Frequently asked questions about visiting Niseko and your stay with Skye Niseko.
Niseko is located on the northernmost island of Japan, Hokkaido. It is around 110 km from New Chitose Airport and 95 kms from Sapporo, Japan's 5th largest city. Niseko is approximately 800 kms north of Tokyo, the capital of Japan. You can find it here on Google Maps.
The name 'Niseko' usually refers to the ski resorts positioned on Mt. Niseko-Annupuri and the surrounding areas. Technically though, two of the four major resorts (Grand Hirafu and Hanazono) are located within Kutchan Town and two (Niseko Village and Annupuri) within Niseko Town.
The easiest way to get to Niseko is to fly to New Chitose Airport (CTS). There are a variety of transportation options available from the airport including private transfers, buses and trains. Skye Niseko can assist with your airport transfers from New Chitose International Airport. For more information, please visit our Transfers page.
If you are taking the train, you will need to change trains at either Otaru or Sapporo Station. Please make sure to get off at Kutchan Station and not Hirafu Station. For timetable and price information, please see the Hyperdia website.
Niseko is a year-round destination. For guests wanting to enjoy the beautiful snow, winter season in Hokkaido is from November to April. Peak visiting times are over Christmas, New Years and Chinese New Year. The best snow conditions can usually be found in January and February. Along with skiing and snowboarding guests can enjoy snowshoeing, cross country skiing and snowmobiling. Though famous for its winters, Niseko is forging its name as a summer destination as well, a popular area for road cycling, mountain biking, river rafting, hiking and golf.
Niseko is known for heavy snowfall of powder snow throughout the season. Often, weeks can go by without a break in snowfall. Niseko averages more than 12m of snow every year. The rare bluebird day provides enviable views of Mt Yotei and surrounding mountains while still enjoying deep, fluffy snow.
International direct flights are available from Hong Kong (Hong Kong Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airways, Japan Airlines), Singapore (Singapore Airlines, Scoot), Australia (Qantas), Malaysia (AirAsia X), Thailand (Thai Airways, All Nippon Airways, China Airlines, Japan Airlines), Taiwan (All Nippon Airways, China Airways, EVA Airways, Japan Airlines), Korea (Korean Airlines, Japan Airlines, Air Busan + more), China (Air China, Japan Airways, All Nippon Airways + more), Finland (Finnair) and Hawaii (Hawaiian Airlines).
Domestic flights from Tokyo (Haneda and Narita) and Osaka (Kansai Airport) are available with Japan Airlines, All Nippon Airways (ANA) along with low-cost carriers including Peach Aviation, Air Do, Vanilla Air, Skymark Airlines and Jetstar Airways.
Rooms & Reservations
Only our Penthouse Suites are allocated at the point of booking. SN801 and SN802 are located in the Annupuri Building and SN851, SN852 and SN853 are located in the Yotei Building. All Penthouses offer great views of the resort, ski slopes, scenery or Mt. Yotei.
All other Room Types are spread out between the Annupuri and Yotei Building, your room will be allocated based on availability close to your check-in date.
We can receive requests for location but cannot guarantee where your room will be assigned.
Studio Room (Resort Side)
Winter - N/A
Summer – N/A
Studio Room (Yotei View)
Winter – N/A
Summer – N/A
1 Bedroom Suite
Winter – 7,000 yen per night if the 3rd guest is an adult
Summer – 2,400 yen per night if the 3rd guest is an adult
2 Bedroom Suite
Winter – N/A
Summer – 5,000 yen for 5th guest regardless of age. Limited to 3 rooms per day.
3 Bedroom Suite
Winter – N/A
Summer – N/A
4 Bedroom Suite
Winter – N/A
Summer – N/A
3 Bedroom Penthouse
Winter – N/A
Summer – N/A
4 Bedroom Penthouse
Winter – N/A
Summer – N/A
Children aged 7 to 15 are counted toward the total number of Guests staying in a given room. In other words, the maximum number of occupants allowed to stay in each room type means the maximum number of adults (considered anyone 16 years and older) and children aged 7 to 15. Children under 7 years old who are able to share a bed are allowed to stay in excess of the maximum occupancy for the room type. For example, two adults, one 9-year-old child, and one 4-year-old may stay in a 1 Bedroom, even though the maximum occupancy for that room type is 3. We ask that you let us know at the time of booking how many adults, children aged 7 to 15, and children under 7 will be staying in your room.
