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.
HOW TO GET TO NISEKO?
- 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!
- 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.
- 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%.
WHAT & WHERE TO EAT IN NISEKO?
- Rakuichi Soba – Anthony 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!
- 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!!!
- Seicomart & nearby food vans in Hirafu – Budget eats? YES!!! So many choices!
- For more foodie options, check out Niseko Tourism‘s Wine & Dine Guide at www.winedineniseko.com#NisekoTourism
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.
- 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.
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
- 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
NISEKO SAVING TIPS
- Use FREE shuttles to travel in and around Niseko (ex: Hanazono & Grand Hirafu shuttles, Ki shuttle)
- 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
PLANNING YOUR NISEKO WINTER TRIP?
Here are useful references to help you plan your Niseko (Hokkaido) itinerary:
- @inspiringgratefultravels Instagram Stories Highlight
- @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 Tourism APP
- Experience Niseko
NISEKO TRAVEL GUIDES / ARTICLES / BLOGS
- Winter in Niseko, Japan: Travel Guide & Tips for Filipinos
- STUNNING HOKKAIDO: Experiencing the Best of Winter in Niseko, Sapporo, Sounkyo, & Lake Shikotsu
- AN EARLY WINTER EXPERIENCE IN NORTHERN JAPAN: Exploring Niseko, Sapporo, & Otaru
- My Eary Winter Experience in Hokkaido: 5 Day Schedule & Trip Highlights
- Niseko, Japan: My Powder Snow Experience & Guide
- 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
- Magome – Matsumoto – Toyama – Shirakawago – Takayama – Gujo – Kuwana – Nagoya
- Osaka Food Trip Guide – Kobe – Naruto
- Okinawa – Zamami