The Hirafu base area is the most lively in the region with a good choice of places to eat and bustling nightlife.
Niseko Grand Hirafu probably has the most international feel of any ski area in Japan in normal times. With fewer people expected due to travel restrictions during the 2021-2022 season, a few ski lifts will be rested. We can once again probably Niseko to be quieter than usual.
The Niseko resort area is one of Japan's most popular ski resort regions. It is located to the west of Sapporo city on the eastern and southern slopes of Mt Niseko Annupuri. With stunning views of nearby Mt Yotei, its 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 international visitors and subsequent catering to their needs.
Niseko Mountain Resort Grand Hirafu is lift-connected with:
A number of ski and snowboard schools operate around the Niseko resort areas.
A good selection of ski and snowboard equipment and wear rental facilities are available around the Niseko resort areas.
Special ski and snowboard lessons are available for children.
Niseko Mountain Resort Grand Hirafu Season & Opening Times
Typical season is from Early December until Early May
Weekends and holidays
Normally open from 8:30am until 7:00pm
Normally open from 8:30am until 7:00pm
'Nighta' (night skiing)
Weekends and holidays
Niseko Grand Hirafu is open from 8:30am until 4:30pm in the daytime.
Night skiing is from 4:30pm until 7:00pm.
Night skiing is planned from Saturday 18th December 2021 until Sunday 20th March 2022.
The following ski lifts are not operating during the 2021-2022 winter season:
- Ace Pair Number 1 lift - Ace Pair Number 3 lift - Ace Pair Number 4 lift - King Pair Number 1 lift - King Quad Number 2 lift
Niseko Mountain Resort Grand Hirafu Lift Ticket Charges
Age over 60
2021-2022 Season: Niseko United Lift Tickets
The lift ticket charges shown above are valid for all four of the Niseko United ski areas - Niseko Grand Hirafu, Niseko HANAZONO Resort, Niseko Village and Niseko Annupuri Kokusai - during the peak season period (Saturday 18th December 2021 until Sunday 20th March 2022). Cheaper lift tickets are available for the early and spring season periods.
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 night skiing on the final day of the ticket.
2021-2022 Season: Niseko Grand Hirafu and Niseko HANAZONO lift tickets
1 day: 6,600 yen (adult); 4,000 yen (child); 5,400 yen (older child & senior) 2 days: 12,300 yen (adult); 7,400 yen (child); 9,900 yen (older child & senior) 3 days: 17,900 yen (adult); 10,700 yen (child); 14,400 yen (older child & senior) 4 days: 23,400 yen (adult); 14,100 yen (child); 18,800 yen (older child & senior) 5 days: 29,000 yen (adult); 17,400 yen (child); 23,200 yen (older child & senior) 6 days: 34,500 yen (adult); 20,700 yen (child); 27,700 yen (older child & senior) 7 days: 40,100 yen (adult); 24,000 yen (child); 32,100 yen (older child & senior) Night: 3,000 yen (adult); 1,800 yen (child); 2,400 yen (older child & senior) Free 30: 33,300 yen Free 50: 53,100 yen Season: 105,800 yen (adult); 63,500 yen (child); 79,400 yen
Cheaper tickets available in early and spring season periods.
'Regular Season' is from Saturday 18th December 2021 until Sunday 20th March 2022. 'Early Season' is from opening until Friday 17th December 2021. 'Spring Season' is from Monday 21st March 2022 until Sunday 3rd April 2022.
Night skiing is from Saturday 18th December 2021 until Sunday 20th March 2022.
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
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.
Niseko Grand Hirafu is about 20 minutes from Kutchan Station by bus or 15 minutes by taxi.
Various bus tours are available.
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.
There is parking for over 900 vehicles close to the base of Niseko Grand Hirafu.
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