The Best Activities Around Niseko, Hakuba and Furano this Spring

We can hear the sceptics already–‘Niseko in spring? Why? That’s not peak powder season.’

Well, it’s pretty simple: spring = blue skies, discount rides and short lift-lines. But even outside the memorable experience that is spring skiing in Japan, there are tons of other activities to keep you occupied as the deep powder blankets turn to fields of lush green.

Stick around and by the end of this short article, you might find yourself sold on the idea of tearing up Niseko, Furano or Hakuba this springtime.

SKIP TO SECTION

Niseko Spring Activities

Spring Skiing

While we all love the thrill of skiing in bottomless powder, sunny skies are a rare sight during peak season in Japan. Carving the slopes under blue skies while enjoying the warm springtime weather–now that’s exciting. Plus, who doesn’t love shredding with a view?

Spring skiing in Niseko is available from the beginning of March until the beginning of May.

Touring

Backcountry touring can be extremely restrictive in peak season weather. More often than not, strong winds will force tours to stick to tree-lines, and avalanche warnings will determine where they can go on the mountain. That’s not the case with spring. Enjoy more options for backcountry terrain while taking in blue skies, minimal wind and warm spring temperatures this spring.  

 

Whether you’re touring in Niseko, Hakuba or Furano, March to May will be the best time to explore springtime backcountry.

 

Mountain Biking

As the snow begins to clear from the slopes of Niseko, enjoy some of the best mountain biking Japan has to offer. With trails for all skillsets, Niseko’s mountain biking will leave you stoked on how fast you can get downhill, while also helping you explore the region in exciting new ways. 

Niseko’s mountain biking kicks off around late May and is open until the end of October. Keep an eye out for Twin Peaks’ opening announcement. Marking the start of the MTB season, Twin Peaks’ 14 km of free trail will keep you well and truly entertained until the rest of the areas open up!

Tip- For those wanting to explore the mountain on two wheels, but don’t have the gear, visit Rhythm Hirafu for different rental options or to find out more about our expert guided cycling tours.

 

Pure Niseko

Leave the skis at home and get twice as much air as you would in the park at Pure Niseko’s high-octane tree trekking and zip lining courses. Alternatively, for those looking for a more relaxed spring activity Pure also offers nature walks, giving visitors a perfect opportunity to encounter some of Niseko’s wildlife in their natural habitats.

Pure Niseko will host a pre-opening between April 27th and May 6th, before fully opening on July 1st and staying in operation until October 14th.

Golf

Enjoying 18 holes with Mt. Yotei acting as your backdrop? An opportunity that can’t be missed. 

Golf season coincides with green season in Niseko, so you’ll be able to start driving from the beginning of May until the beginning of November.

 

NAC Adventure Park

While NAC’s bouldering centre is a favourite indoor activity for many during the winter months, their huge 2-acre outdoor adventure park is a go-to destination over spring and summer. Offering tree climbing courses 5-13m above ground, in 6 different difficulty levels, ‘NAC’s Adventure Park’ is an exhilarating option for all ages.

Open year-round!

 

Rafting

One of Niseko’s most popular spring activities is rafting, especially on the 126 km long Shiribetsu River. This river provides a range of spots for rafting tours, from a thrilling 7 km stretch of high-octane white water rapids to gentle sections suitable for beginners. With its diverse offerings, the Shiribetsu River is a perfect rafting destination for individuals of all skill levels.

Rafting kicks off when there’s large amounts of snowmelt around the end of April and stays as one of Niseko’s favourite pastimes until October 22nd.

Niseko Village

A popular tourist attraction year-round, ‘Niseko World’ is a vibrant new dining project in central Niseko, featuring various food and drink options, along with a collection of shops offering both designer goods and novelty souvenirs. The best part? Due to less foot traffic in the spring months, you can walk into most restaurants and get a seat without needing to book months in advance.

Niseko World is open year round. Please note, most restaurants are closed on weekends. 

niseko village niseko yo

Rhythm Activity Hub

The Rhythm Hirafu Activity Hub offers a wide range of activities for visitors, including indoor bouldering complete with kilter board, indoor skate mini ramp, outdoor skate park, outdoor pump track, outdoor trampoline, and outdoor slackline. 

The location serves as a hub for the community with ongoing events throughout the summer, as well as offering a comfortable co-working area with scenic Mt Yotei views complimented by Rhythm & Beans coffee and snacks on-site.

The Rhythm Activity will be providing good vibes from June until late September.


 

Hakuba  Spring Activities

Rafting

While rafting is a big pastime in a lot of areas in Japan, Hakuba has established itself as a world-class destination for rafting enthusiasts worldwide. From beginner-friendly rivers like Saigawa to narrower, more advanced options like the Himekawa River, Hakuba offers various options for rafting, canoeing, and kayaking.

Hakuba’s rafting season runs from late April until the end of October!

 

Hiking

Hakuba hosts some of the best mountain views in all of Japan, making hiking one of their biggest attractions during the spring and summer months. With options for both experienced hikers and first-timers looking to stroll around in the valley’s natural landscapes, Hakuba’s hiking is an epic way to enjoy the warming temperatures.

Hiking is a year-round experience, although if you’d rather trek over lush green instead of heavy snow, April to October is your best go!

 

Mountain Biking

Considering the region also has some of the best mountain ranges in the world, it’s no surprise that Hakuba’s mountain biking scene is so popular. With a ton of different terrain on offer, Hakuba’s mountain biking trails will guarantee a thrill like no other. 

