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Frequently asked questions and useful information about Niseko.

Click on a question to display the answer. Do you have any other questions or concerns? Do not hesitate to contact our concierge team, we will be happy to help!

How expensive is Niseko?

Comparatively, Niseko is cheaper than most other world class ski resorts, making it attractive year round. This means that you can enjoy great food, excellent accommodation and a variety of activities at very reasonable prices. A winter trip to Niseko is one of the most affordable skiing or snowboarding holidays you’ll ever experience. For summer, affordable accommodation rates and pleasant climate set the base for a great summer holiday.

Can I Pay with credit card in Niseko?

Cash is still the most common form of payment in Japan, especially in smaller shops and restaurants. Despite this, credit cards are widely accepted in the Niseko area, but small restaurants or bars will be very appreciative of cash use.

Are there ATMs in Niseko?

There are ATMs available at any 7-11 store, accepting most of the widely used credit cards for cash advance. There is also a cash exchange machine located in Hirafu's Seico Mart. It does however make good sense to ensure you have a good supply of cash prior to arrival to Niseko.

Do I need a car in Niseko?

We strongly recommend renting your own vehicle. Not only will it make travelling to the slopes a breeze, a rental car will also help you to grab some groceries in Kutchan town, go for a day trip to Rusutsu, or explore other ski resorts in the area.

What do I need to rent a car in Niseko?

Please bring your regular driving license along with an International Driving Permit (IDP).

A few countries, namely Belgium, Monaco, Taiwan, Germany, Switzerland, and France, have different agreements with Japan. Check with your country's national automobile association to make sure you get the right permit.

Please make sure to apply for an International Driving Permit based on the 1949 Geneva Convention on Road Traffic. You can not apply for this in Japan, so you have to make sure to get it before you travel to Niseko.

Be aware that there are other types of driving licenses, but these are not recognized in Japan. If you bring the wrong license, we will not be able to provide the keys to your rental car.

Can I use my mobile phone in Japan?

Most modern mobile phones will connect into the Japanese telecommunications network as long as global roaming is activated. If you would like to avoid high roaming charges, sim cards and rental phones are available in Chitose Airport (make sure your arrival transfer connection to Niseko allows for some extra time to purchase). Most public buildings also feature free wi-fi for visitor use.

Public telephones can usually be found in the lobbies of most hotels and pensions in Hirafu. For incoming calls, Japan's country code is +81.

Is there a post office in Niseko?

There is no post office in Hirafu, but there are several in Kutchan Town, which is just a short drive from Niseko/Hirafu. The Post Office is open from 9am-4pm, weekdays only.

There are post boxes at Seciomart and also Lawson convenience stores. Stamps are also available over the counter at both locations.

Can I use my electronic devices in Japan?

The electricity supply in Japan is 100V AC 50Hz, with a two-pronged plug/socket arrangement. Make sure your devices are compatible to avoid damages and malfunction.

Adapters are available in Kutchan at most of the electrical stores, but it’s best to bring them with you to save valuable holiday time and the inconvenience of buying one.

Do you recommend getting medical insurance for my ski trip to Niseko?

Medical Insurance is highly recommended as any serious medical treatment requiring hospitalisation or medical evacuation can quickly make your holiday very expensive.

If you are planning to ride out of bounds, make sure to check your policy covers you beyond the resort boundary.

For tourists, most medical facilities will require you to pay after receiving treatment. Remember to ask the doctor or staff for a written medical report and receipt if you want to claim medical costs through your insurance.

What kind of shops and stores are there in Niseko?

Hirafu has well stocked convenience stores (Seicomart, Lawson’s, and 7-11), souvenir shops, and ski and snowboard rental shops – all within easy walking distance. With the continued development of the resort, a number of boutique stores as well as iconic global snow brands have opened recently.

Another shopping alternative is to head into Kutchan, which is easily accessed by taxi or bus. Kutchan is home to several large supermarkets and a variety of other stores.

Where can I rent ski / snowboarding equipment in Niseko?

There is a growing number of rental and retail stores in Hirafu and you should be able to find all your ski and snowboard needs. Please feel free to contact our concierge team, we are happy to help with your equipment bookings!

Are there good restaurants in Niseko?

Renowned for fresh local produce and fine fare, the Niseko area offers gourmet travellers plenty of opportunities to enjoy quality restaurants and cafes. Many visitors are surprised at the affordability and range of fine dining options on offer throughout the area.

Hirafu offers a great selection of Japanese and international restaurants and cafes. Exploring these eateries and the many tucked away bars over a night or two out on the town will become one of the highlights of your stay. Outside Hirafu, Kutchan and Niseko also have a great selection of restaurants and bars.

Are there any hot springs (onsen) in Niseko?

There are numerous natural onsen in the Niseko area. Many have both indoor and outdoor baths. A visit to an onsen is a highly enjoyable cultural and social experience. We recommend adding at least one soak in an onsen into your itinerary while in Niseko. For tour details please speak to the concierge.

I want to do sightseeing while in Niseko.

Within an hour of Hirafu you can enjoy a diverse range of natural scenic attractions, from the beauty of rolling farmlands, spectacular volcanic mountains to the rugged coastline. If you want to tour a larger city, we can arrange day trips to Sapporo or Otaru for you.

What art exhibitions are there in Niseko?

There are many small privately run galleries and museums where local artisans display and sell their work. Our concierge team will be happy to find current exhibitions for you.