Snow time

Metres of powder make Niseko one of the snowiest places anywhere

From December to April or May, Niseko buzzes with activity as minivans, shuttles and buses shepherd skiers and boarders up to the slopes of Annupuri mountain. There, all-mountain passes offer scores of runs on piste and access to the gates that lead into Niseko’s famous side- and backcountry where the powder is at its best.

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Once you’ve got to grips with all that Annupuri offers, you can head out on day trips to nearby resorts such as Moiwa, Rusutsu and Kiroro, while the more experienced can go in search of even deeper powder stashes in snowcat-accessed backcountry at Chisenupuri, Iwanai and Shimamaki.

Naturally the slopes are the main event for most people, but for a change of pace, try snowshoeing, a great way to tune into nature’s winter rhythms. In the still of the forest you can hear the sloughing of snow from tree branches and hardy native animals reveal themselves by their tracks in the snow.

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