Frequently Asked Questions

Around the Village

Snow kids can take care of your little ones while you hit the slopes, relax with friends or have an evening out. For more information please contact Yuko.

Tel: +81 (0) 80 1862 6865
Email: info@nisekosnowkids.com
Posted in: Around the Village

Getting you and your Gear to Niseko

ANA Crowne Plaza Hotel Chitose
Address: 2-2-1 Hokuei, Chitose, Hokkaido 066-0036, Japan
Price: Per night, from 8,000yen
Phone: +81 8778-59-5095
Website Crowne Plaza Hotels
Trip Advisor www.tripadvisor.com/
Air Terminal Hotel
Address: 3F, New Chitose Airport, Bibi, Chitose city, Hokkaido 066-0012, Japan
Price: Per night, from 7,000yen
Phone: +81 0123-45-6677
Website Air Terminal Hotel
Trip Advisor www.tripadvisor.com/
Chitose Airport Hotel
Address: 6-1 Chiyodacho, Chitose, Hokkaido 066-0062, Japan
Price: Per night, from 3,700yen
Phone: +81 0123-26-1155
Website Chitose Airport Hotel
Trip Advisor www.tripadvisor.com/
Hotel Area One
Address: 6-1 Saiwaicho, Chitose, Hokkaido 066-0063, Japan
Price: Per night, from 4,100yen
Phone: +81 0123-26-1156
Website Hotel Area One
Trip Advisor www.tripadvisor.com/
Wing International hotel Chitose
Address: 2-2-10 Chiyoda-cho, Chitose, Hokkaido 066-0062, Japan
Price: Per night, from 5,000yen
Phone: +81 0123-24-2111
Website Wing International hotel Chitose
Trip Advisor www.tripadvisor.com/

Posted in: Getting you and your Gear to Niseko

This is the recommended method of getting to Niseko from the airport. There are three main Bus Transfer Companies that run convenient routes between New Chitose Airport and Niseko (Hirafu Village) daily during the Winter Season. The companies we work with are Resort Liner and White Liner. Buses leave directly from the airport and drops you in the middle of Niseko Grand Hirafu village where we will be waiting to pick you up.

All bus check-in counters are just 20 metres away from the JAL arrivals area and have English speaking staff. The trip is around 2.5 hours with a refreshments and toilet break along the way. The buses are large coaches and easily fit all of your ski gear whilst being very comfortable.

Please note that when booking flights to New Chitose Airport, be aware that the last bus transfer leaves the airport at about 21:30, therefore please make sure you arrive no later than 20:00 so you have ample time to collect your baggage and go to the bus station. Also on your departure the earliest bus arrives at New Chitose airport at 10:30 so please book flights that depart after 11:30.

Contact Details:
WhiteLiner

ResortLiner

Chuo Bus

Posted in: Getting you and your Gear to Niseko

If you are wanting private shuttle transfers from the airport into Hirafu Village then Sky Bus is one of your only options. Other situations that may call for a private transfer include arriving after the last Bus leaves (21:30) OR departing from Hirafu Village earlier than the first Bus is scheduled to depart (08:05).

The last bus that departures the airport is at 21:30, therefore any arrivals after 20:30 (domestic) or 19:30 (International) will have to use a private transfer company or stay overnight near the airport.

Private Transfers: details in “PRIVATE SHUTTLE FROM SAPPORO NEW CHITOSE AIRPORT” FAQ above
List of hotels: details in “WHAT HOTELS ARE NEAR NEW CHITOSE AIRPORT IF I NEED TO OVERNIGHT?” FAQ above

Posted in: Getting you and your Gear to Niseko

For those who wish to ski on the day of arrival it is somewhat cheaper to get a day pass with your bus transfers. Most bus companies offer this package. Please click on the below link for more information Bus and Ski Packages

Posted in: Getting you and your Gear to Niseko

Takubin (Ta-Q-Bin) is the most convenient door-to-door postage service for sending large parcels, suitcases, and snowboard and ski luggage throughout Japan. Delivering is usually the next day with some exceptions (ie Tokyo/Osaka to Hokkaido can take up to 2 days).

