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Old 04-22-2012, 08:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default where to stay in Niseko?? please help

hi peolpe travelling from oz looking for somewhere to stay in Niseko. any ideas? reccomendations?
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Old 04-22-2012, 09:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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hi peolpe travelling from oz looking for somewhere to stay in Niseko. any ideas? reccomendations?
That is a really wide question and the answer depends very much on your personal preferences, budgets, etc. There are generally three types of accommodation options in Niseko:
  1. Hotels
  2. Holiday apartments
  3. Lodges/chalets

The vast majority of people stay in apartments or chalets, as the choice of hotels is fairly limited (including the Hilton and Greenleaf hotels in Niseko Village, Prince and Alpen hotels in Hirafu, and a few smaller hotels). Most of the hotels are good but not luxury. Some of them also offer ski-in/ski-out (or something to close to it). They can be a bit pricey, though.
Holiday apartments are located primarily in Hirafu, but there are also some in the other villages. Many of these have been built in the last 5 or so years, so tend to be more modern and comfortable than the hotels (some really swanky/luxury). Depending on location you can get close to a ski-in/ski-out experience (esp. if in Upper Hirafu), otherwise it is generally a short hike to the lifts or to a shuttle bus stop (but if you are in lower Hirafu you could be looking at a 10-15 minute uphill slog through the snow). Most of the holiday apartments are privately owned and managed by operators like Hokkaido Tracks. Prices vary widely depending on locations and level of luxury.
Lodges/chalets have the most variety, so it is a little difficult to generalize. They can be individual houses put up for rent or could be groups of houses operated by a management company (similar to the way holiday apartments work - Country Resort outside of Hirafu is an example). The latter are typically quite new and western-style (again, similar to the holiday apartments), while for individual houses it can vary a lot (from little shacks to big mansions and everything in between). Locations also range from right in the middle of one of the villages to somewhere more isolated - if not centrally located there is generally a bus or shuttle stop within walking distance (some of the bigger clusters operate their own shuttle). This category has the best bargains and even the higher-priced (and very nice) houses tend to be considerably cheaper than options 1. and 2., but depending on location might require a bit more effort to get to the slopes and for things like eating out, grocery shopping, etc.

Is this your first time to Niseko? Also, when will you be going - the season is not quite over yet, but it is definitely 'spring boarding' now and the season will draw to a close soon.

Last edited by hktrdr; 04-22-2012 at 09:22 PM.
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Old 04-22-2012, 11:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by hktrdr View Post
That is a really wide question and the answer depends very much on your personal preferences, budgets, etc. There are generally three types of accommodation options in Niseko:
  1. Hotels
  2. Holiday apartments
  3. Lodges/chalets

The vast majority of people stay in apartments or chalets, as the choice of hotels is fairly limited (including the Hilton and Greenleaf hotels in Niseko Village, Prince and Alpen hotels in Hirafu, and a few smaller hotels). Most of the hotels are good but not luxury. Some of them also offer ski-in/ski-out (or something to close to it). They can be a bit pricey, though.
Holiday apartments are located primarily in Hirafu, but there are also some in the other villages. Many of these have been built in the last 5 or so years, so tend to be more modern and comfortable than the hotels (some really swanky/luxury). Depending on location you can get close to a ski-in/ski-out experience (esp. if in Upper Hirafu), otherwise it is generally a short hike to the lifts or to a shuttle bus stop (but if you are in lower Hirafu you could be looking at a 10-15 minute uphill slog through the snow). Most of the holiday apartments are privately owned and managed by operators like Hokkaido Tracks. Prices vary widely depending on locations and level of luxury.
Lodges/chalets have the most variety, so it is a little difficult to generalize. They can be individual houses put up for rent or could be groups of houses operated by a management company (similar to the way holiday apartments work - Country Resort outside of Hirafu is an example). The latter are typically quite new and western-style (again, similar to the holiday apartments), while for individual houses it can vary a lot (from little shacks to big mansions and everything in between). Locations also range from right in the middle of one of the villages to somewhere more isolated - if not centrally located there is generally a bus or shuttle stop within walking distance (some of the bigger clusters operate their own shuttle). This category has the best bargains and even the higher-priced (and very nice) houses tend to be considerably cheaper than options 1. and 2., but depending on location might require a bit more effort to get to the slopes and for things like eating out, grocery shopping, etc.

