Plan your ski season in Niseko

image of winter in niseko

Tips to help you enjoy a Season in Niseko.

This blog is intended to provide useful, and other wise unearthed information about Niseko. Mostly this will help punters enjoy their stay and make the most of a trip to Niseko. However there is also a large contingent of visitors to Niseko who are not there for a brief visit or holiday. That is, Seasonaires!

The workers and ski bums! More often than not they get from a resort than any tourist. They tend to play pretty hard and work a fair bit too. If you are considering a season in Niseko, Japan, my first bit of advice is… do it! It will provide an experience like no where else. Doing a season gives you a full perspective of a winter season, from the excitement of the first snow falls, through cold winter and great snow, to the great atmosphere found when there is spring fun and sun. Doing a season in Niseko will give you more powder, tree runs, and face shots than you could ever imagine.

Good. Now that your decision is made, here are a few tips to help you plan, prepare, and enjoy your season.

Things you will need:

  • Apt clothing to protect you from the harsher months in winter.
  • Snow boots.
  • Low light ski/snowboard goggles - for the many snowy days.
  • Powder skis/board. These can be bought second hand from the stores in Niseko early or pre-season.
  • Either a ski jacket with a god powder skirt or a one-piece suit. Volcom make pants and jackets that zip together and DC make some good one piece suits. The comfort you experience will be worth the investment.

Finding work

  • Jobs can be found before your arrival on snowworkers.com.
  • Jobs can also easily be found upon your arrival in Niseko.
  • Typical jobs range from bar and restaurant work to snow removal, instructors or ski techs.
  • Speaking Japanese is not required for most jobs. Especially in Hirafu.

Accommodation:

  • Accommodation can be found upon your arrival on kutchannel.net
  • You can spend a few days in one of the many hostels before you organise accommodation for the season.

Skiing and snowboarding:

  • If you find yourself working during the day, go night skiing as often as possible. It is awesome!
  • It will take you a few weeks to explore the mountain fully, but make the effort. The lesser known and lesser frequented zones on the mountain are often the most rewarding.
  • When misuno-no-sawa opens go and get your pass as soon as possible, because it is only open for a few weeks in the season.
  • Avalanches do happen, so take a good crew and the right equipment if you are going off-piste or in the backcountry.
  • If it is bluebird, get amongst it! Bluebird days are rare so make the most of them.
  • Venture away from Mt Anuppuri. There are some great resorts and amazing skiing less than an hours drive from Hirafu.

Other advice…

  • Get there early. Some of the best riding is in December on when the slopes are quiet and the terrain is less filled-in. It will be easy to find work at this time of year too.
  • If you use it, take antiperspirant with you as it is uncommon in Japan.
  • Don't let the endless snowy days get you down. Remember you are the for the wonderful snow, and in Spring the sun will come back.
  • Lastly… enjoy.

Get excited…
Here is quick video of niseko's powder to get you excited for the amazing ski season you are about to have: