While Niseko’s place on the international stage is secured due to its lauded winters,
the local appeal of the region is in its year-round offerings.
Niseko's Winters are legendary and world-reknowned for good reason. As the sub-arctic Siberian wind travels across the Sea of Japan, it creates the perfect recipe for dumping a jaw-dropping amount of perfectly light powder snow across Hokkaido. With a consistent record of delivering snow depths in excess of 10 m per season, it is no wonder snow enthusiasts the world over travel to the region to experience the feeling of skiing in the most accessible deep, dry powder snow in Japan. Niseko is one of the rare snow destinations where powder is to be expected, rather than hoped for.
Spring season in the Niseko region is a period where plenty of winter activities continue, as many metres of snow slowly recedes. A popular time for thrill-seekers, the sunny blue skies and warmer days attract adventurous snow enthusiasts who enjoy the park and pipe areas on the mountain, as well as tour activities such as cat-skiing, heli-skiing, snowmobiling and snowshoeing. The surrounding farmlands - normally blanketed with bottomless powder snow in Winter - are sprinkled with ash during springtime, to help encourage the thaw that allows farmers to access the richly fertile soil. In no time at all, the entire region will transform from a pristine snow-white canvas into cherry blossoms, heralding the approach of the Summer 'green season'.
Summer in Niseko - known colloquially as 'green season' amongst locals - often comes as a surprise to many who have only experienced the Winter season. The stunning white Winter landscape undergoes a swift transformation to a bright, green paradise as Summer approaches. The green season brings with it a wide variety of flora and fauna - ushering in a feeling of energy and life to the forests, rivers and mountains. During this time, the Japanese favour Hokkaido for its less humid climate, and will travel to enjoy camping, barbecuing and world-class golf courses in the greater Niseko region.
Blink and you might miss it, but ask any Niseko local their favourite season and many will respond with 'Autumn'. With the anticipation of Winter just around the corner - and the heat of Summer fading - Autumn brings with it an explosion of colour as the deciduous birch, linden and maple trees drop their leaves in preparation for Winter.