Niseko joins the Ikon Pass, because, well, who isn’t?

chris hocking
Drew Jolowicz rolling in the deep in Niseko. Pic Chris Hocking.

It’s Ikon August with yet another resort joining the multi resort season Ikon Pass this week. First it was Taos then Brighton then Cypress, now Niseko in Japan join 35 world class ski locations on the one pass. Question is, who will be tomorrow?

Ikon Pass holders will now have access to more than 72,000 skiable acres over three continents with the addition of Niseko United, located on Japan’s northernmost island of Hokkaido. Japan is home to some of the planet’s most plentiful and light snow, making Niseko United a bucket list destination for any skier and rider on the hunt for fresh powder.

Niseko United is regarded as Japan’s premier mountain destination and is comprised of four ski resorts located on one mountain – Grand Hirafu, Hanazono, Niseko Village and Annupuri.

Famous for the consistency and quality of its snow, Niseko United receives 50 plus feet of snowfall every winter with just 7% of water content from crystallized moisture picked up from the Sea of Japan. Multi-million-dollar investments in accommodation and infrastructure make Niseko United an excellent destination for families and powder hounds.

“We are delighted to give Ikon Pass holders the opportunity to spread their wings and immerse themselves in the deep powder of Japan’s premier destination, Niseko United,” said Colin Hackworth, President of Hanazono, Niseko Japan.

“The Ikon Pass is expanding and the cultural beauty, huge winter snowfall and culinary delights of Japan await. We are truly pleased to partner with the world’s most iconic mountain destinations and to be a part of the Ikon Pass community.”

“Niseko United is an ideal partner for the Ikon Pass, offering some of the best ski and snowboard terrain on the planet, blanketed in its renowned deep, plentiful snow,” said Erik Forsell, Chief Marketing Officer of Alterra Mountain Company.

“Japan’s mountains are a longtime bucket list destination for skiers and riders, and we are so excited to open up this part of the world to Ikon Pass holders, providing the opportunity to immerse themselves into the Japanese culture and snow.”

Niseko United will offer 7 days total across its four resorts on the Ikon Pass, and 5 days total on the Ikon Base Pass with 10 blackout dates (Dec. 26-31, 2018; Jan. 19-20, 2019; Feb. 16-17, 2019).

The Ikon Pass launched in January 2018 and is a collaboration of industry leaders – Alterra Mountain Company, Aspen Skiing Company, Boyne Resorts, POWDR, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Alta Ski Area, Snowbird, SkiBig3, Revelstoke Mountain Resort, Sugarbush Resort, Taos Ski Valley, Thredbo and Niseko United. 

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Rachael Oakes-Ash is the name behind @misssnowitall and the founder of SnowsBest.com. A long time travel and lifestyle journalist and ski writer, she's been published in ESPN, TIME, Wallpaper*, Action Asia, Inside Sport, Australian Financial Review, Emirates Open Skies, Conde Nast Traveler and more. She was the Fairfax snow blogger from 2007 to 2017 and the Southern Hemisphere editor for OnTheSnow. Rachael is also a documentary producer, author, radio announcer and humorist.

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