Niseko Mountain Resort Grand Hirafu (Kutchan Town, Hokkaido)

Niseko Mountain Resort Grand Hirafu
ニセコマウンテンリゾートグラン・ヒラフ (北海道 倶知安町)
Planned season: Thursday 23rd November 2017 until Sunday 6th May 2018
'Niseko Now' daily report
Independent and exclusive snow and weather reporting from Niseko
Latest report posted at 10:14am on Sunday 7th May 2017
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Niseko Mountain Resort Grand Hirafu - often known as Niseko Grand Hirafu (or just 'Hirafu') - is located in Kutchan town in the western region of Hokkaido. It is one of the four connected ski resorts that share a joint lift ticket and make up 'Niseko United' (the others being Niseko Annupuri Kokusai, Niseko Village Ski Resort and Niseko HANAZONO Resort). This map shows the location of the Niseko ski and snowboard resorts. The King Number 3 lift was originally a triple lift, but for the 16-17 season is has been changed into a new hooded quad. The Hirafu base area is the most lively in the region with a good choice of places to eat and a bustling nightlife.

The Niseko resort area is one of the most popular ski resort regions of Japan. Located to the west of Sapporo city on the eastern and southern slopes of Mt Niseko Annupuri and with stunning views of nearby Mt Yotei, it's often top quality dry powder snow conditions are now popular with skiers and snowboarders from around the world. Niseko certainly has a different feel from many other Japanese ski resorts, if not only because of the higher percentage of visitors from around the world and subsequent catering to their needs.

Hokkaido is the second largest island of Japan and also the largest and northernmost prefecture (though it is not usually referred to as a prefecture). It has coastlines on the Sea of Japan, the Sea of Okhotsk and also the Pacific Ocean. Sapporo is the capital city of Hokkaido and was host to the 1972 Winter Olympics. Hokkaido is home to the largest number of ski hills in Japan. While the majority of them are very small, some of the larger ski and snowboard resorts in Hokkaido - mostly found in regions to the west and east of Sapporo - are amongst the most famous in Japan.

The Mountain

ropeways Ropeways gondolas Gondolas quad lifts Quad lifts triple lifts Triple lifts pair lifts Pair lifts single lifts Single lifts other lifts Other
0 1 3 0 7 1 0
Niseko Mountain Resort Grand Hirafu is lift-connected with:
Niseko Annupuri Kokusai, Niseko HANAZONO Resort, Niseko Village Ski Resort