Is this your first time to Niseko? Also, when will you be going - the season is not quite over yet, but it is definitely 'spring boarding' now and the season will draw to a close soon.

thanks for the reply, this will be my first time to niseko

looking to go end of jan through feb 2013, i know its a way off but thought id get my head around the logisitcs early.

i like the lodges/chalets option you gave me. when we go to the states we usually stay in privately owned condos/apartments.....

do you have any infor on where i can search for these?

also do you reccommend a specific location in Niseko?
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Old 04-23-2012, 10:20 PM   #4 (permalink)
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thanks for the reply, this will be my first time to niseko

looking to go end of jan through feb 2013, i know its a way off but thought id get my head around the logisitcs early.

i like the lodges/chalets option you gave me. when we go to the states we usually stay in privately owned condos/apartments.....

do you have any infor on where i can search for these?

also do you reccommend a specific location in Niseko?
Lots of time to plan then.

First thing to consider is which resort to stay in - Niseko has four main areas/'ski grounds':
  1. Hirafu
  2. Niseko Village (locally known as Higashiyama/East Mountain)
  3. Annupuri
  4. Hanazono

The first three of these are pretty close together (10-20 minutes drive/shuttle from another), while hanazono is a bit further.

For first time stay in Niseko I would recommend staying in/around hirafu. It is by far the biggest and most happening of these villages. There are lots of restaurants, bars, shopping, gear rental/service places, etc. Niseko village mostly has the bigger hotels (Hilton, Greenleaf, and they are building a Capella). Annupuri is much quieter after the skiing ends and hanazono is almost dead at night.

One big question is whether to rent a car for your stay. Has some real benefits (opens up accommodation options outside the villages without having to rely on shuttles/buses, you explore the area, makes airport transfers easier,can do grocery runs to nearby towns, etc.), but might not be worth it for the first time, especially if you are staying in hirafu proper (and if you have never driven in Japan before).

In terms of chalet/lodge accommodation, you have a pretty wide selection depending on your budget and preferences - ranges from basic houses in the village like this to pretty luxurious places like this (but see my point about being in the lower village!).
One thing to consider: The upper village (where the slopes/lifts are as well as lots of the restaurants, etc.) has mostly holiday apartments. Houses/chalets tend to be in the lower village and the further down from the main road you go the more of an uphill slog it is every morning...
You can also look the bigger clusters of lodges/chalets like Country Resort (5 minutes outside of hirafu village but with their own shuttle bus), which generally give you better value for money.

The second link below has a few listings for lodgings.

Anyway, you are far ahead of time so you can do plenty of research (there is a lot of stuff on Niseko on the web these days) and book well in advance which should give you really good 'early bird' rates.

A couple of useful links:

Last edited by hktrdr; 04-23-2012 at 10:28 PM.
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Old 04-23-2012, 10:31 PM   #5 (permalink)
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One more consideration for your planning: The week before and after Chinese New Year (in 2013 CNY is the week of February 10) can get quite busy because Niseko gets a lot of visitors from China (including Hong Kong) and Singapore.
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Old 09-04-2012, 06:38 AM   #6 (permalink)
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One more consideration for your planning: The week before and after Chinese New Year (in 2013 CNY is the week of February 10) can get quite busy because Niseko gets a lot of visitors from China (including Hong Kong) and Singapore.
Thats interesting about Chinese NY. We usually go to Niseko first week Feb and were planning to do the same this year. I do not fancy sharing the accommodation and resorts with more people than usual though so may go last week of Jan instead. When did Chinese NY fall this year? Does it vary much? If it was around early Feb this year then we didn't notice larger numbers.
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Old 09-04-2012, 08:04 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Thats interesting about Chinese NY. We usually go to Niseko first week Feb and were planning to do the same this year. I do not fancy sharing the accommodation and resorts with more people than usual though so may go last week of Jan instead. When did Chinese NY fall this year? Does it vary much? If it was around early Feb this year then we didn't notice larger numbers.
In 2013 CNY is the week of 11 February (actually Sunday, 10 February, is the first day of new year), which is smack in middle of high season
In 2012 it was the last week of January (Monday, 23 January, was the first day of the new year).
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Old 10-29-2012, 01:46 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I was at Niseko last year in December for a few days. Stayed at a hostel close to Hirafu. All the resorts are connected at the top and you can get an "all-mountain" pass. The hostel I stayed at did offer a shuttle service but we had a car, which I highly recommend so you can go to an onsen (hot springs) after a long day. Probably the second best part of the day after the pow.
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Old 12-10-2012, 04:02 PM   #9 (permalink)
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join our crew!!

we'll be there in Feb:

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