Our Top Five Things To Do in Niseko (Besides Skiing!)

Niseko is, without a doubt, one of the world’s premier ski destinations. Located on the northern island of Hokkaido, and a short two-hour drive from Sapporo — skiers and snowboarders from all over the world visit the mountain with runs for beginners and experts alike, set against a stunning winter backdrop.

Alongside the exceptional skiing, there are a variety of experiences to enjoy while you’re taking a break. From dropping by a therapeutic Japanese onsen to recovering from your day of skiing with a sports massage, there’s always something new to try whenever you visit Niseko.

Interested in learning more? Check out our definitive roundup of the top five things to do in Niseko when you’re not skiing.

1. Visit an onsen (Japanese hot springs)

Making the trip to an onsen is one of Japan’s most essential winter experiences. In fact, before Niseko became famous for its winter sport, visitors primarily came for its incredible hot springs. Because the mountains in the area are volcanic, there are a number of hot springs for you to try — from the luxurious and spacious Hilton Niseko Village onsen to the sodium and magnesium-rich onsen in Hotel Niseko Alpen and the traditional outdoor Onsenkyo Ikoino Yuyado Iroha.

The mineral-rich water in local onsens makes them incredibly therapeutic for tired muscles — a perfect way to end a busy day skiing or snowboarding on the mountain. While there are some basic etiquette guidelines you’ll need to follow, we’re confident you’ll have a wonderful experience, no matter which onsen you choose to visit.

2. Join a group reformer Pilates class

At Focus Physio, we offer 45-minute group workouts on our specialised Pilates equipment. These classes are a great way to prepare your muscles for the demands of the Niseko ski slopes. In our classes, we offer strengthening and dynamic mobility exercises on both the reformer and tower.

Our expert instructors can guide you through each exercise to prevent you from injuring yourself and improve your performance with every class.

3. Take a trip to the art galleries

In Niseko, there are two notable art museums to visit — Shu Ogawara Art Museum, and Somoza. The Shu Ogawara Art Museum features the work of Ogawara, a local artist, alongside other artists associated with the region. The museum, founded in 1991, is famous for its incredible location and modern building design. Its large windows in the museum lobby open out to an unmissable view of Mount Yōtei.

Shu Ogawara Museum
Shu Ogawara Museum

Somoza, on the other hand, is a 150-year-old private gallery and restaurant. The museum features a curation of Japanese art, alongside Hokkaido Through The Ages — a collection of Hokkaido artifacts, including 10,000-year-old Jōmon period pottery. The gallery also features a restaurant where visitors can enjoy a menu full of local produce, including vegetables from

4. Keep your body in tip-top shape with a sports massage

There are a whole host of benefits for skiers and snowboarders looking to perform at their best on the slopes. Getting a remedial sports massage every few days is one of the best ways to give your body a tune-up and relieve sore muscles and tension.

At Focus Physio Niseko, our specialised therapists use techniques that are designed to promote muscle healing, improve circulation and help boost your range of motion — helping you recover from skiing and continue enjoying your trip. Even better, our clinic is located in The Maples Hirafu, so resort guests don’t need to bundle up and head out into the cold in order to book a massage. Instead, head downstairs and one of our friendly team members will be available to help you.

5. Enjoy the Japanese nightlife

Niseko has a vibrant nightlife with dozens of bars and restaurants for you to visit during your stay. No matter your tastes, Niseko’s foodie scene delivers a mix of fine dining, oyster bars, noodle joints and ramen restaurants scattered throughout the villages.

Niseko also boasts a number of unique bars and clubs, such as the iconic Bar Gyu+ (or the Fridge Door Bar) and the premium Powder Room nightclub. Our top tip? Make sure you reserve your spot as restaurants book up fast during the ski season. And don’t forget that Kutchan (a 10 minute drive away) has loads of great local restaurants as well!

Making the most of your trip to Niseko

Heading to Niseko this ski season? There’s plenty to experience — both on and off the slopes. If you’re looking to join our Pilates reformer classes, or book a sports massage during your stay, we’d love to hear from you.

You can book a class or a massage directly from our website. Alternatively, swing by our clinic and meet our friendly team. Enjoy your trip!

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Our Top Five Things To Do in Niseko
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