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Though the area is collectively called Niseko, it ranges from the busy Hirafu area, which looks like an overseas resort, to the Kutchan area with its restaurants and supermarkets for local residents, and other hot spring areas that are hard to visit on foot. If you are going to Niseko anyway, why not learn about the transport system to enjoy Niseko to your heart's content?

The bus is very convenient!

Buses are the major means of transport around Niseko. There are Niseko Bus and Donan Bus, which operate all year (initial fee is 150 yen), the NISEKO UNITED. Shuttle (free all day during the winter season if you have a shared lift pass for all Niseko areas for the day), and a free shuttle bus (Hirafu and Hanazono) operated by the ski areas.
Kutchan offers a local Japanese atmosphere different to Hirafu. There are also large supermarkets and DIY stores in Kutchan that are fun to visit. However, there are few buses so make sure to check the timetable in advance to see which bus you should board to and from Kutchan.

A taxi is a good choice for going anywhere you want

With so many snowy days, it's best to move from door to door in Niseko. This is especially true if you are with small children or elderly people, because waiting for a long time at the bus stop will feel so cold and tiring. In such cases, taxis are your best choice. There are a few taxi companies, but unlike Tokyo, taxis are not easy to catch so make sure to book one in advance by phone.
text: Natsuko Saito

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