Niseko Mountain Resort Grand Hirafu Snow Depth Statistics

Official snow depth numbers from the current season and previous season
December January February March
1st - - 1st 240cm 255cm 1st 320cm 325cm 1st 345cm 390cm
2nd - - 2nd 240cm 255cm 2nd 325cm 330cm 2nd 335cm 400cm
3rd - 105cm 3rd 230cm 240cm 3rd 340cm 350cm 3rd 330cm 410cm
4th - - 4th 230cm 240cm 4th 320cm 350cm 4th 330cm 405cm
5th - - 5th 235cm 250cm 5th 315cm 345cm 5th 330cm 400cm
6th - - 6th 245cm 260cm 6th 310cm 355cm 6th 325cm 390cm
7th - - 7th 235cm 270cm 7th 300cm 365cm 7th 330cm 360cm
8th - - 8th 235cm 270cm 8th 300cm 355cm 8th 360cm 350cm
9th - - 9th 230cm 275cm 9th 295cm 340cm 9th 360cm 350cm
10th - - 10th 235cm 285cm 10th 290cm 340cm 10th 370cm 360cm
11th - - 11th 250cm 280cm 11th 290cm 330cm 11th 355cm 380cm
12th - - 12th 260cm 280cm 12th 290cm 325cm 12th 350cm 395cm
13th - - 13th 265cm 295cm 13th 280cm 320cm 13th 345cm 390cm
14th - - 14th 270cm 295cm 14th 280cm 300cm 14th 340cm 380cm
15th 180cm 135cm 15th 260cm 310cm 15th 295cm 300cm 15th 335cm 375cm
16th 220cm 130cm 16th 260cm 320cm 16th 295cm 310cm 16th 335cm 375cm
17th 240cm 145cm 17th 260cm 340cm 17th 300cm 370cm 17th 335cm 370cm
18th 230cm 175cm 18th 255cm 340cm 18th 310cm 360cm 18th 325cm 360cm
19th 215cm 175cm 19th 260cm 340cm 19th 330cm 345cm 19th 320cm 350cm
20th 210cm 165cm 20th 260cm 300cm 20th 340cm 345cm 20th 320cm 345cm
21st 210cm 165cm 21st 260cm 300cm 21st 320cm 350cm 21st 320cm 350cm
22nd 200cm 180cm 22nd 255cm 300cm 22nd 315cm 350cm 22nd 325cm 350cm
23rd 200cm 180cm 23rd 260cm 315cm 23rd 310cm 370cm 23rd 330cm 360cm
24th 230cm 185cm 24th 265cm 310cm 24th 330cm 360cm 24th 330cm 355cm
25th 230cm 185cm 25th 280cm 290cm 25th 350cm 370cm 25th 325cm 355cm
26th 225cm 220cm 26th 290cm 310cm 26th 370cm 395cm 26th 325cm 350cm
27th 220cm 230cm 27th 280cm 320cm 27th 360cm 410cm 27th 320cm 350cm
28th 220cm 245cm 28th 310cm 320cm 28th 355cm 395cm 28th 330cm 350cm
29th 230cm 260cm 29th 295cm 320cm 29th - 390cm 29th 325cm 345cm
30th 250cm 270cm 30th 295cm 320cm 30th 30th 320cm 340cm
31st 250cm 260cm 31st 300cm 320cm 31st 31st 345cm 340cm

Previous Statistics

Niseko Mountain Resort Grand Hirafu Facilities

Ski School: Available Snowboard School: Available
A number of ski and snowboard schools operate around the Niseko resort areas. Check our Lessons in English page for any current ski school listings on SnowJapan.

Equipment Rental
Ski Rental: Available Snowboard Rental: Available
A good selection of ski and snowboard equipment and wear rental facilities are available around the Niseko resort areas. 
Children Facilities
Children's facilities
The 'Yuki-no-hiroba' area is located near to the Holiday Number 1 pair lift in front of .Base. It is a special safe area separated from the main ski and snowboard courses. open from 10am until 4pm and entry is free. Lessons for children are also available as well as other activities. There is a 'Kids Room' on the 2nd Floor of the Hotel Niseko Alpen where adults can leave their children in a safe and supervised environment (charges apply). Open for children aged from 6 months to 6 years. 
Park Information
Park information
The 'King Area Free Ride Park' is located near the base King Number 1 pair lifts and features a variety of items. In the spring months the 'Spring Park' also usually opens up, located on the Shirakaba course. 

Niseko Mountain Resort Grand Hirafu Season & Opening Times

Typical season is from Late November until Early May
October November December January February March April May June July
Weekends and holidays Normally open from 8:30am until 8:30pm
Weekdays Normally open from 8:30am until 8:30pm
'Nighta' (night skiing)
Weekends and holidays Yes
Weekdays Yes
Opening information
Opening information
Niseko Grand Hirafu is open from 8:30am until 4:30pm in the daytime.

Nighta is from 4:30pm until 8:30pm. Nighta is planned from Saturday 9th December 2017 until Sunday 18th March 2018.

