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 2019/2020 holiday!
From sushi to ramen, Niseko is famous for its food! Little Steps has snacked, slurped, and chowed are way around Niseko to put together the top restaurants for 2019/2020. From Michelin starred favorites to the best Hirafu restaurants to enjoy as a family - it's all here. What's more? We have included the best places to eat for lunch on and near the mountain as well - enjoy!
Best Family-Friendly Restaurants In Niseko 2019/2020, Click here!
There are a few notable openings in Niseko! Always evolving, foodies can enjoy the latest and greatest on the food scene.
1. Kumo - Great views of Hirafu, this is a ski-in/ski-out option located inside Skye Niseko. Japanese soul food for lunch and isakaya for dinner! They also have breakfast for early risers.
2. Roketto - Opened in January 2019, this new restaurant was opened by the chef behind Wild Rocket in Singapore (a top resto!) and offers casual dining during the day and awesome cocktails at night! It's located in The Maples Niseko.
3. Bion Niseko - Amazing Italian BBQ and they organize transfers as well for easy eating and drinking.
4. Acorn - Fine dining perfection by Takeshi Nagashima (of El Bulli)
5. Temperada - Open from 5pm - a new bar in town that we love.
6. Kobe Tei - Seeking Kobe beef in Hirafu?
A few tips for eating in Niseko:
*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 confirm 24-hours before even after you make the reservation.
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 Hanazano. 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.
Top Family Friendly Accommodation In Niseko, Click here!
New Properties 2019/2020:
Park Hyatt Niseko, Hanazono - January 20, 2020
The Pavillions Niseko Resort And Residences - 2020 Opening
Skye Niseko - Newly Opened!
Hyatt House, Niseko - Newly Opened!
Hakuvillas - Newly Opened - 6-Star Experience!
Panarama Niseko - Newly Opened!
With two locations in Niseko, Rhythm Niseko is a family-friendly hub of rentals and gear 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 here. Niseko 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:
Rhythm Niseko, Various locations, https://www.rhythmjapan.com/locations/
Niseko Base, NBS Uptown, Piz Gloria building adjacent to the Hirafu 188 building on Hirafu Zaka Street, Niseko, +81 136 21 5050, http://www.nisekobase.com/rentals/
Niseko Sports, Hanazono, https://hanazononiseko.com/en/winter/rental-and-retail/rental
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:
Niseko 343, https://www.niseko343.com/en/
Mountain Centre Shop At Grand Hirafu, http://www.grand-hirafu.jp/winter/en/shop/
Odin Place In Hirafu:
This is a shopping haven in the centre 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.
Odin Place, Aza Yamada 190-13, Kutchan-cho, Abuta-gun, Hokkaido, Japan, http://www.experienceniseko.com/news/niseko-welcomes-the-new-odin-place
Grocery Stores In Niseko
Niseko Deli, http://niseko-deli.com/ - full-service grocery in Hirafu
Seicomart - located in Hirafu, convenience store for basics and also has an ATM
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.
Niseko Base Snowsports, www.nisekobase.com
NISS Snowsports School, www.hanazononiseko.com/en
GoSnow Niseko, https://www.gosnowniseko.com/
Private Ski Instructor, [email protected]
Backcountry Ski Requests? Click here to arrange tours.
Want more? Click here for the full guide of ski schools in Niseko! Note some of the local ski schools will not have English.
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:
Masu Niseko, https://www.facebook.com/musuniseko/
The Tap Room, https://www.nisekotaproom.com/
The Vale Bar & Grill, http://thevalebarandgrill.com/
The Barn, http://www.nisekobarn.com/
There are loads of things to do in Niseko other than skiing. New for 2019/2020, kids are pumped about the opening of Galaxy Of Kids in Hanazono which is a huge new indoor play space including 10 climbing walls, a floating adventure trail, and more. For amazing winter kids camps, Edventure is super popular with families. For kids, Niseko offers unique classes including glass bead making workshops at Milk Kobo (Takahashi Farm) and other cultural experiences around town such as Taiko drumming lessons, tea ceremony demonstrations, sushi making lessons, which are usually advertised closer to the date. Ugasoba offers soba noodle making class (reserve 2-days in advance). Hanazano 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 through Explore Niseko and Hanazano. For little ones, take a visit to the fun Kids Park at Grand Hirafu for a dedicated area for snow sledding, igloo fun, and more. Prefer Reindeer Sledding, Niseko Village can sort you here too. 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. Want to go snowshoeing or cross-country skiing, click here. Niseko Gourmet is a fun place to do fam-friendly cooking classes. If you want to up your photography skills, book up a photo workshop with Niseko Photography. One for pops? Go whiskey tasting at Nikka Whiskey!
New For 2019/2020?
Galaxy Of Kids - Huge Indoor Play Space *Opening December 2019
Snow Rafting Tours - Fun!
More Fun Activities Besides Skiing For Families In Niseko:
Milk Koba (Takahashi Farm), www.milk-kobo.com
Winter Kids Camps - Edventure Kids Camps!
Hanazano Park, https://hanazononiseko.com/en/winter/activities/tube-park
Kids Park At Grand Hirafu, http://www.grand-hirafu.jp/winter/en/kids/
Snow Rafting At Niseko Village, http://www.niseko-village.com/en/white/snow-rafting.html
Reindeer Sledding At Niseko Village, http://www.niseko-village.com/en/white/reindeer-sledding.html
Niseko Photography Workshops, https://www.nisekophotography.com/winter-hokkaido-workshop/
Snowshoeing and Cross-country Skiing, http://nisekocentral.com/guest-services/view/snowshoeing-and-cross-country-skiing
Explore Niseko, https://bookings.explore-niseko.com/snowmobiling-tours
Alpen Hotel Niseko, http://www.hotel-nisekoalpen.jp/en/
Jo Jo's Eat + Climb Centre, http://www.nacadventures.jp/en/jojos-restaurant
Niseko Gourmet, http://www.niseko-gourmet.com/cooking-school/
Nikka Whiskey, https://www.nikka.com/eng/distilleries/yoichi/
Want to go on a day trip close to Niseko?
We recommend Otaru, Sapporo, Lake Toya, Noboribetsu, Furano and Biei!
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 which 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.
Kanronomori Hotel, 415, Niseko, Niseko-cho, Abuta-gun, Hokkaido, Japan, +81 136 58 3800, www.kanronomori.com
Hilton Niseko Village, Click here!
Niseko Prince Hotel Hirafutei, Click here!
Yugokorotei, Click here!
Niseko Grand Hotel, Click here!
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. Hotel Niseko Alpen Kids Club is available for kids 6-month to 6-year old and located conveniently at the bottom of the slope. Half day and full day options are available and reservations are a must! 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 Babysitters, http://nisekobabysitters.com
Hotel Niseko Alpen Kids Club, http://www.grand-hirafu.jp/
Win D'ol, http://win-dol.com/childcare.html
* Niseko Lift Tickets - you can check prices here.
* Booking ahead for stays, meals, ski lesson, and rentals is the most important tip (especially during the 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 Cellars.
* 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!
**Special credit to photos by Niseko Photography And Guiding