Hakuba’s mountain biking kicks off around late April and is open until the end of October. For those wanting to explore the Hakuba Valley on two wheels, but don’t have the gear, visit Rhythm Summit for different rental options.

Tip- For some of the best biking in the region, head to Iwatake’s Mountain Bike Park. Offering six different courses suitable for different skill levels, Iwatake’s biking is perfect for riders of all abilities while also offering some of the best views of the valley.

 

True Players

When the snow starts to melt, True Players is an awesome option for thrill seekers looking to pass the time. A fully-fledged indoor skatepark with a variety of boxes, rails, banks and half-pipes, True Players is every skater’s dream park. If you’ve never skated before but are looking to drop into a new hobby, True Players also features guard ropes and harnesses so that beginners can learn the basics like drop in’s and lip stalls without having to worry about potentially hurting themselves.

You can drop-in at True Players all year long.

 

Sky Cycling

Take an exhilarating zipline bike ride 10 metres above Tsugaike’s lake! At 140 metres long, this course is the first and only place in Japan for sky cycling.

Open for the late spring and summer months.

 

Tsugaike Snow Wall

Get lost within the high trails of the Tsugaike Snow Wall, a unique spectacle in which piled snow is freshly carved into breathtaking mazes 3 metres in height.

Free entry.

snowwall

 

Hakubounce

Nagano’s biggest indoor trampoline park, Hakubounce, is the perfect place to practise your backflips before attempting them on the slopes. A massive centre featuring an array of trampoline setups, parkour workshops, and specialist training sessions, Hakubounce is an awesome option for those looking for thrilling activities outside of skiing and snowboarding.

Open year-round, making it the perfect place to practise your aerials during the warmer seasons.

 

Matsukawa River

Perfect for visitors coming over in spring, Matsukawa River (Matsu River) offers tranquil hiking routes, flat mountain biking tracks, free camping, BBQ amenities and a scenic view of Hakuba’s three main mountains that’ll leave you breathless.

Matsukawa River is accessible all year, but if you want to camp during the warmer months, you’re best off going for an adventure between March-September. Although, due to peak summer temperatures, Matsukawa can get quite hot between June to August, making March – May the ideal time for a visit.

 

Sport Climbing on Chanmero Wall

Hidden inside Hakuba Norikura’s information centre is the Chanmero Wall, a high-level sports climbing wall that offers both lead climbing and bouldering exercises. Open to the public on Tuesdays and Thursdays until 10pm, Norikura’s sports climbing wall is a great after-hours activity for those still buzzing from a day on the slopes.

There’s never a bad time to climb, so the Chanmero Wall is open year-round. 

chanmero climbing wall hakuba

 

Donguri

Hidden on the other side of the Matsu River between Happo and Iwatake is Donguri, an enchanting forest that offers some of the best hiking in the region. Donguri is a great spot to potentially spot Snow Monkeys’ in their natural habitat, and if you make it to the top lookout, ‘dongreecafe’ offers a great spot to stop for a drink and a skate. Yes, you read that correctly, there is also an indoor skatepark at the top of Donguri lookout.

Open year-round, although we recommend making the trek in both spring and summer so that you can see how the views transform from deep snowy fields to lush green landscapes.

 

Temples

Hakuba is home to a variety of amazing temples, all lying on the outskirts of the valley and in the wider Nagano prefecture. Visit Zenkoji Temple and see Japan’s first-ever Buddhist statue, or take the day trip to the famous Matsumoto castle and immerse yourself in the traditional-style houses turned street food shops and cafes.

Accessible all year, but there’s something so special about seeing Temples covered in snow, so we recommend visiting between March to May. 

 

Hakuba47 Mountain Sports Park

As Hakuba47’s winter playground turns into fields of lush greenery, the resort’s base also undergoes significant transformation to turn into an action-packed sports park. Bungee trampolines, mini steam locomotives, a mountain bike park and an expansive kids land, Hakuba47’s sports park offers hours of fun and countless activities.

Open after the snow melts in April. 


Furano Spring Activities

 

Hot Balloon & Paragliding

Satisfy your thrill-seeking itch to fly with professionally guided paragliding and hot air balloon tours.

Open year-round.

 

Farm Tomita

Visit the breathtaking fields of Farm Tonita to view vast flower fields, gardens, greenhouses,  and one of the most picturesque lavender fields Japan has to offer.

We recommend visiting between April to November to see the lavender fields in all their glory.

Tip- Be sure to try the farm’s soft serve ice cream, which is made with natural lavender extract from the farm.

 

Furano Cheese Factory

This one sells itself. A factory of natural cheese and butter made with fresh milk delivered from local farms in Furano, what’s not to love?

Open from 9:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. March – November.

Tip- For a unique Japanese experience, try the factory’s revered ‘Winder Cheddar Cheese’. The first of its kind in Japan, the cheese is made by kneading Furano red wine into the cheese during fermentation. 

 

Hinode Park

The birthplace of Furano lavender, Hinode Park is one of the most scenic destinations around Furano. Here you’ll find lavender gardens, observation decks and picturesque camping grounds.

We recommend the spring months of April and May are the best times to visit, however, Hinode Park is also a wonderful place to visit during winter.

 


 

Rhythm Japan’s Spring Sales

Of course we wanted to save the best until last. With 20% off Rides Lessons and Guiding, and up to 50% off ski and snowboard gear, Rhythm Japan’s spring sales are the cherry on top of what is already guaranteed to be an epic time of the year to visit Japan. Why not leave with a top-of-the-line powder snowboard for only a fraction of its normal cost?

 

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