I can't say enough good things about Niseko United, and specifically the Annupuri side. I've been riding in Japan for three seasons and I've never experienced anything quite like this. We spent a half a day on the Grand Hirafu side and then went over to Annupuri and never looked back.
Grand Hirafu was slightly crowded; not terrible, for the time of year, but crowded nonetheless. Annupuri was basically empty. No wait time for the lifts, no congestion on the runs,
I've been to APPI five, maybe six times now and I'll probably be back.
Some big time pros for APPI are:
Open early, open late. The last couple of seasons have been a little hit or miss, especially early season. APPI was one of the only places open when I started the season in mid December last year, and they tend to have good snowfall even when smaller resorts are hurting.
Large selection of courses. APPI has a little bit of everything.
We had a bad season last year, in terms of snowfall... Rain, well into December, even on some of the bigger mountains. Overall very bad stuff. Our first half of the day we were on the Panorama side and the snow conditions were pretty bad... Slushy, thin, very thin, rocks visible in a lot of places. About lunchtime we decided to go see what the Shimokura side had to offer and we were not disappointed.