Niseko Japan: An All Season Destination for Families

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Lately “everyone” is talking about vacations to Niseko –  friends, family and work colleagues included. In the past few years…”everyone” it seems has been there. I’ve been keenly listening to their travel tales and trying to learn why it was ideal for families. I had heard about its powder-white snow and that it was great for ski enthusiasts; but my initial understanding didn’t extend much further than that.

Our last trip to Japan was to Tokyo for my brother’s wedding.  It was an absolutely magic cultural experience for us which was topped off by being there during the picturesque Cherry Blossom season. Our boys were both under 3 at the time of visiting and I remembering being in desperate need of a holiday; but also feeling overwhelmed at the thought of researching and planning our adventure with two small children in tow.  Knowing what to see, where to stay, how to get there seemed totally bewildering even though we’d traveled so many places ourselves. Fortunately, my brother offered to organise parts of that trip. In fact, he planned a week’s worth of the best there was to see from a locals perspective for almost 30 of us – 12 kids included.

Fast forward to today and i’m now thinking about Japan again, but this time it’s about Niseko. My brother and his family are living in Australia now and while he could definitely help us out with some great tips, i’m writing this blog to help other people with their travel plans and I can’t exactly give his phone number out to the world! Or could I???

Lucky for him I have discovered an excellent online resource that can help families easily understand, plan and book their Niseko vacation. Sanity saving website –  http://vacationniseko.com/en/accommodation

What i’ve learnt about vacations in Niseko:

  • There’s something to do all year round.
    From winter through to summer your family will love it. Amazingly Niseko is not just about kids ski schools and snow! Who would have thunk it! During the summer months, the temps heat up to a fabulous 25 degrees, the rivers flow which is great for whitewater rafting and everyone gets outside to enjoy hiking tracks, mountain bike parks, 18 hole golf, zip-lines, down-hill tubing and generally just soaking up the sunshine.photo_sea_kayak
    If skiing is more your thing, the time to visit is early December through to May. The region is known for its perfect powder snow and ski schools such as Niseko International Snowsports School (NISS) cater for children 3 years and up and of all abilities.  Tip:  Night skiing is possible in this region and it’s definitely something that i’ve now added to our bucketlist.download
  • You’ve heard of bar hopping? Well in Niseko you can Onsen hop!
    With over 15 natural hot springs to enjoy (some with enchanting mountain views) this is an amazing cultural experience for you and your children – many will let you in with your child as long as the child is supervised. The only catch – you have to be prepared to nude it up. Modesty towels and disposable bathing suits are “sometimes” provided!photo_onsen_l
  • You can pre-organise everything – and we mean everything before you leave!
    Vacation Niseko will help you with arrangements for either car hire, transfers from New Chitose Airport or train and bus stations. They can also support you with other logistical stuff like ski lift passes, bookings into ski schools and equipment hire and they also do one more thing that is pure genius.   They will pre-organise for you the delivery of FOOD and WINE packs (yes WINE – we’re talking about all the essentials for your stay).   There is nothing worse than arriving at your destination after a huge journey with hungry tired children and then going on the hunt for food.  This service is brilliant and will be appreciated by many mums and families.photo_food-packs
  • You can take the guess work out of finding the right accommodation for your family.
    Accommodation in Niseko comes in all shapes and sizes to suit all budgets. Whether you’re looking for a luxury chalet,  a ski-in-ski out apartment in the center of the action or huge house with room for the whole family (or two which is a really popular way to holiday at this destination), Vacation Niseko clearly spells out how much and for how many.  There are also many photos on their website to help you see what you’re getting – and many of the rentals listed on their site come with views of the amazing mountain peak!

    It is easy to find a property that comes with the essentials from home (laundry facilities, kitchen, bathtub) – all essentials when traveling with small children. The beds are also Western standard but if you wanted a more traditional experience in a Ryokan i’m sure that they could arrange it.lodging 2

If you’re looking for the perfect powder ski holiday or a fun summer loving cultural adventure, then Niseko could be right for your family.   There are fun activities to do all year round for the whole family and all ages are catered for.  We felt so welcomed and comfortable when traveling with our two young boys in Japan and would recommend visiting to everyone.


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Have you been to Niseko? Please comment with your your best family travel tips here.

For more information on Niseko and planning your families next holiday, visit: http://vacationniseko.com/en/accommodation  Seasonal specials and last minute accommodation deals are also frequently listed, which is a great money saver for families.

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