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Ski passes and food

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Perth, Australia
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19 posts
5 reviews
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Ski passes and food

We are planning on skiing in Niseko Feb 2013. I am in the process of confirming accommodation but need some advice. Our travel agent is encouraging us to book an apartment rather than a hotel room. It is just my husband and I and I do not plan to do a lot of cooking. We think we would rather stay in a hotel room and just eat out rather than have to source food to cook in our kitchen at the apartment. Do most people stay in apartments? We were thing about staying at the Vale. We want to be ski in/ out but also near bars and restaurants.

Also, would you recommend prepurchasing ski passes. My husband is an experienced snowboarder and will spend a lot of time on the snow, whereas I have never been skiing before so am hesitant to prepurchase a 7 day ski pass. Is it just as easy to purchase a pass when there?

Thanks in anticipation of your advice.

7 replies to this topic
Coolum Beach...
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882 posts
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1. Re: Ski passes and food

The main location in Niseko is Hirafu. There are lots of apartments to consider whereas there are relatively few hotels. You have an excellent choice either way.

Provided you select a place in the main area, probably the Upper Village, you should find several places to eat out close to your apartment.

I suspect that you can wait until you arrive to get your passes but someone with more recent experience of Niseko may give a definite reply.

Broadbeach...
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113 posts
47 reviews
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2. Re: Ski passes and food

Yeah I am also going to Niseko in Febuary.

There are a few really easy to use website like Niseko Discovery Holidays and Holiday Niseko. They have a load of info on all the apartments including photo's and floor plans.

The main annoying thing is there is very few reviews on each of the apartments so probably best to take a real good look at each apartment and their locations.

Hong Kong
2 posts
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3. Re: Ski passes and food

The Vale fab to stay...restaurants all around. Ezo's fantastic and you will need to book ahead and no doubt will go there a few times. I like to have a break after 5 days skiing...so work out the numbers regarding pre-purchasing. The experienced snow boarder wont come home and will put in a full day every day.

Hong Kong
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1,877 posts
1,486 reviews
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4. Re: Ski passes and food

The number of holiday rentals/condos/apartments far outnumber hotel rooms. In Hiirafu itself, you only have the Scot, Hirafutei, Alpen, Kogen. They are very hard to book. Almost all the swanky new apartments are foreign owned for self use and then holiday rentals, the Vale included.

The Vale is at the top end of accomodation, your comfort level will be in proportion to the depth of your pockets.

Don't bother pre-booking ski passes. You can buy them at the foot of the slopes, Ace side and King side. You can get half day to season tickets with 1000yen deposit for the cards.

For real indepth info on Niseko accomodation and the ski scene, I highly recommend you check out Skijapan.com and the notorious forum.

Hong Kong
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1,877 posts
1,486 reviews
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5. Re: Ski passes and food

I meant snowjapan.com, although skijapan does have some info too.

Sorry for the confusion.

Sydney, Australia
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3 posts
13 reviews
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6. Re: Ski passes and food

Hi, You can purchase ski passes fairly easily once here (we have just arrived for nine days) although my husband and I pre-purchased passes just to make things a bit easier as we are travelling with small kids.

I am not sure what motels are out there, but I can thoroughly recommend talking to Holiday Niseko. The company is run by two New Zealanders, and so far the service has been second to none.

We are in an apartment, which is working well for us, but I think they do all sorts of different accomodation options. They are fantastic in helping with all queries, sorted out our transfers when we didn't arrive due to flight cancellations - they are brilliant. And, I didn't go through a travel agent for various reasons, but the guys were so good on email they really helped us out.

Great value for money and just awesome service. Hope this helps!

Hong Kong, China
Destination Expert
for Hong Kong, Osaka
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50,422 posts
146 reviews
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7. Re: Ski passes and food

Niseko Alpen, Niseko Prince Hirafutei, and Vale are three ski-in/ski-out hotels at Hirafu. I had stayed at the Prince before without too much difficulty in terms of booking. Of course, your period of travel might affect your rates and actual booking.

Apartments are typically cheaper for an extended stay. It just depends on what you want.

There is no need to pre-book ski passes at all. Hotels often offer a discount package of some sort, even if the discount isn't more than a few hundred Yen. Look at ski sites as well and see if there are discount deals around.

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