Getting Around

There are basically three options for getting around Niseko: shuttle bus, taxi and rental car. If you’re staying in Hirafu, pretty much everything you need will be on the free village shuttle bus route. If you want groceries or to head out of town at night you might want to take a taxi, and if you want ultra mobility, think about hiring a car.

Shuttle Bus

Shuttle buses connect the resorts and different areas of Niseko including nearby Kutchan. Some are free or included in the cost of lift passes.

Niseko United Shuttle

The Niseko United Shuttle connects the Hirafu, Niseko Village and Annupuri resorts from season open until March and is free for those with an All Mountain Pass.

If you have a 12-point ticket, one point per trip is needed. Others need ¥500 for adult and ¥300 for child per ride.

Hirafu Village Grand Shuttle Bus

Free shuttle buses run throughout Hirafu every 15 minutes all day every day until the end of night skiing.

There are stops everywhere so you’ll never be more than a couple of minutes walk from your accommodation, lifts or restaurants.

Hanazono Shuttle Bus

The Hanazono Shuttle Bus travels throughout Hirafu Village and out to Hanazono for those who don’t want to ski over.

Kutchan Night Go Bus

The Kutchan Night Go Bus runs from Hirafu to Kutchan Station about 10 minutes away every night. Step out from Niseko and enjoy shopping, eating, drinking and karaoke in Kutchan. Your first trip is ¥100 and free after that if you keep your ticket.

Yumeguri Onsen Shuttle Bus

Take a tour across Niseko sampling various local onsens for ¥500 on the Yumeguri Bus (December – March).

Hirafu Grand Shuttle Bus
Hanazono Shuttle Bus

Hoofing It

Niseko’s footpaths and roads can be sometimes like an ice skating rink – especially after a night-time freeze follows a daytime melt.

Joggers or sneakers from home just won’t cut it, so it’s a good idea to invest in a pair of snow boots with plenty of tread (gumboots will also do the job), or failing that a pair of snow cleats or spikes that you can clip onto your shoes (which you can buy from a ski shop).

Also, when crossing the road, factor in that the roads are icy and slippery and that it will take cars longer to stop.


Driving in Niseko’s snowy, icy, white-out conditions can be for many tourists like learning to drive again. Even locals occasionally find themselves at the mercy of the harsh winter elements of Niseko.


Taxis are readily available, particularly in Hirafu, and can be hailed on major streets. Taxis cost about ¥2,500 for a ten minute trip.

Drivers probably won’t speak English, and you will need a business/place name and map for where you are going – often if you just have the address they may not be able to find it. For best chance of success, take directions / street names in Japanese if possible.

Many taxis have roof racks but they may have difficulty fitting in large ski or board bags.


Taxi Companies

Sprint Taxi & Hire
+81 (0)136 55 5400
Kutchan Hire
+81 (0)136 22 1212
Misora Hire
+81 (0)136 22 1171
Niseko Hire
+81 (0)136 44 2635

[/fourcol_one_last] [fourcol_three]

Rental Car

Renting a car is a great way to explore Niseko and surrounding areas. You just have to have to be prepared to negotiate the snowy/icy roads.

Before you drive in Niseko, read our driver survivor tips first.


Rental Car Companies

Niseko Auto Rentals
+81 (0)136 55 5991
Rent-A-Car Shin-Sapporo
+81 (0)118 15 0100