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Hey guys,

January 2020 I am planning to go to NISEKO with some friends (at least 1 is confirmed).
I know that is a little bit early, but if you guys have any tips or any advice, it will be very appreciated.

Probably we are looking for 10 days in total, including travel time from AB to Niseko.

Tips that I would appreciate are:
a) A place to stay (at this moment I don't know how many persons are going)
b) Resorts to go (the cost and benefit of having an Icon or Epic Pass)

I think this is just to start.

Thanks :)
 

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Hey guys,

January 2020 I am planning to go to NISEKO with some friends (at least 1 is confirmed).
I know that is a little bit early, but if you guys have any tips or any advice, it will be very appreciated.

Probably we are looking for 10 days in total, including travel time from AB to Niseko.

Tips that I would appreciate are:
a) A place to stay (at this moment I don't know how many persons are going)
b) Resorts to go (the cost and benefit of having an Icon or Epic Pass)

I think this is just to start.

Thanks :)
Accommodation is the most expensive. The closer you get to the gondola bases the more expensive it is. But this enables you to walk to the base. We get a house ie kitchen, laundry, Wifi, multiple rooms which punches up the price but we go to Kutchan and buy groceries at the Co-op/Lawson etc (that's us though family trip). So if you share the cost of accommodation across a few mates it's makes it heaps cheaper. It will be around $US500+ a night for a house. You need to book early as they start to book out. Lift tickets are not that expensive (compared with Australia). We get a 5 hour ticket and you are rooted after that (no breaks, in powder, no lift lines, so you charge hard). We don't get a car, just bus it (use Hokkaido resort liner from New Chitose airport). Petrol is expensive about Y200 a litre PULP if you get a hire car. Lots of snow on the ground/road. Food is a lot more expensive $$$$$ compared with Australia. Rusutsu is really good.

For me though Furano is heaps better. The snow is not at the level as Niseko, still really good though, but it's nowhere near as touristy as Niseko. Can travel to Kamui, Tomamu and even venture to Asahidake on day trips. The town is very close and you can walk down to the supermarket to get groceries. Still the same close to $US500 for a house per day close to mountain.
 

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lots of really, really good points of wisdom from Craig there.

to build on those points:
*hiring a car [and having to deal with the corrugated roads, paying daily parking fees [if you dont have a parking space included in your accommodation] is absolutely NOT a requisite for going to japan to ride powder - there is a bus service from Chitose airport to the big major resorts, and once you're at the resort, there are often free bus services from your general accommodation area to the slopes [if you are staying close enough to the hill]
*Craig's point about Furano, and have local amenities at your finger tips [local eateries, supermarket etc] is a very, very underrated notion. i feel that when most people think of going overseas to ski, they think of self-contained resorts - skiing, night life, restaurants, retail, tourist-friendly bars etc, all in one location [think Whistler, or Breckenridge]. relatively speaking, Japan has very few mega-corp places like that [considering the hundreds and hundreds of ski resorts they actually have there]. the ability to duck down to the 7/11, go shopping at a local department store, go grocery shopping [they have f7cking amazing food at grocery stores - everything from cooking ingredients to made-fresh-that-day tenpura, bento meals, age-mono fried foods, sandwiches, etc etc - all at cheap prices], is something that is now very important to me, whenever i go there to ride - it lends itself as a more "local" feeling experience.
*being able to get from somewhere like Furano, to other resorts, is easy-enough done by bus. one option is here - the site is a bit fiddly because the japanese don't do intuitive websites THAT well, but here you go: https://www.access-n.jp/winter2018/en/skibus/
*if you can, it'd be worth your time to afford yourself a couple of days in sapporo itself. yes i am biased because that is my spiritual home, however it really is a beautiful city - imagine the 4th largest city in populous japan, under a few feet of snow, amazing night life and shopping, not to mention sight-seeing [day trips to otaru, the moiwa ropeway, the snow festival etc etc] - it's a lovely wind-down after riding amazing snow.

peace!
 

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Seeing the girls out in miniskirts in Susukino (in Sapporo) in the middle of winter is amazing. Also, if you are staying in Sapporo you can get to Teine resort (which is in the outskirts of town), as well as Rusutsu and Sapporo kokusai resorts as a day trip with free/cheap shuttle buses.

