Lift Passes in Niseko
Which is the best option for you?
At Niseko United there are many options to choose from for your on mountain entertainment. There are 4 different sections of the mountain: Annupuri, Niseko Village (formerly named Higashiyama), Hirafu and Hanazono (with Hirafu and Hanazono sharing the same lift pass).
Lift passes can be bought on site at the bottom of the slopes at all 4 areas (Hirafu, Hanazono, Annupuri and Niseko Village).
Here is a link to the United Niseko Lift Price page.
Depending on how long you intend to stay and your proficiency there are different options you can consider to maximize the cost of the lift passes.
Many websites will point you to buy the Niseko United All Mountain Pass, which allows you to ride all the lifts in all four resorts and be able to take the shuttle bus for free to the base of each side of the mountain. However is this worth the cost?
Before we start lets see how each lift pass works.
The 12 point system means you have 12 points to spend and doing certain activities will cost you those points. Taking a gondola costs 4 points, a high speed lift is 2 points, other lifts are 1 point. 1 point is required if you wish to use the shuttle bus service, if not you will have to pay a fare.
How the 5 & 8 hour pass works is that when you first tap your pass, for the next 5 or 8 hours on that day you will be able to go up as many times as you want (depending on area). So if you tap at 11 am (using the 8 hour pass) you can go up the lifts until 7 pm. However if you start using the pass and it overshoots past 8:30pm (closing time of the lifts), the remainder of the time will be wasted.
The 30/50 hour passes are a good buy if you are able to go down the mountain quickly and do not mind a time limit. How the system works is that when you first tap your pass, it will deduct one hour from it , and within that hour you are able to go up any of the lifts till the hour ends (overshooting that hour will cause another hour to get deducted, or if you have no more hours left, inability to take the lift). So if you go up at 11 am, meaning at 12pm your 1 hour is up. It takes about 10-15 minutes to get to the top of the mountain. If you are able to go down fast enough, you can go back up again one or two more times. You can take a lift up at 11:59 and it would still count into the 1 hour period. Using that you can get 1 extra ride down the slope. This is more advisable for those who are capable of going down the mountain with ease and are okay with the “time limit”. However it also can be used by beginners who are learning, as long as they are able to make another trip up before the hour is up and then leisurely take their time to go down after that. The downside of this is that once you tap, the hour is counted in and if you don’t feel like continuing, it will be a waste of the remainder of that hour.
The Day Pass mean you have access to the lifts when they open all the way till when they close. For the areas in Niseko it’s generally from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. Day passes for several days (such as passes for 4 days), have to be used consecutively from the first day you choose for it to start. The pass works for everyday after the first day until your time is up.
All Mountain Season pass allows you to access all lifts for the entire season. Plus you get to travel the shuttle buses for free. Niseko United wishes to advise that seasons passes are not transferable. Henceforth the Niseko United Lift Pass Observer will be specifically checking seasons passes to ensure that the person using the pass is the original purchaser of the pass. Any passes being used by persons other than the original owner will be cancelled.
Here is a link to the United Niseko Lift Price page which has all the prices and ticket options.