Planning a Japan ski holiday but worried about what to do with the younger members of your family? While much of your time might be spent on the slopes, there are a lot of things to consider when planning a holiday with children. Luckily, two of the larger and more internationally-renowned resorts – Niseko and Hakuba – have plenty to offer families. Our specialised team can offer all the guidance you need, from offering advice to booking a Niseko ski package or Hakuba ski package, for a stress-free and fun Japan ski experience.
One of the most important things to consider when you are starting to plan your ski holiday is lodging. When travelling internationally with children, you want to make sure you have selected something suitable to accommodate your group and works well for all ages. Hotels and apartments located in close proximity to the ski lifts are always going to be appealing to families with young children. Check out Hilton Niseko Village, The Vale Niseko and AYA Niseko and some other top rated Niseko ski-in-ski-out accommodations. In Hakuba, check out Koharu Resort Hotel & Suites, Happo Slopeside Apartments, and Mountain Side Hakuba among many others for fantastic ski-in-ski-out options.
Properties with in-house restaurants are also a big draw for families with tired children (and parents!) after a day on the slopes. Try the Green Leaf Niseko Village, Chatrium Niseko in Niseko, or the Phoenix Hotel, Hotel Green Plaza Hakuba Cortina or Hotel Villa Hakuba, where you can enjoy a meal without having to step foot outside.
For those travelling with very small children, you can also often pre-arrange to have ‘baby kits’ delivered to your accommodation which can include things like a travel cot and high chair.
Child Car Seats
Children up to a certain age do require child safety seats when travelling by car or taxi. Most taxi transfer companies will allow you to reserve infant or child car seats when you book private taxi transfers to and from the resort.
Childcare is becoming very popular these days and easily bookable in both Niseko and Hakuba resorts. Choose from part time or full days for the little ones, or even have a babysitter come to your apartment. They do fill up in advance though, so book early!
Both Niseko and Hakuba resorts offer a nice selection of family-friendly restaurants which span all types of cuisine. Check out our Niseko and Hakuba restaurant guides for some great suggestions.
There are not many children who have the stamina for full days on the slopes, and we know that happy children make for happy, rested parents. Luckily there are many non-ski activities to entertain children with lots of new and exciting things to look forward to every day. In Niseko, check out the Niseko Adventure Center Kid’s Garden or Hanazono Galaxy of Kidz for some indoor play time. For outdoor non-ski activities, check out the Hanazono Tube Park, or book a snowshoe or snowmobile tour. You can do some winter horseback riding, or try the Takahashi Dairy Farm Mandriano which has a playroom for kids. Niseko Village also has a kids club snow school for a nice option while visiting that part of the resort.
In Hakuba, check out the Sakka Kids Park at Happo-One resort, the gentle kids area at Hakuba Goryu resort, or the Kids Room at Hakuba 47 resort. Snowshoeing and snowmobiling tours are also available.
One of the best things about visiting Hakuba Ski Resort is taking a day trip to visit the famous snow monkeys. Snow Monkey tours depart twice daily and tickets can be purchased in advance. Choose from either an adult or children’s meal for lunch!
Who doesn’t like to save a little cash? Both Niseko and Hakuba resorts offer fantastic child prices on airport transfers, lessons, equipment and lift passes (children under 6 ski free). Or, visit Niseko in March and April and children get free lift passes and equipment (usually with the purchase of an adult equivalent), as well as discounts on lessons.
There are also certain hotels such as Hakuba Tokyu Hotel and Hakuba Mominoki Hotel which offer child discounts on accommodation and meals when staying with parents.
Get in touch with us and ask about the best places to stay when planning a family Japan ski or snowboard holiday.