Niseko Moiwa

Moiwa Trees Image

Niseko Moiwa

Niseko's major resorts are connected by the lift system, and by a lift ticket that can include all major resorts. However there are a few smaller, independent resorts in the area, one of which is Moiwa.

Moiwa is not really a secret spot, or hidden gem. The resort is well advertised in Niseko, and most people in Grand Hirafu will have heard about it. During peak season there is a free shuttle bus that runs 3 times in the morning and three times at the end of the day, to and from Hirafu. Many visitors will take a day, or even just half a day away from the main ski fields to visit Moiwa. That said, there are still typically less visitors and smaller lift queues compared with the main resorts. During the Chinese New Year period it may get a little busy, but will still be more peaceful than 4 bigger resorts.

Like most of Niseko, Moiwa's main draw is the promise of untouched fresh powder. Without straying far off-piste you can enjoy powder runs, and because of the small crowds, they stay untracked, sometimes all day long. If you are of the adventurous nature you can head deep into the trees and further afield, where you will definitely find fresh, very deep snow.

The terrain on offer is limited, and you could ski or snowboard most areas in a day. If you stick to the pistes, the resort will probably only keep you busy for half a day. For this reason, many people only spend a morning in Moiwa. If you want to head back early, it is possible to ski back to the Niseko Annupuri Resort via the Annupuri Back-Bowls. However this is only recommend for advanced riders, while snowboarders will have to endure a narrow and flat cat-track. The run down to that cat-track is well worth it though!

The ski field is basically has two sections, upper and lower. One lift goes to the mid-section, and the bigger lift takes you all the way to the top. The biggest lift is a hooded quad lift, which will help keep you protected from the elements on the way up. The mid sections and a couple of other spots are very flat, which can frustrate snowboarders, who may have to skate across the flat bits. So for beginner/intermediate boarders the resort can be frustrating, so make sure your board is well tuned!

This year Moiwa have installed a new lift, this third smaller lift lets you access the side country and off-piste areas. We obviously can't comment yet as we haven't tried it out. But it should be great news for all you powder hounds.

Ski and snowboard lessons are available in Moiwa, and it is an excellent place to learn. Beginners can stick to the lower section, which is nice and mellow, but most importantly quiet. The lack of crowds is a massive selling point for any nervous beginners. If you take a private lesson, some of the ski schools in Hirafu will actually take you to Moiwa if you request.

Lift tickets are cheap in Moiwa, and many accommodation providers in Hirafu will have flyers at their concierge for discounted tickets.

Moiwa does not have a park for the majority of the season. Moiwa is simply a powder haven. However, in spring, when the powder finally stops falling, they finish there season with a big event. The Moiwa Spring Park is only open for a couple of days to finish the season, and if you are still around in Spring, definitely have a look. The event is usually great fun, and the park is excellent. After the resort closes, many of the park features are left up. So in the late afternoons, you can go and hike a few features and get some awesome sunsets photos on the Moiwa Spring Park. Even if you don't ride park, they build an awesome bowl to carve around, so check it out.

Moiwa Spring Park Image

If you want to ride powder away from the crowds, then Moiwa is worth a visit. If you just fancy something different for half a day, Moiwa is a cheap and easy option.