cold in Niseko
  • Wear snow spikes when it gets slippery to walk around
  • Kids (and adults) snow wear and accessories can be found readily in Beats snow sports store, which is centrally located in Grand Hirafu
  • Check out the weather report in advance and adjust accordingly. A good weather forecast website is AccuWeather, with its hourly forecast particularly useful. Another good website is SnowJapan. If it is going to be very windy, consider skiing less and resting more for the days ahead
Cayden & CK
Cayden & CK
Julia In Ski Class
Julia In Ski Class
Amanda & CK
Amanda & CK
Cayden Skiing
Cayden Skiing
Julia Skiing
Julia Skiing
Amanda In Ski Class
Amanda In Ski Class

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