Niseko Travel Guide - By car

Niseko by car

Niseko is one of the most popular and celebrated ski resort areas of Japan. Located to the west of Sapporo city on the slopes of Mt Niseko Annupuri with stunning views of nearby Mt Yotei, it's often superb dry powder snow conditions are 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. There's a good choice of places to eat and a bustling nightlife to enjoy as well in the main areas.

But surely the snow is the main attraction...

Niseko area by car
Getting to resorts from central Kutchan
Town map
Getting from Niseko to other regions
Region map
Additional Niseko resources on SnowJapan
Niseko area by public transport
Go to our guide for getting to the Niseko area using public transport

What is 'Niseko'?

  Niseko is the name of a town.
Kutchan is the name of a town.
The resorts in the region known as 'Niseko' are located in Kutchan and Niseko towns.
Niseko Town
Kutchan Town
ニセコ
倶知安町
  Niseko Station is the name of a small train station on the local line.
Kutchan Station, however, is the main station used in the area to take people to the ski and snowboard resorts.
Niseko Station
Kutchan Station
ニセコ
倶知安駅
  Niseko United is the collective name of the four interconnected main resorts on the mountain (below) Niseko United ニセコユナイテッド
  The ski resorts include the word Niseko in their name
Note: There is no ski resort that is called just 'Niseko'
Niseko Hanazono Resort
Niseko Grand Hirafu
Niseko Village
Niseko Annupuri
ニセコHANAZONOリゾート
ニセコグランドひらふ
ニセコビレージ
ニセコアンヌプリ

Getting to the Niseko area by car

  Main expressway and exits:  

  Sasson Expressway (toll road) 札樽自動車道
  Asari IC 朝里IC
  Hokkaido Expressway 道央自動車道
  Kuromatsunai JCT 黒松内JCT
  Main roads:  
  Route 5 国道17号
  Route 276 国道276号
  Route 393 国道393号

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).

Sapporo Nishi IC to Asari IC about 21km 730 yen
Sapporo Kita IC to Asari IC about 28km 1,140 yen
 

From Hakodate City

From Hakodate, head north on the Hokkaido Expressway. At Kuromatsunai JCT, turn left onto the Kuromatsunai Shindo road. The following 6km section of road is toll-free. On reaching Route 5 turn right and then follow Route 5 through to the Niseko and Kutchan region.

This route is about 180km and in normal conditions will take around two and a half hours.

Onuma Kogen IC to Kuromatusunai JCT about 94km 2,670 yen

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.

Niseko United Shuttle Bus

People who have the Niseko All-Mountain Hourly Pass or Day Pass can use this shuttle bus free of charge. The shuttle bus stops at all of the main ski resorts as well as Kutchan Station, Niseko Station, some major hotels.  There are also several bus stops throughout the Hirafu Village area. More information on the shuttle bus on the Niseko - By public transport section.

Sasson Expressway
Sasson Expressway exits from Sapporo JCT
>> Full Sasson Expressway details
Exit name Distance from Sapporo JCT Connections
Sapporo JCT 札幌JCT >>> Hokkaido Expressway
Sapporo Kita IC 札幌北IC 7.6km  
Sapporo Nishi IC 札幌西IC 14.0km  
Asari IC 朝里IC 35.3km  
Otaru IC 小樽IC 38.3km  
 
Hokkaido Expressway
Hokkaido Expressway from Sapporo JCT
>> Full Hokkaido Expressway details
Exit name Distance from Sapporo JCT Connections
Sapporo JCT 札幌JCT >>> Sasson Expressway
Shin Chitose Airport IC 新千歳空港IC 38.8km  
Kuromatsunai JCT 黒松内JCT 177.6km  
Onuma Koen IC 大沼公園IC 271.9km  


Getting to ski and snowboard resorts from central Kutchan

Below are general directions from Route 5 close by Kutchan Station in the central area of the town to each resort. Note that Kutchan Station may not be the closest train station to the resort. More detailed information on how to get to Niseko by public transport can be found here.

