HOW TO GET TO NISEKO: A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE
Niseko ski resort is located about 2 hours’ drive from Sapporo New Chitose Airport on the northern island of Hokkaido (Japan ski resort map here). The quickest (and usually most cost-effective) way to get to Hokkaido is to fly.
FLY TO SAPPORO NEW CHITOSE AIRPORT
- Direct – You can fly direct to Sapporo New Chitose Airport from Hong Kong, Seoul, Singapore and Taipei, though most international guests fly via Tokyo.
- Via Tokyo – There are a number of low-cost carriers like Skymark, Peach Aviation, Jetstar Japan and Air Do who offer really low-cost flights between Tokyo Narita and Tokyo Narita Airport and Sapporo New Chitose. With these carriers you can fly for as little as JPY 5,000 one-way (about $60). You can also fly the national carriers like JAL and ANA, who also offer competitive rates from Tokyo to Sapporo when booked in advance. The flight from Tokyo to Sapporo is approximately 90 minutes long.
SAPPORO NEW CHITOSE AIRPORT TO NISEKO
- Coach – The most inexpensive way to get to Niseko is by bus. There are several coach companies (Hokkaido Access Network, Niseko Ground Service, Whiteliner, etc) which operate between Sapporo CTS Airport and Niseko. Between them there are departures approximately every hour. The bus journey takes about 2.5 hours with a stop halfway for refreshments. The bus will drop you at the Hirafu Welcome Centre, where you will be responsible for getting from there to your accommodation. Usually coach transfers are suitable for those arriving prior to 20:00 and departing no earlier than 12:00. Japan Ski Experience can arrange your door to door coach transfer to ensure you make it directly to your accommodation with ease.
- PRIVATE TAXI – For those who prefer the comfort and convenience of solo travel, there are a number of private taxi companies who offer car service from Sapporo Airport to Niseko. Some of these include Sky Express, Sky Station, Niseko Ground Service, and Yohtei Taxi. The journey takes approximately 2 hours and usually includes a stop halfway for refreshments. The driver will take you to the door of your Niseko accommodation. Rates usually start from about JPY 20,000 – JPY 30,000 for a 1-2 person transfer without ski or snowboard gear. Private taxi transfers can be arranged to align with any flight arrival or departure time. Japan Ski Experience can arrange your door to door private taxi transfer to ensure you make it directly to your accommodation with ease.
- TRAIN – You can also take the train to Niseko, though the train schedule tends to be more limited and is usually less convenient than the bus. There is a train terminal on the B1F floor of New Chitose Airport. To take the train to Niseko Hirafu, guests will need to travel to Kutchan station via Otaru, which takes about 2.5 – 3 hours. From there you need to take a taxi to your Hirafu accommodation, which takes about 15 minutes. You can find train schedules and fare information here.
TOKYO TO NISEKO BY TRAIN
While it is possible to take the train all the way from Tokyo to Niseko, it is not usually recommended. While the journey from Tokyo to Hokkaido island is relatively quick and easy on the bullet train (via the SHIN-HAKODATE-HOKUTO shinkansen), you then need to make your way on the local train system from Hakodate in southern Hokkaido up to Kutchan (the nearest train station to Niseko Hirafu) which can often involve a number of transfers. There is a plan to extend the Hokkaido Shinkansen up to Sapporo by 2030.
The quickest route takes just under 8 hours from Tokyo to Kutchan train station. From Kutchan you will need to take a taxi to your Niseko accommodation. Detailed train schedules and fares are available here.
Japan Ski Experience arranges door to door transfers for every booking to ensure you make it directly to your accommodation with ease. For more information or to add a Sapporo Airport to Niseko transfer to your Japan Ski Experience booking, please visit the Services tab of our Niseko page or get in touch with us directly.