First snowfall in Niseko/Kutchan/Hirafu town level is typically October or November each year. This generally melts at the lower altitudes before starting to accumulate especially on the mountains nearby. From mid to late November, snowfall becomes more and more frequent.
By early December, the town takes shape into the snowy oasis that people have come to expect in winter. For winter 2017/18 the Niseko United ski resorts start operations from the 23rd of November (Grand Hirafu), 25th of November (Annupuri), and the 1st and 2nd of December (Niseko Village and Hanazono) weather and snow dependant. To see past years accumulative snow charts for an idea of when snow starts falling click here.
Visiting in early to mid December you may feel like you have the resort to yourself. The crowds don't typically arrive 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.
Lastly and perhaps most important is that holiday rental prices in Niseko are significantly less before mid December, more so than at any other time during the winter season. MnK are now offering 15% off our already discounted pre-Christmas rates across all sites.
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.
Early December is also great for families who want to get more than just skiing out of their Japan holiday. 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.