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Niseko United: The Ultimate Ski Resort Experience

At the top of one of the ski lifts.
Mount Yotei in view.

Located just southwest of Sapporo in Hokkaido, Japan, these resorts provide some of the best skiing in Japan. Just a two hour fifteen drive from Sapporo (or 2 hour drive using toll roads) or a three to four hour trip using trains and busses. Sometimes taking the train to Kutchan Station and staying the night before taking the bus in the morning may be a good choice if you want to break the journey and have a nice dinner beforehand.

Lift passes are on the expensive side, but purchasing them online can save on average about 7% off normal prices according to the website. Normally tickets are about ¥9,300, ¥7,500, and ¥5,800 for adults, youth, and children respectively. To get the best use out of your money, make sure to arrive early on the slopes to avoid the crowds and to get fresh powder, aka Japow. Of course there are flat areas, which mainly run along the green runs, so try to look at the map beforehand and plan your route out.

There are a number of restaurants located in Niseko. Some are on the expensive side, while others can be reasonable. If you want to splurge on dinner, but don't have a lot of money for breakfast or lunch, sometimes the hotels include a continental breakfast, but convenient stores will also have some food. If you didn't know already, Japan's convenience stores actually have decent quality food that you can eat on a regular basis. If you absolutely need supermarkets, there are not a lot of supermarkets in the Niseko Hirafu area, so Kutchan may be a good place to stop by to pick up some food or snacks at the COOP or Max Value. You can get ramen, katsu curry, ice cream, and other drinks on the slopes, but it will cut into your skiing and/or snowboarding time. It might be a good idea to pack some sandwiches or light snacks to keep you going until lunch or dinner.

After I started using a gaiter while snowboarding, I noticed a considerable amount of comfort due to less snow getting in my face and having my face being covered. When combined with goggles and a hood, it was pretty snug fit. I'd recommend getting one that you like for a better experience on the slopes. That's all for now. Go check out Niseko and let me know how it went!