- Places to Explore
- Travel Tips
- Fodor's Choice
- Japanese Phrases
For the best skiing in Hokkaido, head for Niseko. This has been boomsville for Australian leisure developers, with foreign-owned holiday homes and apartments shooting up everywhere, particularly in Hirafu village. Direct flights between Chitose and Cairns, Australia, from November to April have revitalized Niseko, which had its heyday with Japanese skiers in the 1970s. Chinese tourism and speculative buying has also recently been making an impact.
Between the skiing and boarding on Mt. Annupuri and the conical Mt. Yotei is a gentle landscape of hot springs, dairy and vegetable farms, artists' workshops, and hiking trails. The Japanese love the outdoor farm and nature attractions, but for most Western visitors the adventure-sport opportunities are the real reason to come. Outdoor-adventure companies run by Australian and Canadian expats offer year-round thrills, including rafting (best from April to May), backcountry skiing, mountain biking, and bungee jumping.
Niseko is developing into a major self-catering vacation destination, meaning visitors provide their own food in exchange for access to a full kitchen. With most companies staffed by English-speaking expats, this offers an unusual-in-Japan stay opportunity. The Niseko area is hands-down the best place to discover the Hokkaido countryside, and it's easy to find an English-speaking guide.
- Address: Niseko
- Location: Niseko
Free Fodor's Newsletter
Subscribe today for weekly travel inspiration, tips, and special offers.
Fodor's Trip Planning Ideas
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Go List: Fodor's Top 25 Places to Go in 2013
- Hotel Awards 2012: Fodor's 100 Top Hotels
- Best of Europe: Fodor's Picks the Best Places to Visit in Europe
- $235 & up -- Japan: Luxury Hotels, Save 50% Featured Destination: Japan
- $1599 & up -- Japan Vacations incl. Air, Save up to $550 Featured Destination: Japan
- Imperial Japan IExplore
- $36 & up -- Japan Vacation Deals; Save up to $600 — $36 Featured Destination: Japan
- Imperial Japan — $9,975 IExplore
We are back, and I am jotting down a few things quickly while my mind is still fresh.
First off: thanks to the many Japanophiles here on Fodors who infected us with their enthusiasm: hawaiiantraveller, Read more
Hokkaido, northern island is an amazing destination. Read more
I am thinking about transfer options from Narita to Tokyo (Sheraton Miyako Hotel). Read more
· News & Features
You might not expect to find yourself amongst wine grapes a mere 75 miles outside of New York City.... Read more
Summertime is practically synonymous with road trips.... Read more
A family trip to Hawaii's Big Island would be one filled with outdoor thrills, animal adventures, and... Read more