Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find answers to common questions visitors to Niseko may have. Please note that the information listed below is general guidelines only and Vacation Niseko can't be held responsible for information that is outdated or services no longer provided by third-party providers. If you require a definitive answer to your questions, please contact us. We look forward to welcoming you!

Winter

Niseko is located on the northernmost island of Japan – Hokkaido. 
The closest airport to Niseko is New Chitose Airport (CTS), and the closest major city is Sapporo. To CTS, it is a:

  • 2 hour flight from Tokyo
  • 4 hour flight from Shanghai
  • 5 hour flight from Hong Kong
  • 10 hour flight from Singapore via Tokyo
  • 11 hour flight from Sydney

If you are looking for fresh tracks and world-class powder, travel to Niseko and enjoy the powder snow from the middle of December through to the end of February. 
March is also a great time to come to Niseko. The resort is quiet, accommodations are cheaper, and you tend to have lots of sunny days! This time of year we recommend for families as usually the weather is warmer and you can enjoy longer days and shoulder season discounts. 
April is a great time to enjoy spring skiing with warmer, often sunny weather conditions. 
The lifts are open until the first week of May.


Transport

From CTS, you have 4 options:

  • Private transfer: ~2-2.5 hours $$$
  • Ski bus/coach transfers: ~3 hours $$
  • Rental car: ~2-2.5 hours $$
  • Train: ~3.5 hours $

*The closest train station to Hirafu Village (the main hub of Niseko) is Kutchan station. From here it is a 15-20 min bus or taxi ride. We recommend against taking the train if you have lots of luggage as it is a local train, and onboard seating/luggage storage is scarce.

* For road travel, the duration of your journey will depend on weather and road conditions.

Vacation Niseko can assist you in booking a private transfer, ski bus transfer or a rental car for your trip - please contact us to get started.

From Sapporo city, you have 4 options:

  • Private transfer: ~2 hours $$$
  • Ski bus/coach transfers: ~3.5 hours $$
  • Rental car: ~2 hours $$
  • Train: ~3 hours $

*The closest train station to Hirafu Village (the main hub of Niseko) is Kutchan station. From here it is a 15-20 min bus or taxi ride. We recommend against taking the train if you have lots of luggage as it is a local train, and onboard seating/luggage storage is scarce.

* For road travel, the duration of your journey will depend on weather and road conditions.

Vacation Niseko can assist you in booking a private transfer, ski bus transfer or a rental car for your trip - please contact us to get started.

If you wish to catch the train from New Chitose airport or Sapporo city to Niseko you will need to catch a train to the Kutchan JR station. You will take a train from New Chitose Airport to Otaru JR station. Here you will need to switch trains to get to the Kutchan JR station. 
Kutchan is the nearest station which is a 15-20 min bus or taxi ride to Niseko. 
Please note we recommended that you arrive at the “Kutchan JR station”. Contrary to their names, the Niseko and Hirafu JR stations are not the closest stations to disembark at. 
Directly in front of the Kutchan station you will find a taxi rank. Please take a taxi to “Niseko Landmark View” to check in (if not advised otherwise), after which our staff will drop you to your accommodation. 

The nearest location for GPS is the Lawson convenience store in Hirafu (phone number is 0136-23-1230). Once you get to Lawson (it should be on your left), turn right off Route 343 and head up the street towards the Hirafu Gondola. Niseko Landmark View is the big white apartment building on your right hand side, opposite Haku Villas. 

Niseko Landmark View Address: 

  • (English): 
    181-4 Aza Yamada, Kutchan-Cho, Abuta-Gun, Hokkaido 044-0081 Japan Phone Number: +81(0)136-21-6466
  • (Japanese): 
    044-0081 北海道虻田郡倶知安町字山田181-4 電話番号:0136-21-6466

In order to rent a car in Japan, please ensure you have a valid international drivers licence recognized by the Geneva Convention of 1949 in addition to your valid home-country drivers licence. 
Please note international licenses for the following countries are not valid in Japan: 

  • Switzerland
  • Germany
  • France
  • Italy
  • Belgium
  • Taiwan

For these six countries you can use your home-country license but it must be accompanied by a Japanese translation issued by the appropriate authority. Without this translation you cannot lease a vehicle. 

Please note we cannot lease a vehicle if you do not meet the conditions listed above and any costs for a rental car will not be refunded if the above conditions are not met.
For more information click here. 

  • Please note that Japan enforces a zero blood alcohol level when driving.
  • Children 6 years old and under must be seated in appropriate child safety seat.
  • 4WD cars, winter tires, roof racks, English navigation and snow clearing tools are available. Snow-chains are not allowed and/or necessary in Niseko.
  • One roof rack fits either 4 Skis or 2 Skis and 2 Snowboards.
  • The roads in Niseko are snow cleared on a regular basis however, parking spots are limited and are available on a first come first serve basis.
  • There is limited public parking available in Hirafu village, but no guarantee that this will be nearby to your accommodation.
  • Rental cars must be returned with a full tank. If you cannot return the car with a full tank a fuel charge will apply.
  • Rental car prices are calculated by 24 hour blocks - if you need to book your car for, say, 40 hours, you will be charged for 48 hours.
  • Please note if you are staying in a Vacation Niseko property you may be asked to move your rental car overnight to allow snow clearing of parking spaces.

