The Ski Resort
One of the largest contiguous ski resorts in Japan
Niseko United is located in the southwestern part of the Japanese island of Hokkaido. Four ski resorts, all located around the town of Niseko, are part of the Ski Association, whose ski lifts transport skiers and snowboarders to the summit of the Niseko Annupuri at 1,308 meters.
The four ski areas can also be explored individually, as there are lift tickets that are valid for each area. The Niseko United Ski Association consists of the following four ski resorts (from west to east):
- Niseko Annupuri
- Niseko Village
- Niseko Grand Hirafu
- Niseko Hanazono
The ski resort network is located about 100 kilometers south of Sapporo and is part of the Niesko-Shakotan Kaigan Quasi National Park. The entire ski area and the facilities located there are very westerly oriented, as the ski area is very popular with Australian tourists. You can even find a Hilton hotel here. The advantage is, that English skills are sufficient for communication and you find your way around well. This makes the skiing holiday a lot easier.
The best powder snow in Japan
The slopes of Niseko Annupuri are known for their dry and light powder, which is one of the best in the world. In total, about 15 metres of fresh snow fall annually on Mount Niseko Annupuri, which is distributed over the forested slopes and the so-called Powder Bowls. However, the cold, snowy weather also has its pitfalls. Sun seeking skiers will not enjoy the Niseko United ski area as there are very few sunny days in winter.
Lift systems and slopes
The 30 lifts in the entire ski area bring winter sports enthusiasts to the top, where skiers have a total of 61 slopes at their disposal. The lifts are mostly very modern and the mostly cold weather is defied with detachable chair lifts and three gondola lifts. The slopes are almost equally distributed over the levels of difficulty: easy, medium and difficult, resulting in very family-friendly skiing, as there is something for every skier.
Night skiing is very popular with the Niseko United ski group, as is an off-piste excursion. Freeriders will find no better circumstances in Japan than in Niseko United.
- The vertical drop from summit to base is 3310 ft. The average difference in altitude between base and summit of Ski Resorts in Japan is 2894 ft. The high point of the ski resort is located at an elevation of 4295 ft.
- Average snow depth during the season is 145 " at summit elevation and 61 " at base elevation. Snow coverage is usually best during February, offering an average snow depth of 170 " at summit elevation and 89 " at the base.
- Niseko United (Hanazono - Grand Hirafu - Niseko Village - Annupuri) features 3 sunny days on average per season. The average for all ski Resorts in Japan is 5 sunny days. April is the sunniest month with an average of 2 sunny days. This makes the ski resort one of the 5 sunniest in Japan.
Most Difficult Runs
The backcountry ski tours around Niseko are very popular. For fit and sporty guests we recommend the ascent of the nearby Mount Yotei. Further adrenalin junkies also have the possibility of heli-skiing. Those interested should inquire at Niseko Heli Skiing.
Après-Ski and Nightlife
Niseko United is known as Japan's top destination for après ski. Hotspot in the ski association is the place Hirafu, where not only numerous restaurants are located, but also a large part of the nightlife takes place. If you want a little more comfort, you should go to Niseko Village, Annupuri or Hanazono.