2022-23 Winter Season Guide

Everything you need for the winter season

Skiing in Niseko

We’ve put everything you need for the 2022-2023 winter season in Niseko all in one place. Our comprehensive list includes important info like transport, maps, lifts, dining and more.

We know there’s a lot of information available, so we’ve made it easier than ever to navigate your journey through Niseko.

1. Transport

Getting to Niseko

There are a number of ways to get to Niseko, but the most popular and easiest way is to catch a bus from New Chitose Airport to Niseko. There are a number of bus companies operating this route including Chuo Bus, White Liner, and The Hokkaido Resort Liner. We strongly recommend booking in advance to ensure you have a seat on the right bus.

There is also a train service that goes to Kutchan Station, as well as private taxi services. More info about how to get to Niseko can be found on our getting here page.

Local Transport

To get around Niseko, there are a number of shuttle buses available to guests. Taxi’s are also available, but are limited.

Hirafu Village Shuttle

A free shuttle will be running through the Hirafu Village taking transporting guests around the village and up to the Hirafu ski area. There will be three shuttle routes that will make continuous loops, with each loop taking approximately 20 and 30 minutes.

Niseko United Shuttle Bus

Niseko United will also be operating a shuttle bus between each of the four resorts with a number of additional stops along the way. This bus is free for holders of an All Mountain Pass. Those without an All Mountain Pass will be charged local bus fees (approximately 300 – 400 yen depending on the distance). Full info can be found on the Niseko United website.

Hanazono Shuttle Bus

Hanazono resort also runs a free shuttle throughout the winter season, with departures approximately every 20 minutes. The shuttle runs between Hirafu and Hanazono and is free. It runs from 8:00am – 7:28pm when night skiing is on, and 8:00am – 5:28pm when there is no night skiing.

Local Buses and Night Go Bus

To get to and from the local town of Kutchan, public buses and a special Night Go Bus will be operating this winter. Local buses go as far as Niseko Village, while the Night Go Bus goes to Hirafu (and a little further to “Kabayama”). The full timetable and routes can be found below. The timetable also includes train arrivals and departures.

2. Resort Map

The resort map is incredibly useful and is your guide to getting around Niseko. The resort village map includes most accommodations, shops, restaurants, facilities, and much more. Each building is shown on the map just as it looks in real life to make sure you’ll never get lost.

Maps can be downloaded online, or can be picked up at your accommodation provider. They can also be found at info centers around Niseko.

3. Trail Map

Niseko United Trail Map 2023

The Niseko trail map for the 2022-23 winter season can be downloaded directly from our website here. If you’d like a paper version to take with you on the mountain, you can pick one up from each resort base, at their ticket offices, or from your accommodation.

4. Lift Pass

There are many different options for lift passes in Niseko. Firstly, an All Mountain Pass will give access to all four interconnected resorts. All mountain pass holders can use of the Niseko United shuttle for free.

A Grand Hirafu or Hanazono pass will provide access to both of these ski areas on the one pass. Niseko Village pass will provide access to Niseko Village lifts only, and an Annupuri pass provides access to Annupuri only.

Prices for all passes vary, depending on the days and period you’ll be using your pass.

Where to buy a lift pass?

Lift passes can be purchased at ticket windows at the base of each resort. All mountain lift passes can also be purchased online. Grand Hirafu and Hanazono passes can also be purchased online. Online liftpasses allow you to skip lift pass counter queues and get on the slopes faster! You are able to collect your online liftpass from any of the four resorts!

At Annupuri, there is a lift ticket sales window directly under the Annupuri Gondola building. Similarly, lift passes at Niseko Village can be purchased under their gondola building as well. In Grand Hirafu, lift passes can be purchased at the Grand Hirafu Mountain Center next to their gondola, as well as at .Base (dot base) and the bottom of the Family Run.

Please note that you won’t be able buy All Mountain Season Pass online. You can purchase the All Mountain Season Pass at the counter at the each resort. Make sure to bring an ID when purchasing season passes. Passes cannot be purchased without an ID.

See each website for full lift pass prices.

5. Lift Schedule

Ski Area Operational Dates

Niseko Annupuri International Ski Area December 3, 2022 – May 7, 2023
Niseko Village Ski Resort December 3, 2022 – April 9, 2023
Niseko Tokyu Grand HIRAFU OPENING POSTPONED December 3, 2022 – May 7, 2023
Niseko Hanazono Resort OPENING POSTPONED December 3, 2022 – April 9, 2023

*Opening days and hours are subject to change.

Night Ski December 17, 2022 (Sat) – March 19, 2023 (Sun)

6. Wine & Dine

The lounge dining at Park Hyatt Niseko

The Wine & Dine is the BEST place to see every restaurant, shop and activity available in Niseko. This incredible resource makes it easier than ever to plan your dining experiences, as well as activities throughout your trip. Both publications are available online and in print. Printed versions can be found at your accommodation provider as well as info centers.

The Wine & Dine section lists all the best restaurants in an easy to understand way with prices, location, style, popular dishes and much more. The Wine & Dine is absolutely the best way to find the best restaurants, and to make the most of your trip.

The Area Guide has all the best activities, shops and more to complete your trip. If you’re looking for that wow-factor this trip, don’t miss our Area Guide.


7. Parking

Niseko Hirafu Village

If you’re using a hire car when visiting Niseko, it’s essential to understand the local parking regulations in and around the area. In Niseko there is zero ‘street’ parking. Parking on the street outside of designated parking lots is likely to result in a parking fine, your car being towed, or being completely buried in snow (which will destroy it). Before hiring a car there are a number of things to consider.

  1. Before hiring a car, we recommend confirming with your accommodation that there is adequate parking space available.
  2. Make sure you have some previous experience or training for driving on snow and ice. Driving on snow and ice without experience is incredibly dangerous. We recommend taking driver training in your home country before hiring a car in Niseko.
  3. Only park in designated parking lots at your accommodation, at each ski resort, as well as when visiting Kutchan Town or Niseko Town.
  4. Only hire a car from a reputable company. Reputable businesses will make sure the car has proper safety features such as good condition snow tires. Check out our rent-a-car directory for good places to rent a car.

Also note that the alcohol limit for driving in Japan is zero for all drivers.

Each of the four resorts has large parking lots, but as there are often many guests arriving by car, parking lots are known to become completely full. When parking at each resort, make sure to follow directions from parking attendants.

The welcome center in Hirafu is a busy parking area, and is also a drop off and pick up point for buses and accommodation operators. Please make sure to only park in the parking bays, and avoid the busy bus and shuttle bus lanes. Check out the diagram below for more info.

In Hirafu, parking is also available next to the gondola, as well as opposite the Aya hotel (next to the building known as Sun Sports Land). For detailed information, check out the full document provided by Kutchan Town here.

Parking at Hirafu Welcome Center