20 Mar

6 Things To Do During Winter in Niseko

Niseko is beautiful in the winter so make the most of it with our six-step guide for the best things to do here.

1. Ski or snowboard
Niseko is renowned for the deep powder snow that falls here each year so take advantage of it and hit the slopes. The slopes in Hirafu are perfect for beginners as there are lots of easy green runs and a family friendly slope. Many companies offer group or private lessons. If you’re a beginner you can use the bottom of the mountain without purchasing a lift pass, while you learn the basics. For more advanced skiers and boarders there are plenty of challenging and thrilling runs at your fingertips further up the slopes.

2. Eat and drink
There is a huge variety of restaurants and bars is Niseko. If you’re based in Hirafu you can sample some of the best authentic Japanese cooking in Hokkaido. Be sure to check Kabuki 1 and 2 for traditional teppanyaki where you can cook your own or watch while a teppanyaki master cooks for you. There also a really good range of food from all over the world in Hirafu. Make sure you stop by Lava Lounge for a delicious pizza or the Taj Express food truck for a spicy curry.

 If you’re looking for something slightly cheaper, head to Kutchan. Here, you’ll find restaurants like Niseko Raman Kazahana which serves up delicious favourites like potato ramen and spicy garlic edamame. You’ll also find cozy cafes like Kissa Azmaya for light bites in the afternoon. Don’t forget to sample the local beverages whilst you’re out and about in Niseko. Saki is a must but other local favourites like sweet plum wine and Hokkaido brewed Kirin beer are also available.

3. Head to the ice village 
If you’re looking for a cool spot to chill out, head to the Niseko Ice Village. There’s an impressive ice castle party space with an ice bar where you can drink shots from ice glasses and a cozy chill out lounge to warm up in afterwards. A delicious food truck is also based in the ice village serving fried chicken and dumplings. If you want to go for dinner in the restaurant instead, make sure you reserve your table beforehand because it gets busy. There is a free return shuttle bus running from Hirafu, Moiwa and Annupuri that departs twice every evening.

4. Try out the tree top activity park 
Just to the left of the family ski like in Hirafu, you’ll see the NAC Adventure Park. If you’re looking for a thrilling fun filled activity that overlooks the picturesque snowy mountains, this one could definitely be for you. The adventure park route moves though trees from 5-13 metres high. The activity has 100 different elements, each with six different difficulty ratings. you can head to Mt Yotei via zip line or even experience tree diving. The park costs 5,000 yen for adults and 4,100 yen for children. The park has some height restrictions so make sure you check before booking.

5. Go hiking 
There’s so much beauty surrounding Niseko so grab a pair of snow shoes and go enjoy the serenity of the picturesque forests as you wade through the deep powder snow. There are many different hiking trails around Niseko for all abilities. If you’re not ready to go it alone, you can arrange a forest trek with a private guide. A full day trek through the forest of Ikoi will cost around 4,000 yen per person including snow shoe rental.

6.Hit the onsens
Immersing yourself in an onsen is an experience not to be missed whilst visiting Niseko. Naturally occurring volcanic hot water springs are a source of welcome relief from tired muscles and joints after a long day on the mountain. There are so many onsens to choose from in Niseko. Yuhokorotei Onsen is designed with Japanese, western and oriental-style influence. It’s a really popular choice for travelers as the water is pumped directly from the Southern foot of Mount Annupuri ensuring the highest possible health benefits. The Vale Niseko Onsen is minimalistic and modern. It retrieves it’s thermal spring water from 700 metres blow the ground. It makes use of elements including shone, timber and glass with a sent of sandalwood or lavender essential oils. Niseko Prince Hotel Hirafutei Onsen has 100 per cent spring water and offers a great view of Mount Yotei from the water. The natural carbon dioxide in the water is said to improve blood circulation.

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