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Visitor reviews for Niseko Grand Hirafu Ski Resort

Niseko Grand Hirafu Ratings

Overall: 3.9. Based on 56 votes and 108 reviews. Vote

Snowsure: 4.6

(1) Occasionally gets enough snow for skiing, (2) is often closed due to a lack of snow, (3) occasionally suffers from a lack of snow, (4) rarely suffers from a lack of snow, (5) Niseko Grand Hirafu is snowsure even in the poorest seasons.

Variety of pistes: 4.3

(1) The ski runs are featureless and unvaried, (3) the ski runs are varied but not extensive enough for a week, (5) Niseko Grand Hirafu has diverse and interesting pistes including forests and high alpine terrain.

Off-piste: 4.5

(1) No off-piste worth mentioning, (2) off piste is out-of-bounds, (3) some varied offpiste that stays fresh for one or two days, (5) a vast array of off-piste routes that can stay untracked for several days.

Scenery: 4.1

(1) An ugly resort in a bland setting, (3) average mountain views and resort, (5) a spectacular setting and a beautiful / historic resort town.

Access: 3.8

(1) At least one overnight stop, (2) requires a whole day, (3) requires more than half a day – you may have time for a few turns (4) arrive by lunchtime and ski all afternoon, (5) there is a main airport within an hour of Niseko Grand Hirafu.

Public Transport: 4.3

(1) There are no buses or taxis to Niseko Grand Hirafu, (3) there are slow or infrequent buses / trains available, (5) getting to the resort is easy with frequent bus / train connections.

Accommodation: 4.5

(1) No places to stay in/near Niseko Grand Hirafu, (3) a few places to stay in the resort, (5) a wide variety of accommodation suitable to suit all budgets.

Cheap Rooms: 3.7

(1) No budget accommodation available, (3) just one or two hostels so book ahead, (5) several cheap hostels and pensions available.

Luxury Hotels: 4.5

(1) No luxury accommodation available, (3) just one or two luxury hotels so book ahead, (5) several up-market hotels in Niseko Grand Hirafu.

Ski in/Ski out: 4.2

(1) The ski area is located far from any accommodation, (3) a free ski bus takes you to the ski area in a short trip, (5) Ski-in ski-out accommodation is available.

Childcare: 3.8

(1) There are no child care facilities at Niseko Grand Hirafu, (5) the resort has excellent child-care facilities including at least one reasonably priced creche.

Snowmaking: 2.0

(1) Niseko Grand Hirafu relies entirely on natural snow, (3) there are just a few snow cannons, (5) there are snowmaking facilities on all pistes.

Snow Grooming: 4.2

(1) There are no snow groomers at Niseko Grand Hirafu, (3) occasionally some pistes are left ungroomed and in a poor state, (5) all the runs at Niseko Grand Hirafu are groomed daily.

Shelter: 3.5

(1) there is nowhere to ski when it is windy or visibility is bad and lifts often shut, (3) there are some trees for poor visibility but main lifts sometimes close, (5) Niseko Grand Hirafu is mostly in forest where you can ski in flat-light and windy days, lifts rarely close.

Nearby options: 3.6

(1) If snow conditions are poor at Niseko Grand Hirafu, it will be poor everywhere nearby, (3) there are good alternatives within an hours drive, (5) other locations on the same lift pass provide a rich variety of snowsure ski conditions.

Regional rating: 4.5

(1) Niseko Grand Hirafu usually has poor snow conditions compared to other resorts in region, (3) has average conditions for the region, (5) usually has the best snow conditions in the region.

Lift Staff: 4.7

(1) The staff at Niseko Grand Hirafu are rude or unhelpful, (5) lift staff at Niseko Grand Hirafu are pleasant, cheerful and eager to help.

Crowds/Queues: 3.5

(1) the resort is always busy and there are usually long lift queues, (3) it is quiet apart from occasional weekends and school holidays, (5) it is uncrowded and lift queues are very rare.

