Guidebook

Big Ski Lines and The World's Best Snow in Niseko

Home to deep, light snow, amazing terrain and wonderful local food, the Japanese island of Hokkaido should be on every freerider's hitlist.

Description

Over the past decade Japan - and particularly Hokkaido - has become increasingly popular with adventurous skiers, and with good reason. The island is home to some of the finest ski terrain on the planet and the combination of this and famously light, deep snow is hard to beat. Add in some fascinating Japanese culture and food, and the whole package looks even better.

The most famous resort on the island is Niseko and we've put together a selection of lines for you to go at when you arrive there. Most of the biggest lines around Niseko require a hike to access but there are still some routes in this list that you can simply ski into from a lift.

When you're done skiing these, jump in a hot tub, crack open an Asahi beer and start dwelling on what sushi you're going to order!

Chisenupuri Ascent South
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Chisenupuri Ascent South

Niseko
7 m
30 °
S
579 m
3.1 km
The classic route up Chisenupuri. It is not recommended to go higher than the top of the old lift system on storm days.
Difficult
Private
Chisenupuri S
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Chisenupuri S

Niseko
576 m
30 °
10 m
2.3 km
A classic line visible from the road.
Difficult
Private
Chisenupuri SE
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Chisenupuri SE

Niseko
383 m
37 °
S
0 m
1.0 km
An amazing south-east facing run that requires a short hike after skiing, or some organization to place a second car farther up the road.
Difficult
Private
Nito SE
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Nito SE

Niseko
398 m
39 °
E
6 m
1.6 km
A great storm day touring zone with lots of sheltered spots and features that fills in later in the winter.
Difficult
Private
Nito Ascent W
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Nito Ascent W

Niseko
7 m
26 °
W
444 m
2.5 km
The easiest of the three options to ascend Nito.
Moderate
Private
Nito W
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Nito W

Niseko
296 m
33 °
W
4 m
1.2 km
A classic run from the summit of Nito that keeps riders high and close to the summit for more laps.
Difficult
Private
Kozan no sawa bowl (center)
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Kozan no sawa bowl (center)

Niseko
712 m
37 °
0 m
2.2 km
A 20 minute hike above the resort out of Gate 3, this line is a classic Niseko back bowl run.
Difficult
Private
Gate 5 Traverse
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Gate 5 Traverse

Niseko
436 m
38 °
NE
77 m
2.3 km
Upper mountain gate access skiing with steeper gradients and a variety of tree densities with minimal hiking.
Difficult
Private
Gate 2: Naka-one
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Gate 2: Naka-one

Niseko
634 m
31 °
SW
3 m
2.3 km
Upper mountain gate access skiing with interesting ridge features, steeper gradients, and a variety of tree densities with minimal hiking.
Moderate
Private
O-Sawa
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

O-Sawa

Niseko
767 m
40 °
W
0 m
2.5 km
A 20 minute hike above the resort out of Gate 2, this line is a classic Niseko back bowl run.
Difficult
Private
Gate 7
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Gate 7

Niseko
383 m
27 °
S
0 m
1.7 km
Playful, mellow tree skiing with lots of features
Moderate
Private
Strawberry Fields
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Strawberry Fields

Niseko
278 m
31 °
NE
1 m
1.0 km
A popular and playful Hanazono tree line for Intermediate to advanced skiers.
Difficult
Private