Most ski areas pray for a good snow year. Niseko banks on it—accumulating an average of 50 feet between January and March (double the amount of snow most resorts in North America get)—practically guaranteeing you pristine powder days during a week-long visit.
Once a tranquil, potato-farming backwater, Niseko, a 1.5-hour flight from Tokyo, is now a booming, world-class ski destination. It’s attracting more and more tourists with its unique offering of ideal skiing and snowboarding conditions, “onsen” hot spring baths, and soba noodle masters.
“We have our share of hardcore Top Ramen-eating, whiskey-drinking, send-anything locals to the furry boot-wearing, après-only crowd you’ll find at most resorts on the planet,” says Chris Peck, a Niseko developer who relocated from Vail 14 years ago.
This year Niseko joined the Mountain Collective—a worldwide pass that includes 20 of the planet’s top resorts across North America, Chile, New Zealand, Australia, and France. Here’s how to have the ultimate winter trip in Niseko, Japan.