Each bedroom features either a king size bed or two single (twin) beds, with the exception of our Penthouse Suites where some rooms have fixed bedding. Please specify your preference at the time of making a reservation (or at a later date prior to your arrival date). Some of the 1 Bedroom Suites also have a Murphy bed.
Rooms with King Bed: Double arrangement measures 195 cm x 195 cm. Single arrangement measures 97 cm x 195 cm. Rooms with Queen Bed: Double arrangement measures 154 cm x 195 cm. Single arrangement measures 77 cm x 195 cm. Murphy Bed measures 152 cm x 195 cm.
The majority of Skye Niseko’s rooms cannot accommodate additional guests; therefore, bedding cannot be provided in most cases.
There are Murphy beds available in some of the 1 Bedroom Suites. We will prepare either a roll-away bed or a Japanese-style futon in the living room area of the 1 Bedroom Suites without a Murphy bed.
We can provide a cot for small children (0-18 months) to all of our room types. Children aged up to 6, who cannot fit in our cots, will need to share the existing bedding in the accommodation.
Yes. Please let us know if you would like them and we will be happy to prepare a cot, high chair, or both in your room free of charge.
Winter bookings include breakfast with all reservations made at Skye Niseko.
Summer bookings will depend on the package that has been booked.
Breakfast is available for Adults at 3,500 yen per day, Children for 2,000 yen per day and Infants for free. For non-staying guests, it is also available for Adults at 3,500 yen per day, Children for 2,400 yen per day and Infants for free.
A full array of appliances, cookware, utensils, dishes and drinkware is available in the kitchen.
Depending on availability, it may be possible to make such amendments, but refunds may not be available for changes that reduce the value of the reservation and an additional deposit amount will be required to guarantee changes that increase the value of the reservation. To request amendments and confirm the payment details, please contact our reservations team (via email: [email protected] or phone: +81 (0) 136 55 5123).
Please refer to section 4 and 5 of our Terms and Conditions page.
In the case of flight delay or cancellation due to bad weather, or cancellation due to other reasons, the above cancellation policy will apply. It is highly recommended that you take out travel accident insurance when you confirm your stay in case of unexpected situations before and during traveling.
Getting to Skye Niseko
Niseko is easily accessible from New Chitose Airport. Many of our guests prefer to travel with private transfer companies that will meet guests at New Chitose Airport and drive them directly to their hotel. Public economy coaches running regularly from New Chitose Airport to Hirafu Welcome Centre through winter are also available. Alternatively, the JR train line can be taken from New Chitose Airport to Kutchan Town (via Otaru). From Kutchan, a taxi can take guests into Hirafu. Our Concierge Team are more than happy to assist you with reserving a private transfer to the hotel or making plans to take public transportation.
We are currently not offering a pick-up service to prevent infection. There are taxis available both at Hirafu Welcome Center and JR Kutchan station.
Please use Google map plus code (VM7X+67 Kutchan, Hokkaido) or use our Google Maps location. Or you can use the Skye Niseko MAP CODE: 398 414 246*66 for most Japanese GPS units.
Yes, however there are limited parking spaces available by reservation and additional charges apply. Please contact us to enquire about availability.
Hotel and Facilities
Check-in begins from 3:00 p.m. Check-out time is 11:00 a.m.
Our Front Desk can help send luggage domestically or internationally (cannot be over 20kg). We can also receive luggage prior to your arrival and store it for you. When sending luggage, please include your booking folio number, lead guest name and stay dates on the package notes.
Our postal address is: Skye Niseko, 204-7 Yamada, Kutchan, Abuta District, Hokkaido 044-0081
Check-in prior to our check-in time of 3:00 p.m. may be possible but we cannot guarantee it. We will do our best to accommodate requests. If you wish to guarantee an early check-in please extend your reservation to include the night before your arrival. We will happily store your luggage for you if you arrive before your room is ready.
