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What’s New at Niseko Resort in Winter 2022/2023

Skiers pointing to Mount Yotei

Niseko is gearing up for the return of international tourists for winter 2022/2023 as Japan gradually opens its borders. By the time season 2022/2023 rolls around, it will have been almost 3 years since the Niseko resort saw any overseas tourists. There have been many changes during this time. Old businesses have closed or moved and new ones have opened. Here are some notable differences that have taken place so you’re up to date when you come back to Niseko.

Quiet snowy mountain in Niseko resort
There have been many changes in Niseko during the pandemic years

New in Niseko United Resort

Hanazono ‘Symphony’ Gondola

This brand new 10 seater gondola opened up in Hanazono Resort of Niseko United during 2021/2022. It stops just above the Legends of Shinya run, suitable for intermediate level skiers and snowboarders. First-time and beginner skiers and snowboarders can access the beginner run, Juicy Fruit, via the mid-station. Be sure to enjoy the lovely mountain views from the comforts of the leather seats.

Niseko Accommodations

The construction of new hotels has continued during the pandemic. Various boutique hotels and chains have come up in the Niseko resort. Visitors will have plenty of accommodation options, including the brand new boutique hotel, Sansui Niseko. This ski-in ski-out hotel is located in Grand Hirafu resort on the main Hirafu-Zaka street. It has facilities that include traditional onsens, restaurants and a playroom for children.

Sansui, a newly built real estate development in Niseko resort
Sansui Niseko (Photo: Sansui Niseko)

Kamimura BAR

The iconic fine-dining Japanese restaurant, Kamimura, has added a bar to complement its restaurant and casual eatery, Kitchen. It is a great spot to enjoy a drink before dining and is also located inside the Chatrium Niseko building. 

For other restaurant recommendations worth visiting this coming winter, check out our Dining in Niseko article.

Changes in Niseko United Resort

Hanazono 1 Lift

Riders will enjoy a new 6 seater lift with individually heated seats, footrests, and a protective bubble hood. It replaces the former 4 seater – the Hanazono 1 Quad. The lift route remains the same so take this lift to access the runs Stairway to Heaven and Silver Dream (which has changed from being a beginner green run to an intermediate red run).  

niseko hanazono new chairlift
The new Niseko Hanazono 1 chairlift (Photo: Niseko United)

Grand Hirafu Dot Base Carpark

The Dot Base Carpark and drop-off areas are notorious for traffic jams, especially when it is an epic powder day. During these last 2 years, the Niseko resort has redesigned the layout to allow for a better traffic flow. A drop-off zone for cars has been created in the car park area, and designated bus stops are clearly marked in front of the Welcome Centre.

Niseko Ramen

This ramen institution is famous for its Hokkaido Niseko “Potato” ramen. Unfortunately it is no longer in Niseko. It is now located in Makkari, which thankfully is not too far away. It is approximately half an hour’s drive from Niseko and in the same building as an onsen. Nothing better than finishing up an onsen with a delicious bowl of steamy ramen.

Moon Bar

Another popular ramen joint in the Niseko resort, Moon Bar luckily is still in Grand Hirafu. Its new home is located just a few streets away from its old place, nearby the Lawson shop on Route 343.

No Longer in Niseko United Resort

Niseko Pizza

The iconic pizza joint has moved out of the Niseko United Resort. However, it’s not all bad news as it can still be found in Kutchan on Route 5 as well as Iwanai town. So head down to Kutchan town to enjoy that classic Niseko Pizza pizza!

Niseko Pizza Kutchan
Niseko Pizza in Kutchan (Photo: Niseko PIzza)

Mick’s Wine Bar

Mick’s was once a great little wine bar located at the main intersection of Grand Hirafu Resort. However, he has now relocated to Sapporo. Be sure to stop there for a glass or 2 if you plan to stay a few days in Sapporo. 

Have any questions regarding the above? Feel free to send us your enquiry to [email protected].

Anthea Hung

Anthea Hung

Anthea is the Co-Founder and COO of Hokkaido Ski Club. She also loves teaching ski and snowboard, having almost 20 years of teaching experience as a snowsports instructor, violin and piano teacher. She is passionate about children and education in the hope of making the world a better place. When not on snow, she loves meeting new people, delighting in international cuisines, and spending time with her family.
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