In Niseko, you will enjoy skiing, snowboarding, snow shoeing, snowmobiling, reindeer sledding and snow rafting – where your raft is dragged along the snow by a snow mobile. If it's your first time skiing, or you just want to improve your skills, private and group lessons are available all winter-long. You can even put the kids in day-care while you hit the slopes. Niseko's scenery is pretty spectacular, too. The main attraction is definitely Mt Yotei, a volcanic formation that looks a lot like a small version of Mt Fuji, and is perfectly visible from the ski slopes. Make sure to snap a photo of it before you leave. You can also take some photos of the snow art, exhibited by local artists, throughout most of the winter season. However, the highlight of the year is the New Year fireworks display and Torch Light Run, where skiers hold special torches, while skiing down the mountain. It's beautiful to watch and you can even participate in the event, if you book in advance.
In summer, both kids and adults will enjoy the ‘Pure’ activities. There are high rope courses, zip lines, jumping castles, trampolines, high wires, inflatable gladiator battle zones, kite flying areas, disc golf arenas, playgrounds, and even a treasure hunt for the kids. You can also have a round of golf at one of the two local golf courses, or take advantage of the badminton and beach volleyball facilities, as well as the scenic walking tracks. If you're here in July or August, you'll get to attend Pure Natsu Matsuri, Niseko's summer festival featuring live entertainment, traditional Japanese food stalls and kids' activities.
Niseko is 90km from Sapporo airport. If you have some spare time up your sleeve, it's worth taking a look around Sapporo, which is best known for its ramen, Beer Museum and snow festival in February. There is a train available from Sapporo to Niseko, but you have to change over in Otaru and the train from Otaru to Niseko isn't very regular, so you're better off catching a bus or hiring a car at the airport. For an adventure holiday like no other, take a look at our cheap flights to Sapporo, book your Niseko accommodation and start packing your ski gear (or you can just hire it when you arrive).
Image credit wakimasa
Hotels in Niseko start at AU$122 per night. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.