Niseko has some of the best powder snow in the world. According to many, the best. Some days, skiing in the Niseko backcountry can be an almost unreal experience with light powder up over your head. But don’t just take our word for it. Here is one of many reports from enthusiastic visitors:
What is called "Niseko United" is actually four different resorts, all connected through one lift system around the Annupuri mountain. Hanazono is one of them. Hirafu is the central resort, where you find most of the shops, restaurants, and nightlife. Hirafu is around 15 minutes away by car from Hanazono and SETSU-IN.
Living in Hanazono requires access to a car, and SETSU-IN comes with a car for six adults with skis or snowboards.
There are no shops and just a few restaurants in the Hanazono area. What you have in Hanazono is fantastic nature, tranquillity and easy access to mountain, ski pistes and powder.
And Kutchan Town, the main city in the area, is less than 10 minutes away by car. In Kutchan you will find shops, supermarkets, restaurants, cafés, etc.
Hirafu, the uniquely (for Japan) cosmopolitan resort town, with its busy nightlife, is 15 to 20 minutes away by car depending on the snow situation.
Please remember that you have to bring an international driving license to be able to drive in Japan.