Niseko

Ski Chalets & Apartments for sale, Japan

Expert's Opinion

"Skiing in Japan is unlike anywhere else in the world; the snow is lighter, the apres ski entertainment comes in the form of onsens, and the tree skiing is unparalleled. As the largest and best known of the Japanese ski resorts, Niseko is quite simply the ultimate powder skiing destination." - Harry Granger

The Village

Niseko has become a household name in skiing thanks to its phenomenal snow record and the allure of a major skiing hub in Asia. But how much do we really know about the resort itself?

Well, the first thing to note is that the Niseko United ski area, officially Japan’s number one ski resort, is actually comprised of 4 ski resorts – Grand Hirafu, Hanazono, Niseko Village and An’nupuri – each nestled below the ski lifts and pistes on Mt. Niseko An’nupuri.

In terms of infrastructure, Hirafu Village is the most developed of all the areas of the resort. This is where you will find the best bars and restaurants, English-speaking rental shops, ski schools and guides.

Elsewhere in the resort, you will find villages and hamlets offering peaceful alternatives to the vibrant buzz of the main Hirafu Village area. Niseko is well known for its ‘onsen’ or natural hot springs, as well as the unique experience of Japanese skiing.

The Skiing

Although there are only around 55km of pistes in Niseko, the actual ski-able area is far larger thanks to the world famous off-piste. Niseko is famous for its powder snow, the result of from weather coming across from Siberia and its relatively high latitude. The fluffy, waist-deep powder can be skied daily in the resort and the backcountry. 

The well-spaced trees that cover much of the off-piste are home to some of the best tree-skiing in the world, and the setting for more than a few professional ski videos. The ski area also boasts incredible views of Mount Yotei, which is known as the Fuji of Hokkaido and dominates the landscape as you look out from the slopes of Niseko.

However much you love the off-piste in Niseko though, the main runs have plenty of offer skiers thinking of buying in Niseko, including superb beginner, intermediate and advanced slopes and one of the largest night-skiing operations on the planet. Lifts are open until 8.30pm each evening from mid-December to late March; not only can skiers enjoy a long ski day, but the area is completely transformed under the floodlights in the evenings.

Properties

Niseko is a resort which is developing fast, like the French Alps in the 90s and 00s. There's a wide range of properties available for international buyers that are, overall, exceptionally well-priced.

In Hirafu Village itself you can find apartments and “chalets” ranging from affordable to complete luxury, and from Alpine to traditional Japanese style. The Haven 501 Penthouse is a great example of a luxurious new-build apartment set at the heart of Niseko’s most vibrant resort and, like most properties in this area, it has incredible rental potential.

On the other hand, if you were more interested in a ski retreat there is, in a private location away from the bustle of the main resort, a wide variety of standalone ski houses and chalets in the Niseko area. Harmony House is a great example, exuding a minimalist Japanese style in a secluded location not far from the Niseko Village lifts.