Snow resort name
(alpabetical order)
Distance from central Kutchan town (near station) Directions from central Kutchan Route*
Asahigaoka
旭ヶ丘
about 1.5km The small Asahigaoka ski hill is located just behind Kutchan Station, less than 1.5km away. From Route 5 just to the south of Kutchan Station, turn onto Prefecture Road 58 and after just over 1km turn right. The ski hill is just on the left side down this road.
Niseko Annupuri Kokusai
ニセコアンヌプリ国際
 
about 18km 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. Continue through the Hirafu area and also past the Niseko Village turn off, until reaching a junction after about 7km. Turn right here onto Prefecture Road 66 and continue for just under 3km until reaching the turn off for Niseko Annupuri. Turn right to head up to the resort base.
Niseko Hanazono Resort
ニセコHANAZONOリゾート
 
about 6km Heading south from Kutchan Station on Route 5, turn right onto Prefecture Road 343. Follow this road and after about 2.5km turn right onto the road is signposted as Hanazono. At the end of the road turn left for the resort base and car park.
Niseko Moiwa Ski Resort
ニセコモイワスキーリゾート
about 18km 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. Continue through the Hirafu area and also past the Niseko Village turn off, until reaching a junction after about 7km. Turn right here onto Prefecture Road 66 and continue for just under 3.5km until reaching the turn off to Niseko Moiwa. Follow this road to the resort base.
Niseko Mountain Resort Grand Hirafu
ニセコマウンテンリゾートグランドひらふ
about 8km 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.
Niseko Village Ski Resort
ニセコビレージスキーリゾート
about 15km 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. Continue through the Hirafu area on Prefecture Road 343 for a further 6km. At the traffic lights turn right to head up to Niseko Village.

* About Route Finder:
SnowJapan Route Finder uses googlemaps to find routes to specific ski and snowboard resorts from other resorts, hotels and points in Japan. Routes are not pre-determined and SnowJapan has no control over any routes displayed.

See also:

>> This map alongside googlemaps
>> Sasson Expressway
>> Hokkaido Expressway
>> Hakodate Honsen train line
>> On the above map click on the resort names and train line for more details


Getting to the Niseko area from nearby snow resort regions

Region Approximate distace by road General directions
Niseko to Rusutsu
(Gunma)
about 31km By car:
Rusutsu is essentially on the opposite of Mt Yotei from Niseko.
From the central Kutchan area, take Route 276 in an easterly direction and to the north of Mt Yotei, and then onto Route 230 to head into Rusutsu.
about 28km To get to Rustusu by going round to the south of Mt Yotei, take Route 5 in a southerly direction and then turn left onto Prefecture Road 66. Follow Prefecture Road 66 until reaching Route 230 in Rusutsu. Turn left to head towards Rusutsu resort.
Niseko to Kiroro
(Nagano)
about 44km By car:
From Kutchan town take Route 276 eastwards and then soon onto Route 393 signposted as Akaigawa. Follow this road for about 38km until reaching the turn off and signs for Kiroro. Turn right here and head up towards the base of Kiroro.
Niseko to Furano
(Nagano)
about 210km By car:
From Kutchan town head towards the Asari IC of the Sasson Expressway using Route 276 and Route 393. Get onto the expressway and at Sapporo JCT change over to the Hokkaido Expressway to head north towards Asahikawa. For more details on getting to Furano, please refer to the below guides.
>> SnowJapan Furano Travel Guide - By car : By train

See also:

>> Sasson Expressway
>> Hokkaido Expressway
>> Doto Expressway
>> Hakodate Honsen train line
>> On the above map click on the resort names, train lines and expressway names for more details

 

Additional Niseko resources on SnowJapan

For detailed information on how to get to Niseko by train and public transport, please go to this section.

Daily reports Exclusive daily snow and weather reports from Niseko (Niseko Now)
Ski and snowboard resorts List of ski and snowboard resorts in the Niseko area
Resort Spotlights Niseko HANAZONO Resort
Kiroro Snow World
Accommodation Accommodation Spotlights - Niseko area
Online booking for accommodation in Niseko
Ski lessons Lessons in English
Services Services

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