When to Go to Niseko and Other Tips You Should Know

Niseko is a small town in the northern Hokkaido, Japan that is popular among skiers and snowboarders during the winter season. The entire town is called Niseko United and is composed of four main ski resorts — the Niseko Village, Niseko Annupuri, Grand Hirafu, and Hanazono.

When to Go
December to March
The most perfect time to go to Niseko is during the winter season. Most of the time, snow starts falling by the end of November and will fully cover the slopes on the second week of December. During this time, the ski resorts start operating the ski lifts for all skiers and snowboarders so they could go for either day or night skiing.
What makes Niseko the best spot for skiing and snowboarding is both the majestic view of the snowcapped Mount Yotei and the fresh and smooth powder that covers the slopes during these months.
How to get there:
Niseko is not that difficult to get to. All you have to do is hop on a flight to Sapporo (New Chitose Airport) and take either the train to Kutchan or the bus to the Welcome Center. It is easier to take the bus as it drops you off exactly at the welcome center. If you stay at SHIKI Niseko, you can ask them to pick you up at the welcome center although it is not that far from the hotel. If you want to book your bus in advance, you may check out Hokkaido Resort Bus Liner (http://www.access-n.jp/resortliner_eng/winter/)
Scenic Spots
During the winter, Niseko is filled with a variety of Japanese and Western restaurants and shops. But there is more to it than going on a food trip or a winter shopping spree. Just a few meters up Grand Hirafu and from the ski slopes, you can have an amazing view of the magnificent Mount Yotei.
Shiribetsu River / Pink Bridge
Furthermore, if you rent a car or get a cab, you can drive to this nearby pink bridge in Kutchan town just near the train station. Under this bridge is the popular Shiribetsu River that is frozen and covered in snow during the season.
Colorful and Historical Structures
A few hundred meters away from the station, you can also find interesting colorful and historical structures that deserve a spot on your Instagram page.
This structure is believed to be a church. However, it also seemed abandoned and is half covered with snow.
Eat This
Niseko is proliferated by a wide range of both local Japanese and western restaurants. However, it is very well known for Hokkaido's number one treat -- the soft-served ice cream and cheese tarts that are made of freshly squeezed milk. One of the popular shops in Niseko that serves these treats is Milk Kobo. Milk Kobo has a small shop installed at the bottom of Grand Hirafu during the winter, but it closes after the ski season. Nevertheless, people can still visit their main shop which is not that far away from the main area.
When in Niseko, you should also not miss going to a cafe called "If". This cafe specializes in homemade cakes made from fruit and berries and served with pure, fresh Hokkaido whipped cream for that melt-in-your-mouth, fresh taste just like these!
Before going to restaurants in Niseko:
Before you head out for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, make sure that the restaurant you want to go to accepts walk-ins. Otherwise, you will have to make a reservation. There are many restaurants in Niseko that would ask you to make a reservation ahead of time especially in the winter. However, there are also some that would accept walk-ins. All you have to do is be patient and walk around the area to find one.
Besides skiing, snowboarding, winter shopping, and dining, there are many other ways for you to relax in Niseko. You can go treat yourself to a hot bath at the public indoor and outdoor onsens or you can also join a yoga class at Powder Yoga.
That's all for now! Thank you for reading this post! If you have any questions, feel free to contact me or leave your comment in the comment box below! Please do not forget to subscribe to my newsletter as well! :)
- Diana -