The La Niña weather pattern that created huge snowfall in Niseko in 2005/06 and 2011/12 has re-emerged increasing the chance of 2016/17 being another bumper snowfall year starting as early as late November. Check out Ski Asia’s article explaining the ‘science’.
Visiting in early to mid December you may feel like you have the resort to yourself. School holidays don’t typically start until the 3rd week of the month and it seems the rest of the world is too busy Christmas shopping giving you more space on the mountain, not to mention the supermarket….
Niseko has a wealth of fantastic restaurants, so good in fact, they become fully booked months before the peak holiday seasons at Christmas, New Year and Lunar New Year. Sneak in a booking for early December for guaranteed taste bud excitement.
Short term holiday rental prices in Niseko increase dramatically after mid December, more so than at any other time during the winter season. Stay early December, and enjoy the same apartment or chalet and associated services for up to 70% cheaper than you would if you stayed 2 weeks later at Christmas. MnK are now offering upto 25% off our already heavily discounted pre-Christmas rates across their sites.
A cheaper pre-season lift pass is available to access the ski runs in November and early December. This is great news for beginners who don’t need the whole mountain to fine tune their technique. MnK’s Pioneer package, combines airport transfers, accommodation, 2 days lift pass, equipment rental, and tuition all for one price per person. Visit the MnK specials page for more info.
Make the most of the clear roads to explore other nearby resorts such as Kiroro and Rusutsu. Or venture into central Hokkaido where there is already a snow base of 180cm at Kurodake, which opened on Friday. MnK partner HoloholoHokkaido recently posted on Instagram the definitive resource for resort openings across the island.
Niseko is awash with fresh faced ski instructors chomping at the bit to get their students whizzing down the mountain with confidence. Make the most of the lack of demand at this time of year and hand pick the most qualified instructors for you and your family.
The influx of seasonal staff in town looking to mix it up and have a good time in the evenings means that early December is the prime time to party, as many bars and restaurants look to start the season with a bang! (...ing headache the next morning...).
As Hokkaido climbs the ladder of popularity among international travellers, low cost carriers (LLCs) flying in and out of Niseko’s nearest airport CTS - New Chitose Airport are increasing. Prices are especially low during non-peak travel periods such as early to mid December. Scoot, JetStar, Peach and Vanilla Air are just a few LLCs flying routes in and out of New Chitose Airport.
Why not combine your Niseko stay with an extended exploration of Japan, basing yourself in Niseko you have great skiing and outdoor activities on your doorstep within easy access to the breathtaking Lake Toya, quaint port towns of Otaru and Yoichi, the home of Nikka Whisky in Hokkaido. Sapporo city also hosts it’s annual German Christmas Market for a month from 25th November.
Aside from avoiding the crowds, eating at the best restaurants, being coached by the best instructors, attending the best parties, getting great value accommodation and generally having an awesome time, you will have the added benefit of being able to share all this on Christmas day (with a smug grin) at home with your family and friends who missed out.