Offering 200 ski in ski out deluxe twin and deluxe king guest rooms and corner suites designed to accommodate up to three people, the Green Leaf provides unobstructed views of Mt. Yotei from the base village and a range of home-away comforts.
Southern Hokkaido is home to the world-famous "Japow." Receiving 600+ inches of snow on average per season, Southern Hokkaido is truly the powder paradise that it’s rumored to be. But it’s not only Hokkaido's powder that’s the best in Japan; for expert skiers and riders, nothing competes with Niseko, Rusutsu or Kiroro's off-piste sidecountry skiing.
Located 62 miles from bustling Sapporo, Niseko is quite convenient for both international travelers and for city site-seers, which is why Ski.com bases their Japan Tour there. The resort is close to Rusutsu and Kiroro ski resorts, as well as the stunning Mt. Yōtei or “the Mt. Fuji of Hokkaido."
What to Expect
Depending on whether you're traveling from eastern or western North America, the flight to Japan can take anywhere from 11 to 14 hours. Once you've arrive in Tokyo, you have another two-hour domestic flight to Hokkaido.
Generally, the ski terrain you can expect in Southern Hokkaido, Japan is akin to lower-angle glades you might find in New England, but blanketed in 600+" annually. Much of the guided skiing includes technical, tight trees and obstacles, as well as challenging traverses that aren't pleasant for snowboarders and hike-to access.
Southern Hokkaido is the best for uninitiated travelers. English is widely spoken, especially in Niseko, due to a prevalence of Australian skiers. There’s still plenty of traditional Japanese restaurants and cultural and culinary attractions, including onsen (hot springs) soaks—a perfect way to restore and relax pre- or post-skiing, and local Japanese whiskey and sake tastings. Learn more.
With upwards of 12 seasons under their belt, our Southern Hokkaido-based ski guides provide the highest level of safety, knowledge and fun to our clients. Certified, seasoned professional guides understand local storm cycles and constantly monitor weather to determine the best resort to ski at each day.
With 600+" of snowfall annually, powder skis (101+ mm) are highly recommend, and are available to rent at nearly all Japanese ski resort. For this trip, we suggest renting from Rhythm Summit in Niseko's Hirafu Village. Backcountry packs, with beacon, probe and shovel are required and available for rent, too, as most of the guided skiing takes places in uncontrolled, off-piste zones.
What to Pack
January in Japan or "Japanuary" as it's affectionately called, is cold. Temperatures range from 12°F to 28°F, so it's imperative to pack and dress appropriately. In addition, since it snows so much in Hokkaido during the short winter months, stormy conditions and strong winds are often present. Boot heaters, hand warmers and face protectors, like Buffs, are highly recommended. See our full packing list.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is not included in this trip?
Lift tickets (so the group can be flexible in where they ski based on snow conditions; typically lift tickets in Japan run around $50 USD per day), Flights, lunches and 5 dinners
Can I book a private room?
Yes. For an additional cost. Please let us know.
What if I'm not an expert skier? Is this trip right for me?
Although, Niseko, Rusustu and Kiroro have an incredible array of groomed intermediate and beginner runs, this particular trip is curated with advanced to expert powder lovers in mind.
How/where/when do I meet up with this group?
Airport ground transportation is included in this trip. Your Mountain Travel Expert, who will book your entire trip for you (a complimentary service offered to all Ski.com customers), will take care of the details and provide you with proper documentation so you know where you're going.
Will there be laundry facilities to wash clothes?
Yes. The Green Leaf Niseko Village offers dry cleaning and laundry services, which means you can pack lighter.
How will the guided skiing aspect work?
The guides are English speakers and they will take five to six people per group, which will be determined on the first day based on ability. If you have your own group of five or six, we can organize the experience so you have your own guide.
What if I have to cancel?
Cancellations must be received in writing. The deposit of $1000 due at the time of booking to confirm the trip is nonrefundable. Final payment is due 90 days prior to departure. Within in 90 days the entire payment is nonrefundable. Trip cancellation insurance is highly recommended.