Famed for its world-class ski resort, the Niseko Mountains (ニセコ連山) contain gentle peaks above 1000m.
The area’s best ski slopes, onsen, hiking trails, picturesque marshes, luxury accommodation and dining options sprawl over the highest peak of Niseko Annupuri overlooking the stunning Yotei-zan (Ezo-Fuji). International skiers and snowboarders admire its one of the world’s best powder destinations.
Various facilities are spread around Niseko Hirafu main village.
16min by bus from Kutchan Station, get off at Hirafu Welcome Center
The Niseko United compromised four ski resorts on Niseko Annupuri (1308m): Grand Hirafu, Niseko Village, Niseko Annupuri International and Hanazono. Each ski area is connected near the summit. The All Mountain Pass covered all the ski areas, lifts and shuttle buses. The top season is December to March. Equipment rental is available in and around the ski areas.
Niseko Moiwa Ski Resort
44min by seasonal bus from Niseko Station
Niseko’s oldest ski area dates back to 1919, Moiwa is a small mountain (839m) in its own right, with eight runs from beginner to advanced. The snow tends to be deeper than Niseko’s other ski resorts. During the ski season, the Niseko Area Circuit Bus from JR Niseko Station (via Hilton Niseko Village and Annupuri Ski Area) stops here.
1.5hr by gondola plus hike to the top
The Niseko United’s original mountain at 1308m, Annupuri offering magnificent views of Yōtei-zan, the Shakotan Peninsula and the Sea of Japan. If the weather is perfect, the lake Tōya-ko and the Pacific Ocean are visible. The easiest way to reach the summit is take the Annupuri Gondola and hike for an hour. There are also trails from the Grand Hirafu ski resort (3-hour hike) and Goshiki Onsen (1.5-hour hike).
Niseko Numa-meguri Course
5-6hr hike to Yukichichibu from Goshiki Onsen
From June to October, get out and stride this popular hiking trail linking four picturesque marshes in the Niseko Mountains. The trail begins at Goshiki Onsen, passes through the beautiful O-numa, Oyachi wetland, Shinsen-numa, Naga-numa and finishes down by the hot-water marsh of Oyu-numa in Yumoto Onsen. The hike takes five to six hours.
42min by seasonal bus from Niseko Station, get off at Yumoto Onsen
One of Niseko’s most attractive onsen at the trailhead of Chisenupuri near the hot-water marsh of Oyu-numa, Yukichichibu boasts modern indoor baths and several open-air pools. Women can getting into a popular mud bath for beautiful skin. There is a campsite nearby, making it a good base for traverse the Niseko Mountains.
Goshiki Onsen Ryokan ♨︎
76min by seasonal bus from Niseko Station
Niseko’s most inland onsen (at 750m), at the trailhead of Niseko Numameguri Course, has good mountain views from an open-air bath. It is a 100% free-flowing hot spring. Opposite the onsen is a campsite.
Niseko Hirafu Ski Resort & Hanazono
The Grand Hirafu is the Niseko United’s biggest ski resort, with a superb view of Yotei-zan and 22 runs from beginner to advanced.
Niseko Village Ski Resort
Directly connected to four luxury hotels in Higashiyama, this ski resort boasts the Niseko United’s longest slope (5km), half the terrain is rated beginners.
Niseko Annupuri Ski Resort, Konbu & Moiwa
At the western side of the Niseko United, this resort has six lifts and 13 slopes cater to intermediate.
For the Grand Hirafu and the Niseko Village ski resorts, get off the train at JR Kutchan Station.
JR Niseko Station is an alternative gateway to the Niseko Village and Annupuri Ski Area. Local trains run from Otaru (1.5hr) and Oshamanbe.
JR Hirafu Station is 4km away from Hirafu main village and there are no bus services.
Chuo Bus operates three non-reserved highway buses daily run to the Ikoi-no-Yuyado Iroha (in Niseko Annupuri International Ski Area) from Sapporo (3hr) via Otaru Station (2hr). Prepaid IC cards are available.
From December to March, Niseko Ski Bus runs to the Niseko United from Sapporo (3hr) and New Chitose Airport (3hr). Compulsory reservation.
● From Kutchan Station: Niseko Bus runs to Hilton Niseko Village (34min) or Hirafu Welcome Center (18min) via Hirafu-jūjigai Crossroads (16min) and Hirafu-kita. Donan Bus also runs to Kabayama-shōgakkō (24min) via Hirafu-Yamada and Hirafu Welcome Center (20min). From mid December to late February, Chuo Bus operates the Night-gō in the evening between JR Kutchan Station and Kabayama-shōgakkō (25min) via Hirafu Welcome Center.
● From Niseko Station: During the ski season, the Niseko Area Circuit Bus, which travels to the Niseko Village, Annupuri Ski Area and Konbu Onsen, leaves from JR Niseko Station. From Mid July to mid October (on Saturday, Sunday and holiday), buses run to Goshiki-onsenkyō (76min) via the Niseko Village, Annupuri Ski Area, Konbu Onsen, Yumoto Onsen and Shinsen-numa Rest House (56min). Check the schedule before you ride.
● Niseko United Shuttle: During the ski season, the Niseko United Shuttle connects the Ikoi-no-Yuyado Iroha and Hanazono, stopping at Annupuri, the Niseko Village and the Grand Hirafu ski resorts. The fares (same as regular buses) are free for Niseko United ski pass holders.
The electric-assisted Niseko Green Bike Plus (late Apr-late Oct) can be rented at JR Niseko Station Tourist Information Office.
JR Niseko Station Tourist Information Office
Inside JR Niseko Station. Provides a booking service for accommodation, maps and brochures in English.
Hirafu Welcome Center bus stop
Address：1-3 Niseko-Hirafu, Kutchan-cho, Hokkaido
Distance：8km from Kutchan