Niseko Mountain Resort Grand Hirafu Lift Ticket Charges

Adults Child
Age 7-12
Older Child
Age 13-15
Age over 60
8 hours 6,300 yen 3,800 yen 4,800 yen 4,800 yen
1 Day 7,400 yen 4,500 yen 5,600 yen 5,600 yen
2 Days 13,600 yen 8,200 yen 10,200 yen 10,200 yen
3 Days 19,800 yen 11,900 yen 14,900 yen 14,900 yen
4 Days 26,000 yen 15,600 yen 19,500 yen 19,500 yen
5 Days 32,200 yen 19,300 yen 24,200 yen 24,200 yen
6 Days 38,400 yen 23,100 yen 28,800 yen 28,800 yen
7 Days 44,600 yen 26,800 yen 33,500 yen 33,500 yen
8 Days 50,800 yen 30,500 yen 38,100 yen 38,100 yen
9 Days 57,000 yen 34,200 yen 42,800 yen 42,800 yen
10 Days 63,200 yen 37,900 yen 47,400 yen 47,400 yen
11 Days 69,400 yen 41,700 yen 52,100 yen 52,100 yen
12 Days 75,600 yen 45,400 yen 56,700 yen 56,700 yen
13 Days 81,800 yen 49,100 yen 61,400 yen 61,400 yen
14 Days 88,000 yen 52,800 yen 66,000 yen 66,000 yen
15 Days 94,200 yen 56,500 yen 70,700 yen 70,700 yen
16 Days 100,400 yen 60,300 yen 75,300 yen 75,300 yen
17 Days 106,600 yen 64,000 yen 80,000 yen 80,000 yen
18 Days 112,800 yen 67,700 yen 84,600 yen 84,600 yen
Free 50 Hours 64,000 yen
Season Ticket 115,600 yen 69,300 yen 86,700 yen 86,700 yen
Lift Ticket Information ** 2017-2018 LIFT TICKET PRICES **

The tickets shown are all valid at the Niseko United All Mountain Pass.
These tickets are valid at the Niseko Grand Hirafu, Niseko HANAZONO, Niseko Village and Niseko Annupuri resorts.

The 8 Hour ticket is valid for 8 hours from the time of purchase.
A returnable deposit of 1000 yen is required to purchase tickets.
The charges shown are valid for the peak season period - 9th December 2017 until 18th March 2018.
Cheaper tickets are available for early and late season periods.
Nighta is from Saturday 9th December 2017 until Sunday 18th March 2018.

The 8 Day Ticket can be used on any 8 days over a period of 10 consecutive days.
The 9 Day Ticket can be used on any 9 days over a period of 11 consecutive days.
The 10 Day Ticket can be used on any 10 days over a period of 12 consecutive days.
The 11 Day Ticket can be used on any 11 days over a period of 13 consecutive days.
The 12 Day Ticket can be used on any 12 days over a period of 14 consecutive days.
The 13 Day Ticket can be used on any 13 days over a period of 15 consecutive days.
The 14 Day Ticket can be used on any 14 days over a period of 16 consecutive days.
The 15 Day Ticket can be used on any 15 days over a period of 18 consecutive days.
The 16 Day Ticket can be used on any 16 days over a period of 19 consecutive days.
The 17 Day Ticket can be used on any 17 days over a period of 20 consecutive days.
The 18 Day Ticket can be used on any 18 days over a period of 21 consecutive days.

All day tickets are valid until the end of nighta on the final day of the ticket.

Getting to Niseko Mountain Resort Grand Hirafu

By public transport
4.2km from Hirafu Station on the Hakodate Honsen Line
7.3km from Kutchan Station on the Hakodate Honsen Line
Transport Information
Kutchan Station on the Hakodate Honsen line is the main and most convenient train station used by people travelling to the Niseko area for the ski and snowboard resorts, though many people actually prefer to use direct bus services to Niseko from Sapporo and New Chitose Airport.

Train services operate between Sapporo Station and Kutchan Station, with many requiring a transfer at Otaru Station on the way. With good connections this can be done in as little as around 100 minutes - but sometimes waiting for connections at Otaru can be fairly lengthy and greatly increase that time. During the winter season, there is a limited express 'Niseko Ski Express' service a few times a day which goes directly from Sapporo Station to Kutchan Station using the Hakodate Honsen lines. This service takes around two hours. The Niseko Ski Express train stops at Niseko Station, Kutchan Station, Otaru Station, Otaru Chikko Station, Teine Station and Sapporo Station.

The journey from New Chitose Airport Station usually takes around 2.5-3 hours.

