Helping Travellers Reach Niseko For Over A Decade
Founded in 2004, SkyExpress (formerly Skybus) has come a long way but is still looking forward.
Skybus to SkyExpress
In June this year, local company HTM K.K. completed the takeover of Skybus and Sprint Taxi. The bus service has now been rebranded as "SkyExpress".
Chris Pickering, Director and General Manager of HTM, shared his thoughts earlier this year, “Airport and local transport impact all visitors to Niseko so this is an area which is very important to all our customers and the continued success and growth of the resort."
Jeremy Churchill, founder of Skybus commented, "I'm excited to see the next step in the evolution of Skybus and Sprint Taxi and believe that the company is in the right hands going forward."
From Humble Beginnings
It was well over a decade ago when Jeremy Churchill first decided to start Skybus, with his wife, Machiko. At that time, Niseko had just come onto the international radar in a big way, especially for Australian powder-seekers looking to get into Niseko's vast backcountry in search of untouched snow.
With an initial fleet of only 5 buses, SkyExpress began running daily routes between New Chitose Airport and Niseko. Over 90% of travellers to Niseko during the winter come via bus or private transfer and the demand for a service like Jeremy's quickly rose. It wasn't long before the small fleet of 5 had grown to 12 and now has become an impressive fleet of 23 vehicles today.
Getting To Niseko
SkyExpress now offers private transfer services for groups ranging from 1–35. They maintain a number of different types of vehicles to accommodate for their customers. The majority of their fleet is made up of Toyota Hi-Aces, they also have smaller SUVs and full-sized coaches.
SkyExpress has a full team of drivers and support staff and offer booking services in English and Japanese.
If you are planning a trip to Niseko, our number one recommendation would be to book your transfer well in advance. Especially if you are coming in winter, reservations fill up fast!
Perhaps our favourite service that SkyExpress offers are the Day Tour packages. Day Tours are a great way to get out to see different parts of Hokkaido, both near to Niseko and a bit further away. Explore the historic and lovely city of Otaru, visit the vast flower fields of Furano or check out the bubbling geysers in Noboribetsu's Hell Valley before heading back to your home base in Niseko!