Yamato Transport (Black Cat)

1. Who are they?

This company is the largest in Japan for door-to-door service with countless drop-off areas available for more convenience.

For more inforamtion on the rates and services of ‘Black Cat’ please check on the below links.
Rates from Hokkaido. Rates from Tokyo. Rates from Osaka.

2. How do I use them?

Luggage can be collected from your home/hotel by scheduling a pick-up time with your nearest service centre. Please ask any of the staff if you would like to organise this service.

Alternatively, you can dropped off your luggage at a number of convenience stores across Japan with the Yamato signboard/flag. 100yen discount per parcel is offered when drop off is in person. Drop off locations include: 7Eleven, Family Mart, Three F, Coco stores, Star, Apple Mart, NewDays. For a more comprehensive list please have a look at the Yamato Transport Website.

In addition, many tourists find it easier to drop off at the arrival lobby in airports. For airport pick up and drop offs please see here.

3. Where are the counters in Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka and New Chitose Airports?

For more information and maps of all airports please click here.

Ramat Lodge

Snowgum and Ramat Niseko conduct mostly all transactions in cash. It is for this reason, that we ask you to please bring an appropriate amount of Japanese yen with you. For locations on the nearest ATM’s are please read our “Money” section in Travel Info.

However, we do have the ability to transact some larger amounts by Credit Card. This form of payment can be some times unreliable and it therefore a good idea to keep enough cash on you to finalise your bill in Japanese yen.

Posted in: Ramat Lodge, Snowgum Lodge

Ramat and Snowgum Lodges are just over a kilometre from the centre of Niseko Hirafu Village, which is the main village of the world famous Niseko ski fields. The free Grand Hirafu shuttle runs daily between 8.30am – 8.30pm with the closest stop only 150m from the lodge (yellow dot stop 26) and only takes 5 minutes to get you to the gondola and about 7 minutes to the Welcome Centre. We also run an in-house first tracks shuttle service to get you to the ski lifts (only 2km away) for fresh tracks every morning. Have a look at our getting around page to see how easy it is to get around Hirafu Village.

Restaurants:
Ramat and Snowgum Lodges are located in Izumikyo Stage 2, the East Village of Hirafu about 1 km from the centre of town and 2 kms from the ski lifts. There are 7 great restaurants and cafes in close proximity to the lodges, with the closest being a quaint little Austrian restaurant called Mozart’s, about a 2-3 mins walk.

Another great restaurant just minutes up the road is the Soup Curry restaurant. Many guests to the Niseko area stop in here for a great Japanese curry and dabble in the opportunity to choice their own level of spice (1 – 20, and please choose carefully, 20 will blow your mind).

Please have a look at the Map for more restaurants around the lodges and for a more comprehensive list of restaurants in the village here is the Wine and Dine Guide.

Convenience stores:
There are 2 convenience stores located in the village; Lawson’s (map # 11) and Seiko Mart (map # 12).
Lawson’s: Open 24/7
Seiko Mart: Open 08:30 – 23:00

Supermarkets:
Apart from the 2 convenience stores the only other place to get groceries from are stores located in Kutchan (the nearest town about 10mins drive away). There are 2 super markets in town; MaxValue and Co-op which are easily accessible by the Niseko – Kutchan bus. For more information on restaurants throughout Kutchan, please have a the 2014 Restaurant Guide page. Also to help our guests get to the supermarkets in Kutchan our private shuttle will take shopping trips every second day* at 18:30. For more information please have a look at our ‘Private shuttle’ on the services page.

Posted in: Ramat Lodge, Snowgum Lodge

Skiing in Niseko

There are a many companies that offer guided, back-country and CAT-ski tours in Niseko. Here are our pick;
Black Diamond – This company has everything from snowmobile activities to guided and back-country tours. They pride themselves of knowing everything about the area and have a great reputation. For more info click here
Hanazono Powder Guides – Offering everything from backcountry guiding tours to group programs that run for 5-7days, Hanozono Powder Guides will show you the back-country of Niseko by accessing the open bowls, mellow gladed runs, short steep chutes and some of the best runs in Niseko. For more info click here
NOASC Adventure Tours – NOASC is very popular for CAT skiing as their Iwanai CAT tour allows its participants to enjoy the entire mountain for the day. In additional their Mt Yotei Back-country tour takes you to the longest vertical runs available in Niseko. For more info click here
Please note if you need any help or guidance send us an email. We would be happy to help in any way possible.

