A Guide to Two Days in Niseko

Travel Itinerary
1 ratings

Anna Reed
Itinerary by: Anna Reed
2 years ago
Travel Writer
Duration: 2 days

Itinerary Introduction

Visit the premier international ski and snowboarding destination in Asia and quite possibly the world. Niseko's snowfall is lush and the Japanese powder -- 'japow' -- is unlike any other snowfall in the world. Enjoy the wonderful international cuisine, sample the freshest Hokkaido seafood, and experience the unique Japanese hospitality. Once you enjoy a winter season in Niseko, you'll never want to go anywhere else.

Niseko - Travel Itinerary

Day 1

05:00 - 09:00

Kimamaya by Odin

170-248 Yamada, Kutchan, Abuta District, Hokkaido 044-0081, Japan
Cosy, laid back, and sophisticated Kimamaya by Odin is a small, nine-room luxury ski lodge conveniently situated at the foot of Mount Niseko in Niseko Hirafu. Niseko is a famous international snowsport paradise located on the northern island of Hokkaido, Japan. Because of Niseko’s natural topography, geographic location, and proximity to the ocean, snow that falls in Niseko has more water content resulting in snowfalls in the Goldilock’s zone, neither too light nor too heavy, creating beautiful buttery powder which falls consistently during the winter season. The powder that falls in Niseko is so lovely that it has the nickname, ‘japow.’ (Japow is a portmanteau combining the words Japan and powder.) Kimamaya means ‘be yourself,' and Kimamaya’s laid back yet luxurious atmosphere feels warm and welcoming after a long day carving tracks through freshly fallen powder. Step out of your snow-covered gear and into the padded slippers waiting for you at the door. Enjoy a glass of red wine by the fire at the self-serve bar and communal lounge area, or head downstairs for a hot stone massage to soothe muscles fatigued from a beautiful day on the slopes of Mt. Niseko Annupuri. Or even better, schedule an hour in one of Kimamaya’s two beautifully appointed private onsen baths, which are perfect for downtime after a long muscle-fatiguing day enjoying the freshly fallen japow. Families travelling with small children will enjoy the game room filled with interactive toys and a gaming console. Check out the wooden pillar in the game room, which has the names and heights of all the children who have enjoyed Kimamaya’s hospitality through the years. The interiors of Kimamaya’s nine rooms are well-designed, equipped with WiFi, television, other accessories and amenities, plus complimentary in-room coffee and tea service. Their premium goose down beddings and high thread count cotton linens are unbelievably plush and comfy, perfect for snuggling into and sleeping. Bathrooms feature lovely rain showers with hot and cold water and state-of-the-art Japanese automated toilets with heated seats. A private indoor corridor connects Kimamaya’s in-house guests to the neighbouring restaurant, The Barn by Odin. Guests staying at Kimamaya can enjoy the lovely breakfast buffet featuring freshly-baked pastries, dairy products and yoghurt from Hokkaido’s artisanal dairy producers, fresh fruit, salad, juices, champagne and traditional grilled breakfast items. For those guests who want a traditional Japanese breakfast, it is also available upon request and is highly recommended. Guests with snow gear can store their items below Kimamaya in a heated mudroom accessible from both the exterior and interior of the lodge. A private Kimamaya shuttle is available to bring guests to and from their ski locations. Staff are welcoming, warm, helpful and quite knowledgeable about Niseko and the surrounding areas. Kimamaya is open year-round and is a gorgeous destination even outside of the winter season. The surrounding area is a nature lover’s dream, and beautiful scenery and walking trails abound. (Photos: Courtesy of Kimamaya by Odin)
Article By: Anna Reed

Getting there

Air Travel: Planes land in New Chitose Airport (2 hours from Tokyo). New Chitose Airport is located just 2.7 NM south-southeast of Chitose, Tomakomai, and Hokkaidō, Japan. Train: Multiple train services run daily from New Chitose Airport, and Sapporo and most services end at Kutchan station (2.5 hours from Sapporo), which is the most convenient place to catch a taxi or local bus to the resorts. Some services go to Niseko station, which has fewer transport options. Private Car: You can travel to Niseko by car using two routes -- via the highway or through the mountains using the Nakayamatoge route. (2 hours by car) Bus: The most popular way to travel from New Chitose Airport to Niseko. Make sure to make your bus booking in advance. (2.5 hours from New Chitose Airport)

