Niseko Resort Area Guide
There are four very different main villages you can stay at in Niseko, each with varying ranges of services and activities. Make sure you choose the one that suits you and your travel party!
Note: You can ski between all of the resorts/villages during the day so long as the weather is not prohibitive.
Hirafu is currently the hub of Niseko. It’s packed with restaurants, bars, shops, businesses and… accommodation. Built on a slope, Hirafu accommodation is divided into three main areas – upper, middle and lower village. The whole village is serviced by a free shuttle bus.
Hirafu Upper Village is everything above Route 343 to the ski slopes. It’s home to all of Hirafu’s hotels and there are also several brand new condominiums, guest lodges, pensions and a few houses. Hirafu Middle Village is the area below Route 343. It is full of new and old houses, plenty of new condominiums and a few pensions. Hirafu Lower Village is several hundred metres past the middle village, and is home to plenty of new and old houses, some new condominiums, and plenty of pensions.
On the outskirts of Hirafu are Izumikyo and St Moritz. Izumikyo is a pretty, well spaced out little enclave with a variety of houses, apartments, pensions and restaurants. It is serviced by the resort shuttle bus. St Moritz is a similar mix of houses, apartments and pensions with a couple of restaurants, including the famous Mongolian tent restaurant, Gentem Café. It is not yet serviced by the free resort shuttle but there is talk that the route will one day be extended there.
Higashiyama / Niseko Village
Higashiyama is home to the ski resort of Niseko Village (previously the resort was called Higashiyama) and the Hilton Niseko Village hotel. The main gondola leaves from right outside the hotel.
There are several restaurants, bars and cafes within the hotel, and Niseko Village has ski rentals, a ski school, and a great range of activities.
Outside the Niseko Village resort boundary is the small village of Higashiyama with a mix of houses, apartments and pensions and a couple of restaurants. It's only a two minute drive to the resort, but it's a long walk if you're wearing your ski boots. Most accommodation will shuttle you out to the lifts.
Higashiyama is a 10-minute drive, taxi or bus ride to Hirafu.
Annupuri is a quieter, more spacious alternative to Hirafu. The area is characterised by larger houses on bigger blocks. There are several small to medium size hotels in Annupuri, as well as a variety of pensions and a number of houses.
There are a few excellent restaurants within walking distance of most accommodations. There are also several great onsens out there.
Annupuri is a 15-20 minute drive, taxi or bus ride to Hirafu.
There is currently not much accommodation at Hanazono apart from a few houses and lodges. A major master-planned resort and community is in the planning stages, and the area is expected to be a major centre of accommodation and activity in a few years. On the back of this news, the area is gaining popularity and there is increasing development going on out there.
There is a restaurant inside the Hanazono 308 complex at the base of the ski resort, and one restaurant several hundred metres away in the Freedom Inn.
Hanazono is a 10-minute drive, taxi or bus ride to Hirafu.