Ski Schools: 4.6

(1) No ski schools available, (2) one or two ski schools but local language only, (3) a few ski schools but book early for multi-lingual instructors, (4) plenty of ski schools and multi-lingual instructors available, (5) excellent ski schools with friendly multi-lingual ski instructors.

Hire and Repairs: 4.7

(1) Nothing can be sourced, not even ski-wax or ptex. (3) there are some ski shops but rentals need to be booked in advance, (5) good quality ski equipment can be purchased or hired and overnight repairs are possible.

Beginners: 4.3

(1) Beginners can only watch others ski and snowboard, (3) a few gentle slopes but beginners will get bored in less than a week, (3) Vast areas of gentle terrain.

Intermediates: 4.6

(1) No intermediate terrain at Niseko Grand Hirafu, (3) intermediate skiers will get bored after a few days, (5) vast areas of cruising runs.

Advanced: 4.2

(1) Nothing for advanced skiers and snowboarders, (3) enough steep terrain for a few days with some good offpiste, (5) Enough steep terrain and offpiste areas to entertain advanced skiers for at least a week.

Snow Park: 3.7

(1) Not even a kicker at Niseko Grand Hirafu, (3) average sized park quite well looked after, (5) huge park area and expertly crafted pipes, jumps and boardercross trails.

Cross-country: 3.1

(1) There is nowhere to go for cross-country skiing around Niseko Grand Hirafu, (3) there are some cross country trails available, (5) the area features many spectacular and well maintained cross-country trails.

Luge/Toboggan: 2.0

(1) No designated luge or toboggan runs, (3) there are toboggan runs that open quite often, (5) Niseko Grand Hirafu has long and well maintained luge / toboggan facilities suitable for all ages.

Mountain Dining: 4.1

(1) Nowhere to buy food by the pistes, (3) some places to eat up on the mountain but they are often busy and expensive, (5) there is a variety of excellent mountain eateries right next to the slopes to suit all budgets.

Eating: 4.5

(1) Bring your own food, there isn't even a shop. (5) A wide variety of places to eat and drink in the resort, from fast food to fancy restaurants.

Apres-Ski: 4.2

(1) Nothing to do, not even a bar, (3) there are a few bars in the resort but nothing special, (5) clubs and bars stay open until very late and have a friendly atmosphere.

Other Sports: 3.0

(1) No sports facilities at all apart from ski lifts, (3) resort has just a small public swimming pool, (5) resort has all kinds of sports facilities, including a full-size swimming pool.

Entertainment: 3.2

(1) Besides the snow and walking there is nothing to do here, (3) the non-skier will find things to do for few days but may become bored after a week, (5) the resort area is a fascinating place to visit, regardless of winter sports.

Winter Walks: 3.1

(1) Very limited walking and no snowshoe trails, (3) a couple of designated scenic walking/snowshoe trails, (5) extensive and diverse winter walking trails for all abilities.

Ski Pass Value: 4.1

(1) A 1 week ski pass is overpriced compared to the number of lifts available, (3) the ski pass is averagely priced and covers a reasonable number of lifts, (5) ski passes are excellent value for money and cover a lot of lifts spanning a big area.

Value (National): 3.9

(1) Overall, Niseko Grand Hirafu is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the country and not worth the money, (3) overall represents average value for money, (5) overall offers the best value resort in the country.

Value (Global): 4.0

(1) Overall, Niseko Grand Hirafu is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the world, (3) overall it offers pretty average value for money compared to resorts from other countries, (5) internationally the resort offers excellent value for money.