We typically stay for around 5000yen per person per night in Sapporo, but then i am a cheapskate and I avoid Niseko for the crowds :p
 

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Seeing the girls out in miniskirts in Susukino (in Sapporo) in the middle of winter is amazing. Also, if you are staying in Sapporo you can get to Teine resort (which is in the outskirts of town), as well as Rusutsu and Sapporo kokusai resorts as a day trip with free/cheap shuttle buses.

We typically stay for around 5000yen per person per night in Sapporo, but then i am a cheapskate and I avoid Niseko for the crowds :p
Teine ni tsuite koitsura ni wa tsutaenaide! ore no moto ski-jou kara!

datte, yoi-sugiteiru Australia jin wa, aitsura minna Niseko ni iku tte tsuzukereba ii to omou :wink:
 

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So the more you have sharing the accommodation the cheaper it will be as a per day basis. This is an example I'll use from us for 4 x to go to Hokkaido for 14 days (10 snowboarding) in costs around $Au15k (insurance, airfare, airport parking, accommodation, lift tickets, transfers, groceries) (we take all our own gear, so zero hire ie 3x boards for me). Looking at this at a per person/per day rate that's $Au375 ($US268) a day to ski in Japan......., not bad.
We don't buy any piss (might be a shock to some) so save here.
 

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Teine ni tsuite koitsura ni wa tsutaenaide! ore no moto ski-jou kara!

datte, yoi-sugiteiru Australia jin wa, aitsura minna Niseko ni iku tte tsuzukereba ii to omou :wink:
LOL i thought the same about mentioning the place i board at, in the other thread. でも結局皆ニセコにするから大丈夫だよ。

Craig: Jetstar, budget hotels and avoiding Niseko you could board in Japan for USD$100 a day or so haha
 

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LOL i thought the same about mentioning the place i board at, in the other thread. でも結局皆ニセコにするから大丈夫だよ。

Craig: Jetstar, budget hotels and avoiding Niseko you could board in Japan for USD$100 a day or so haha


FFS Jetstar????? It would cost me an additional $Au10,000 in baggage.:surprise:

This formula is worked out on probably a 4 star level of a trip.
 

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Yes, my suggestion would be 2-3 star hotels, 4 star ski resorts, and 1 star airline. Lets say an average of 2.5 star level trip. I did say i was a cheapskate though...

Crazy to think people are booking out accommodation this far out though. I dont usually start thinking about it until a few days before i leave haha. Probably one more reason i havent been to Niseko
 

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Yes, my suggestion would be 2-3 star hotels, 4 star ski resorts, and 1 star airline. Lets say an average of 2.5 star level trip. I did say i was a cheapskate though...

Crazy to think people are booking out accommodation this far out though. I dont usually start thinking about it until a few days before i leave haha. Probably one more reason i havent been to Niseko
Just working on your formula 10 x $US100 = $US1000 for 2 weeks snowboarding in Hokkaido. Mate can you sign me up to this......., and I'll bring all the piss. You'll know this a green light as I'm one of these so called stereotypical ditch laden drunken Aussies with my $1 Bintang singlet???:wink:
 

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I didnt say hokkaido! I just said boarding in Japan :)
$300 Jetstar flights when they are on sale (ok the baggage + oversize fee will take it up - maybe $500 with that included)

1100 yen regular train from Narita to Tokyo
12,000yen return trip to Yuzawa from Tokyo (can do by bus for 6000 return)
OR 19,000 bus trip from Narita direct to Hakuba

You mentioned 10 days boarding, so i'm gonna go with 10 days accommodation for 4 people. I can see one lodge that will charge 128,000 for 4 people, 10 days (32,000 per person, no meals), or another for 230,000 (58,000 per person, with breakfast and dinner included each day).

Lift passes, get a friend to order you early bird lift tickets (on sale in Oct/Nov), i pay 2500-3000 per day for lift tickets. You can get tickets for a few different places so you wont get bored, so lets say an average of 28,000 for lift tickets.

Other than that its just food and chu-hais. You can get away with $10-20 a day if you are frugal here (and that doesnt mean cooking at home)

Airfares: AUD$500
Transfers to snow: 8000-19000y
Accommodation: 32,000-58,000y
Lift tickets: 25,000-30,000y
Food: AUD$120-240

There is a mix of exchange rates here, and the AUD keeps fluctuating, but going on $1=80y thats 114,600y minimum, to 157,000 if you stay at the place that gives you breakfasts and dinners, and spend 1000 a day on lunch.

