Boasting Mount Yotei as its backdrop and some of the most pristine powder in the world, it’s little wonder Niseko is a magnet for skiers. 15m of snow falls annually on its 50km of ski runs, turning it into a wintry playground. But the summertime scenery is just as stirring. Snow melts into greenery and colourful flowers bloom, making Niseko sublime walking, rafting and fishing country.
Snowy adventures, summertime sports and spa treats in the crown jewel of Hokkaido’s ski resorts.
Things to do
If you’re seeking thrills, winter in Niseko United’s four ski resorts could see you cutting through ice on a snowmobile or snowboarding after dark. Little ones can also join in the fun with snow tubing or rafting. A range of runs and cross-country routes will suit
first-time skiers as much as old hands. In warmer months, explore the landscape on two feet – or two wheels. This is the time when world-class golf courses open their greens, too.
Niseko promises a spa experience like no other. The region is peppered with onsen – volcanic hot springs. You can soak in the steaming, mineral-rich water in modern hotels and day spas. But be sure to visit Kombu onsen, which have been steaming away for over a century.
Niseko’s mountain backdrop and bubbling springs aren’t just a feast for the eyes. They’re also part of the reason this area has a reputation for farm-fresh food. Try just-picked asparagus in spring, edamame in summer and speciality potatoes when the seasons change. This is also a region that produces its own beer and wine – ideal to go with on-the-go onigirl snacks or fine dining menus.
From the pretty ‘Spring Waterfall’ route to the challenging Mount Yotei climb, hiking is a wonderful way to explore Niseko countryside.
Top tip from SLH