Niseko FAQ

Got a question about visiting Niseko - have a look below! If we haven't covered something, please let us know and we will get an answer up on the page.

Niseko has grown into the most international ski resort in Asia and, along with the convenience offered by Japan in general, is an incredibly easy place to visit. For the best times to come and the best ways to get here, please visit the travel and season pages, otherwise have a read of the frequently asked questions below!

Vaccinations?

There are no requirements for foreign travelers from any countries regarding certificates of vaccination.

Credit Cards & Money In Japan

Although most stores and restaurants will accept VISA, MasterCard and American Express cards, travelers should keep in mind that there are smaller shops that may not have merchant account capabilities.

Japan has one of the lowest crime rates in the world, so carrying cash is not a real problem. Niseko has international ATMs (in English) in the Niseko Deli & Supermarket (in the Shiki building in Hirafu) as well as in Lucky Supermarket (in Kutchan).

Travelers' Checks are also an option, although it is wise to have these available in either Japanese yen, or US dollars. Travelers Checks may not be accepted by establishments other than major hotels and banks, as establishments must have currency exchange capabilities in order to accept these.

Most accommodation providers offer foreign exchange services at their front desk or can advise you where to go.

Can I Use My Mobile Phone In Japan?

Generally yes, although it will require you to turn on international roaming which may incur significant charges. Please ask about the compatibility of your mobile phone in Japan with your mobile phone service provider in your own country before departing

Niseko-Hirafu currently has over 150 publicly accessible wifi hotspots (through the FON network) and almost all accommodation and most shops/restaurants also offer free wifi, so if you have a smartphone you will be able to access the internet easily.

I Don't Speak Japanese...

Travelling in a country where you don't speak the language can be both challenging and rewarding. But even if you don't speak any Japanese, finding your way around Japan needn't be difficult...and in Niseko you'll soon find that the predominant language is often English!

Staff in hotels and restaurants all tend to have at least basic English, with many foreign staff employed over the winter season in particular. Almost all accommodation providers offer support in English and Japanese, with many also employing Chinese speaking staff too.

In recent years English-language support has extended further with English signs in supermarkets, convenience stores, banks and taxis. You will have no problem getting around Niseko with zero Japanese and will feel safe and welcome wherever you go.

English is in fact widely spoken throughout Japan, particularly in major cities and tourist centres. Public transportation announcements are frequently made in both Japanese and English, and signs generally include decipherable roman characters or an English explanation. A comprehensive range of tourist services also provides a helping hand to foreign visitors in Japan.

Do I Need An International Driver's License?

If you wish to drive in Japan, you must possess one of the following driving permits:

A Japanese Driver's License.

An International Driver's License (90 member countries) based on the Treaty of Geneva (1949).

Is it easy to park in Niseko?

Parking is in short-supply in Niseko, particularly in winter. While some accommodations offer parking, it is generally recommended that visitors in winter do not drive. Aside from the lack of parking, it is not a wise idea to drive in winter without experience of the extreme weather conditions.

Note that walking around Niseko-Hirafu is easy given the size of the main village and if your legs are worn out you can hop on a shuttle bus in winter. Buses also link the four main resorts regularly during the winter season.

Even if you do decide to drive to Niseko, please keep in mind local rules on driving and parking. Most shops and restaurants do not have any parking and it is illegal to park on the road. The local council is cracking down on illegal parking and issuing fines as appropriate.

Also keep in mind that it is illegal to drive after consuming any alcohol in Japan. If you are stopped and have a trace of alcohol in your system you will be arrested. Passengers in a car with a drunk driver may also be subject to arrest if they know the driver has consumed alcohol.

Niseko is incredible...I want to work here!

Not a problem! As Niseko continues to grow there are more and more year-round jobs available with some of the larger management companies employing over 50 full-time staff. There are wide range of jobs available from those based in hospitality through to finance and marketing, not to mention the hundreds of seasonal jobs available each winter.

You can have a look at our jobs page for the widest range of jobs in the village.

Taxis

There are ever-increasing options for getting around by taxi. A taxi between Kutchan and the main Niseko-Hirafu resort will cost around 1,500-2,000 JPY one way. Sprint Taxi offers a one coin (500 yen) service within the village as well.

At peak times taxis are hard to come by and we would recommend booking early. Alternatively the larger accommodation providers will offer shuttle buses around the village to compliment the resort buses.