10:00 - 12:00

Niseko CrossFit

044-0081, Japan
Located in Kutchan, CrossFit Niseko stands in what was once a potato warehouse. The town’s primary industry was agriculture before the tourism boom brought about by the fantastic winter and summer sports activities attracting many international tourists. Niseko offers many opportunities for active tourists who enjoy outdoor pursuits such as fly fishing, trail running, cycling, hiking, rafting, snowboarding and skiing. CrossFit Niseko is perfectly positioned in Kutchan to help athletes maintain their health and fitness goals and provide a place for athletes to condition and train for their events and competitions. Drop-In Guest Fee ¥4000 / day Drop-In Guests Welcome One Week Unlimited ¥8250 / 7 continuous days One Week Unlimited Two Week Unlimited ¥13200 / 14 continuous days Two Week Unlimited (Photos: CrossFit Niseko Instagram @nisekocrossfit)
Article By: Anna Reed
Price covers: Entry
Prices for Niseko CrossFit
Category Price Restrictions
Standard 31.07 - 0.00 EUR

19:00 - 20:00

The Barn by Odin

170-323 Yamada, Kutchan, Abuta District, Hokkaido 044-0081, Japan
The Barn by Odin is a wintertime bistro set inside a lovely glass front building reminiscent of the Hokkaido farmhouses that are an integral part of the Hokkaido culture, economy, and landscape. Before the huge tourism boom brought about by the many outdoor sports activities available year-round in Niseko, the area primarily earned its income via farming and agriculture. This confluence of tourism and agriculture has resulted in the emergence of many different restaurants and international cuisines available in the Kutchan area of Niseko. The Barn by Odin serves up a fusion of European, Continental, and Asian cooking techniques utilising the freshest local ingredients like quality dairy products from artisanal Hokkaido dairies, market-fresh Hokkaido mussels from the coast, and beautiful cuts of Hokkaido beef, not to mention fresh vegetables and produce from neighbouring farms. In Japanese culture, ‘washoku’, the kanji characters which form the word are comprised of 和 (wa), meaning Japanese, or harmony, and 食 (shoku), meaning food or to eat. The term is a beautiful philosophy and social practice that emphasises seasonal and locally sourced food, highlighting the harmony between man, nature, and sustenance. The Barn by Odin practices the principles of washoku in the conscientious way they source their bistro ingredients. Signature dishes include the Hokkaido Mussels delicately steamed in Niseko brewed sake, the Sushi Foie Gras, and the expertly cooked Hokkaido Steak. The Basque Cheesecake made with rich and silky Hokkaido cream is beyond decadent and, if you love cheesecake, sharing isn’t recommended. After a day burning calories on the slopes of Mt. Niseko-Annupuri, indulging in a slice of this fantastic cheesecake is the perfect end to an amazing day in this snow lover’s paradise. Breakfast at The Barn Reserved for in-house guests, the champagne buffet breakfast at the barn is the perfect start to the day. Fresh fruit, assorted fresh juices, salad, Hokkaido yoghurt, cold cuts, cheeses, pastries, and grilled items are served fresh daily. The Japanese Breakfast must be ordered in advance the evening before, and it is an experience that should not be missed! Guests staying at the neighbouring lodge, Kimamaya by Odin, wake up and walk over in their PJs and padded slippers via a private connecting hallway. (Photos: Courtesy of The Barn by Odin and Anna Reed)
Article By: Anna Reed

