A Niseko Guide for First Timers - Part 2

  • By Sirada

Now that you have a better idea of where to ski, what gear to get, and which lift pass or ski lessons you need, you might want to check out our Niseko guide for first timers - Part 1, if you haven't already.

If you're now wondering about where to eat and how to get to and around Niseko, we've compiled the necessary information in this guide, Part 2.

Get to Niseko

Private Transfers, Public Buses, and Trains
  • Private Transfers: The Setsu Concierge team can assist you with round-trip airport transportation or booking a private taxi for getting around Niseko. Enjoy the convenience of door-to-door service. For more information, please visit here.
  • Public Buses: A popular way to arrive here is by taking airport buses operated by several companies. These buses have different stops in Niseko. If you choose this option, the closest stop is the Hirafu Welcome Centre where we can arrange a pick-up and drop-off for you. For more information, please visit here.
  • Trains: For railway enthusiasts or those coming from Otaru or Sapporo, taking a train to Kutchan station is a viable option. Keep in mind that during peak times on busy days, there may be no guarantee of getting a seat. Google Maps works well for checking train connections and schedules. Setsu also offers a Kutchan shuttle service to our guests who arrive by train.

Get around Niseko

  • Niseko United Shuttle Buses: Niseko United operates shuttle buses that transport guests between each resort, making stops at various locations to pick up passengers.
  • Taxis in Niseko: Taxis in Niseko can be challenging to secure, especially during the busy winter season. It's generally not possible to hail one on the street. If you plan to use a taxi, it's advisable to book well in advance to ensure availability.
  • For Setsu Penthouse Guests: As a special amenity for Setsu penthouse guests, a complimentary private evening driver service is included as part of their stay. For more information, please visit here.

Get to Ski Slopes 

  • Hirafu Ski Slopes: At Setsu, we offer ski shuttle buses that conveniently transport you to the ski slopes, which are less than 2 minutes away. You can choose to get off either at Hirafu Gondola or the Welcome Centre. For more information, please visit here.
  • Hanazono Ski Slopes: Hanazono shuttle buses stop at the Setsu entrance, providing you with easy access to the ski slopes at Hanazono.

Where to Eat

  • In the Hirafu area, you'll find a wide range of dining options, from affordable izakayas to modern and sophisticated restaurants. While there are plenty of places to eat throughout the Niseko area, it's crucial to make reservations, especially during the peak season, and booking early is better.
  • Inside Setsu Niseko, you can enjoy a diverse range of dining options under one roof, including sushi, tempura, Western comfort food, ramen, and an oyster bar/chop house restaurant. Contact our Concierge team with any questions or booking enquiries. For more information, please visit here.
  • Kutchan town offers a change of pace from Hirafu, with a more local atmosphere and a variety of venues to explore. When dining outside, be sure to have transportation back to the hotel arranged as well.
  • The quaint Niseko town centre also offers notable venues, including a sushi restaurant, a small eatery serving affordable Italian/French-based homemade food, a yakiniku spot, and a cosy izakaya. However, it's advisable to arrange transportation well in advance if you don't have your own rented car.

Where to Shop

Hirafu Area (Where Setsu Niseko is Located)

In the Hirafu area, where Setsu Niseko is situated, you'll find shops catering to your basic needs. These include stores for ski wear, snow gear, souvenirs, famous Japanese convenience stores, and drug stores that offer not only pharmaceutical items but also liquors and a wide selection of snacks. You can also satisfy your sweet tooth with bakeries and other baked goods. Additionally, you can find small items like mobile phone charging cables in Hirafu.

Kutchan Town

Kutchan town boasts three decent supermarkets where you can purchase vegetables, fruits, fresh seafood, meat, dairy products, pasta, and cooking ingredients like herbs and spices. The town also features drug stores, petrol stations, numerous convenience stores, liquor shops, and electronic stores, ensuring you can obtain anything you may have forgotten at home. There's even a shop that sells nuts, dried fruits, and spices by weight, allowing you to recreate your favourite home-cooked meals. For Setsu guests, we offer a complimentary Kutchan shuttle service to Kutchan train station and from there you can easily access COOP supermarket within a few minutes walking distance.

Niseko Town
On the Niseko town side, you'll find cafes offering baked goods, two convenient stores, a small supermarket, and a drugstore. These establishments ensure you won't have any trouble obtaining basic necessities that you usually need.

Other Activities

While we've discussed skiing and snowboarding quite a bit, Niseko offers a wide range of other activities to enjoy. Popular options include snowmobile and snowshoe tours, which allow you to explore the stunning winter wonderland.

You can also try snow rafting, join a horse riding tour, or embark on day trips to nearby places like Otaru, Yoichi, and Lake Toya. Even if skiing isn't your preference, there's a diverse selection of activities to choose from. Our Concierge team can assist you with booking these experiences. For more information on available activities, please visit here.

Travelling with Small Kids

It's always essential to mention this, especially when planning to travel with small children who may not yet ski or snowboard. We offer babysitting services that can be arranged according to your specific needs and requirements, please reach out to our Concierge team at concierge@setsuniseko.com who can arrange this for you. Additionally, we provide a a Kids playroom space available 24 hours a day. This facility ensures that your kids will have an enjoyable stay at Setsu Niseko.

We hope this information will be helpful for you and make it easier to plan your trip to Niseko. Again, for Setsu guests, we offer our Concierge services who will be able to answer your questions, and help you with bookings for above mentioned services. We look forward to celebrating the winter holiday with you at Setsu Niseko. 

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