Late check-out is subject to availability on the day and may be subject to extra charges. Please enquire with the Front Desk on the night before your departure to find out whether a late check-out will be possible. After your check-out we will store your luggage until you are ready to depart. If you would like to guarantee a late check out, we ask that you make your room reservation for one extra night.
Yes, Wi-Fi is available in all rooms and throughout the hotel.
All of our rooms are strictly non-smoking and Skye Niseko is a completely non-smoking hotel. There is a designated smoking area outside the hotel and the Front Desk will be able to inform you of the location. Should evidence be found of smoking in the hotel, a minimum charge of 50,000 yen will apply along with extra cleaning fees and compensation should the room be rendered unusable for future stays.
We will be able to keep the lost and found items for 3 months. After that periods, we will dispose of them due to our storage capacity. Please contact 0136-55-6414 or [email protected] for lost and found inquiries anytime.
Skye Niseko accepts most major credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, American Express) as well as cash payments.
Yes. Our 1 Bedroom, 2 Bedroom, 3 Bedroom, 4 Bedroom and Penthouse room types feature washing and drying machines. Studio Room type rooms do not have their own washing machines but there are communal laundry facilities on the ground floor of Annupuri Building which are complimentary to use. Laundry detergent is provided in each room and additional sachets are available via Front Desk.
Cleaning, bed making, refilling of amenities, rubbish removal and changing of towels are performed daily. Bed linen changed once every 3 days for stays 4 nights or longer.
Each bathroom comes equipped with shampoo, conditioner, body soap and toothbrushes. If you have any questions regarding allergies to these amenities, please let us know.
Additionally, pajamas and slippers are provided for each guest on the booking.
Yes. Kumo Restaurant, located on the lobby floor, serves honest, uncomplicated yet inspired dishes using traditional Japanese flavours with a touch of new-wave. Kumo is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Operating hours, menus and more are available here. Reservations are recommended for dinner. Please contact [email protected] for dinner reservation requests.
There are a variety of shops inside Skye Niseko catering to every need. For meals, snacks and beverages we have our in-house restaurant, Kumo, as well as our Café Deli. Kumo serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and our Café Deli serves coffees and refreshments along with a great selection of baked goods. Our in-house ski and snowboard rental store, YamaSport, provides a huge selection of new season rental gear as well as smaller essential items to purchase. There is also an iGate Ikeuchi branch inside Skye Niseko for all of your ski wear and outdoor clothing needs.
There are vending machines stocking non-alcoholic refreshments on the ground level.
Yes. The Ski Valet, located on the ground floor, is the ideal location in the hotel for storing your skis and poles, snowboards, and boots securely. The Valet has drying racks for all of your equipment and doors that connect directly to the ski area. Our Ski Valet staff will hand you your gear on your way out the door and store it for you upon your return.
Yes. Skye Niseko has men’s and women’s public onsen facilities as well as three private onsen rooms that can be booked via our front desk team. These are free to use for hotel guests but booking blocks are subject to availability. Please see here for more information.
Only guests staying at Skye Niseko can use the public and private onsen facilities. Read our Onsen Etiquette Guide, here.
Spa Service is not available Winter 2020/21.
Our guest exclusive gym will be open 12:30pm - 21:30pm, with a range of cardio equipment as well as weights. In an effort to provide to all of our staying guests equal opportunity to enjoy our gym, reservations for the gym are only accepted at front desk after check-in and are limited to one per stay. Please don't hesitate to ask upon check-in to make a reservation for our gym.
There are no pool facilities at Skye Niseko however our Front Desk can provide recommendations for nearby pools available to outside visitors.
Niseko has several different 'centres'. One would be central Kutchan, the area around the main train station. Skye Niseko is about a 15-minute drive away from central Kutchan. The Niseko United ski resort is composed of four different ski areas, each with their own base. Skye Niseko is located next door to the Grand Hirafu area, on one of the upper corners of the Hirafu Village, which is by far the most bustling and vibrant centre in the area during the winter season. This position not only places Skye Niseko in an ideal location for enjoying the ski area, but also means that the heart of the village is just a short walk or shuttle away.
