niseko region terrain guide

The Niseko region features a wide range of exciting terrain to explore. Whether you are looking for groomed turns, the best sidecountry powder pockets, or full backcountry immersion away from the crowds, our Niseko Region Terrain Guide is your complete resource for finding the right experience to suit you.

Gate System Guide

Understand the back/side country terrain which is accessable via in-resort lifts and the Gate System.


Basic information about the local resorts such as elevation, number of runs, and terrain map.​


Find out where our Backcountry Guides can take you to find the deepest powder in the area.

Resort terrain guide


Niseko United Resort has quickly gained a reputation worldwide for its endless powder and picturesque mountain ranges overlooking Mt Yotei. What many people don’t know is that Niseko is actually made up of four interlinked resorts which all sit around the base of the Niseko Annupuri mountain. The terrain on offer at each of the four resorts offers and endless opportunities for runs & exploration for every level of rider.

  • Average snowfall: 14m
  • Top lifted elevation: 1,188m
  • Peak elevation: 1,308m
  • Adult lift pass from ¥8,100
  • Great for all ability levels
  • 32 ski runs | 50km of runs
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gate SYSTEM guide

The beautiful backcountry of Niseko is accessible through a unique gate system with her “Niseko Rules”. The gates offer an almost unlimited amount of backcountry options, increasing the terrain on the mountain by over 50%. All of this terrain is accessible by lift with minimal hiking. 

The backcountry in Niseko is unpatrolled avalanche terrain, therefore, we strongly recommend that you hire a guide for your own safety.

Rhythm Rides’ experienced guides operate daily in the Niseko area and can take you to the best lines in the backcountry.

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Kozan no sawa

Also called “Backbowl”, Kozan no Sawa is arguably the steepest terrain from the peak of Niseko. You will be able to access this amazing bowl with a 20 minute hike from Gate 3. The runout offers very playful terrain with a big natural half pipe that brings you all the way back to the Annupuri side of the ski resort.

Kita Shamen

If you really want to venture far out Kita Shamen will be your gig! It is a 20 minute hike to the drop in zone from the peak of Niseko. This north face is a beautiful big powder field with the coldest snow on the mountain. The traverse back to the resort requires a lot of energy but is well worth it!


If you are looking for the deepest powder from the peak, "Jackson’s" located on the east side of the mountain is your go! Hike for 20 minutes to the peak from gate 3 and drop east towards Hanazono. After your blower turns, you end up on the summer route where you will need to hike back to Hanazono.

Osawa Bowl

Osawa bowl provides a lot of good powder runs for very little effort. Traversing out of gate 1, 2 or 8, you will be able to find beautiful spacious tree-runs, natural pipes and fun little drops. The runout will bring you straight back to the Annupuri side of the ski resort.

Mizuno No Sawa

This beautiful powder bowl is to be found at gate 11 in Niseko Village. It’s famous for the long and deep powder runs in spacious trees and the effortless run-out back to the gondola of Niseko village. You will be able to lap this zone all day without having to hike for your turns!

Black Diamond
Double BD
Triple BD
Easy Access
Deep Powder
Tree Runs
Peak Access
Steap Terrain
Remote Terrain


Further afield from the Niseko gate system extensive touring terrain can be found for those willing to earn their turns. Our Rhythm Rides Guides can safely navigate you through the wider Niseko backcountry zones to locate the safest routes and the freshest turns.


 The endless bowls in all aspects of the mountain, beautiful treelines and spectacular views make this perfect volcano a very popular touring destination. 


When the sun finally shows itself in Kiroro, a lot of beautiful peaks will appear including Mini Alaska & the highest peak called Yoichi dake.


Shiribetsu is famous for her deep and spacious gullies on many aspects of the mountain. Reaching the main ridge line will amaze you with stunning views of Yotei and the local area.

Five Ways You Can Make Your Ski Holiday to Japan Cheaper.


On the way to Goshiki onsen you will find a popular and easy-access mountain called Nitonupuri. Nito has surprisingly a lot of fun terrain on offer in all aspects.



This area has a lot of different terrain on offer and doesn’t need much effort to access. The steaming natural hotsprings make for a uniquely scenic experience.



Two classic strato volcano shaped mountains filled with dry hokkaido powder.
To summit, you will need to cover some ground on the ascent. It’s a popular touring area, especially towards springtime.

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