Lodge Mokoro is a cosy 5-bedroom guest house in the sleepy resort of Annupuri. It is owned by a New Zealand and Japanese family who bought it several years ago. The guesthouse has five rooms and downstairs is a comfortable living and dining area where guests will be very comfortable relaxing after a day on the slopes. There is a ski drying room so your gear will be fresh and dry for the following day on the mountain. The lodge also has wifi internet.
It was called Shirogane and was operated as a ski lodge for 15 years before its new owners Ruri and Craig from New Zealand bought it and changed the name to Mokoro, which means sleep in Ainu, the language of the local Hokkaido indigenous people, and also is a type of grass in Maori, the indigenous people of New Zealand, where the owner is from.
Craig moved to Japan in the 1990s and lived in Niseko before moving to Tokyo and operating a wake boarding school. After starting a family they decided to move back to the area for the pristine nature and beautiful lifestyle it can offer the kids. Ruri’s parents also live in the lodge giving it a real authentic family-run pension feel – and they can cook your authentic local food!
Lodge Mokoro is just 100m walk to the lifts and has great views up to the Annupuri ski fields and the epic back bowls that offer some of the best skiing and riding in Niseko. The hordes from Hirafu tend to head across to Annupuri first thing, but it takes them 30 minutes to an hour to get there, so staying in Annupuri means you can get up there to beat them! Just make sure you know what you’re doing or hire a guide, especially if you have a snowboard, because if it’s been dumping overnight there won’t be any tracks on the flats at the bottom.
Otherwise the inbound Annupuri groomed runs are mainly very gentle, making it great for intermediate and beginner skiers. If you’re a group of mixed levels of abilities there is something for everyone.
Lodge Mokoro Accommodation
Lodge Moroko has five bedrooms and sleeps a total of 17 people. There are four rooms with lofts that sleep two to four people, one of which has great mountain views and has a premium price. There is also another big twin room that sleeps two to three people and also has great mountain views.
Every bedroom has its own ensuite bathroom, unlike many other lodges and pensions in Niseko.
Lodge Mokoro Location
Lodge Mokoro is in the heart of the quaint Annupuri Pension village and just 100m from the ski lifts.
Annupuri itself bookends the four Niseko United ski resorts. If you’re looking up the mountain, to your right is Niseko Village, then Hirafu, then Hanazono. And actually to your left is another resort Moiwa, which is on a different mountain and not part of the Niseko United. It’s just five minutes drive from Lodge Mokoro and ticket prices are very affordable. It’s a great beginners to advanced powder skiers mountain.
Annupuri also has some great onsen (hot springs) with several just a short walk from the lodge. If you have a car there are even more you can visit, including the mixed sex Grand Hotel onsen if you’re not shy.
There are also several restaurants within walking distance from the lodge, including the famous Del Sole Pizza, which is recommended by Michelin Guides!