NISEKO FAQ

Are you planning to travel to Niseko this upcoming winter season? Below is a list of frequently asked questions for you to get started with your planning! If you have any other questions in addition to these, kindly contact us here.

How far is the drive from CTS Airport to Niseko?


The transfer from Sapporo Chitose airport to Niseko takes between 2 to 2.5 hours for a private transfer depending on weather conditions and around 3-3.5 hours by train and 3 hours by coach bus.




What transportations methods are there for us to choose between?


The most popular transportation method is by private transfer, however there are also other options such as train, coach bus transportation.




My international flight departs CTS Airport at 10:00 am, what time should I depart Niseko with my private transfer?


For an international flight, we typically recommend you to depart Niseko 5 hours prior to your flight departure time - weather conditions in Niseko are very unpredictable and the harsh snowstorms can delay your trip.




Where is Niseko?


Niseko is located on Japan’s northern island Hokkaido - the main village Niseko Hirafu is home to Grand Hirafu Resort, this is one resort out of the 4 ski resorts also known as Niseko United.




How far is Niseko from Sapporo?


2 - 2.5 hours roughly by private transportation - this also depends on the road conditions.




Can I ship my luggage from Niseko to an airport in Japan?


Yes you can! We are happy to assist you with any enquiries for shipping luggage.




Are there taxis in Niseko and how do I order one?


There are several taxi companies operating in Niseko during the winter time, however we recommend our guests to book one in advance as they quickly get booked out during the winter time.




What is an onsen and what are the general rules?


An onsen is a natural hot spring packed with minerals to make your skin smooth and body relaxed after a day on the slopes. The main rules of an onsen is that you are prohibited to wear any type of clothes including swimwear inside the onsen as well as most onsens do not allow you to bring in food nor drinks inside them either. Dont forget to show respect to other people near by you as well.




What are the hotels check in and check out times typically in Niseko?


The most common check in time is at 3:00 pm and check in time at 10:00 am.




What are the winter conditions in Niseko like?


The winter conditions in Niseko can be quite harsh with snowstorms up to 60 km/h and no sun for several months at the time! However, this is why we get that dry powder snow!




Which month is the snowiest month in Niseko typically?


January is the snowiest month with best snow consistency, the average snowfall per season is around 14 metres




What is Niseko famous for?


For it’s dry powder snow, natural onsens and restaurants & bars!




I travel with kids, what options are there for them?


There are plenty of options for the young ones such as kids ski/snowboard group/private lessons, igloo making, tube rafting, kids snowmobiling at much more!




Can I pay with a credit card at all restaurants and bars in the area?


Although many of the restaurants now accepts credit cards, Japan and Niseko is still a cash driven country - we recommend having back up cash just in case!




Are there any international ATMs that I can withdraw money from?


Yes! Any 7Bank ATM will allow you to use international credit cards, they can be found inside of Hyatt House or 7eleven by Crossroads Niseko!




Can I use my cellphone in Japan?


Yes you can - as long as you have roaming on, however it might be pricey! We recommend using Skype or Google phone with rechargable credit for landline/mobile numbers in Japan.




I do not speak any Japanese, will I be ok?


As Niseko is a very international resort you can get by, by speaking English with no worries!




In order to drive the vehicles in Japan, what type of license do I need?


You will need to apply for a 1949 Geneva IDP (International Driver's Permit) in order to drive in Japan. You must also carry your passport and original driver's license when driving at all times!




Do I need any previous driving experience in the snow in order to drive in Niseko?


You are not required to have any driving experience in the snow prior to Niseko, however - we do recommend strongly to drive very carefully and perhaps watch a tutorial such as this one before taking the car on the road!




How are the parking spaces for cars in Niseko?


It can be very hard at times to find a parking space in Niseko during the winter season - we recommend that you arrange a designated parking space prior to your arrival!




Do I need to reserve restaurants in Niseko before I arrive?


We highly recommend you to book your restaurant well in advance as the popular restaurants gets booked out very quickly!




What kind of restaurants are there in Niseko?


Niseko offers you a very mixed bag of restaurants, anything from local Izakaya style food to some of the best Michellin starred Sushi Chefs.




What are the options for lift passes in Niseko?





I have never skied or snowboarded, what should I do?


Whether you decide to go ahead with ski or snowboard, we recommend you to take private lessons to learn from a professional instructor from the very start - this will not only make it a faster progress for you, it will also be the safest way to learn the sport!




What are the essentials to bring to my ski / sb trip in Japan?


The art of layering might just be one of the most important things to prepare before your winter holiday! Below is an article made by us to give you a better idea of how to layer!

https://www.origamidest.com/post/ski-snowboard-essentials




What do I do if I don't have any ski or snowboard equipment?


Don't worry if you do not have your own equipment just yet, we can help arranging high quality easy for beginners to learn ski / snowboard rental equipment!




What times do the ski hills start and finish?


Niseko United's ski resorts opens up at 08:30 am if weather allows it, and closes around 4:00 pm depending on the ski lift.




What time does night skiing start?


Night Skiing in starts at 4:30 pm.




Should I get travel insurance?


Yes! We highly recommend you to get Travel Insurance that covers injuries snowsports related.





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