Winter Activities in Niseko
Niseko is arguably the most popular winter destination in Asia.
The Niseko region is famous for powder snow, the local Volcano Mt Yotei, and amazing food!
But to make the most out of Niseko you really want to take advantage of the winter activities that are on offer!
Start here with some of our favourites
If you would like a different kind of adventure, snowmobiling tours are available in Niseko and it is kind of like riding a jet ski on the snow... but better (Bring gloves!)
Snowmobile experiences are available in 30, 60, or 90-minute courses. You can ride as singles or double up on one snowmobile, and you are supplied helmets but you will need to wear warm, weather-appropriate clothing. We would recommend bringing googles and gloves, being super warm will just make it more enjoyable.
There are a few options depending on how long you want to snowmobile for, and what you would like to experience along the way. There are also experiences for young children on special kids snowmobiles available.
Our team can book snowmobile experience for you.
Where to Snowmobile:
Tubing is a fun family activity for those wanting to get on the mountain but not wishing to ski, or taking a rest day. There is a safe and fun slope to slide down at the base of Hanazono Resort, and you can enjoy taking a magic carpet (a moving platform) to get back to the top each time.
You only need to be over 3 years or older to play and there is no need to book in advance.
Where to Snow Tube:
The tubing park is accessed by Hanazono Resort building Hanazono 308.
Price: ¥2500 per person
Onsens are an interesting cultural experience, unique to Japan. An onsen is a communal pool of sulphuric water, pulled from the ground steaming hot. They are thought to be good for muscle relief and beautifying the skin, but make sure you read up on how to use them first!
There are many onsens in Niseko, often with beautiful Mt.Yotei views, unique features and additional extras like meals and massage chairs. Onsen water often contains up to 19 minerals which are one of the reasons that they are used for health and wellbeing. Enjoy soaking in the hot water while the snow falls outside, it really is an amazing winter experience.
Family onsen experiences are possible at the Kanro no Mori hotel but must be booked in advance.
Cat Skiing is a guided backcountry experience which is perfect for those wanting to escape the inbounds ski resort area and have access to untouched fresh powder!
There are a few options for backcountry experiences in Niseko including Niseko Weiss Powder Cats, Iwanai Cat Skiing, and Hokkaido Backcountry's Chisenapuri Snow Cats or their multi-day Shimamaki Snow Cats.
If you are visiting for the first time we have a little bit of information about each one to help you decide. Each company offers lunch and some coffee/tea or snacks along the way as you are booking a full-day experience. You can also expect to get picked up and dropped off at your Niseko accommodation included in the price of your cat experience.
Chisenupuri Snow Cats
Hokkaido Backcountry run this operation at the Niseko Chisenupuri ski resort which is used solely for cat skiing. The cat drops you off at 832m and you enjoy the run down to the bottom which averages 280m per run. It's a great place for mixed groups with mellow terrain which used to be the ski resort and fun tree runs keeping everyone in the group entertained for the day.
Location: Mt. Chisenupuri
Best Suited: Beginner to Advanced
Prices start from: ¥55,000 per person
Shimamaki Snow Cats - Multi-Day
Hokkaido Backcountry offer experiences in a more remote part of Hokkaido for those who would like to experience multi-day cat skiing adventures. Enjoy staying in a sleepy coastal village during the night and the days skiing from 1319m on Mt East Kariba with an average of 450m vertical. The slopes range from 15-35 degrees offering a great deal of variety. These are multi-day experiences from 2- 4-day trips with overnight accommodation included in Shimamaki
Location: Karibayama mountain range
Best Suited: Intermediate to Advanced
Prices start from: ¥150,000 per person
Niseko Weiss Powder Cats
Niseko Weiss Powder cats offer a unique experience of being the only riders on the mountain. Experience true backcountry of untouched tree runs and open back bowls, without any hiking involved. A maximum of 12 guests per day guarantees fresh lines for everyone all day. Several guides and a photographer will join you on the mountain to ensure everyone is safe and great memories are captured.
Location: Niseko Weiss Mountain next to Hanazono
Best Suited: Beginner to Intermediate as the terrain is more mellow. Advanced skiers and snowboarders will still have a great time.
Prices start from: ¥50,000 per person, or ¥480,000 for the entire cat (1-12 guests).
Iwanai Cat Skiing
Located in the town of Iwanai about 35minutes from Niseko, this cat ski operation offers some epic terrain overlooking the ocean. Take the opportunity to explore a new town and enjoy options from booking a seat on a cat for the day, a private cat for your crew or the entire mountain (treat yo' self).
With a maximum of two cats on the mountain each day, and an entire ski resort to yourself it's the perfect experience for those who love adventure. Try the night cat skiing experiences for something cheaper and a little different. One of the best things about this option is they open one chairlift down the bottom of the mountain which is perfect for children and beginners to enjoy the day while you shred up the top. Don't leave anyone at home!
Location: Iwanai Ski Resort
Best Suited: Intermediate to Advanced.
Prices start from: ¥70,000 (The last price we saw for full-day experiences, we have not seen updated pricing for winter 2021)