Day 2

08:00 - 12:00

Go Snow

209-2 Yamada, Kutchan, Abuta District, Hokkaido 044-0081, Japan
Go Snow is the international snowsports school of the Niseko Grand Hirafu Resort and offers lessons to guests of all ages and capabilities. Ski and snowboarding lessons are conducted in English by a collective of instructors from all over the world. If English is not your preferred language, Go Snow also has bilingual instructors from all over the world who can teach in your native tongue. Location Go Snow operates out of two locations in the main village of Hirafu, the Gondola Base, and the Family Base. Gondola Base Facilities include: -Lift Ticket Sales -Lesson Sales -Private Learning Area with Magic Carpet -Grand Hirafu Rentals -Retail Store Family Base Facilities include: -Lift Ticket Sales -Lesson Sales -Private Learning Area with Magic Carpet During the snow season, Go Snow offers six programs to guests. The programs are private lessons, children's group lessons, adult group lessons, power gliding, workshops, and super packs. Go Snow's instructors are knowledgeable, friendly, and professional. Go Snow Instructors Go Snow Instructors are a fun, dynamic, and diverse group hailing from all over the world. Instructors are enthusiastic, proactive and do their utmost to provide customers with an excellent learning experience. (Photos by Anna Reed)
Article By: Anna Reed

12:30 - 14:00


209 Yamada, Kutchan, Abuta District, Hokkaido 044-0081, Japan
Originally built as a safety hut for those lost on the mountain in 1965, Boyoso is located in the log cabin halfway up the hill directly under the Hirafu gondola. Current owners Toshimi and Hiroko Funaba have operated this restaurant since 1986. Boyoso operates on a first-come, first-serve basis and the long queue during the lunchtime rush of hungry skiers and snowboarders speaks to the popularity of the place and the hearty and filling food they serve. Enjoy generous portions of the crowd-favourite pork katsu curry or try the speciality Ikura-Don (salmon roe over rice), Kani-Don (crab over rice) and be sure to order their tasty dumplings, too. They also serve other ski hill favourites such as delicious tempura, soba, udon, donburi, and ramen, as well as complimentary Japanese tea. Hungry guests line up at the door and queue towards the front, where they are greeted with a signboard listing menu options. Seating and service are all done on a self-serve basis, and because Boyoso fills up quickly, large groups may not be able to seat themselves at an entire table. Be sure to bring cash with you as Boyoso is cash-only. The interior of Boyoso is warm, albeit a bit cramped because of all the guests and the racks where one can hang their jackets and helmets. Expect to share a table with other diners. You can access Boyoso via the Grand Hirafu’s Holiday Pair chairlift and then a short traverse across to the restaurant. (Photos from Boyoso website)
Article By: Anna Reed

19:00 - 21:00

Ezo Seafoods

170-165 Yamada, Kutchan, Abuta District, Hokkaido 044-0081, Japan
Ezo Seafoods opened on Niseko Hirafu’s Momiji Street in 2009 to offer Niseko visitors a singular seafood experience. Husband and wife team James Gallagher and Keiko Takaoka have created a fantastic dining experience that is a must when one visits Niseko. A feature of the restaurant is its ever-changing display-style menu. Guests entering Ezo Seafoods are greeted by “Host and Seafood Captain” James. He stands behind the bar loaded with the freshest Sapporo seafood, displayed on a bed of ice and inside state-of-the-art seafood tanks filled with chilled seawater sourced from Iwanai on Hokkaido’s Pacific coast. Guests can select dishes from the menu board and also directly from the display. In the kitchen, Head Chef Keiko lovingly creates sublime seafood dishes using fresh seasonal ingredients. Seasoning is subtle, delicate, and flavourful while honouring the true essence of the main seafood ingredients. Dishes are prepared and executed flawlessly using produce from nearby farms and Ezo Seafoods’ farm, where they grow 30 different vegetables and herbs year-round. As part of their commitment to only serving the freshest seafood ingredients, James makes a 5-hour roundtrip drive daily to the Sapporo Wholesale Markets to select shellfish, fish, and seaweed. Ezo Seafoods is so popular that visitors are encouraged to make their reservations well in advance as spots fill up almost immediately for the December through March winter season. (Photos from Ezo Seafoods FB page and Anna Reed)
Article By: Anna Reed

Privacy: public

About the author

Anna is a beach lover, sun riser, and snowflake worshipper who loves to travel. Sporty and outdoorsy, her favorite travel destinations include CrossFit box visits, active adventures, and finding local dining spots with ambiance and amazing food.

Matt Reed Looks amazing 2 years ago
Wow, what a great trip. I want to goooooooo!

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