Quick Travel Guide, Tips, & Itinerary: Niseko, Japan

Want to experience SNOW for the first time or searching for your next WINTER destination? Look no further! N I S E K O (Hokkaido’s Snowiest Resort) is the place to be! 

NISEKO QUICK TRAVEL & BUDGET GUIDE 

Here’s a quick Niseko Travel & Budget Guide / Frequently Asked Questions to help you plan your trip! Most of the details provided in this guide are based on my travel experiences. 

READ: Quick Travel Guide: Hokkaido, Japan

HOW TO GET TO NISEKO? 

Jetstar 2 Hokkaido (7)

  • Book a flight from Manila, Philippines to Hokkaido (New Chitose Airport). It takes around 8 to 9 hours to get to Hokkaido (includes transit). Jetstar offers the lowest rates to Japan and most convenient connecting flights to Hokkaido. Average fare per way – ₱11,000; Sale fare per way – ₱7,500. Book your flights today at www.jetstar.com 

READ FLIGHT REVIEW: Fly Jetstar to Hokkaido & Experience these Stunning Winter Destinations

  • From the New Chitose Airport/Sapporo, take a 2-3 hours van or bus ride to Niseko. You can book your van or bus transfers via KKday. Private Van for 9 people – ₱10,600+ per way OR Hokkaido Resort Liner Public Bus – ₱1,900+ per way per person. Make sure you book your bus tickets or private transfers in advance. 

READ KKDAY REVIEW: Book your Niseko (Hokkaido) Transfers via KKday! 

KKDay to Niseko (16)

  • You can also check out Sky Express Niseko for private door to door transfers throughout Hokkaido (airport transfers, day tours to Sapporo, & many more).

WHERE TO STAY IN NISEKO? 

Niseko is at its peak during winter so expect accommodations to be expensive. What you spend for 3 nights in Sapporo may just be 1 night in Niseko. 

Luxury Stays HTM Niseko (20)

Room at Ki Niseko

  • For luxury stays, check out Niseko Central‘s Yama Shizen OR Ki Niseko. Sale prices start at ₱9,000 per night.  

READ HOTEL REVIEW: Luxury Stays in Niseko: Yama Shizen (Niseko Central) & Ki Niseko 

  • For budget stays during winter, at minimum, guesthouses or hostels can cost ₱4,000+ per person per night. Check out Hooting Owl Lodge, Hirafu Backpackers, OR Niseko Moiwa House.
  • You can also check out AIRBNB listings. Get ₱1,600+ ($32+) off your first AIRBNB booking when you sign up through this AIRBNB link! 
  • If you want to stay at nicer accommodations but at a more affordable rate, early bird winter deals are usually offered by luxury hotels around April or May so make sure to book by then. Prices are often cut by 20% to 30%.
Luxury Stays HTM Niseko (11)

View from Yama Shizen (Niseko Central) Room

WHAT & WHERE TO EAT IN NISEKO? 

Luxury Stays HTM Niseko (8)

  • Rakuichi SobaAnthony Bourdain-approved! During winter season, reservations are essential! Business Hours: Lunch 12pm-2pm (JPY10,000 + tax) & Dinner 7pm-9:30pm (JPY12,000 + tax). Reservations can be made within 90 days of your preferred booking date. 
  • Milk Kobo – If you’re staying within the Hirafu area, Milk Kobo is a few bus stops away. Taxis from Hirafu can cost around ₱1,500 per way so make sure you’re aware of the bus schedules to this route! 
  • Ezo Seafoods – Reserve a seat a few weeks before your winter trip or else you’ll have to settle for a take-out platter that cost at least ₱8,000+! 
  • Odin Place Niseko (Musu, Koko, & The Alpinist) – BGC comfort food vibes! Super indulgent menu & trendy!

READ: A Taste of Musu, Koko, & The Alpinist at Odin Place Niseko

Musu Koko Alpinist Odin Place Niseko (20)

Raclette Spread from The Alpinist at Odin Place

  • An Dining Cafe & Bar at Ki Niseko – A luxury dining experience! Perfect for romantic dates or YOLO eats! If you want to save a little, drop by for breakfast! Buffet costs around ₱800+ per person! Quality food experience!!!! Best butter and wasabi EVERRRR!!!

READ: SERIES: An Dining at Ki Niseko Review

  • Seicomart & nearby food vans in Hirafu – Budget eats? YES!!! So many choices!

Food Vans in Hirafu Town

Musu Koko Alpinist Odin Place Niseko (7)

WHAT TO WEAR?

  • The most significant tip I can give on your winter wear is to OVERESTIMATE! IMPORTANT!
  • Bring lots of layers, more for your body parts that are easily sensitive to cold.
  • Purchase quality thermal wear or layers.

Stunning Hokkaido Best of Winter Niseko Sapporo Sounkyo Biei Lake Shikotsu (87)

  • Wear boots that have good grip as there are some slippery roads around Niseko
  • Put on sunglasses especially if your eyes are sensitive. Since the snowfall was heavy during our first walk outside, a few snowflakes went into my eye and it felt salty that I started to tear up. It stung a bit but when I put on sunglasses, it became better
  • I recommend wearing neck warmers and coats with overheads more than ear muffs.
  • Wear gloves and socks with thick cotton padding.

