Niseko Village

Niseko Village Higashiyama Sign Image

Niseko Village was formally known as Higashiyama. I terms of a resort, it is pretty much a self contained hotel, The Niseko Hilton. Outwardly the Hotel is pretty ugly, but inside it is luxurious, spacious and packed full of great facilities. Unlike the huge hotel the ski field is not particularly large, but definitely has it's own appeal.

The Hotel in Niseko Village has spacious lobby with lift access the the various floors, where you can find restaurants, spas, onsens, shops etc. For guests not staying in the hotel, the famed all you can eat lunch buffet is a major reason for visiting the building. The lunch is great value and the food is really impressive. The onsens are also well worth a visit to the Niseko Hilton. The Alternative accommodation is The Green Leaf Hotel, which again acts as a self contained unit. Staying in either hotel means you don't ever have to leave your accommodation, apart from to ski, leaving you to enjoy a hassle free stay.

Having all of your amenities under one roof, makes for a hassle free holiday, and means away from skiing and snowboarding, you can avoid the harsh Niseko weather. If you like to party, I would recommend another resort for your accommodation, but if a simple, easy holiday is what you are looking for, The Niseko Hilton or Green Leaf Hotel in Niseko village are good options.

The ski field claims to have Niseko's best powder. I don't know if this is true, but it is where I have experienced the deepest powder without going to the backcountry. If you get there early enough the black runs of the Superstition area remain un-groomed and offer some relatively steep powder runs. Long runs, uninterrupted by trees, covered in deep pow. Some of my favourite pow turns were had here. Superstition is also an area favoured by locals who love soul shredding through the deep powder.

From January to March depending on conditions, Niseko Village is the place to access Mizuno-no-Sawa. Mizuno-no-Sawa is a notorious avalanche area, so is strictly monitored by patrollers and requires you to register i order to ride it. In my opinion, if you are in Niseko, you should register and experience riding this zone. Here is the deepest power I have seen in a lift accessed area. There are also some nice natural features to enjoy, with a few cornice drops and little cliffs to air off.

Aside from the epic powder, Niseko village has some nice long runs and a couple of gullies where you can enjoy natural half pipe style riding. The runs are a little limited though, and there are a couple of flat spots. Learning to ski here would be a good idea as the crowds are small and the terrain is mellow. However snowboarding will be frustrating for beginners because of the flat spots and amount of un-groomed runs. There a several chair lifts but the main point of terrain access is a gondola. This is great for keeping warm, and especially good for kids, as they can take their gloves off and enjoy a snack or drink on the way up.

The Niseko Village Hotels have everything under one roof, so are great if you want a stress free holiday in Niseko. Intermediate riders will enjoy the powder here, and there is also some difficult terrain to put a smile on the faces of advanced skiers and boarders. Beginner skiers will progress rapidly, and have heaps of fun too in Niseko Village.