Pokemon Go in Niseko, Japan!

  • July 29, 2016

The new smartphone phenomenon Pokemon Go has finally launched in Japan. You can now catch your missing Pokemons the next time you’ll be visiting us in Niseko! Here is the list of some key locations that are useful for Pokemon-chasing travelers.

Poke Stops

These are places where you can stop by to collect useful items such as eggs and Poke Balls. We have found 6 Poke Stops in nearby areas.

1. Grand Papa Lodge

Conveniently based in the Hirafu Village, Grand Papa Lodge is a comfortable family run pension. It is one of the few pensions in Niseko that is still owned by the founding family. While Grand Papa Lodge is well-known as an excellent accommodation option, it also runs a restaurant which offers delicious Swiss cheese fondue!

grandpapa lodge niseko
Pokestop - Grand Papa Lodge

2. Izumikyo II (The sign in Izumikyo 2 parking lot near the office)

There are a number of rental cottages or houses located in Izumikyo II area. It is a great choice for people who want more privacy during their holidays. Though it is about 15 minutes by walk to Hirafu Village, the free ski shuttle bus in winter covers Izumikyo II and lets you reach the lifts in 5 minutes! Furthermore, there are a number of good restaurants located in this area, such as Tsubara Tsubara which offers tasty Hokkaido soup curry. L’ocanda, Graubünden and Mozart are also in the area and are good choices for people craving European-style sweets.

pokemon go stop izumikyo 2 niseko
Pokestop - Izumikyo II

3. La Villa Lupicia Restaurant and Boutique (the camel statue outside)

Overlooking the famous Mount Yotei, La Villa Lupicia Restaurant and Boutique offers impeccable cuisine, cafe, bread and gourmet made from Hokkaido ingredients.

la villa lupicia pokemon go stop niseko
Pokestop - La Villa Lupicia Restaurant and Boutique

4. Fumiko Hayashi’s stela at Hirafu Kogen Chuo Park

Hirafu Kougen Chuo Park means Hirafu’s Highland Central Park in Japanese. This lovely park is at the top of Hirafu Village and feature a poem on a rock stela originally written in 1934 when Fumiko Hayashi visited Kutchan. She was touched by the beautiful surroundings of Niseko. Born in Shimonoseki, Fumiko Hayashi (林芙美子, 1903 - 1951) was a Japanese novelist and poet, notable for her feminist works centered around free spirited women.

hirafu koen pokemon go stop niseko
Poke Stop - Fumiko Hayashi's Stela

5. Grand Hirafu Mountain Center

This is a popular winter spot for snow lovers - it’s where you board the gondola (next to Mountain Center) to reach the heights of Mt. Annupuri and ride on the unmatched powder snow! Hirafu Gondola was built in 1984 and started its night operation in 1986. Located next to it is the ever-popular Gondola Chalets, a prime choice of accommodation for people looking to get those first tracks!

grand hirafu mountain center pokemon go stop niseko
Grand Hirafu Mountain Center

6. Niseko Highland Chapel

Tucked away in a idyllic setting among Niseko's lush forest, the chapel is a dream-like spot to host one of the most charming wedding conceivable.

niseko chapel pokemon go stop
Pokestop - Niseko Highland Chapel


There are also a few Pokemon gyms in town. You can join one of the teams and battle other trainers’ pokemons once you reach Level 5 in the app.

pokegyms niseko pokemon go
Pokenmon Gym - where you can join one of teams and battle other trainers!

We have found two nearby gyms in Hirafu:

1. Hirafu Intersection

Located in the center of Hirafu Village, the intersection is the hub of all activity in Winter. It is the intersection of Hirafu-zaka, Yotei-zaka and Route 343, and is surrounded by Niseko Pizza, Odin Place and Fujizushi.

pokemon go gym niseko hirafu intersection
Hirafu Intersection is considered the center of the action in Niseko. Photo: Powderhounds

2. Niseko Adventure Center (NAC)

NAC is one of the pioneer companies that provide adventure tours in the Niseko areas. It offers a range of outdoor activities such as rafting and kayaking in summer and snowshoeing tours in winter. NAC also has a 11 meters indoor climbing wall, which is the only indoor climbing gym in Niseko! You can also reward yourself after an extenuous day at the Jojo’s Cafe upstairs with a delicious burger or a latte.

pokemon go gym niseko adventure center
Pokemon Gym - NAC

The above locations are sure to make you fall in love with Niseko. Whether you come visit us in winter or summer, you’ll find spots to continue your quest on catching all the pokemons between two ski runs or after a day of rafting on the Kyogoku river. This will also be a great family activity to explore Niseko! 


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