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.
- 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 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.
- 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.