Vacation Niseko can assist you in booking a rental car for your trip - please contact us to get started.

You can pick up/drop off your rental car either at New Chitose Airport or Niseko Landmark View. Please let us know your desired pick up and drop off points when booking a rental car with Vacation Niseko.

You will need to pre book all transfer options at least 14 days prior to arrival. 
It is recommended to reserve your airport transfer as soon as you have finalized your flights. 
We can help arrange the best suited transfers for you. 
To be able to arrange your transfers we require your flight details including your flight number. 
If your group includes members arriving on different flights, we will require each member's individual flight details.

To check prices for scheduled coach transfers & private transfers click here.

New Chitose Airport <> Niseko bus timetables change each Winter, please visit this page to see the most up-to-date timetable, including the the time that the final bus departs the airport and arrives at Niseko.

Niseko <> New Chitose airport bus timetables change each Winter, please visit this page to see the most up-to-date timetable, including the the time that the final bus departs Niseko and arrives at the airport.

For domestic flights, please allow a minimum of 50 minutes to get to the bus check-in counter after your flight lands.
For international flights please allow a minimum of 90 minutes to get to the bus check-in counter after your flight lands. This should account for luggage collection and custom clearance time.

Please get to the bus check-in counter at New Chitose airport at least 15 minutes prior to your scheduled departure time.

You will need 2~3 hours to get to the airport from Niseko. The exact transit time will depend on weather and road conditions. 
We advise you to leave at least 4.5 hours before your take-off time for international flights and 3.5 hours for a domestic flight. 

For bus transfers, please get to the bus check-in counter at the Hirafu Welcome Center (or Hilton Niseko Village) at least 10 minutes prior to your scheduled departure time.
There are plenty of shopping opportunities (even an onsen and movie theater) and many kids attractions in the airport so do not hesitate to arrive early, especially when considering winter driving conditions. 
It is recommended to leave earlier than usual during peak periods over Christmas, New Years, and Chinese New Year.


Arriving in and departing from Niseko

Check-in time is 3pm and check-out time is 10am for all Vacation Niseko managed properties.

For guests arriving or departing outside of these hours please let us know and we can help store your luggage accordingly.

Check-in/out locations and reception hours vary by property. Click here to see what hours and locations apply to your selected accommodation. If you have booked a non managed property through Vacation Niseko, your reservations agent will send you information on your check in / check out information.

Please let us know your estimated arrival and departure time if you have made your own arrival and departure arrangements. 

Please ask the front desk team if you wish to check in early. If your room has been cleaned and inspected prior to 3pm, we can happily check you in early.

Late checkouts are subject to availability and cleaning schedules. If a late check out is available. After 10am late check out fees will apply.

Unfortunately we cannot arrange a customised grocery delivery for you in advance, but we do have various food packs / food services available to be delivered to your accommodation:

You can also find grocery items at the following locations:


Luggage

When sending your luggage, please add the name of the primary guest and your booking number to the name field on the takkyubin slip. This is essential so that we can pre arrange your luggage to be delivered to your accommodation. 

Send your luggage to the following address: 
Primary Guests Name: 
Booking Number: 
Niseko Landmark View
181-4 Aza Yamada, Kutchan-Cho, Abuta-Gun, Hokkaido 044-0081 Japan 
Phone Number: +81(0)136 21 6466

Yes our front desk teams can assist with this, however please note that sending luggage can take about 2-3 days especially if you are flying out of Tokyo Narita or Haneda airports. 
If you wish to ski on your last day it may not fit to your requirements. 
Once you have arrived in Niseko we can assist with these arrangements on a pay-on-arrival basis.


Cultural Differences

Generally, Japan is still a very cash based society. 
More and more restaurants/stores are starting to accept credit cards but it is recommended to have cash with you at all time, especially for late arrivals and when skiing. 
Please also note that there are limited options to withdraw money or exchange currency in Hirafu village, with only a few ATMs accepting foreign bank/credit cards for cash withdrawals. We recommend taking out more cash than you need when using the ATMs in Japan in case of emergencies (theft is extremely rare here so it is safer than most countries when travelling).
Please note brick-and-mortar bank branches are closed in Japan on the weekends and Japanese public holidays such as New Years.

ATMs at major convenience stores like 7-11, Seicomart and Lawson can withdraw Yen with English instructions. Brick-and-mortar bank branches can also perform withdrawals, however English support is rare at Japanese banks.

For currency exchange, we recommend these two locations:

  • Before entering your accommodation you will be required to take off your shoes and put on slippers provided. Please refrain from walking in any accommodations with your shoes on. This also includes ski boots, snowboard boots, shoes with spikes, etc.
  • Alcohol is only served to persons 20 years or older.
  • Japan has a zero blood alcohol level for driving.
  • Onsens are public baths that have rules. You first wash yourself before entering the bath and you do not wear swim suits in the onsen. Some mixed onsens provide bathing suits (usually only a modesty towel) for male and female guests. For advice on how to respectfully use an onsen, check out our Onsen Etiquette Guide.
  • Eating and drinking in public, and littering are ill-mannered. Please refrain from disposing of cigarette buts. Portable ashtrays can be bought at any convenience store or 100 Yen store in Japan.

