Get to know... Grand Hirafu resort

Grand Hirafu is one of four interconnected resorts which make up the Niseko United collection on Niseko Annupuri mountain.

At 1,308m and 100km south of Sapporo, Niseko Annupuri benefits from the Eurasian-originating winds which blow in seasonally, picking up moisture from the Sea of Japan and then forms snow clouds which hang over Hokkaido. These clouds produce some of the lightest and most desirable powder in the world. The four resorts, Grand Hirafu, Hanazono, Niseko Village and Annupuri Resort, reel in powder hounds from around the world, thanks to this unique climate.

In this blog series we will look at each of the four Niseko Annupuri resorts, starting with Grand Hirafu.

Family Run Grand Hirafu
Grand Hirafu skiing, with glorious Mount Yotei views

Grand Hirafu – the pulse of Niseko.

Grand Hirafu is the biggest village in the Niseko region and provides a unique experience for visitors. Large enough to be classed as a town and the most developed of the four resorts, guests have a wide choice of amenities and entertainment in this bustling resort.

Rental gear and lessons

Rhythm Japan offers a complete ski and snowboard rental service, as well as plenty of retail therapy in its two stores – Rhythm Main (located on the high street) and its new flagship store, Rhythm Base (found near the Hirafu Gondola Station). There are plenty of ski and snowboard lesson options, with both English and Chinese speaking instructors available, and there is something suitable for all ages and abilities.

Lift Passes

Skiers and snowboarders can look forward to a full day of mountain time in Grand Hirafu, as the lifts open at 8:30am and some do not close until 8:30pm. Night-skiing is fantastic in this resort, with the slopes much quieter than the daytime and great visibility thanks to floodlighting on the open runs. Those who hold an All Mountain Lift Pass can reach the other three Niseko United resorts (Hanazono, Niseko Village and Annupuri) by taking the top chairlifts and skiing down into each.

Off-mountain action and après

Grand Hirafu village also has a vibrant nightlife, which can be hard to find in most Japanese resorts. From quiet classy bars to energetic clubs, and from traditional Japanese izakayas to the food-truck scene by Seicomart on the main intersection, visitors are spoilt for choice when it comes to wine and dine options.

Top Tip: Backcountry guides are a great way to get to know the mountain and find the best powder!

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