Posted in: Skiing in Niseko

With an average of 15meters of snow falling annually Niseko is regarded as one of the snowiest international ski resorts in the world. From late November to May the village is covered with snow and buzzing with an array of both International and Japanese snow enthusiasts.

Forbes crowned Niseko one of the Top 10 International ski resorts in 2008 and just recently National Geographic voted Niseko as the best powder snow resort in the world, read more here.

Posted in: Skiing in Niseko

Four ski resorts make up the Niseko ski area, all are interconnected and can be accessed from the top lifts. An All Mountain Lift Pass will allow you to travel between them all and explore all that Niseko has to offer.

Night Skiing is offered in many ski resorts world-wide but Niseko is the world’s largest area offering up to 4 hours skiing time every night. As the sun goes down and most skiers and riders go home, there is a group of enthusiasts who are gearing up ready to take on the slopes under the moon-light. Niseko offers night skiing until the end of March. All lift passes include night skiing or you can purchase just a night skiing ticket.

Posted in: Skiing in Niseko

Hanazono

Complete with one of the best terrain parks in and around Niseko, Hanazono is definitely a place to check out. With 3 chair lifts that link up to get you to the up the mountain, you will enjoy the endless array of jumps, tree runs and long wide runs. There is a FREE shuttle bus that runs from various locations around the village. The first shuttle will get you there 10mins before the lifts open at 9.00am.

Terrain Park
The Stomping Ground at Hanazono is the premier park in Niseko with jumps designed to cater for every ability whether you are a beginner or advanced skier/boarder. Hanazono also houses the only FIS approved half pipe in Hokkaido.

Grand Hirafu

Grand Hirafu is the main ski area. With over 10 chair lifts and the new and improved Grand Hirafu Gondola, getting up on the mountain has never been easier. There is a vast variety of tracks and runs that will not only be challenging but will also help improve your ability. Whether you like to stay on the groomed or try your luck at dogging trees, Grand Hirafu can cater for all.

Also, when hunger strikes and you’re feeling the aches of your muscles, there are 7 restaurants and shops that you can pull up to and relax while getting something to eat.

Terrain Park
Hirafu’s terrain park is located next to King Pair #1 and opens at 10am each day. There are usually a few jumps and half way through the season a small half pipe might be accessible. However it’s not until spring skiing when it truly becomes a full terrain park with big jumps, a spine, rails and boxes to play on.

Niseko Village

Niseko Village is located between Annupuri and Grand Hirafu and is home to the Hilton and Green Leaf Hotel. The most adventurous of skiers and riders take on the terrain and make their way up to the peak for a glimpse of the Pacific Ocean and utilise the wide open run on the way back down.

Terrain Park
Niseko Village Wonderland Terrain Park is open from the beginning of March with rails, spines, waves and hits for all abilities.

Annupuri

Annupuri is home to a great selection of wide smooth runs that any skier or riders love to take advantage of. The normal runs are also complemented with a natural terrain park going through the trees making great runs every time.

Terrain Park
Annupuri is not a recognised terrain park but while some riders will stick to the few rails and jumps across the resort others like to tackle the natural park out in the back country.

Posted in: Skiing in Niseko

Lift Pass prices vary in pricing depending on how many days you wish to ski/board, which mountain you wish to conquer and what age the participant is. For more information on the various types and prices of lift passes, please have a look at the Niseko United Website or send us an email with the details of the passes you are wanting to info@ramatniseko.com and we will get back to you.

Posted in: Skiing in Niseko

There are a many companies that offer private and group lessons in Niseko. Here are our pick;
FastFun – dressed in yellow and blue jackets. For more info click here
ProPowder – look out for the black vests. For more info click here
NBS Niseko Base Sports – look out for the orange jackets. For more info click here
Niseko International Snowsports School (NISS) – dressed in red jackets and pants. For more info click here
Please note that you can book all the above lessons with us, so if you need any help or guidance please send us an email. We would be happy to help in any way possible. You can also book online here .

