19 Feb

What lift pass should I buy?

Depending on your age, budget and length of stay there are a range of mountain passes available to skiers and snowboarders of all abilities to explore the variety of terrain the Niseko mountain range has to offer.

Before negotiating over the length or price of a lift pass, it is first useful to know how the mountain is divided into resorts and which is closest to our lodge. There are 3 resorts in the Niseko area:

Niseko Grand Hirafu / Niseko Hanazono

Niseko Annupuri Kokusai

Niseko Village

Link to the full size Niseko Piste Map PDF

Hirafu and Hanazono is the largest resort of the 3 with 800 acres of skiable terrain including 30 runs of variable difficulties. If you wish to only ski within this resort, or just Annupuri, there are options available for this. However, one wrong turn into a neighbouring resort can lead to extra costs on single use lift tickets or a bus to get back to your resort! If you wish to roam the 3 resorts freely, the Niseko United All Mountain Pass permits use of every lift in the Niseko area. Note that you can only access the runs of Niseko Village with the all mountain pass.

Niseko United offers passes that operate on length (in days) of use, use by the hour or a point system that is used up according to the number of times you use certain lifts. The points option is the worst in value, we recommend it only to novices or individuals not looking to spend much time on the slopes during their stay. The Niseko United website offers All Mountain hourly passes that can be topped up online. A 10 hour pass to be used in any season and by any age group will cost you ¥17,000. A 50 hour pass, ¥70,500. To compare this to lift passes allocated by the day, an 11 day pass will cost you roughly ¥70,000 depending on your age. Therefore if you are looking to ski for more than 4½ hours a day, financially, you are better off purchasing the daily pass. The hourly pass does however give you the flexibility of being able to divide your skiing over a period of time that suits you. If you are a beginner or do not mind a limited scope of runs, Hirafu and Hanazono offers a 50 hour pass for ¥50,000 and Annupuri the same for ¥29,000. For endless access to all lifts, get the All Mountain season pass.
After deciding what suits your needs, passes can be purchased from the following locations:

Grand Hirafu Mountain Center (season and long-term passes)
.Base Ski Center (season and long-term passes)
Annupuri Gondola
Niseko Gondola 1F
The Green Leaf Niseko Village
Ace Family Ticket Center

Alternatively,  All Mountain passes can be purchased online via the Niseko United website.

NOTE: Do not buy 2nd hand daily ski passes, it is illegal and the resorts take extensive measures such as cameras at lifts to catch those that do. You will have the pass taken off you and punishment such as a fine may be enforced. Hourly and point based passes can be shared and exchanged as you wish.

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