Hokkaido is home to one of the worlds highest ski resort densities and while not lots of them enjoy the same levels of powder snow that have made Niseko a global snow sports icon, some do. Those particular resorts also happen to be located close to Niseko and with one of the vans included free with many of our houses make for a fantastic option as a day trip.
Rusutsu is home to some of Japan's best tree riding and is a 45 minute drive from Hirafu. Often when the wind has shutdown the upper lifts in Niseko things are still spinning at full clip over at Rusutsu and with just a little bit of weather observation the quick run to Rusutsu will see you rewarded with deep uncrowded pow in groves of silver birch trees.
Head here to check out Rustusu
Giving the masses the slip to hit Moiwa is a Niseko classic. Moiwa Resort is not part of Niseko United and despite being really close to Annupuri and having an interlinked trail system it operates on a totally different ticket. It's a pretty common sight in Winter to see a rider who has navigated the way to Moiwa spend a frustrating 30 minutes having the fact they need another ticket explained while the powder they came to feast on gets tracked. The fact that most of the time they have ridden over from Niseko United and don't have cash or cards to purchase another ticket often adds to the joy of this situation. Moiwa is easily accessed by van from Hirafu though and an early rise and the short 15 minute drive across will see you rewarded with some of the best lift access side country terrain in Niseko … shhhhh.
Head here to check out Moiwa
While the drive over to Kiroro is the longest of any of the nearby resorts the reward is often worth it. The terrain is a little more varied than the Niseko United Resorts and there is a fully structured system for entering the back country (It's is quite a process though) the infrastructure is all nice and modern and on the right year Kiroro can have as much or more snow than Niseko.
Head here to check out Kiroro
An important point to note is that none of these three areas have an apres scene to compare with Hirafu so once the lifts stop and the lights come on a return to Hirafu is the play of the day.
If you are interested to come to Niseko for a Winter Ski Holiday, please see our Niseko Accommodation Page to reserve your luxury accommodation.
You can also choose to reserve your Niseko accommodation and winter activities at the same time.