Show all 35 ratings

December 02, 2006
Mogul queen from Ski United States United States
It is truly an awesome experience in Niseko! One of the American universities has done a research of the global temprature of the resorts across the board and Hokkaido came in 1st. The consistency of -10degrees celcius is highest in Hokkaido so the days you get powder is more than anywhere else. I love getting up early in the morning to explore the back of 'strawberry fields' in fresh powder up to your waist. Truly awesome! For apres skiing, you can hang out in the cute little 'Izakaya' places. You don't have to be phased to step in there, because Japanese people are extremely friendly & polite. Made so many good local friends even with the language barrier. You've just gotta jump into it! You can ski across Niseko Hirafu, Niseko Hanazono and Niseko Higashiyama areas. Japanese people usually stay on the groomed runs, but you can go ahead and explore around the off piste which is literally untouched!
November 22, 2006
rom from Ski Australia Australia
Pay no attention to the windgers in regards to Australians in Hirafu, there arn't many there, those Aussies that I have met were well behaved, and the locals couldn't have been more curtious to their visitors. As for the snow, its everywhere, and lots of it, a good meal $10.00, lifts outside your hotel, no lift queues, and the beers' no to bad. If you are used to New Zealand conditions or what's on offer in Oz, then you are in for a pleasant surprise, good skiing, day and night.
October 19, 2006
mooncat from Ski Japan Japan
Actually there are far better places well away from Hirafu with the best powder in the world. However that will have to remain secret so we don`t get overrun by those dessert island delinquents. Hirafu way overrated due to the influx of the Australians, shame really used to be quite a nice resort. Or maybe have to try and figure out when the time of year is they are least likely to flock. And the powder here is quite wet compared to the better places in Hokkaido. Want good powder then go elsewhere.
October 08, 2006
Stimpy from Ski Jamaica Jamaica
I gotta agree with lots on here, too many Aussies, but what can you do? As one person suggested stay away from anyone you don't want to hang with and go discover what Niseko is really about. Don't book through one of the big operators, otherwise you are guaranteed to be shacking up next to Aussies, instead get online and research. I found www.thenisekocompany.com and booked through them - which I will be doing again this season. Awesome property and service. The place wasn't ski in/out but was a minute from shuttle and was quiet at night-no Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Idiots. Very comfy , spacious and well equipped.
February 14, 2006
Donald Oates from Ski Australia Australia
Once again all the winging, whining, complaining and crying has come from you sour puss pom's, you try to conquer any area which sh*ts on the UK (which is pretty much everywhere) without ever receiving even the slightest of criticism. your comment's are boring and so are you! How bout having some fun on holidays?
February 14, 2006
Paul from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
Niseko is truly awesome and if you want certain snow then get in there , no more rain in Whistler for me thanks as I'll take Niseko and no jet-lag to boot. The only genuine problem that I can think of is the Australians, there are just too many of them and a lot of trailer trash, I heard several conversations mentioning Holdens and Fords in the same sentence and that really sums it up. To be honest they spoil the whole environment but the consistently epic snow conditions makes up for it.
February 03, 2006
Helen from Ski New Zealand New Zealand
Just returned from Hirafu (first time visit). It was a marvellous cultural experience & the snow was fantastic & not too expensive to stay there. I do have to say though, that our family saw much arrogance & rudeness from our friendly cousins across the ditch. We also met some very nice Australians, so you take the good with the bad whenever & wherever you travel.Do your own thing & keep away from badly behaved people. Even the ski guide chose us over Aussies! Hello. We will certainly return next year before the place gets overun by kiwi's!
February 01, 2006
zoop from Ski Japan Japan
Hirafu's so hyped up at the moment, its the "place to be" but the other fields around the corner are better, less people and more powder.
January 23, 2006
Tom from Ski Australia Australia
This is my 2nd time to Niseko & yes its loosing its quaint Japaneseness about it. But you can't beat it for consistent Deep Powder and great untracked off piste skiing. Still with all the westerners here we are finding untracked all day so we will be coming back as long as the untracked secret spots are secret. If you dont like Ozzies don't come. See you in the steep & deep.
January 15, 2006
riki from Ski Australia Australia
Leaving in 5 days for Niseko, cant wait (already there mentally). Also looking forward to meeting other OZ boarders there. So glad Dr shread wont be there, maybe he can find a nice deep crevasse in Antartica to chill out in probably wont like his own company though. See you there guys, leave a few freshies for us. Riki