HOW TO GET TO NISEKO FROM TOKYO
TOKYO TO NISEKO MAP
Is the Tokyo to Niseko journey worth it? One of the first questions powder seekers ask when contemplating a Japan ski holiday is how to get to Niseko from Tokyo, and is it worth the extra leg compared with the overland journey from Tokyo to Hakuba. Niseko is located on Japan’s northernmost island of Hokkaido along with Sapporo New Chitose Airport, whilst Tokyo’s Haneda and Narita airports are located to on the Japanese mainland of Honshu.
The quickest (and usually most cost-effective) way to get to Hokkaido is to fly as the journey from Tokyo to Niseko is a long one over land, with no Tokyo to Niseko bullet train yet available. Once in Sapporo New Chitose Airport, Niseko is only about 2 hours’ drive away. The short flight up to Hokkaido is well worth it to experience Japan’s most consistent powder snow conditions. Snowfall reaches 11 meters just at sea level in Hokkaido, so you can be assured of plenty of snow on the mountain! Niseko also has the advantage of relatively short airport to resort transfer times making the trip from Tokyo to Niseko very manageable.
If your Niseko accommodation is booked with Japan Ski Experience, we can arrange door to door transfers by coach or private transfers (together with lift passes, ski rentals and ski school) as part of your Niseko holiday package. Getting to Niseko has never been easier!GET A NISEKO HOLIDAY QUOTE
THE JOURNEY FROM TOKYO TO NISEKO
1. FLY TO SAPPORO NEW CHITOSE AIRPORT
Most people travel from Tokyo to Niseko by plane, although this can be avoided if you book an international flight straight to Sapporo. So the options are:
- Book an international flight to Sapporo New Chitose Airport – Direct flights are usually available to Sapporo New Chitose Airport from Hong Kong, Seoul, Singapore and Taipei, though most international guests fly via Tokyo.
- Book a domestic flight from Tokyo to Sapporo – There are a number of low-cost carriers like Skymark, Peach Aviation, Jetstar Japan and Air Do who offer surprisingly low-cost flights between Tokyo Narita Airport and Sapporo New Chitose Airport. With these carriers you can often fly for as little as JPY 5,000 one-way (about $60). You can also fly with national carriers JAL and ANA, who may offer competitive rates from Tokyo to Sapporo when booked in advance. The flight from Tokyo to Sapporo is approximately 90 minutes long.
2. COACH, TAXI OR TRAIN FROM SAPPORO TO NISEKO
After landing in Sapporo, the second leg of the journey to Niseko from Tokyo is by coach, private taxi, or (less often) by train.
- Coach – The most popular way to get from Sapporo to Niseko is by coach. There are several companies (Hokkaido Access Network, Niseko Ground Service and Whiteliner) which operate between Sapporo Airport and Niseko. Between them there are departures approximately every hour. Getting to Niseko from Sapporo CTS by bus takes about 2.5 hours with a stop halfway for refreshments. The bus will drop you at the Hirafu Welcome Centre. If your Niseko booking is with Japan Ski Experience, we can arrange a door to door coach transfer to ensure you make it directly to your Niseko accommodation with ease (we will advise you what flight arrival times this applies to).
- PRIVATE TAXI – For those who prefer the comfort and convenience of private travel, there are a number of taxi companies who offer 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 -2.5 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. If your Niseko hotel booking is with Japan Ski Experience, we 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 from Sapporo to Niseko, though the schedule tends to be limited and is usually less convenient than the coach. There is a train terminal on the B1F floor of New Chitose Airport. To get to Niseko Hirafu, guests will need to travel to Kutchan station via Otaru, which takes about 2.5 – 3 hours. From Kutchan it is about a 15 minute drive by taxi to accommodation in Hirafu, and around 25 minutes to Niseko Village. You can find train schedules and fare information here.
TOKYO TO NISEKO BY TRAIN
We are often asked how to get to Niseko from Tokyo, and whether there is a Tokyo to Niseko bullet train. Sadly there is not, and while it is possible to take the train all the way from Tokyo to Niseko, it is only suitable for the adventurous with extra time on their hands! The journey from Tokyo to Hokkaido island is relatively quick and easy on the bullet train (via the SHIN-HAKODATE-HOKUTO shinkansen). To get to Niseko you then need to make your way on the much slower local train system from Hakodate in southern Hokkaido up to Kutchan (the nearest train station to Niseko Hirafu) which involves a number of transfers.
There is a plan to extend the Hokkaido Shinkansen up to Sapporo by 2030. With a Tokyo to Niseko bullet train not yet available, getting to Niseko takes just under 8 hours from Tokyo to Kutchan train station and from Kutchan you will need to take a taxi to your Niseko accommodation. Detailed train schedules and fares are available here.
BOOK WITH JAPAN SKI EXPERIENCE
We are Japan ski holiday specialists, offering a one stop shop for accommodation, transfers, lift passes, ski hire, ski school and more. Book and pay for your services in one place making the most of our expert local advice, for the same price you would pay booking everything direct! We arrange door to door transfers from Sapporo Airport to your accommodation to ensure you experience the ultimate convenience getting to Niseko as part of your Japan ski holiday package.GET A NISKO HOLIDAY QUOTE
Heading to Niseko soon? Check out our Niseko snow report collected by our Niseko based team!