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“Best Powder Ever” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Niseko Village Ski Resort

Niseko Village Ski Resort
Higashiyama Onsen, Abuta-gun, Niseko-cho 048-1500 , Hokkaido
+81 136-44-2211
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Ranked #2 of 20 things to do in Niseko-cho
Attraction details
Princeton, New Jersey
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
16 attraction reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Best Powder Ever”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2013

Have skied all over the world. Ski mostly American West and have to say the snow in Niseko was the most snow I've ever seen in my life. It snowed over five feet during my week long stay and I skied in powder up to my waist. They offered an avalanche awareness course which allows you to enter a specially designated forbidden zone which is steep and has extremely deep powder. Wonderful skiing !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Visited January 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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164 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Thai first
  • Any
English first
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Top Contributor
143 reviews 143 reviews
70 attraction reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
426 helpful votes 426 helpful votes
“I don't see what is so great about it.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2013

I may be the only North American reviewer so far, so this is from my perspective. I guess it is supposed to be the best in Japan and Australia, and it probably is. However, it is a disappointment compared to American and Canadian resorts. First the undeniably positive is the powder snow. Now for the rest.
Having spent a great amount of time in Japan, Niseko is not Japanese, it's Australian. Everything from the shops to bars and restaurants. That's not a bad thing, I love Cairns, but understand, going to Niseko is going to Australia , not Japan, just so you know. Many Australian reviewers have duly noted this as well.
The mountain runs are really easy and boring from a Canadian, North American perspective. The black runs are short and easy, the red ( blue) runs are very easy and the green is great for beginners obviously. The lifts are nice and well positioned. Night skiing is good, no different than anywhere else. The temps are sub freezing, so beware. I have never skied anywhere this cold, so dress like you are going to the South Pole, not freestyle.
There are 3 separate resorts on the same mountain and it is really difficult to go between the resort runs. You have to hike uphill to move to the new runs. Looks like poor planning and the resorts don't seam to work together as there are separate passes required for three different sets of runs.
The after ski is terribly lame. No big bar houses and such as in the NA resorts. The 3 towns are far apart and the shuttle system is really really bad. I don't have to go into that . Just know that shuttles are very few , have an unreliable schedule, and very long waiting for packed buses. I always had to wait for several buses to get anywhere due to crowding. So it takes hours to go between villages. I'm not used to this as the NA resorts are much more organized.
So, if you are from Australia I guess its ok, but not worth the trip from North America, that is for sure.

Visited January 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manila, Philippines
Top Contributor
288 reviews 288 reviews
184 attraction reviews
Reviews in 60 cities Reviews in 60 cities
220 helpful votes 220 helpful votes
“Offer Variety of Other Snow Activities aside from Skiing/Snowboarding”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2013

Although we didn't ski or snowboard this time, we could tell the quality of the snow, it was really powder snow. No wonder this place is so popular. It is a bit crowded though, maybe because it was also the holidays. You can see mostly foreigners here, especially Australians. The ambiance is a little bit different compared to Rusutsu for example, where more locals go to and is more family oriented. Of course, the size of the resort and mountain is different. Niseko is much bigger and Niseko Village Ski Resort area is just one of the few main ski resorts here.

Special Snow Activities
We chose Niseko Village Ski Resort for two very specific activities, that is the reindeer sleigh ride and the snow rafting. We wanted to try out other snow activities aside from ski and snowboarding as we've already done that. So our local guide called a few days earlier to book the activities. Based on her feedback, the establishment was easy to deal with, they were very clear about the description of the activities, the limitations if any and the price and terms. Like for the reindeer sleigh ride, they only had 2 reindeers, but only 1 for sleigh riding as the other one is a young reindeer. So for the day, they could only accommodate 4 rides. Anyway, we just wanted to take photos, and we drew lots for the kids who wanted to ride the reindeer sleigh. To me, it was nothing really special since there was actually a guy pulling the reindeer or rather walking him forward. I was actually sad for the reindeer since it had to do so much work. But for the kids, it was an interesting experience, so it was worth it :-)

While waiting for the kids to take turns on the sleigh, I went to photograph what seems to be a crystal house just beside the area. When I went closer, I saw a sign that says Closed and won't be open until 2pm, but as I was photographing it, a staff came out and told me it was okay to go in a look. She just said that there were no activities now. Apparently, we read that they had some activity for igloo making, which we initially wanted to try as well if the other activities weren't available. It was interesting to go in and see the ice shards and the whole igloo structure. This is my first time to see one, definitely a good surprise :-) The staff was actually cleaning up inside and she didn't mind that I go in and take a look. That was nice of her.

Our snow rafting activity was cancelled, unfortunately, at the last minute, cause the snow fall was too strong at the time. We actually walked over to the area, feeling like we were walking through a snow storm. Although we were disappointed it got cancelled, it was good to know that they consider the safety of the people as well. We got a refund back too.

We would have also done our snowmobiling here but we opted for nearby Hanazono which offered a bigger area dedicated for snowmobiling and had two seater ones which we preferred since we were a big group. According to our local guide, the snowmobiling area here at the Niseko Village is ok, but smaller.

Hilton Niseko is in the same area, offering accommodations and restaurant options.

Visited December 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
“Great Snowmobile Experience”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2012

It may be little bit pricy. However, their service is excellent! I would recommend for the snowmobile... It was a great ride and experience to me!

Visited December 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong
Top Contributor
103 reviews 103 reviews
24 attraction reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
214 helpful votes 214 helpful votes
“More owners than guests”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2012

All-in resort with gondola right at the exit of the ski room. Please don't wear swimwear in the onsen!!

Visited March 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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