Japan

Family-Friendly Guide To Niseko And Hirafu With Kids *UPDATED FOR SKI SEASON

Your Ski Season Guide To Niseko 2022 / 2023

Niseko-With-Kids-Guide-To-Skiing

Let it snow! Niseko’s famous ski destination is ready for skiers and snowboarders big and small with new hotel and chalet openings, must-visit restaurants, child care options, and plenty of things to do other than skiing too.   Hit the slopes, take a ski lesson, go snow tubing, explore the town’s finest restos with the kids, and uncover secret recommendations with the Little Steps Guide to Family-Friendly Niseko.

This guide has been fully updated by families in the know to prep you for your 2022/ 2023 ski holiday! Keen on sharing a tip – email editor@littlestepsasia.com as the big SKI GUIDE is coming out soon so updates are ongoing.

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Top Places To Eat In Niseko

Family-Friendly Accommodation Guide To Niseko

 

  • Niseko-With-Kids-Family-Friendly-Accomodations

    PLACES TO STAY IN NISEKO: Hotels + Chalets + Ski-In/Ski-Out + Affordable Options

    Always popular, Niseko is a magical place for snow-loving families with babies, toddlers, kids, and teens! For those looking for family-friendly accommodation in Niseko, there are 4 popular resort areas to choose from: Annapuri, Niseko Village, Grand Hirafu, and Hanazono. Little Steps has rounded up a list of our favorite luxury chalets, affordable and cheap options, ski-in/ski-out favorites, big group options, and a few secret stays as well.

    Full Guide To Top Family Friendly Accommodation In NisekoClick here!

    LUXURY FAMILY HOTELS, RESORTS, VILLAS/COTTAGES IN NISEKO:

    Annupuri Family-Friendly Luxury Hotels And Chalets:

    Niseko Village Family-Friendly Hotels And Chalets:

    Hanazono Family-Friendly Luxury Hotels And Chalets:

    Grand Hirafu Family-Friendly Luxury Hotels And Chalets:

    LUXURY BOUTIQUE HOTELS, VILLAS/COTTAGES IN NISEKO:

    Annupuri Family-Friendly Luxury Boutique Hotels And Chalets:

    Niseko Village Family-Friendly Luxury Boutique Hotels And Chalets:

    Hanazono Family-Friendly Luxury Boutique Hotels And Chalets:

    Grand Hirafu Family-Friendly Luxury Boutique Hotels And Chalets:

    AFFORDABLE BOUTIQUE HOTELS, VILLAS/COTTAGES IN NISEKO:

    Annupuri Family-Friendly Affordable Boutique Hotels And Chalets:

    Niseko Village

    Grand Hirafu

  • Top-Niseko-Restaurants-For-Families-Popular

    PLACES TO EAT IN NISEKO: Sushi + Yakatori + Traditional Delights In Niseko

    Family-Friendly Restaurants In Niseko + Date Night + Restaurants For Groups In Niseko

    From sushi to ramen, Niseko is also famous for its food! Enjoy food from Michelin-starred favorites to the best casual Hirafu restaurants to enjoy as a family - it's all here.

    One of the most famous in the area is Kamimura - it's a Michelin-starred French restaurant in Hirafu. It’s open all year round and you’ve never truly dined in Niseko unless you’ve eaten here. However, they don’t allow children below 7 inside. But don’t fret! You can drop off your kids at the Niseko Kids Club.

    There are lots of child-friendly restaurants that also accommodate big groups, especially if you are traveling with your extended family or friends. A favorite is Jojo’s, which is located on the second floor of Niseko's climbing and adventure center. It has a dedicated playground for kids and serves delicious Western food. If you’d like to try Swiss raclette and fondue, stop by the Alpinist, which is located in Odin Place. However, they are only open during the winter season and by reservations. If you and your family are a fan of buffet lunches and dinners, Prativo is the place for you.

    There’s always something new in Niseko! Always evolving, foodies can enjoy the latest and greatest on the food scene.

