Hooting Owl Lodge is a cool old budget ski and snowboard lodge in the quiet village of Higashiyama, just outside the Niseko Village Ski Resort. It’s a great location for many who are here just to ski and snowboard and don’t want to pay the inflated prices in the busiest village, Hirafu.
The lodge is a friendly and warm place to rest your weary body at the end of a long day’s powder skiing. It’s an old building but has been recently refurbished. The bedrooms are spacious and Western style, as are the bathrooms. There is a large lounge area where you can relax and enjoy drinks and snacks from the honesty bar.
Even if you’re shy this is a great place to hang out after your day on the slopes. Here you can kick back on their huge lounge suites and sink your weary bones into the big fluffy cushions. The lounge room has amazing views of Mt Yotei (the resident volcano) when the sun is out, and looks out over lovely silver birch forest. There is also a separate television room wherever there’s a variety of DVDs, Wii games and satellite TV.
A Western style continental breakfast is included in the price of the accommodation but you may also use the kitchen with refrigerator and cabinets so you can store any of your own food. There’s also free coffee and tea. Hooting Owl Lodge is operated by a team of friendly staff who live there and can help your organise anything to do with your holiday be it lift tickets, ski or board lessons, rental equipment, booking restaurants, and all activities and tours.
Hooting Owl Lodge Accommodation
Hooting Owl Lodge has rooms in twin configurations for private travellers, or shared dorm rooms sleeping four people. You can take a single bed or more, depending on what is available. If you’re a group of four and there’s no other beds booked, it’s all yours. The later you book the less chance you have of securing a full dorm for yourself though. The lodge has communal bathrooms.
Hooting Owl Lodge Location
Hooting Owl Lodge is located about three minutes drive or 10 minutes walk from the Niseko Village lifts. Niseko Village is one of the middle two resorts of the four main Niseko resorts. It’s one of the quieter resorts as it’s privately owned and there is just two upmarket hotels (one being the Hilton Niseko Village) at the very base of the mountain. The lodge is in the village just outside this area.
The village is mainly houses and a few pension lodges. There are no bars here except for a quiet ski bums bar at Black Diamond Lodge and the ritzy bars in the hotels. If you want to party, you can catch a bus into the nightlife hotspot Hirafu. There is also a huge range of restaurants in Hirafu, but there’s still some very good options near Hooting Owl.
Hooting Owl Lodge provides a free shuttle to the lifts in the morning, and there is a bus stop about 50m away which runs from 7.30am in the morning to hopefully get you to the first lift at any of the four resorts. The buses run throughout the day and up until 1am, so you can get back from Hirafu and still have time to get a good rest and get first tracks the next morning.