Getting To And Around Niseko

 

JR Hokkaido Kutchan station covered with snow

photo: Powderlife

Niseko is two hours’ drive from Hokkaido’s international airport, New Chitose Airport, just outside Sapporo, and can be accessed by road and rail. Both options offer spectacular scenery – the road taking you deep through the Hokkaido wilderness and past one Hokkaido’s largest lakes; and rail taking you past snow-covered beaches before heading inland in towards the deep snowy mountains.

Airport to Niseko

Niseko is two hours’ drive from Hokkaido’s international airport, New Chitose Airport, just outside Sapporo, and can be accessed by road and rail. Both options offer spectacular scenery – the road taking you deep through the Hokkaido wilderness and past one Hokkaido’s largest lakes; and rail taking you past snow-covered beaches before heading inland in towards the deep snowy mountains.

Coach Transfer

Coach transfers are the cheapest and most readily available form of transport in winter, with regular departures from the airport and Sapporo City to drop-off points in the three major resorts in Niseko – Hirafu, Niseko Village and Annupuri. They stop right in the centre of each of the resorts, making this the cheapest and most popular way to get into Niseko.

*Best option for budget travellers

coach transfer from New Chitose Airport to Niseko

photo: Powderlife

Private Transfer

Private transfers are available from the airport or Sapporo and can provide a door-to-door service. This can be convenient if you have a larger group.

*Best option for larger groups or late-night flight arrivals

Train

The train leaves from the basement level of the airport and can take you all the way through to Niseko’s main local station, Kutchan. Please note: departures aren’t as frequent as coaches and you will need to change trains midway (at Otaru), and upon arrival in Kutchan you will need to get a taxi or transfer into the resort (15-minutes drive). Coaches will take you right into the resorts.

*Best option for those who like a bit of adventure and scenery

Car Rental

If you’re prepared to drive on snow, you can pick up a car at New Chitose Airport and navigate your way to Niseko. The roads are well maintained and safe, and your car will be equipped with 4WD and very grippy snow tyres, however if you have never driven on snow it might be wise not to attempt to learn after a flight, particularly after dark and before dawn when black ice can be a hazard. An international drivers licence is required to rent and drive a car in Japan so make sure you organise this before you leave home.

*Best option for those staying outside of main resort areas or planning on doing daytrips/touring

Transport in Niseko

Once you’re in Niseko getting around is easy. There is an extensive bus and shuttle network and many accommodations include in-resort transfers to the lifts in their fees.

Niseko United Shuttle

This is the official inter-resort bus that connects Annupuri, Niseko Village and Grand Hirafu, and also heads into the local town, Kutchan (for Hanazono see Hanazono Shuttle below). All four resorts can be skied between via the top lifts during the day, but close at night and sometimes due to bad weather during the day. At such times you can catch the Niseko United Shuttle between resorts. It’s free if you’ve got an All-Mountain lift pass (or 1 point on a 12-point lift pass), or ¥300 for kids and ¥500 for adults.

coach transfer from New Chitose Airport to Niseko

photo: Ski Asia

Hanazono Shuttle

This is a dedicated shuttle that runs from Hirafu to Hanazono from 7.50am to 5.10pm daily between 1 December and 31 March. There are 10 stops between Hirafu and Hanazono and the bus is free.

coach transfer from New Chitose Airport to Niseko

photo: Niseko HANAZONO Resort

Grand Shuttle

Hirafu is the major village in Niseko. If you’re staying in Hirafu, pretty much everywhere you will need to go between the lifts, ski rental, shopping and restaurants is on or near the route of the Grand Shuttle. It loops around upper, middle, lower and east villages and best of all – it’s totally free!

Taxi

Taxis can be hailed or booked via phone or smart phone app. Taxis cost about ¥2500 for a 10-minute trip. Please note taxis can be hard to book in the evening and during peak holiday periods (Christmas/New Year/Chinese New Year).

Download the Official Niseko App for bus timetables, bus tracker and taxi booking app.

INSTAGRAM FEED Follow us @nisekounited

Get the Latest Deals & Keep Up with WHAT’S HOT

Straight to your inbox, about once a month, totally free

  • WORLD SKI AWARDS
    Japan's Best Ski Resort
  • NISEKO Annupuri
  • NISEKO Village
  • Grand HIRAFU
  • HANAZONO

Copyright © 2018 Niseko United. All Rights Reserved