    • A-Bu-Cha 2,  191-29 Yamada, Kutchan, Abuta District, Hokkaido 044-0081 Japan, www.abucha.jp
    • An Dining, Ki Niseko, Yamada, Kutchan-cho, Abuta-gun, Hokkaido 044-0081 Japan,   www.kiniseko.com/dining *Thai food
    • Akaru, 1F Yamashizen West, 185-6 Aza Yamada, Kutchan-cho, Abuta-gun Hokkaido 044-0081 Japan,  www.nisekoakaru.wixsite.com/akaru
    • Bang Bang, Yamada, Kutchan-chō, Abuta-gun, Hokkaidō 044-0081 Japan, www.nisekobangbang.com *yakitori
    • Bi-On Niseko, 83-120 Yamada, Kutchan-chō, Abuta-gun, Hokkaidō 044-0081 Japan, www.bion2202.com/niseko *Italian styled barbecue with local ingredients
    • Kumo Restaurant, Skye Niseko 204-7 Aza Yamada, Kutchan-cho, Abuta-gun, Hokkaido 044-0081 Japan, www.kumoniseko.com *great views, great Japanese food
    • Markie Curry, Kita 3 Jonishi, Kutchan-chō, Abuta-gun, Hokkaidō 044-0053 Japan, www.markiecurrynisekoenglish.com *home of Hokkaido's famous soup curry dish
    • Niseko Pizza, Minami 6 Johigashi, Kutchan, Abuta District, Hokkaido 044-0016 Japan, www.nisekopizza.com
    • Niseko Ramen Kazahana, 170-50 Yamada, Kutchan, Abuta District, Hokkaido 044-0081, Japan, *lowkey and authentic ramen that locals love
    • Kougetsu,170-41 Yamada, Kutchan-chō, Abuta-gun, Hokkaidō 044-0081 Japan,    www.kougetsuniseko.com
    • Steak Rosso Rosso, 167-61 Yamada, Kutchan, Abuta-gun, Hokkaido 044-0081 Japan,  www.rossorosso.la.coocan.jp/index.html *the go-to place for steak
    • Sushi Hanayoshi, 65 Fujimi, Niseko-chō, Abuta-gun, Hokkaidō 048-1502 Japan,  www.niseko-hanayoshi.com *exceptional sushi experience

    A few tips for eating in Niseko:

      • A lot of restaurants are temporarily closed down due to Covid-19, so it’s best to send an inquiry months before your reservation. 
      • Most restaurants are open during the wintertime only. Always check for year-round availability if you are not visiting in the winter months. 
      • Be sure to make reservations in advance, especially if with a large group. Many require reservations 90 days in advance during popular times.
      • Make sure and check to see if the restaurant takes credit cards - many do not.
      • After making a reservation, make sure and check the criteria for confirmation.  Many restaurants require you to confirm 24 hours before even after you make the reservation.
  • Niseko-With-Kids-Ski-Equipment-Gear

    WHERE TO RENT SKI EQUIPMENT + BUY GEAR IN NISEKO:

    With two locations in Niseko, Rhythm Niseko is a family-friendly hub of rentals and gear that will sort you and the kids out...pronto! Rent skis, snowboards, helmets, snow boots, and more. Rhythm Niseko offers pick-up and rental exchange plus tuning and repair services. Hire gear in advance via their online booking hereNiseko Base is another popular ski rental company offering skis/boards from top brands such as K2, Head, Ride, Line, Armada, and Burton.  They have child rentals with helmets included.  In Hanazono, Niseko Sports is popular for kids and adults.

    Ski Rental For Adults + Kids:

    Kids + Adults Jackets, Gloves, Goggles, Gear In Niseko:

    In addition to skis, Rhythm also has an excellent selection of ski shopping extras for kids.  Other options include:

    Odin Place In Hirafu:

    This is a shopping haven in the center of Hirafu for families looking for stores, food, and gear.  Inside, you will find 3-floors of shopping and eating options including Burton, iZone Style Ikeuchi, and more. This hub also houses The Tap Room (craft beer) and some cool restaurants too.

  • Ski-Lessons-For-Kids-Niseko

    SKI SCHOOLS IN NISEKO: Toddlers, Kids, Private Classes, Adults In Niseko + Backcountry Ski Requests

    If you're seeking convenience, book the whole family in for lessons at Niseko Base Snowsports with classes for kids 3 and up.  Another option is NISS which is a purpose-built set up in Hanazono and fab for getting the kids to a 'quieter' part of the mountain away from the masses in Hirafu. This option is ideal for little ones and beginners as well.  GoSnow is an international ski school in Hirafu offering magic carpets for early learners, priority lift lines at Grand Hirafu, and lessons for kids, teens, and privates too.

  • Best-Apres-Ski-Niseko

    APRES SKI IN NISEKO: Where To Drink And Eat After You Ski In Niseko

    Apres-ski is a must!  Top spots for sips post-ski include the popular Masu at Odin Place - right in Hirafu. Craving a craft beer? The Tap Room is where you can try local brews and it's in the same building as Masu! Other popular Apres Ski spots include The Vale Bar & Grill by The Ace Family Ski Lift.  Others in Hirafu that people love are The Barn and Tamashii.

    Hirafu Apres Ski Favorites:

  • Niseko-With-Kids-Things-To-Do-Other0Than-Skiing

    THINGS TO DO IN NISEKO OTHER THAN SKIING? There Are So Many Fun Activities For Kids!