Posted in: Skiing in Niseko

Like any ski resort Niseko has a wide variety of ski shops with rental and purchasing gear available. Here are our top pick;
ProSki – Pro Ski’s shop is located at the intersection in Hirafu village and offers a large range of professional and regular ski and snowboards. There is also a wide variety of boots, clothing and accessories available for hire or purchase. FREE Pick up and drop off is available.
For more info click here
InSki – InSki offers friendly and knowledgeable customer service with a large variety of rental and purchase skis and snowboards. Located beside Niseko Property Sales Office opposite White Bear Lodge, Inski is in a convenient location. FREE Pick up and drop off is available.
For more info click here
Rhythm Snow Sports – Located in 2 convenient locations (Gondola and Village) Rhythm is one of the biggest ski shops in Niseko and can help with your boot fittings, hire gear of skis and snowboard and has a quality range of clothing available to purchase. FREE Pick up and drop off is available.
For more info click here
Please note that you can book hire gear with us, so if you need any help or guidance please send us an email. We would be happy to help in any way possible. You can also book online here .

Posted in: Skiing in Niseko

There are two spots where you can buy lift passes; At the Gondola and next to the Welcome Centre at Mountain Base.

Posted in: Skiing in Niseko

The rules below have been taken from the Niseko United Website where more safety information can be found.
FOR YOUR SAFETY:
Regardless of how you enjoy your snow sports, always show courtesy to others and be aware that THERE ARE INHERENT RISKS in all snow recreation activities. These risks include rapid changes in weather and surface conditions, collisions with other people as well as natural and artificial hazards such as rocks, trees, stumps, bare spots, lift towers and snow making equipment.Common sense and personal awareness can reduce such risks. Observe the ALPINE RESPONSIBILITY CODE and share with others the responsibility for a great experience.ALPINE RESPONSIBILITY CODE
1. Know your ability and always stay in control.
2. Take lessons from qualified professional instructors to learn and progress.
3. As you proceed downhill or overtake another person, you must avoid people below and beside you.
4. Do not stop where you could obstruct a trail, a run or are not visible from above.
5. When entering a trail, a run or starting downhill, look uphill and give way to others.
6. Always use chairlift restraining devices where provided and always use proper devices to prevent runaway equipment. Ensure equipment is in good condition.
7. Observe and obey all signs and warnings. Keep off closed trails or runs and keep out of closed areas.
8. Before using any lift you must have the knowledge and ability of how to load and unload safely.
9. Do not ski, snowboard, ride a lift or undertake any other alpine activity if you ability is impaired by drugs and alcohol.
10. If you are involved in, or witness an accident, alert the Ski Patrol, remain at the scene and identify yourself to them.

NISEKO RULES
The Niseko Rules are Niseko’s official regulations created for the safety and freedom of everyone using the ski resort and riding beyond the ski area boundary.

1. CERTAIN CLOSED AREAS WITHIN NISEKO ARE STRICTLY OFF LIMIT AND ARE NOT TO BE ENTERED AT ANY TIME
Yu no Sawa (Gully between Annupuri and Niseko Village area), and Haru no Taki (cliff area west of Hirafu ) are “STRICTLY off limit areas” as stated by the Niseko Rules. Those riding these areas WILL have their lift pass confiscated.

2. CROSSING ROPES IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED
Ducking the boundary ropes is prohibited. If you do, your lift pass will be confiscated. Use ONLY designated gates to access out of bounds\ areas. Crossing ropes at other areas will result in lift pass confiscation.

3. NO SAFETY CONTROL BEYOND RESORT BOUNDARY
The area outside the mountain resort boundaries (back country, including the peak) are National forests and parks, and are not controlled or supervised by the resort or the Ski Patrol. Niseko Rules proclaims that hiking and riding these areas is dangerous and if you choose to, you do it AT YOUR OWN RISK.

4. BACK COUNTRY SKIING/RIDING IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED WHEN GATES ARE CLOSED
During extremely hazardous conditions, access gates will be closed and out of bounds riding will be strictly prohibited.

