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.

Charlie Boscoe




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 classic route up Chisenupuri. It is not recommended to go higher than the top of the old lift system on storm days.

Chisenupuri SE

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.

Nito SE

A great storm day touring zone with lots of sheltered spots and features that fills in later in the winter.

Nito W

A classic run from the summit of Nito that keeps riders high and close to the summit for more laps.

Gate 5 Traverse

Upper mountain gate access skiing with steeper gradients and a variety of tree densities with minimal hiking.

Gate 2: Naka-one

Upper mountain gate access skiing with interesting ridge features, steeper gradients, and a variety of tree densities with minimal hiking.


A 20 minute hike above the resort out of Gate 2, this line is a classic Niseko back bowl run.

Gate 7

Playful, mellow tree skiing with lots of features

Strawberry Fields

A popular and playful Hanazono tree line for Intermediate to advanced skiers.