    There are loads of things to do in Niseko other than skiing. Kids will be happy to know that there is a huge indoor play space, Galaxy Of Kids in Hanazono, with 10 climbing walls, a floating adventure trail, and so much more! For amazing winter kids camps, Edventure is super popular with families. Niseko offers unique classes including ice cream-making workshops at Milk Kobo (Takahashi Farm) and other cultural experiences around town such as Taiko drumming lessons, tea ceremony demonstrations, and sushi-making lessons, which are usually advertised closer to the date. Ugasoba offers a soba noodle-making class (reserve 2-days in advance) or you can also check out other venues, here. Hanazono Park offers tons of fun, such as sledding, snow tubing, zip-lining, and winter rafting. For dog sledding, horseback riding, snow rafting (get pulled behind a snowmobile), and snowshoe adventures, you can try Rusutsu and Niseko Village!  There are plenty of places to arrange snowmobile tours including Explore Niseko and Hanazono.

    For indoor fun, you can take a day pass at the popular indoor pool at Alpen Hotel Niseko (then finish at the onsen upstairs).  Jo Jo's is also popular with families as it offers a three-story indoor playground and a climbing wall within the NAC (Niseko Adventure Centre) building.

    Niseko Gourmet is a fun place to do fam-friendly cooking classes.  If you want to go on a tour and make sure somebody takes photographs for you to remember, contact Niseko Photography. One for pops?  Go whiskey tasting at Nikka Whiskey!

    If you feel like wandering inside a museum or an exhibit, there are two places that you can go to - Kutchan Museum of Natural Sciences and Ogawara Museum.

    More Fun Activities Besides Skiing For Families In Niseko:

    Want to go on a day trip close to Niseko?  

    • We recommend Otaru, Sapporo, Lake Toya, Noboribetsu, Furano, and Biei!

     

  • Family-Friendly-Onsens-Niseko

    FAMILY-FRIENDLY ONSENS: Mixed, Female-Only, And Kid-Friendly Onsens In Niseko!

    Most onsens, natural thermal hot springs, in Niseko allow kids to join if a parent is present. For a family-friendly experience, book your own private onsen at the Kanronomori Hotel. They offer two private onsen rooms with large cedar baths and a relaxation area that can be hired out for a period of 50 minutes. Hilton Niseko Village has a large indoor bath and a wide outdoor bath next to a pond with stunning views of Mt. Yotei. You can enjoy the view of "Ezo Fuji" from both the indoor and outdoor baths.  Yugokorotei is another favorite - gorgeous indoor and outing onsen options with top views.  The Niseko Grand Hotel offers the largest onsen in the area.

  • Niseko-Babysitter-Childcare

    BABY SITTERS + CHILDCARE IN NISEKO: Babies And Toddler Care

    Most chalets and hotels offer babysitting services on request.  For those seeking more of a drop-off option, there are options that are great for families.  Located in Aya Niseko, Niseko Kid's Club offers certified, English-speaking caregivers that will entertain your children aged 1-6 with fun-filled activities both inside and outside.  They offer full and half-day options.  Niseko Babysitters is an agency that provides fun active babysitting.  All babysitters are first aid certified, bonded insured, and have many years of childcare experience even for small babies. Want a more cultural experience?  Win D'Ol is a unique option with full and half-day Japanese cultural programs for kids, sports nannies to hang on the slope with them, and evening care options.

  • Niseko-With-Kids-Guide-To-Skiing

    WHERE TO SHOP IN NISEKO (GENERAL MERCHANDISE AND GROCERIES):

    Having supplies within your reach is helpful, especially when you cannot wait for room service or if you crave something at an ungodly hour. There are several general merchandise stores and groceries that you can check out during your downtime.

  • OTHER TIPS & TRICKS FOR VISITING NISEKO WITH KIDS:

    • Niseko Lift Tickets - you can check prices here.
    • Booking ahead for stays, meals, ski lessons, and rentals is the most important tip (especially during busy times such as Christmas and Chinese New Year!). For those already booked into a property, you can request the concierge to arrange the meal bookings.
    • Be sure to remember to pack your own fever medication, plenty of moisturizers as the air is very dry, and ask the hotel/property manager/concierge to make sure the kids' room has a humidifier – especially useful for toddlers and younger. It's cold - bundle up!
    • Need to buy wine in Niseko - head to Niseko Wine Delivery or Maoi Distillery.
    • Want to hire a photographer in Niseko - book up Niseko Photography!  They also do photography workshops.  Note, most of the images (including the main image here were taken by these lovely folks!

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