5. AVALANCHE CONDITION INFORMATION
The “Niseko Avalanche Information” is the official information posted by “Niseko Avalanche Institute”. This information can be found at lift stations, access gates and on the Internet.

6.BACK COUNTRY RESCUE FEE
YOU are responsible for the cost of your rescue from back country areas.

7. SKI AND MOUNTAIN PATROL INSTRUCTIONS MUST BE OBEYED
Niseko Rules insists that all resort users respect and obey the instructions of the Ski Patrol and the Shiribeshi Mountain Patrol.

8. RESPECT EACH OTHER
The Niseko Rules have been created with everyone’s safety in mind. In order for everyone to remain safe, everyone must respect and follow these rules.

Posted in: Skiing in Niseko

All four Niseko resorts have terrain parks but the main 2 are Hanazono and Hirafu:

Hanazono – The Stomping Ground at Hanazono is the premier park in Niseko with jumps designed to cater for every ability whether you are a beginner or advanced skier/boarder. Hanazono also houses the only FIS approved half pipe in Hokkaido. Most competitions for park occur at the end of the season in March. For more info click here

Grand Hirafu – Hirafu’s terrain park is located next to King Pair #1 and opens at 10am each day. There are usually a few jumps and half way through the season a small half pipe might be accessible. However it’s not until spring skiing when it truly becomes a full terrain park with big jumps, a spine, rails and boxes to play on. For more info click here
Please note if you need any help or guidance send us an email. We would be happy to help in any way possible.

Posted in: Skiing in Niseko

Snowgum Lodge

Snowgum and Ramat Niseko conduct mostly all transactions in cash. It is for this reason, that we ask you to please bring an appropriate amount of Japanese yen with you. For locations on the nearest ATM’s are please read our “Money” section in Travel Info.

However, we do have the ability to transact some larger amounts by Credit Card. This form of payment can be some times unreliable and it therefore a good idea to keep enough cash on you to finalise your bill in Japanese yen.

Posted in: Ramat Lodge, Snowgum Lodge

Ramat and Snowgum Lodges are just over a kilometre from the centre of Niseko Hirafu Village, which is the main village of the world famous Niseko ski fields. The free Grand Hirafu shuttle runs daily between 8.30am – 8.30pm with the closest stop only 150m from the lodge (yellow dot stop 26) and only takes 5 minutes to get you to the gondola and about 7 minutes to the Welcome Centre. We also run an in-house first tracks shuttle service to get you to the ski lifts (only 2km away) for fresh tracks every morning. Have a look at our getting around page to see how easy it is to get around Hirafu Village.

Restaurants:
Ramat and Snowgum Lodges are located in Izumikyo Stage 2, the East Village of Hirafu about 1 km from the centre of town and 2 kms from the ski lifts. There are 7 great restaurants and cafes in close proximity to the lodges, with the closest being a quaint little Austrian restaurant called Mozart’s, about a 2-3 mins walk.

Another great restaurant just minutes up the road is the Soup Curry restaurant. Many guests to the Niseko area stop in here for a great Japanese curry and dabble in the opportunity to choice their own level of spice (1 – 20, and please choose carefully, 20 will blow your mind).

Please have a look at the Map for more restaurants around the lodges and for a more comprehensive list of restaurants in the village here is the Wine and Dine Guide.

Convenience stores:
There are 2 convenience stores located in the village; Lawson’s (map # 11) and Seiko Mart (map # 12).
Lawson’s: Open 24/7
Seiko Mart: Open 08:30 – 23:00

Supermarkets:
Apart from the 2 convenience stores the only other place to get groceries from are stores located in Kutchan (the nearest town about 10mins drive away). There are 2 super markets in town; MaxValue and Co-op which are easily accessible by the Niseko – Kutchan bus. For more information on restaurants throughout Kutchan, please have a the 2014 Restaurant Guide page. Also to help our guests get to the supermarkets in Kutchan our private shuttle will take shopping trips every second day* at 18:30. For more information please have a look at our ‘Private shuttle’ on the services page.

Posted in: Ramat Lodge, Snowgum Lodge

A fully-equipped commercial grade kitchen is available for you to use to prepare and store your favourite foods & snacks.

Posted in: Snowgum Lodge