Gondola Chalets – stroll from the door to Hirafu’s main lift

Some visitors to Niseko are single-minded powder hounds whose mission is to find accommodation as close as possible to the slopes.

Others are bringing kids and looking to enjoy some family friendly fun in the snow. Our team discovered a property that has something for everyone: Gondola Chalets.

Gondola Chalets Living Area | Upper Hirafu

“Gondola Chalets’ name really says it all – it’s hard to find accommodation much closer to the Hirafu Gondola.”

Gondola Chalets Style

The layout of the chalets is closer to spacious, semi-detached townhouses than standalone chalets, as the 16 units are located side by side, with neighbouring units sharing a wall. There is an interconnecting terrace between the chalets, so the set-up is great for larger groups looking to stay close together.

As a nice on-site bonus, picking up ski gear was a breeze, as there is a fantastic rental shop located at the Gondola Chalets’ reception. Harro’s Snowsports stocks high-quality ski equipment and offers expert advice in choosing the right gear.


Gondola Chalets’ name really says it all: it’s hard to find accommodation much closer to the Hirafu Gondola. To put it more precisely, you can walk to the lifts in five minutes, even with your ski boots on. The Hirafu Gondola takes you up to the midpoint of the mountain, which is great for intermediate and advanced skiers. For beginners, there’s also a beginners’ area at the base. Gondola Chalets offers amazing value, as you’d usually need to pay top dollar for prime ski lift access.

Despite the name, Gondola Chalets’ great slopeside access is not limited just to the Hirafu Gondola. If you want to explore beyond Hirafu, the free shuttle bus to Hanazono stops just metres from the front door. This made checking out the larger area nice and easy.

Hanazono is especially great if you’re travelling with kids or bringing along first-time skiers like we were. Young skiers will love Hanazono’s magic carpets and our team had a blast learning to ski on the Hanazono slopes.

When we started feeling hungry, there was a great café two doors down from Gondola Chalets where we fuelled up on steaming hot coffee and yummy pastries more often than we’d care to admit. For more dining options, we hopped on the Main Village shuttle bus which stops right by the gondola. On foot, we clocked the main village to be about seven minutes away from our chalet.

Final verdict

Gondola Chalets offers great value for large groups, whether it’s for families or a group of friends looking for a serious powder fix. If being close to the lifts is a priority, a stay at Gondola Chalets really is hard to beat. There’s nothing quite like knowing you can reach the slopes in five minutes flat – and knowing that it only takes moments to hit the hay after a long day of skiing.

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