Niseko is one of the world’s most popular winter destinations. It offers five-star resorts and villas, internationally-acclaimed restaurants, luxurious shopping areas, and thrilling adventure zones. Additionally, Niseko is widely recognized as Japan’s premier ski destination, making it a top-of-mind choice for the ultimate winter experience.
However, many are delighted to find out that there’s more to Niseko than its winter offerings. Once the snow caps melt and the clear blue skies appear, Niseko in Spring is also a great place to be. Here are seven reasons why you should visit Niseko during Spring.
1. Nature comes to life
Niseko is a part of the Hokkaido region, the coldest area in Japan. Regardless, nature in Niseko comes alive in spring, resulting in breathtaking views of the mountains and lush forests.
Japan’s iconic cherry blossoms are in full bloom during spring, particularly around the end of April until early May. Spring is the perfect time to soak up the sun and gather your friends and family for a picnic under the picturesque sakura trees. Some popular places to spot cherry blossoms around Niseko are Arishima Park, Miyama, Soga Shinrin Park, Makkari Shrine, and Lan Lan Park.
2. Enjoy a warmer climate
While Niseko is famous for its snowy and chilly winters, roaming around town can get tedious because of the harsh weather conditions. So if you prefer clear blue skies and pleasant weather, spring is the perfect time to visit. During this season, the community also holds fun outdoor gatherings like festivals, cultural events, concerts, bazaars, and yakiniku nights.
But if you still want to catch some slopes, some ski resorts stay open during spring, thanks to the deep snowpacks accumulated during winter. The Niseko Annupuri International Ski Area and Niseko Tokyu Grand HIRAFU resorts are available until early May, so there’s still enough time to put on those ski gear!
3. Fewer crowds in most places
Since tourists flock to Niseko during winter, the spring here is quieter and less crowded – perfect for those who prefer a calm and relaxing holiday. You also enjoy the destination’s activities and leisure facilities without worrying about long queues and wait times.
4. Indulge in seasonal gastronomic delights with ease
During winter, popular restaurants in Niseko often require advanced reservations due to the high demand. Since there are fewer travelers during spring, you can easily enjoy sumptuous feasts in famous restaurants like Niseko Curry Goya, Graubunden, Guzu Guzu, HirafuZaka, Homemade Udon Gokoro, and Ichimura Soba without worrying about long queues and full bookings.
Spring is also when most of the area’s local produce and crops are abundant. So, it is the best time to indulge in well-loved Japanese dishes like shabu-shabu, sushi, ramen, and donburi made with the freshest ingredients.
You may also check out Niseko’s farms and distilleries that offer tasting tours during spring. Sample Takahashi’s Dairy Farm’s products at Milk Kobo, delight in Niseko Cheese Factory’s wide variety of cheeses or try local whiskey and gin at the Niseko Distillery for a more interactive food experience.
5. Take on adventures beyond the ski slopes
Spring gives you a complete look at what Niseko offers beyond skiing. There is a variety of fun outdoor activities available during this season. Enjoy whitewater rafting at Shiribetsu River, golf at Niseko Village Golf Course, or take adrenaline-pumping adventures at PURE at Niseko Village or NAC Adventure Park.
Spring is also ideal for day tours and long drives since the days are longer and the climate is less harsh. Some popular destinations around Niseko are Otaru, Lake Toya, Shakotan Peninsula, and Lake Shikotsu.
6. The best onsens for a heavenly pamper day
Niseko is famous for its natural hot springs flowing directly from the mountains. While onsens are available all year round, spring is the perfect season to enjoy onsens with outdoor bathing pools called rotenburo. Niseko Onsenkyo Ikoino Yuyado Iroha and Niseko Annupuri Onsen Yugokorotei are two of the most famous onsens in Niseko among locals and tourists.
In addition, hotels like Niseko Grand Hotel, The Green Leaf Niseko Village, Niseko Prince Hotel Hirafutei, and Hilton Niseko Village offer fantastic indoor and outdoor hot spring options.
7. More affordable deals
Since spring is considered a lean season, most establishments offer discounts on their products and services. Therefore, big groups and families can opt for a spring holiday in Niseko to enjoy lower prices and seasonal deals on accommodations, equipment rentals, tours, ski lessons, and more.
Furthermore, spring is also the perfect time to experience staying in luxury chalets in Niseko since they will likely offer marked-down rates.
Featured Image: Hanazono Niseko Japan