During the main winter months a number of private bus companies offer direct services to Niseko from Sapporo City and also from New Chitose Airport. These regular and convenient services are probably the most popular way to get to Niseko.

There are also a number of buses scheduled between Rusutsu and Niseko each day during the winter season. This journey usually takes around 40 minutes and costs around 1,000 yen.

>> More information on getting to Niseko by public transport
Niseko United Shuttle Bus
The Niseko United Shuttle bus service operates from the opening day of the season until late in the season. It is free to use for anyone who has an Niseko All-Mountain Hourly Pass or a Day Pass lift ticket. People without those tickets can also board the bus at a small charge. The bus connects Kutchan Station and Niseko Station with the Hirafu Welcome Center and the other main ski resorts on the mountain with many drop off points on the route. There are four main routes.

There is also a Hanazono Shuttle bus service that goes from the Hirafu Welcome Center to the Hanazono resort area.
By Car
43.1km from the Kuromatsunai IC on the Kuromatsunai Shindo
66.8km from the Asari IC on the Sasson Expressway
69.3km from the Otaru IC on the Sasson Expressway
Nearest national route: Route 5 (3.8km away)
Nearest prefecture road: Prefecture Road 343
The base of Niseko Grand Hirafu base is just over 7km from the central area of Kutchan town.

Getting to Niseko Grand Hirafu from central Kutchan town
Heading south from Kutchan Station on Route 5, either turn right onto Prefecture Road 343 and follow the road until traffic lights about 5km further on, then turn right to head into Hirafu; or, continue a bit further on Route 5 and turn right onto Prefecture Road 631 and then continue on Prefecture Road 343 to head up to Hirafu.

Approaching the Niseko region from Sapporo City
From central and the southern part of Sapporo City, take Route 230 south via the Nakayama Pass and Kimobetsu town. At the traffic lights on the far side of Kimbotsu town, turn right onto Route 276. This road continues through to Kutchan town. This route is about 100km and in normal conditions takes up to two and a half hours by car.

From areas to the north of Sapporo City either take the Sasson Expressway or Route 5 towards Otaru City. From the Asari IC exit turn right onto Prefecture Road 1 and then after a few hundred metres turn right again onto Prefecture Road 956. Kutchan and Akaigawa are on the main road signpost. After about 4km, turn left onto Route 393, also known as the Askaigawa National Highway. The road turn off for Kiroro resort is about 17km along this road. Continue on Route 393 following the signs through to Kutchan.

Alternatively continue on Route 5 through and beyond Otaru City. Route 5 generally follows the same route as the Hakodate Honsen train line through to the Niseko region. There are less of the curves on this route than there are on parts of Route 393, but it is a slightly longer drive (about 7km).

Approaching the Niseko region from New Chitose Airport
From the main exit of New Chitose Airport, head towards Tomakomai on Route 36 and Prefecture Road 781. After 23km turn right onto Route 276 (signposted as Kimobetsu and Lake Shikotsu). Continue for about 18km and turn left at the signs to stay on Route 276. Go past Lake Shikotsu and keep following Route 276 signposted as Kuchan and Kimobetsu. On reaching the Route 230 junction, turning left goes into Rusutsu. For Niseko, turn right here onto Route 230 for just 1km before turning left to join Route 276 once again. Route 276 continues into central Kutchan town and the station area.

Enjoy the views of the northern slopes of Mt Yotei on the way!

This route is about 115km and in normal conditions takes up to two and a half hours by car.

>> More information on getting to Niseko by car
There is parking for about 930 vehicles close to the base of Niseko Grand Hirafu. Parking is free every day of the season.

More Information

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Season dates and information
At the time of writing (mid May), almost all ski resorts in Japan have closed for the 2016-2017 season.

The information shown on this page is for the 2016-2017 season. Planned season dates and information for the 2017-2018 season will be updated over the coming months. Data for every ski resort should be updated in time for the start of the 2017-2018 winter season.
Current resort snow depth
Daily updates during snow season
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Reader Resort Rankings
General 82
Snow conditions 83
Courses & terrain 78
Lift system 74
Apres ski 77
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