Now, i will leave this info up there for a day, and then delete it in case it encourages more $1 bintang singlet wearing aussies to pollute my quiet sleepy ski town :grin:
 

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I didnt say hokkaido! I just said boarding in Japan :)
$300 Jetstar flights when they are on sale (ok the baggage + oversize fee will take it up - maybe $500 with that included)

1100 yen regular train from Narita to Tokyo
12,000yen return trip to Yuzawa from Tokyo (can do by bus for 6000 return)
OR 19,000 bus trip from Narita direct to Hakuba

You mentioned 10 days boarding, so i'm gonna go with 10 days accommodation for 4 people. I can see one lodge that will charge 128,000 for 4 people, 10 days (32,000 per person, no meals), or another for 230,000 (58,000 per person, with breakfast and dinner included each day).

Lift passes, get a friend to order you early bird lift tickets (on sale in Oct/Nov), i pay 2500-3000 per day for lift tickets. You can get tickets for a few different places so you wont get bored, so lets say an average of 28,000 for lift tickets.

Other than that its just food and chu-hais. You can get away with $10-20 a day if you are frugal here (and that doesnt mean cooking at home)

Airfares: AUD$500
Transfers to snow: 8000-19000y
Accommodation: 32,000-58,000y
Lift tickets: 25,000-30,000y
Food: AUD$120-240

There is a mix of exchange rates here, and the AUD keeps fluctuating, but going on $1=80y thats 114,600y minimum, to 157,000 if you stay at the place that gives you breakfasts and dinners, and spend 1000 a day on lunch.

Now, i will leave this info up there for a day, and then delete it in case it encourages more $1 bintang singlet wearing aussies to pollute my quiet sleepy ski town :grin:
$Au is like 72-3 yen at the actual point of sale buy the time everyone has their hand in your pocket.
Gee they are cheap lift ticket 2500 yen........., is there more than 1 rope tow?
Just had a look at Jetstar baggage. To get the equivalent of what I get with ANA (46kg/free oversize) it looks like it's an extra $Au975 in baggage per person (with 1 oversize item),
Y3200 a night accommodation......, does it come with a bed?

Anyway...., looks like I'd have plenty of coin to spend on heaps of piss:drink:
 

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10-15 runs, 6-7 lifts including high speed quads. Even Kagura is only 3250 if you get early season passes (and that resort is massive). The accommodation is Japanese style, so if you are looking for a western style king size mattress, you might get to the room and think "wtf there's no bed!?". Thats because they use futons here, which are folded away in the closets during the day :D

As for the Jetstar baggage; its $175 to add the plus bundle for both going and return flights (20kg checked baggage), plus $25 each way for oversize baggage (snowboard). You know what they say, when in Rome, do as the Romans do. When flying cheap, leave your hair curlers and manicure kit at home, pack 5 pairs of undies and socks, and wash as necessary. (leaves about 19kg for snowboard boots and wear).

I'm just saying, it is possible ;)
 

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10-15 runs, 6-7 lifts including high speed quads. Even Kagura is only 3250 if you get early season passes (and that resort is massive). The accommodation is Japanese style, so if you are looking for a western style king size mattress, you might get to the room and think "wtf there's no bed!?". Thats because they use futons here, which are folded away in the closets during the day


As for the Jetstar baggage; its $175 to add the plus bundle for both going and return flights (20kg checked baggage), plus $25 each way for oversize baggage (snowboard). You know what they say, when in Rome, do as the Romans do. When flying cheap, leave your hair curlers and manicure kit at home, pack 5 pairs of undies and socks, and wash as necessary. (leaves about 19kg for snowboard boots and wear).

I'm just saying, it is possible
Where does that fly out off..., Townsville.
 

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Now you're just looking for excuses to shoot down my calculations... Sale fares can be ridiculously cheap from Sydney, but most likely gold coast. My mum comes to visit me every year, and rarely pays more than $500 return. Cheapest was $250, without baggage, from GC. The fares from Sydney might typically be $100 more.

I didn't mean to suggest you were overpaying, and I apologize if you are upset. I just wanted to point out that it can be done for a lot less, if you can make some sacrifices...
 

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Hey guys,

January 2020 I am planning to go to NISEKO with some friends (at least 1 is confirmed).
I know that is a little bit early, but if you guys have any tips or any advice, it will be very appreciated.

Probably we are looking for 10 days in total, including travel time from AB to Niseko.

