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 to ski Japan is one of the most affordable skiing or Snowboarding holidays you’ll ever experience. Equally attractive, summer’s affordable accommodation rates and pleasant climate set the base for a great summer holiday in Niseko.
Japan is a very cash based society despite this credit cards are widely accepted in the Niseko area, but cash is still the preferred method of payment and small restaurants or bars will be very appreciative of cash use. There are ATM's 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 Seciomart. It does however make good sense to ensure you have a good supply of cash prior to arrival in Niseko
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 the airport on arrival (make sure Niseko transfer connection time is long enough to allow for purchase) and 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.
There is no post office in Hirafu, the nearest one is located in Kutchan-open Weekdays 9am-4pm there is also a post office in Niseko Town. In Hirafu’s main street there is a post box at Seciomart and also Lawson convenience store. Stamps are also available over the counter at both locations.
The electricity supply in Japan is 100V AC 50Hz, with a two-pronged plug/socket arrangement. 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.
Medical Insurance is highly recommended as any serious medical treatment requiring hospitalization 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. There is also an International Medical Clinic https://www.niseko-nic.com located in Izumikyo.
Hirafu has well stocked convenience stores (Seicomart & Lawson’s), along 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 and always makes for an interesting look at the Japanese culture.
Ski and Snowboard Equipment
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. We also offer a special in house service via a partnership with Rhythm Japan's Platinum Service. Please feel free to ask concierge for assistance with this service or reserving your equipment rentals.
Dining and Restaurants
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. Niseko's increased popularity has seen pre-booking of these restaurants become increasingly important so make sure to contact the Concierge for recommendations and bookings.
Hot Springs (Onsen)
Scattered throughout the Niseko areas are numerous natural hot-springs (onsen), many with both indoor and beautiful 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.
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. Likewise the diversity of outdoor and indoor activities offers something for everyone all year round.
Arts & Crafts
There are many small privately run galleries and museums where local artisans display and sell their work. Ask the concierge for locations.