When to Visit Niseko Ski Resort


When to Visit Niseko Ski Resort

The winter ski season in Niseko stretches over 5 months from late November to early May. So when is the best time to come to Niseko? To make it easier to decide the best time we have divided the winter into five seasons.

Open Around Nov 23 – Dec 6

Early Dec 7 – Dec 20

High Dec 21 – Mid Feb

Shoulder Mid Feb to Mar 31

End April to May 5

 

 

Open season Around November 23 to Dec 6

The Good - No crowds, cheap accommodation and plenty of availability

The Not So Good - Limited skiing. Some services and facilities may not yet be operating.

 

Accommodation rates and Availability

A wide selection of accommodation is available at rates 30-50% lower than Peak Season rates.

Weather & Snow Information

Although the first snow typically starts to fall in late October, there is no guarantee that the resort will have sufficient snow to ski top to bottom for opening day.

The backcountry gates will not yet be open and off-piste skiing may not yet be available or be very limited in the upper mountain.

Snow coverage can however change very rapidly during this time.

Temperatures average between 2°C and - 3°C.

Crowd Information

There are no crowds at this time.

Reservations for restaurants are typically not needed.

Closure Information

Most restaurants and shops are operating by December 1st

Depending on snow coverage some activities may not yet be operating.

The free village shuttle bus does not start operating until Dec 7th. You will need to walk to the lifts or have your own transportation during this time.

Niseko Village (The Hilton) ski area does not open until Dec 1st

Hanazono ski area does not open until Dec 7th

No night skiing

 

 

Early season Dec 7 to Dec 20

The Good - No crowds, cheap accommodation and plenty of availability. Night skiing and the free village shuttle bus begin operating during this time.

The Not So Good - Limited off-piste skiing.

 

Accommodation rates and Availability

A wide selection of accommodation is available at rates 30-50% lower than Peak Season rates. Places start to fill up for dates around Dec 15 onwards.

Weather & Snow Information

The backcountry gates will not yet be open and off-piste skiing will still be limited on the lower mountain. Large snowfalls can rapidly change the conditions. Night skiing is available from Dec 14th.

Temperatures average - 3°C.

Crowd Information

There are no crowds at this time.

Reservations for restaurants are typically not needed.

Closure Information

All restaurants and shops will be operating by now.

Depending on snow coverage some activities may not yet be operating.

 

 

High season Around Dec 20 to mid Feb

The Good - Excellent snow conditions. Lots of dry powder. Awesome night skiing. Nightlife has a good party atmosphere.

The Not So Good - Highest prices for accommodation. Christmas/New Year and Chinese New Year can book out early. The coldest time of the year. Not many sunny days.

 

Accommodation rates and Availability

Highest prices for accommodation. Christmas/New Year and Chinese New Year book out early.

When to book?

6 months to 1 year in advance. Early bird deals are typically offered in April/May for the coming season. Peak periods book out so don’t expect much in the way of last minute deals.

Weather & Snow Information

Mid December through March is typically the snowiest season, with the best snow in late December, January and February. Niseko receives an average of 14 meters of snow per season with most of it coming during this time. There is excellent powder skiing during this time. Strong winds may close the top lifts and sunny days are rare.

Temperatures range between - 2°C and - 11°C in the village and -15°C and -25°C at the peak

Crowd Information

The busiest times are during the two weeks around Christmas and New Year. The other busy time is during the Chinese New Year.

While the town is crowded during this time of year, and restaurant reservations are a good idea, the peak time of year can be a great time to visit just for the sheer energy of the town and great skiing conditions.

Closure Information

Everything will be operating. Wind may close the top ski lifts.

 

 

Shoulder season Mid Feb to the end of March

The Good - Excellent base of snow. Less people and more sunny days. Great deals for families in March. Powder snow can fall right through until the end of March. Still plenty of nightlife. Lift ticket prices drop.

The Not So Good -Variable snow conditions in March

 

Accommodation rates and Availability

Accommodation prices are lower than the high season and plenty of special deals can usually be found for March, especially for families. Accommodation close to the lifts can book out.

When to book?

6 months to 1 year in advance for Feb. dates. Early bird deals are typically offered if you book early. March offers good family deals with discounts on ski rental and lift passes.

Last minute deals are available but locations and selections aren’t as wide.

Weather & Snow Information

Excellent skiing conditions with a high chance of fresh powder snow right through to the end of March. More sunny days but the chance of rain increases during March.

Excellent back-country hiking conditions.

Temperatures average around - 2°C.

Crowd Information

The high season crowds disappear. There is still plenty of nightlife but after mid-March bars become quiet. Restaurant bookings can still be advisable in February but in March these are not so essential.

The ski slopes become quiet.

Closure Information

Wind may close the top ski lifts.

Some restaurants and bars will start to close near the end of March.

Night skiing ends March 22nd.

 

 

End season April 1st to close

The Good - Large snow base. Cheap and plentiful accommodation. No crowds

The Not So Good - Most restaurants start to close. Skiing becomes restricted as Niseko Village and Hanazono resorts close. The village is very quiet.

 

Accommodation rates and Availability

A wide selection of accommodation is available at rates 30-50% lower than Peak Season rates.

Weather & Snow Information

The ski season stretches all the way to the May 5th.

Temperatures average +4°C in the village.

Crowd Information

There are no crowds at this time.

Closure Information

Niseko Village and Hanazono resorts close around the first weekend of April.

The free village shuttle stops operating at the end of the first week of April. You will need to walk to the lifts or have your own transportation during this time.

Most ski schools, restaurants, rental shops close during this time.

 

Locals Tips

Here’s a nice little secret … there can be some incredible skiing in March. Sunnier days, fewer crowds and great deals on accommodation, lift passes and ski rentals make it an ideal time to visit Niseko.

Try the night skiing. Many people come to Niseko but fail to experience the thrill of night skiing. Visibility is surprisingly very good even on stormy nights. Dress up warmly though.

Hire a guide to show you the best of what Niseko has to offer. You can choose from inbound tours to full back country tours.