We spent a day in Niseko Village, this is what we found!
Niseko Village is bigger than Annupuri but smaller than Hirafu in the Niseko United Area. A day lift pass is the most expensive of the 3 resorts at 5,900 yen (£42). The area has 1 Gondola and 7 chairs servicing 27 runs. We found the areas great fun to ski and could cover a lot of ground as it was very quiet. The main Gondola takes you almost to the top of the mountain, where you can access some great runs. Steep pitches for those wanting to stay on piste. The Namara run (in yellow below) is fast, steep with rolling hills and you can certainly find some air time if you dare to hit them fast enough!
For those hunting the Powder. There are lots of fun options. Early morning, it is definitely worth heading to the top of the mounting by catching the Gondola and then the ‘Wonderland‘ one man chair. Lots of fun options off piste through the shrubs which will leads back down to the top of the Gondola or you can venture over to Hirafu or Annupuri (marked in yellow below). Alternatively you can take a short walk uphill, (marked with green arrow), about 70m easy gradient to the skiers left of the Wonderland chair. This leads you to lots of long, fun powder options.
The powder runs marked in yellow stayed in really good conditions for a few days when we were there. ‘Superstition‘ was out favorite run. The short uphill walk puts off a lot of skiers, but your efforts will be rewarded on good snow days, I promise!
The resort is pretty much owned by The Hilton hotel group. As such they have monopolised the majority of the eating and drinking spots in the village. At the top of the hill the ‘Lookout Cafe’ is a nice spot for a hot chocolate or coffee to warm up; that is of course, if you can master the vending machine ordering system at the entrance!
For lunch I would recommend a trip to ‘Two Sticks‘ located near to the Hilton Hotel. They served a range of classic Japanese meals and great Gyozas. We also ate at the ‘Ezo pub‘ situated next to the Gondola on the2nd floor of the Hilton hotel. They served western pub food (hot dogs, burgers etc) and nice Japanese beer. Worth a stop for an end of ski beer, but an expensive eating option for lunch in my opinion.
All in all not a great amount of choice for food in this resort, but the quiet slopes and challenging pistes definately makes up for it!