Skye Niseko offers shuttle bus services for getting around the Hirafu Village and going to Central Kutchan.
Grand Hirafu Resort also offers a free shuttle bus with a wider range of stops. Hanazono ski area also provides a shuttle that connects the Hirafu Village with the Hanazono ski area base.
The Niseko United Shuttle bus transports visitors between the Hirafu area and the other ski area bases of Niseko Village and Annupuri.
Taxis are also available for visiting restaurants and other destinations outside of walking distance from Skye Niseko. Availability of taxis can be limited in peak season, but our Concierge Team can help you pre-arrange taxis for your stay.
Many businesses in Hirafu will accept credit and debit cards, however many smaller restaurants may only accept cash. ATMs for international cards can be found inside Hirafu 188 and Lawson convenience store.. A currency exchange machine can be found in Hirafu 188, Seicomart and is also available at Skye Niseko Front Desk.
The Hirafu Village does not have a supermarket, but there are two convenience stores (Lawson and Seicomart) and a drug store (Sapporo Drug) within walking distance of Skye Niseko that stock basic necessities as well as a variety of snacks, beverages, and ready-made meals. It is also possible to use our complimentary Skye Shuttle service, a taxi, or a rental car to get to the supermarket in central Kutchan (about 15 minutes away by car).
About the Ski Area
The ski season in Niseko is scheduled to begin in the last week in November. The opening date will depend on there being enough to snow to open some of the runs. Oftentimes, this is at the beginning of December. Once the season begins the resort operates until the end of the first week of May. Specific lifts and runs will be closed as the snow melts, but at least a few remain open through the official end of the season.
From the doors of our Ski Valet (3F), it is just 50 metres to the nearest chairlift (the King Pair) and 200 metres to the Hirafu Gondola.
While there is variation between different ski areas and lifts, the ski area operating hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. during the regular season. During the early season (season open - second weekend of December) and spring season (late March – end of season), the hours are reduced to 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The hours and open runs are subject to change based on weather and snowfall. Our Front Desk and Ski Valet staff are always happy to give you guidance about ski area operations.
If you are a first timer to intermediate skier or snowboarder, the Grand Hirafu lift ticket is sufficient as it covers 60% of the total ski area of Niseko United’s resorts. This pass includes access to Hanazono as well as Grand Hirafu. However, if you want to explore all that Niseko United has to offer, we recommend purchasing an All Mountain lift ticket which also grants free use of the Niseko United Shuttle Bus. Feel free to consult the Concierge Team for personalised advice.
If you have never skied or snowboarded before, we highly recommend that you take a lesson with GoSnow, as doing so is the only way to gain access to the magic carpet, which is the best place for those starting out to pick up the basics of skiing or snowboarding before using any of the lifts. There are a number of runs available for beginners (green runs) who are confident enough to go up the lifts. Please consult our Concierge, Front Desk or Ski Valet staff for specific recommendations about where to ski or snowboard.
Skye Niseko is directly connected to the Grand Hirafu ski area, which is one of the four areas that comprise the Niseko United resorts. The other areas are Annupuri, Niseko Village, and Hanazono.
There is a bus called the Niseko United Shuttle that offers services between Grand Hirafu to Niseko Village and Annupuri. This bus is free to use for All Mountain Pass holders. Hanazono has its own free shuttle bus leaving from a nearby bus stop. If the uppermost lifts in Grand Hirafu are operating, it is possible to ski to any of the other areas if you are of upper intermediate or higher ability level.
