The mountains are calling and we must go – the mountains of Niseko, to be more precise. While most people head to Niseko for the world-class skiing, it turns out Japan’s premier ski destination has more than a few tricks up its sleeve. Check out our picks for the best things to do in Niseko that don’t involve wearing a ski mask.
Go Zip Lining at Pure in Niseko Village
Get a bird’s eye view to Niseko by sliding through a 1.4-kilometre long zip line! The zip line at Pure is the longest in Japan and gives a totally new perspective to the mountains and valleys of Niseko. For understandable reasons, the zip line is only open during the summer season. If you’re travelling with kids, shorter and tamer options are also available.
Shop for Antiques at Cocoroya
Shopping in Niseko doesn’t have to be just about ski gear and after-ski snacks. Cocoroya is a beautiful store run by a Japanese-Australian couple. The offers a fascinating selection of Japanese antiques, art and vintage collectibles. We dare you to find a more perfect souvenir than their hand-dyed haori kimonos – or perhaps you prefer the handmade Japanese cooking knives instead? Cocoroya operates during the winter season, but you can contact the owners to make an appointment during summer.
Location: Momiji Building 170-50 Yamada, Kutchan-cho
Tel: +81 136 23 0008
Golf Next to Mount Yotei
Bet you didn’t know you could also go golfing in the Japanese Alps! The Niseko Golf Course is located just 20 minutes from Niseko Village. The course spans some 6,800 yards and was designed by Arnold Palmer himself. The par 72 course has 18 holes and stays open from April to November. With tee shots facing the iconic Mount Yotei, this just might be one of the most beautiful golf courses in the world. If you prefer a resort-like experience, you can opt for Niseko Village Golf Course. This course is located next to the Hilton Niseko Village hotel.
Visit Ice Cream Heaven in Milk Kobo
Milk Kobo is praised to high heavens for serving some of the best desserts and ice creams in Niseko. Their ice cream is produced from milk retrieved from the farm right next door. If ice cream seems a bit extreme in the heart of winter, you can sample their delicious cream puffs and cheese cakes instead. But work up a sweat in the slopes and ice cream might be just what the doctor ordered! If you’re travelling with kids, visiting this dessert heaven is one of the best things to do in Niseko.
Niseko Milk Kobo
Location: 888-1 Aza Soga, Niseko town
Soak Sore Muscles in an Onsen
What is a visit to Japan without visiting a traditional onsen hot spring. When searhing for your own private oasis, there are plenty of options to choose from. There are onsens at most of the area’s hotels. One of the most beautiful ones is the onsen at Niseko Grand Hotel, which offers an indoor and outdoor bath in rugged natural surroundings. If you want to stay clea of big hotels, you can also visit the local onses. One of our favourites is Onsen Yukoro located in Lower Hirafu Village. Soaking yourself in an onsen is one of the most relaxing things to do in Niseko – or anywhere on the planet, for that matter.
Niseko Grand Hotel
Location: 412 Niseko, Abuta-gun, Niseko
Location: Lower Hirafu Village
Price: Approximately 700JPY
Pub Crawl Through Izakayas
Besides the consistent powder snow, Niseko is known for offering lively après–ski
nightlife. One of the best ways to spend a night in Hirafu Village is to eat and, yes, drink your way through the Izakayas. Izakaya is a Japanase gastro pub where you can spend hours lingering over tapas style nibbles and of course, plenty of sake! If you’re not sure where to start, Bang Bang is one of the best eateries in town and has been around for 30 years. If you’re travelling on a budget, check out our guide to the best cheap eats in Niseko.
Location: Hirafu Zaka Street, Hirafu
Belt Out a Karaoke Tune
Clichés are clichés for a reason and though it might seem cheesy, singing karaoke in Japan definitely deserves a spot on your bucket list. Many of the local karaoke bars offer private booths for you and your group, so you don’t have to worry about belting out a tune in front of strangers. Venues like Nozomi II in Kutchan Town offer all you can drink packages when renting a boot. Even if you’re not a great singer, a night at the karaoke might turn out to be one of the most fun things to do in Niseko!