Tips that I would appreciate are:
a) A place to stay (at this moment I don't know how many persons are going)
b) Resorts to go (the cost and benefit of having an Icon or Epic Pass)

I think this is just to start.

Thanks :)
There are so many places to stay it all depends on your budget. You have cheap hostel/dorm places, up to luxury apartments right next to the lifts.

I've always just gotten my passes for the day that I ride, it costs me a bit more I know, but this way I'm not locked in to one resort for a specific amount of time. But again, this is all up to your situation. If you don't have a car and only plan on doing Niseko, getting advance passes for a discount would probably be good. If you think you may want to visit another resort, then you may have to adjust accordingly.

Here's what I can tell you from my experience and without knowing more about what you want to do...

1) When dealing with "friends" that "may" want to go.. if you decide to rent a house or apartment. Get 100% of their share before making reservations. You would be surprised at the number of people that back out of trips like this. I personally make it known that there is ZERO refund for any reason. Nothing like getting stuck with an expensive rental and having half your friends bail on you and not pay for shit.

2) Try and figure out as far in advance what you want to do. Are you wanting to visit Sapporo? Do you want to try some other resorts near Niseko? Do you want or need a rental car? You can get around by shuttle/bus pretty easy, but you have to make reservations for a lot of them in advance. So again, planing is key.

3) Make sure all your friends are on the same page with everything you want to do. Nothing like getting there and everyone has different expectations on what's going to happen. I've had friends get upset at me for not waiting on them when I was trying to get first chair and early runs in. For the cost of going to Niseko, there is nothing like getting into an argument over stupid stuff to ruin a trip.

I'm far from a Niseko expert, but feel free to message me or post on here if you have any specific questions. I've been living in Japan for 20+ years and have been to Niseko half a dozen times.

-B
 

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Am thinking of getting an Ikon Pass this winter. This will give me up to 7 days at Niseko United. I’ll be traveling alone. Any tips on web sites to reserve a hostel or other relatively inexpensive lodging? Cheap lodging means well away from the slopes, right? Is it pretty easy to hop public transport to the lifts?

Also want to spend a week in Rusutsu. Any advice on lodging there also?
 

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Also, I understand that there are several interconnected resorts at Niseko. Do daily lift tickets cover riding multiple resorts? Is Niseko United one of the several resorts there? Just trying to understand what access the Ikon Pass will give me access to. Thanks!
 

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Also, I understand that there are several interconnected resorts at Niseko. Do daily lift tickets cover riding multiple resorts? Is Niseko United one of the several resorts there? Just trying to understand what access the Ikon Pass will give me access to. Thanks!
Lift tickets are pretty cheap compared to Australia. Niseko United is Annupuri, Niseko Village, Grand Hirafu and Hanazono. All these 4 resorts together take on a pretty big area. You would struggle to snowboard across the entire area doing all lifts in a day. You can get half mountain tickets as well Hirafu and Hanazono. Kutchan is the main township nearby to Niseko and most importantly it has supermarkets Niseko has a few small convenience stores like Lawsons, Seicomart and 7/11 which you could survive on but not as good and cheap as stores like Lucky and the Co-op Supermarkets. Niseko has a fair few eateries now scattered around the township. So I've noticed the township of Niseko is growing pretty quick. Heaps of high rises going in. This can only bee a negative. Lift/Gondola cues aren't that bad as the resort is pretty big but it can only get worse with greater numbers staying on the mountain.

Rusutsu is a sort of isolated resort but there is a small township around 2.5km from the resort fields. No supermarkets I believe but there is a Lawsons convenience store. Daily Lift tickets are cheap as at Rusutsu and it's not that expensive to bus it from Niseko. Every time I've been to Rusutsu it's been pretty epic. Great tree runs and heaps of powder.
 

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Newb to Japan here... looking to book a 8-10 day trip to Niseko (7 days boarding). Flying into New Chitose late at night. Can one hang around the airport terminal overnight and catch the bus to Niseko the next day?

Also...
1. Any advice on where to look for reasonably priced, lodging? Just need a bed (long enough for six footer) to crash for the night. Would a hostel be a good way to go? How about hostelworld.com?
2. Should I book in advance for the trip from the airport to Niseko? Or can a ticket be purchased at the bus terminal?
3. What about transportation between hostels and slopes? City/town buses?

Thanks! :smile:
 
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