If you are injured in the backcountry and require evacuation you will have to bear the rescue costs which are expensive. If you are planning to venture into the Niseko backcountry make sure you have the appropriate insurance coverage.
There are a couple of small to medium sized supermarkets in Hirafu. Kutchan town is 8km from the resort and has 3 large supermarkets. Local buses and night buses go frequently from the ski resort to Kutchan. Taxis are also available from Hirafu village. The cost is around 2,000yen one way. Taxis use a fixed meter system for fares.
Within the village Sapporo Drug store in Hirafu 188 has a decent selection groceries. There are also several convenience stores in Hirafu Village, Seicomart, 7/11 and Lawson. Both sell alcohol, cigarettes and a limited range of foodstuffs.
Generally it is very easy to get around speaking English only. Most signs and restaurant menus are in English. Most Japanese have studied English at school but not many can speak it well. Simple written English is generally understood. There will be situations where English is not understood at all. A simple phrase book and notebook and pen is quite useful to bring.
Australian and New Zealand UHF-CB/PRS radios are strictly prohibited in Japan as they use the same frequency as Japanese television and radio broadcasts. Possession or use of such radios is illegal and may lead to imprisonment or heavy fines.