Luxury in Niseko: A skier's dream destination in Japan
Constituting of a few different resorts, Niseko is regarded as one of Japan's top five destinations. It is a skier's dream, offering a mix of long, wide open groomers, off-piste tree skiing, a FIS approved half-pipe, terrain parks for all levels of skiers/boarders and easy access to some of the most awe inspiring back country runs you will experience anywhere in the world. With nine gates throughout the resort, accessing the backcountry in Niseko could not be easier. Not only can you enjoy amazing snow conditions throughout the day, Niseko also offers one of the largest night skiing areas in the world. The mountain changes in the evening and it is an exhilarating experience to ride the pistes in moonlight. Almost the entire mountain is lit up at nights and for the more experienced skiers, gliding through the trees with the penetrating light can make for some challenging runs. Famous tree runs like the 'Strawberry Fields' and 'Miharashi' – a 20 minute hike up from the top loft - will create an experience never to forget. With a lift system that is operational, no matter the weather, you can enjoy the slopes all through winter.
Niseko's ski terrain is large and varied with the five resorts of Annupuri, Higashiyama, Hirafu, Hanazono and Moiwa forming the total ski area. The Alpen Super Course under the Kogen gondola offers steep runs for the most experienced skier whilst for beginners, there are beautifully groomed slopes at the base of the mountain. Lifts are open until 9pm every night of the week in Niseko and the best bit is that all lift passes include night skiing or boarding. All runs are long and the 900 vertical drop ranks Niseko up there with other world-class resorts – as do the private apartments and luxury chalets for rent. Niseko is is 110km from Hokkaido's International airport, New Chitose Airport just outside Sapporo. Due to icy roads, it is a 2-3 hour journey. Most international visitors will have to catch a domestic flight from Tokyo via the international airport Narita. You can also take the wonderfully scenic train route from Chitose Airport to Kutchan, with a change at Otaru. From Kutchan guests will need to get a taxi which takes 15 minutes, while the whole trip takes between 3-4 hours.