All our properties have western style beds with the exception of Ginsetsu, which has two tatami bedrooms. Most of the western style bedrooms can be configured as either a double bed or two twin beds. Some properties have restricted bedding configurations. Please be aware of your accommodation's bedding configuration at time of booking.

There are many Western dining options in the bigger cities of Japan. You will be surprised with some of the Japanese food as it is very similar to Western food! In Niseko there is a good mix of international and domestic dining options.


Lift Passes & Rentals

To guarantee availability, we recommend pre booking ski equipment during the peak season (20th of December through to the 1st of March) or if you have any special requirements. 

If you are interested in pre-booking your rentals with our guest services team, we will require the following information from you: 

  • Full Name: 
  • Age: 
  • Height: (cm) 
  • Weight: (kg) 
  • Shoe Size (cm) 
  • Skiing/Snowboarding: 
  • Ability of Ski/SB: (e.g. first timer) 

To check rental shop locations and pricing, click here.

Unless otherwise specified, pre-arranged equipment rentals with Vacation Niseko will be done with Niseko Sports at their Hirafu-zaka store.

Pickup and Dropoff

You are able to pick up your rentals from 3pm the day before your rental period starts. Drop off should be done before the store closes on the last day of your rental period.

For those that are starting lessons in Hanazono on their first day on the slopes, we recommend choosing the Hirafu/Hanazono pick up option for their rentals. With this option, you can get fitted for your equipment at the Hirafu-zaka store, and the Niseko Sports staff will transport the gear to their Hanazono308 store for you to pickup the next morning.

Please contact our team if you have any questions relating to equipment rental bookings with Rhythm Japan, Village Sports or Winter First Rentals.

It is recommended to pre book lift passes so our team can have them ready for you at check in (as opposed to lining up at the ticket counter on your first day). For guests staying with Vacation Niseko, we can arrange packaged discounted lift passes if booked in advance. 
For more details on lift passes and pricing, click here.

For guests who have booked their lift passes through Vacation Niseko, our front desk team will give you your passes at check in. To purchase lift passes on-the-day, you can visit your nearest Niseko United lift pass counter.


Summer

Summer in Niseko is a little more laid back and easygoing with a reduction in the number of visitors frequenting Niseko. Of course, that doesn't mean that there is nothing to do! From experiencing world-class golf courses in a natural setting to trekking around the crater rim atop Mt. Yotei, winter has nothing on our sublime green season. As the locals love to say, "Come for the winter and stay for the summer!"

Be aware of your check-in location

There are 2 check-in locations used for Vacation Niseko Properties.

  1. All properties except SnowDog Village check-in between 9 a.m and 6 p.m. at:

2. Guests of SnowDog Village check-in between 8 a.m and 6 p.m at:

  • SnowDog Village
  • Google map link: here
  • Address: 〒048-1521 Hokkaido, Abuta District, Niseko, Higashiyama, 19-1

Reception Hours

Reception is closed after 6 p.m.

If you plan on arriving after reception is closed please contact us about self-check in documents. reception@vacationniseko.com or stay@vacationniseko.com .

Car Rental

The best way to enjoy summer in Niseko is with a car. Vacation Niseko can assist you with the rental car that suits your needs perfectly!

Train

Kutchan Town is on the JR Hakodate Main Line between Hakodate and Sapporo. From Sapporo it takes two to three hours, requiring a change of trains at Otaru, Coming from Hakodate it takes 3 to 4 hours with a change at Oshamanbe. A taxi can be taken from the station to your check-in location in about 15 minutes.

Private Transfer

The convenience and comfort of a private airport transfer ensures there is no waiting at the airport. All private transfers will meet and greet you on arrival at New Chitose airport [the closest airport to Niseko] and deliver you to your accommodation.

Each accommodation has limited parking available. Parking is allocated on a first come first serve basis.

We are unable to guarantee parking for guests at our apartment-type properties.

Houses all have parking for 1 vehicle and in some cases 2.

Please let us know about your parking requirements before booking. Alternate arrangements can be made in some cases.

There are many things we can offer to make your stay the best it can be. From BBQ sets to beer servers, there is no reason not to indulge this summer!

BBQ Set

Spa & Massage

Yoga

Summer Kids Camps

All summer guest services


Why Book Directly?

Vacation Niseko Hospitality Experience

Experience

Vacation Niseko has over a decade of experience and an unrivalled expertise tailoring seamless winter packages to Niseko.

Vacation Niseko Booking Flexibility

Flexibility

Our extensive range of vacation packages cater to all levels of skiers and snowboarders, offering a wide choice of accommodations to suit your budget, style and location.

Vacation Niseko Partnerships

Partnerships

Our partnerships allows us to offer you unrivalled access to a range of Niseko's best winter activities and services at the most competitive prices.

Vacation Niseko Guest Benefits

Guest Card

Present your Vacation Niseko Guest Card for various special offers and discounts across the resort and beyond.