Niseko United has a special 'gate system' to allow resort users to venture out of the ski area in search of the best snow the mountain has to offer. There is a series of numbered gates on the borders of the ski area, from which it is possible to venture outside the ski area to the wilderness beyond. Ski Patrol will decide whether or not conditions are favourable enough to open the gates each day. Please be advised that it is only permitted to venture out-of-bounds when gates are open. Ducking ropes to go out-of-bounds is strictly prohibited. All skiers and snowboarders who choose to ride out-of-bounds must do so at their own risk as these areas are not patrolled and any rescue operation to the out-of-bounds areas will incur expenses. Therefore, skiing or riding out-of-bounds is recommended only to those confident in their ability to handle any terrain and not lose their way in the process. Avalanche safety equipment and knowledge of how to use it are essential as well. For those who would like to safely experience what the out-of-bounds areas have to offer (and are advanced level skiers or snowboarders), we recommend booking a powder guide who can show you where to go to get the best powder snow and ensure you stay safe.
Yes, there are terrain parks in both Grand Hirafu and Hanazono.
Onsen and Spa
Onsen literally means 'hot spring', but the term generally refers to a communal bathing facility that features showers, a different types of hot spring baths, and often a sauna. Private Onsen feature a smaller bathing area to be used by just one party at a time. When it comes to Niseko holidays, an Onsen will be your best bet for après-ski relaxation. Luckily you will find on the ground floor of Skye Niseko.
The Skye Niseko Onsen features two communal bathing areas (one for men and one for women) in addition to three Private Onsen, which are available by reservation. Both the Private Onsen and the communal Onsen have changing rooms. Inside the changing rooms there are baskets for storing clothing, towels and personal items as well as hair dryers, hair brushes and a number of other amenities. The communal Onsen changing rooms also include restrooms and lockers for valuables.
Once you step inside the communal Onsen bathing area, you will find shower stalls stocked with premium body wash, shampoo and conditioner, an indoor onsen bath, a sauna and a cold-water bath. The Private Onsen bathing areas each have one shower (with amenities) and one small onsen bath.
Yes. There are fresh towels available at the Onsen Reception Desk.
The most important things to remember are:
1) remove all clothing when you enter the bathing area and bring only your small towel with you
2) always wash and rinse your body before entering any of the baths
3) respect others’ privacy by not using cameras or mobile devices in the onsen changing room or bathing areas.
For more tips, please have a look at our guide to onsen etiquette before visiting Skye Niseko Onsen.
Both the communal and the Private Onsen are available all hours except for 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and 12:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m., when they are closed for daily cleaning. Please note use of the Private Onsen requires a reservation.
The Private Onsen is free of charge for Skye Niseko guests. However, during busy periods, it may not be possible to use it more than once during your stay.
Yes, guests can make one Private Onsen booking prior to arrival. Please contact the hotel team once you have confirmed your accommodation booking to schedule their onsen session.
Each of our Concierge Service web pages have booking forms that allow you to easily submit all of the details required to add a service (such as lessons, rentals, or lift passes) to your stay. You can also contact the Concierge directly for bookings and advice (via email: [email protected] or by phone: +81 (0) 136 55 6403). If you would like to request a call from our experienced team to discuss your holiday, please do not hesitate to let us know a time that suits you.
Yes. Feel free to make an enquiry about anything (specific activities, shopping, extra items for your room, etc.) you might have in mind for your stay at Skye Niseko and we will endeavor to make arrangements for you.
Yes, we can make restaurant reservations for a large number of restaurants in the Niseko area, including the Hirafu Village, Central Kutchan, and Niseko. If you request a restaurant that only accepts direct reservations, we will direct you to the appropriate website for booking.
There are a number of other activities you can try to enjoy the winter in Niseko.
Concierge can help you with arranging any of these, including snowmobiling, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing and sightseeing tours to nearby areas. If you have something else in particular you would like to try, please contact the Concierge for recommendations.
Yes. The Concierge Team can recommend a number of different options for experiencing sidecountry and backcountry. Please contact Concierge team with the specifics of what you are interested in and we will give you personalised advice.
About Ski/Snowboard Lessons
GoSnow, the partner ski school of Skye Niseko, has two bases where they conduct lessons. The first is at the Hirafu Gondola and those with the ability can use our ski-in-ski-out entrance to access this area. Beginners will take our shuttle bus to the Mountain Centre. The second at Family Base can be accessed by starting at Dot Base across the road from Skye and skiing down to the teaching area.
