Experience Niseko’s guide to the start of the 2022/23 Winter Season

Are you joining us in December? With this being the first international season in three years, you may need a little memory jog. Never fear! We’ve put together a guide with all you need to know to get your season off to a flying start

Become as clued-up as the Hokkaido locals before even stepping foot in Niseko. Read on to discover:

  • Resort opening dates
  • Getting around with ease
  • Experience Niseko Passport - back for 2022/23
  • Insider tips, for a season to remember
My project

Tuesday 15th November, 2022 marked the first snowfall in Hirafu village. We have a feeling there's plenty more to come!

Resort opening dates

Quad Lift Opening Day 12 01 17 16

First things first, when exactly can we start skiing and snowboarding? The resort opening dates have been released, with everything scheduled to kick off on Saturday 3rd December, 2022*.

*Please note that operating schedules may change without prior notice due to various factors, including weather conditions and visibility. Make sure to check the resort website and lift status updates before you set off for the day.

Getting around with ease

Sky Express Winter LR 8

From the airport:

Want the quickest access from New Chitose to your resort? Private airport transfers are provided by SkyExpress. They operate coaches and buses for large groups as well as comfortable smaller vehicles for small groups

Tel: +81 136 55 5601

>> View other bus, rail and private car hire options here.

Between resorts and around town:

Niseko United Shuttle Bus

Once you’re in town, you’ll be pleased to know that the Niseko United Shuttle Bus will be running again this year. The shuttle will be running once every hour from 07:00 - 16:40 throughout the four ski villages, with the addition of some later buses at peak times of the year. Better yet, if you’ve got an all-mountain-pass, you can ride the shuttle for free!

>>View the full shuttle bus timetable here.

Hirafu Free Shuttle Bus

Wanting to stick around Grand Hirafu? From 15 December, 2022 until 28 February, 2023 the Hirafu Free Shuttle Bus will be running. If you need access to the Kabayama or Yamada area from the Hirafu Ski Resort Welcome Center, this is the bus for you. View the route map below.

Hirafu Free Shuttle Bus Route Map 2022 23

Download the PDF: Hirafu Free Shuttle Bus Route Map 2022 23

Starting this year, a new system that allows users to check bus operation information in real-time via GPS is being used, making it even more convenient.

Instead of waiting out in the cold, you can receive real-time location updates and only go outside when the bus is approaching. The official website will be released sequentially from early December.

>> Download the route map or view the timetable here.

Experience Niseko Passport - back for 2022/23!

Niseko Passport En Generic

​Your passport to great savings on restaurants, activities, rentals, and more during your stay, an Experience Niseko Passport is available to guests staying in selected major hotels in the Hirafu area, at any time during the season.

Better still, the card has now gone digital, so all you have to do is save to your phone to unlock a range of great discounts, to get out and about.

>>Read more here.

Insider tips, for a season to remember

  • Save time and money by booking your lift passes online before you arrive, with plenty of snowfall predicted for Winter 2022/23, it’s going to get busy out there

  • With this being the first international season in three years, be sure to book activities/ restaurants and ski lessons well in advance, to avoid disappointment!

  • Take a peek at the Niseko Trail Map before hitting the mountain. You can download and save a PDF to your phone for easy access on the slopes

  • Your safety is of utmost importance. Be sure to run your eyes over the Niseko rules before taking on the back country this winter

  • Keep an eye on our social pages for updates on not-to-be missed events, snow reports, and everything else in between

Experience Niseko wishes you a safe journey to Niseko, and we look forward to seeing you for a winter of powder, and good times!


To get excited about what's to come, check out this amazing Niseko edit.

Powder Snow 01