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Hirafu, Hokkaido, Japan Map
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Fast Facts

Distance & Driving times from major cities
To Hirafu From Sapporo
110 km 2 hours
To Hirafu From Otaru
60 km 1 1/2 hours
To Hirafu From New Chitose Airport
110 km 2 hours
Closest Town:
Kutchan 10km
Closest Airport:
Chitose 110km
Banking Facilities / ATM:
No - Closest available at Kutchan. Cash is preferred to credit cards and cards may not be accepted.
Lift Base Elev: 300m
Summit Elev: 1309m
Vertical Drop: 1009m
Highest Lifted Point:
1200 m
Longest run:
5.6 kms
Average Snowfall:
12 metres
Season:
December to April
Runs:
Beginner 30%
Intermediate 40%
Advanced 30%
Winter activities: Alpine Skiing, Night Skiing, Cross-Country Skiing, Snow Boarding, Alpine touring, Snow shoeing, snow mobiling, snow rafting, horse riding, indoor rock climbing
Summer activities: Golf, park golf, mountain biking, hiking, fishing, white water rafting, horse riding, indoor rock climbing, hang gliding
 
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Hirafu Tourism Information
 

About Hirafu

Niseko - Hirafu is heaven on earth for powder snow skiers and snow boarders. Hirafu resort is actually a year round resort also offering mountain biking, hiking, white water rafting, golf and fishing.

Hirafu offers 1000 vertical metres.

  • 30% beginner
  • 40% intermediate
  • 30% Advanced

Facilities

The resort offers:

  • a free shuttle bus service that runs throughout the entire village to and from the main express Gondola
  • Convenience Grocery and Liquor Store
  • Numerous Bars and Restaurants
  • Night club
  • 30 meter indoor swimming pool
  • spas, steam rooms and saunas
  • Ski and snowboard rental
  • Ski and snowboard schools
  • Local Onsens (outdoor natural hot springs)
  • Internet cafes
  • Child minding services

Snowboard & Ski Shops
There are ski and snow board rental shops located in Hirafu. Supplies of longer skis and boards and larger boot sizes are limited.

Restaurants
Hirafu has a large selection of restaurants including Izakayas (Japanese pubs), sushi restaurants, ramen (noodle) restaurants, and curry restaurants.

On mountain restaurants provide great value for money and a variety of foods from delicious crab ramen to tempura, and the hot chocolates at the mountain hut cafe are certainly worth trying for morning tea.

Natural wonders

Thermal springs / onsens
Several onsens, natural thermal springs that come from deep within the volcanic earth are located around Hirafu. Some of these springs contain a large mineral and sulfur content and the steaming hot natural water is very therapeutic and helps to ease the aches and pains from a hard days skiing, boarding,hiking or mountain biking.

Mt Yotei zan
Mt Yotei, 1898 metres high, is the most famous mountain on Hokkaido and a defining point in the Niseko area and especially Hirafu. Mt. Yotei is popularly called Mt. Ezo-Fuji because its shape resembles the famous Mt. Fuji.

Food and wine

The restaurants in Hirafu offer a wide range of traditional Japanese dishes including local fresh produce. The dishes range from the well known sushi and tempura to local dishes including mackerel and dried squid. Most of the menus are translated into English which often provides great dining entertainment. The occasional translation is sure to create some laughter including the "male cod sperm" and "tuna and guts". They really aren't as bad as they sound.

Ice creams made from local dairy produce are also available. The flavours vary including traditional ice cream flavours and some unusual ones such as red bean, potato and pumpkin to name a few.

Japanese beer and sake is readily available as well as the occasional home made fruit wines. The local wines - more of a liqueur include local plums, apricots or other fruits. Wines from around the world are also available at many restaurants.

Climate

Winter - is long and can be quite cold. Light powder snow arrives from across the Sea of Japan and the Siberian desert. Skiing and snow boarding in untracked powder snow is very popular during winter.

Spring - brings the thaw and as the snows melt they reveal a world of bamboo forests that have been flattened by the heavy snow. The breezes are still cool and fresh.

Summer - with the disappearance of the snow it is now an ideal time to go hiking to view the alpine wild flowers. Golf, white water rafting and various other sports are popular at this time of the year.

Autumn - arrives earlier than other parts of Japan but is is still a great time for hiking with the clear crisp autumn skies.

Accommodation

Hirafu village offers several different types of accommodation including Japanese pensions (guesthouses), self-contained apartments (condominiums) and Hotels.

Getting there from Sapporo

Car
To Grand Hirafu From Sapporo
Distance approx. 92 km
New Chitose Airport - Grand HIRAFU: about 2 hours
Sapporo - Grand HIRAFU: about 2 ½ hours

Take Route 230 via Nakayama pass to Kimobetsu town. Turn right at the crossing of Route 276 towards Kutchan. At Route 5, turn left.

Train
JR line; Sapporo – Kutchan – Niseko
Approximately 1 ¾ hrs to Kutchan. Disembark at Kutchan for Grand Hirafu and take the bus from Kutchan station to Hirafu resort.

Bus
Chuo Bus, Niseko Bus and Donan Bus operate between New Chitose Airport – Sapporo and Grand Hirafu.
The trip takes approximately 2 ½ hours

Related articles

The colours of breakfast - a story about powder skiing in Hokkaido with lots of action photos.

More information

http://www.grand-hirafu.jp/en/index.html

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