It depends on what you would like to get out of your experience. For the most improvement and highest level of personalisation, a private lesson is the best way to go. If you are just starting out and just want to experience skiing or snowboarding or if you prefer a more social experience while you learn, a group lesson might be right for you. If you are already relatively advanced but aim to fine-tune your technique, go with a workshop. For an experience based more on showing you where to go to find good snow than how to ride, a powder guiding session is the ideal option. Each person is different so if you are unsure, we encourage you to consult the Concierge Team for personalised advice.
Lift passes are not included in lessons. The only exception to this are the SuperPacks programs which includes lessons, rentals and lift passes. Aside from this all lesson participants are required to have their own lift ticket. Pre-book with our Concierge team and we will hand you the lift passes at check-in so there is no need to wait in line at the lift ticket counter. See our lift ticket page for more details, booking and a guide to the required lift passes for your lesson.
YamaSport Rental is Skye Niseko’s in-house equipment rental store. Located on the ground floor of the Annupuri building, YamaSport is exclusive to Skye Niseko guests. Rental equipment can be booked in advance.
About Lift Passes
Lift passes can only be pre-booked at least 2 days prior via Concierge and they will be waiting for you when you check in. For the request within 2 days or in-house guest, please purchase the lift passes at the lift ticket office.
The prices of lift passes purchased through the hotel are the exact same as the price of those sold at the ticket office, however, slightly discounted All Mountain lift tickets are available on the Niseko United website with stricter payment and cancellation terms and requiring picking up within the resort. If you purchase a lift ticket through Skye Niseko you will of course save the time and hassle of queuing at the lift ticket office which can be around 30-40 minutes during peak times.
Yes, except for lift passes for a period of 8 days or longer, which allow for two rest days. All other lift passes are valid for the specified number of consecutive days.
Regardless of what time you first scan your ticket to board a chairlift, gondola, or magic carpet, the day you do so will count as your first day of use. For example, if you have a 4-day ticket and use it for the first time on Monday at 4:30 p.m., the ticket will be valid from 4:30 p.m. until the end of operations on Monday and for the entire day on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
Getting by in Japan
While some basic Japanese (even just simple phrases) can serve one well when traveling in Japan it is not necessary to know any Japanese to get by during short-term travel. Many Japanese people speak at least basic English. In Niseko English is even more widely used and understood so usually the language barrier is not a major problem for visitors who do not understand Japanese. Many of Skye Niseko’s staff members are English-Japanese bilingual and happy to assist you with any linguistic trouble you may encounter.
Yes. The tap water in the Niseko area is considered some of the best in Japan to drink.
We highly recommend travel insurance that will cover both the cost of any missed connections (due to weather, flight delays, etc.) and any medical expenses you may incur during your time in Japan. An insurance plan that covers you during winter sports is ideal if you plan to ski or snowboard.
The main skiing hill of the Niseko Region is Mt. Niseko Annupuri. It is 1, 308m and is accessible from all sides. There are four ski resorts on Annupuri comprising the Niseko United Resort, each approaching the peak from a different direction. These resorts are Grand Hirafu, Hanazono, Niseko Village and Annupuri Resort. Each resort has ski runs at all skill levels and can be enjoyed by all.
Though the snow in Niseko is generally quite dry, waterproof ski gear is necessary for all going up the mountain. Well insulated gear will keep you warm, even on heavy snowfall days when there is strong wind and little sunlight. Neck warmers and balaclavas are highly recommended as well as low light goggle lenses. For in-town wear, layers are definitely recommended as stores and restaurants will be well heated but outdoors can be well into negative degrees. Boots with good underfoot grip will help stability on icy streets, and attachable shoe spikes can be purchased throughout the village.
The Niseko United Resort has a total of 61 ski runs across the four resorts, with 3 gondolas and 35 lifts in total. The full skiable area of the resort is an estimated 2,191 acres (8.87 km squared). Trail maps of the Niseko United resort can be found here.