Great news for powder hounds out there: Japan is slowly re-opening to tourists, which means you’re one step closer to getting your skis and snowboards back into the land of the rising sun.
Although it is less sun and more snowfall on the glorious island of Hokkaido (just the way we like it), home to three of the best ski resorts in the country.
We call it the ‘Powder Triangle’ – Niseko, Rusutsu and Furano and we’ve got the itinerary for you. With each town offering its own blend of unique offerings in terrain and village life, they all have one thing in common: the snow, which is like nothing you’ve ever experienced before.
Step right this way to discover Japan’s best powder triangle, with an itinerary that will have you hollering your way down the slopes in no time.
First stop: Niseko, powder famous
Powder by day, après by night; Niseko is the first stop of your itinerary and one of the most well-known resorts in Hokkaido, for a very good reason. Did someone say 18 metres of snowfall a season?
You’ll be nestled into the spectacular beauty of Northern Japan, at the foot of the majestic Mt. Yotei. With four ski areas to explore – Annupuri, Niseko Village, Hirafu, and Hanazono – each are accessible with the same lift pass system, offering a whole lot of terrain to explore, even night skiing and some great backcountry accessibility.
The snow here is beyond anything you’ve experienced before, with icy Siberian winds sweeping over to Hokkaido and picking up moisture from the sea along the way, then dumping bucket loads of super dry tissue sized snow flakes.
By day, ski, snowboard, snowshoe, snowmobile, and snow bike through the frosty wonderland. By night, discover the villages and the world-class dining scene.
Bed yourself down in any of the NISADE accommodation offerings; such as The Vale Niseko, which won World’s Best Ski Boutique Hotel for four years running and is ski-in, ski-out right in the middle of popular Hirafu. Plus luxury amenities, slopeside views from the heated pool and an onsen.
Or there’s the The Maples Niseko, ideal for families, with large, liveable spaces, functional kitchens, a ski room and direct access to the Family ski run to provide ski in / ski out perfection.
There’s also the brand new Intuition, nestled into a forest overlooking the magnificent Mount Yotei, featuring a full range of luxury amenities just steps from town; or Kozue, in a prime Hirafu Village location with easy access to the slopes.
Fly into New Chitose International Airport near Sapporo and NISADE will have a private transfer waiting to take the two-hour trip to Niseko.
Check into your Niseko accommodation of choice, then go for a night ski before enjoying dinner and an onsen. Then go all over again, finding some time to discover the night life in between.
Second stop: Rusutsu, the quiet achiever
Head to Rusutsu from Niseko with a private transfer courtesy of the NISADE team. It only takes about 40 minutes, so just kick back and enjoy the ride.
Rusutsu is truly the Japanese dream; quirky, quiet and fun, perfectly suited both to families and those hunting for the steeper pitches full of the famous powder snow.
There are three mountain peaks with enough terrain to suit skiers and snowboarders of all levels and some of the best tree skiing going.
Keep an eye out for the amusement park, which is covered in snowfall throughout the winter and makes for a very cool experience – you haven’t skied or snowboarded until you’ve done so through a roller-coaster, with plenty of fresh snowfall to be found along the way.
Stay at The Vale Rusutsu, voted the World’s Best New Ski Hotel 2021. Offering a prime location right at the base of the slopes, there’s an onsen, restaurant and plenty of amenities to enjoy.
And you’ll be just steps away from all the fun to be found in the resort. Restaurants, in-resort shopping, a two-story carousel, an arcade and even a talking tree (you’ll get it when you see it). Plus fireworks by night, an indoor pool and slide, 4D cinema, games centre and more.
Third stop: Furano, the powder belly button
The town life of Furano offers so much more than just a rocking ski hill, including secret onsens tucked high into the hills.
Hop on another private transfer with the NISADE team to get there. The transfer takes about three and a half hours; you’ll get there ready to discover the powder by day and all the cultural experiences, dining and nightlife when you’re done on the slopes.
This area has long been famous with skiers and boarder thanks to the easy access to the endless backcountry terrain, the perfect groomers, tree runs and inbound powder terrain – all loaded with reliable snowfall, year after year.
Stay in the luxurious Fenix Furano or Fenix West, both new and offering everything from hotel rooms to apartments and penthouses. Fenix Furano has a ski-in, ski-out location, and Fenix West is just steps from the Kitanomine Gondola.
From Furano, it’s an easy two hour journey back to New Chitose Airport near Sapporo, ready to head back home, full of stories about your adventures and what you’ll be getting up to next time.
Love the look of this powder triangle itinerary? The team at NISADE have deals starting from as low as AU$1880 per person.
Get nine nights of accommodation (three nights each at Niseko, Rusutsu and Furano) plus premium private transfers between airport & resorts, breakfasts, onsen access and more. Includes 25% off for earlybird rates plus an additional 5% off for Snowsbesties. To get this deal you’ll need to book by July 31, 2022. Make sure you use PROMO Code ‘MSIAPT22’ when making a booking.
Or contact the NISADE crew to get a custom-made package tailored for the exact kind of holiday that you and your family, or mates, are after.