DSCF4452

WHAT TO DO IN NISEKO? 

  • Hirafu Gondola & Snow Walking at Niseko Grand Hirafu Ski Resort- ₱879+ for a roundtrip gondola ride
  • Snow Tubing at Hanazono Niseko- ₱1,220+ per hour

My mom snow tubing at Hanazono

  • Snowmobiling at White Isle Niseko – ₱3,400 for 30 minutes 
  • Go Snow Snowboarding or Ski Lessons – ₱3,900 for 2.5 hour lessons + ₱3,200 for Rhythm Japan gear rental

ki-niseko-18

NISEKO SAVING TIPS

  • Use FREE shuttles to travel in and around Niseko (ex: Hanazono & Grand Hirafu shuttles, Ki shuttle)

ki-niseko-16

  • If you’ll be skiing or snowboarding for consecutive days, use of Niseko United Bus is free when you purchase a Niseko United all mountain pass.
  • As indicated above, book your hotel or AIRBNB rooms 6 months in advance for a more affordable rate. 
  • Purchase transfers and winter activities via KKday!
  • If you’re staying at a qualifying hotel (Ki Niseko, Niseko Central, etc), use the Experience Niseko Passport to avail discounts from establishments in and around Niseko (even Hokkaido).
  • Purchase winter wear or souvenirs in Sapporo or at the New Chitose Airport, everything is more expensive in Niseko.
  • A lot of winter deals pop-up during mid-March to April when winter season is coming to a close.

NISEKO SAMPLE ITINERARY

img_0093

View of Mt Yotei from Grand Hirafu Ski Resort

DAY TRIP

2D/1N

3D/2N

  • 8AM to 11AM – Bus from Sapporo to Niseko 
  • 11AM to 1PM – Hirafu Gondola, Explore Grand Hirafu, Eat Lunch at Mountain Cafe
  • 1PM to 3PM – Winter Activities (Hirafu Gondola, Go Snow Ski or Snowboard Lessons, White Isle Niseko Snowboarding, Hanazono Niseko Snow Tubing, etc) 
  • 3PM to 5PM – Snacks or Drinks at Odin Place, Seicomart, or Hirafu Food Vans
  • 5PM to 8PM – Bus from Niseko to Sapporo

1ST DAY

  • Late Afternoon Arrival in Niseko 
  • Check-in at Accommodation 
  • Explore Hirafu Village 
  • Dinner & Drinks at The Alpinist, Odin Place Niseko

2ND DAY 

  • Breakfast at An Dining Cafe & Bar at Ki Niseko 
  • Winter Activities 
  • Check-out at Accommodation
  • Lunch at Musu, Odin Place Niseko 
  • Explore Niseko Village
  • Snacks at Milk Kobo 
  • Airport/Sapporo/next Hokkaido destination

1ST DAY

  • Late Afternoon Arrival in Niseko 
  • Check-in at Accommodation 
  • Explore Hirafu Village 
  • Dinner & Drinks at The Alpinist, Odin Place

2ND DAY 

  • Breakfast at An Dining Cafe & Bar at Ki Niseko 
  • Winter Activities 
  • Lunch at Rakuichi Soba
  • Explore Niseko Village
  • Snacks at Milk Kobo 
  • Winter Activities 
  • Dinner at Ezo Seafoods

3RD DAY 

  • Breakfast at Musu at Odin Place 
  • Coffee & Pastry Take out at Koko at Odin Place 
  • Explore Annupuri Niseko
  • Check-out at Accommodation
  • Lunch at Hanazono 308 
  • Winter Activities 
  • Airport/Sapporo/next Hokkaido destination

PLANNING YOUR NISEKO WINTER TRIP? 

Stunning Hokkaido Best of Winter Niseko Sapporo Sounkyo Biei Lake Shikotsu (80)

Hot Chocolate Break at White Isle Niseko

Here are useful references to help you plan your Niseko (Hokkaido) itinerary: 

SOCIAL MEDIA

  • @inspiringgratefultravels Instagram Stories Highlight
    • Hokkaido
  • @alwaysbegrateful Inspiring Grateful Travels Facebook Page Photo Albums 
    • Japan Food Guide: My Favorite Food & Snacks in Japan 
    • Niseko Quick Travel Guide: Hokkaido’s Snowiest Resort

NISEKO WEBSITES / APPS

NISEKO TRAVEL GUIDES / ARTICLES / BLOGS

2018

2016

Luxury Stays HTM Niseko (17)

NOTES

  • Prices/links may have changed from time of writing. Visit official websites for current information. 
  • Prices may vary depending on current exchange rates. As of September 2018, ¥1 = ₱0.48

OTHER JAPAN TRIP GUIDES

#Jetstar2KIX Osaka (8)

Ogimachi View point

#Jetstar2Okinawa Zamami Kerama Islands (14)

6 thoughts on “Quick Travel Guide, Tips, & Itinerary: Niseko, Japan

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