Japan is still largely a cash society, and although Niseko has an increasing number of shops that accept credit card payments, smaller shops, businesses, and accommodation houses may not. Therefore carrying cash is recommended.

There are a number of ATM’s in the Niseko area – many with English instructions. Seicomart, Lawson, and 711 convenience stores have ATMs that visitors can use to withdraw cash.

Foreign currency exchange can be done at Hirafu Seicomart, Sapporo Drug Store in Hirafu and at local banks.

Driving in Niseko

Car rentals are becoming more popular as visitors want to explore as much of the area as possible during their trip. Before renting a car, drivers must have a valid international driver’s permit or a Japanese driver’s license. Additionally, since parking is limited – particularly during the winter season, a parking space should be organized with your accommodation provider in advance.

Winter driving conditions can be challenging, even for experienced drivers. Make sure to brush up on your winter driving skills before getting behind the wheel. Lastly, it is illegal to drive in Japan after consuming any amount of alcohol. Make sure to check out these great winter driving tips before driving in Niseko.

Health and Safety

Japan has an excellent health care system and there are a number of clinics as well as a general hospital located in Kutchan. It is recommended that non-Japanese speakers visit Niseko International Clinic (NIC) in Hirafu when possible. The Kutchan General Hospital usually has a translator on staff to help non-Japanese speakers. Kutchan General Hospital closes in the evenings, and during after-hours only admits emergencies.

Even though Japan has an excellent health care system, travelers are recommended to have travel insurance before visiting Niseko. If you are going to be taking part in winter sports activities, make sure to select that option when purchasing.

Local Laws

There are a number of police boxes in Niseko to help visitors with lost items as well as safety in the area. Police in the Niseko area are very friendly and are always happy to help visitors.

The largest police headquarters is in Kutchan Town, and there are also many police boxes throughout the Niseko area to help visitors when in need. There’s also a police box in Hirafu Village which is open in winter. For police station locations, check this map.

If you’re traveling from overseas, make sure to check local laws when visiting Niseko.